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iTunes 9 review

Say goodbye to app annoyance and hello to home sharing

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Our Verdict

iTunes 9 feels snappier, the Column Browser is a much-needed improvement and the Home Sharing feature works very well. We're not convinced by iTunes LP or Extras - although we're sure the former would look just great on a Tablet - and it's still a bit slow, but the improved device management makes this a worthwhile upgrade.

For

  • Easy app organisation
  • Vastly improved sync options
  • Faster navigation
  • Easy home network sharing
  • Automatically fills free space with songs

Against

  • Genius playlists are secret
  • Windows version still looks weird
  • iTunes LP seems a bit pointless
  • Still can't delete standard apps
  • Seems rather crash-prone

itunes 9

We liked:

The improved device management is by far our favourite feature, taking the pain out of organising and removing apps.

Coupled with improved sync options and the ability to automatically stuff empty space with songs that means iTunes 9 makes it much easier to sort out your iPod or iPhone than before.

Home sharing is a big improvement over iTunes' previous approach to library sharing, and the new column browser speeds up navigation of big libraries.

We disliked:

Genius mixes are nice, but why can't we see what's in them and edit their contents?

We're not overly keen on the ability to tweet or update Facebook from the iTunes store, and we're not convinced iTunes LP is a particularly good idea: the iPod killed the album years ago, so it seems a bit late to try and resurrect it with some fancy pictures.

Last but not least, it seems churlish to add an application management screen but not give users the ability to delete unwanted standard applications, such as Stocks.

Final verdict:

iTunes 9 feels snappier, the column browser is a much-needed improvement and the Home Sharing feature works very well, although on our Mac at least iTunes 9 doesn't seem any less crash-prone than its predecessor.

Nevertheless, the vastly improved device management makes this a worthwhile upgrade.