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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:35 AM   #1
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iTunes 9.1 to Bring eBook Support, Genius Mix Enhancements, Automatic Bitrate Conversion?






MacRumors has received information from a source claiming to have knowledge of a forthcoming iTunes 9.1 update that will presumably be released around the same time as the iPad's U.S. launch this Saturday. Among the purported new features in iTunes 9.1 are changes to organization of book content in iTunes in order to support expected growth in eBook content driven by the iPad.

According to the source, the existing "Audiobooks" entry in the iTunes Source list will be replaced with a broader "Books" section. A similar change will made to the sources for managing content on connected devices such as iPhones, iPods, and iPads. The revamped "Books" section for connected devices will reportedly display all book content compatible with a given device for easy content management.

iTunes 9.1 will also reportedly bring enhancements to the Genius Mixes feature that automatically selects songs that "go great together". In the updated iTunes, users will have more control over Genius Mixes, including the ability to rename mixes and rearrange them by dragging. Users will also be able to delete Genius Mixes by right clicking on them. Genius Mixes will also reportedly be available as sources for the iTunes DJ shuffle feature.

Finally, iTunes 9.1 is claimed to offer several changes to device support, including tweaked summary panes (including a move of the "Check for Update" and "Restore" buttons to the left side of the pane) and the ability to automatically convert songs to 128 kbps AAC format when syncing to devices. This feature, currently available only for the iPod shuffle, will reportedly be extended to all devices and will allow users to fit more audio files on their devices while the original higher-quality files remain untouched in iTunes.

Article Link: iTunes 9.1 to Bring eBook Support, Genius Mix Enhancements, Automatic Bitrate Conversion?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:37 AM   #2
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I wonder if they will add a PDF support section, They are not epub but I'd love to keep them organized in itunes
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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bitrate conversion

"while the original higher-quality files remain untouched in iTunes."

That's a welcome addition!
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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Anything to make the program better is welcome. However when are they going to put the program on a diet? While its current size is because of what it does, there has to be someway to cut back on the bloat. It's only going to get worse.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Genius is the most underrated feature of iTunes. With iBook support, those who aren't interested in the iPad can still use this section which is pretty cool. I can't wait until there is a complete redesign of iTunes in 10.0.

Apple is quickly becoming the dominant content provider or all forms of media.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:49 AM   #6
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Love the bitrate conversion idea, hope that is true... and also controllable. on/off, set bitrate...asking too much?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:49 AM   #7
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I cannot describe how elated I would be at the addition of bit rate conversion. I am a bit of an audiophile with a nice stereo setup at home, so all of my iTunes tracks are Apple Lossless ripped from CDs. I love it except that I can only have a few hundred tracks on my iPhone. Beyond simply limiting the amount of music I have access to on the go, it also neuters the idea of on-the-go Genius playlists. It is sad indeed knowing that the bit rate conversion feature exists, but is only turned on for certain iPods. Let's hope this rumor is true!
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:49 AM   #8
dashiel
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is the 128kbps version of the song an official implementation of mpeg-4sls/hd aac or does itunes downsample it each time a song is added to the player?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumplestiltskin View Post
"while the original higher-quality files remain untouched in iTunes."

That's a welcome addition!
Agreed. This could be awesome for maintaining Lossless in iTunes and AAC on the ipod/iphone. Hopefully they will give you the ability to choose the conversion settings, instead of simply being locked to 128k.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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Automatic conversion will be awesome! Let all the HQ stuff live in iTunes, but when I'm out-and-about, step down for my iDevices.

This is probably what I'm most excited about.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:53 AM   #11
kamcma
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Originally Posted by RST View Post
Love the bitrate conversion idea, hope that is true... and also controllable. on/off, set bitrate...asking too much?
I would be shocked if it wasn't controllable. Maybe be not bit rate--its current iteration for the Shuffle is locked in at 128 AAC--but certainly on/off.

It's also probably worth noting that this feature will require some serious processing horsepower, and will thus drastically increase sync times for those of us that choose to utilize it with large libraries, where a new random selection of songs are being transfered each sync session ...
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:53 AM   #12
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I'd love to keep PDFs organized in itunes!
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:54 AM   #13
rumplestiltskin
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Originally Posted by Yelmurc View Post
I wonder if they will add a PDF support section, They are not epub but I'd love to keep them organized in itunes
You can. They won't transfer to your iPad (yet) but you may certainly drop PDFs into iTunes and, if you have it configured accordingly, they will be copied into the iTunes library where you may then add relevant information like "Artist" (author?), etc.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:54 AM   #14
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the ability to automatically convert songs to 128 kbps AAC format when syncing to devices. This feature, currently available only for the iPod shuffle, will reportedly be extended to all devices and will allow users to fit more audio files on their devices while the original higher-quality files remain untouched in iTunes.
The area in which I see this being very useful is for video, where one would not need to store two copies of all their video, one full-resolution for playback on the computer/TV, and another which is rendered at iPod size because there are huge space gains to be had. The problem with re-encoding video on the fly is that it will take a really long time to sync, especially if you have to re-encode a few movies in the process.

I guess for audio I don't see the space gains to be worth it, but then again I have the 32GB iPT, and a small music library. Plus I would not accept a lowering of the quality.

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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumplestiltskin View Post
"while the original higher-quality files remain untouched in iTunes."

That's a welcome addition!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RST View Post
Love the bitrate conversion idea, hope that is true... and also controllable. on/off, set bitrate...asking too much?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosaj72 View Post
Agreed. This could be awesome for maintaining Lossless in iTunes and AAC on the ipod/iphone. Hopefully they will give you the ability to choose the conversion settings, instead of simply being locked to 128k.
Gotta agree with all of you. This feature has been long overdue. I have a shuffle and it already works great. This will benefit many, many people.

Also have to agree with those who'd like to "user select" the output. I'd want to make it at least the quality of iTunes' own releases so not everything needs to be down-sampled.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:01 AM   #16
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Lossy conversion to lossy conversion..that sounds hideous.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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I guess for audio I don't see the space gains to be worth it, but then again I have the 32GB iPT, and a small music library. Plus I would not accept a lowering of the quality.
Really? It was my understanding that any of the iPod or iPhone OS devices really weren't capable of decoding and outputting the audio to a high enough quality to warrant storing at high bit-rate/quality. Therefore, aren't you just wasting space on your device by insisting on using high quality on these devices?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:05 AM   #18
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Looking forward to the new automatic bitrate conversion and to having more control over genius mixes
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:05 AM   #19
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i would really like it if they do a rewrite of itunes to make it better and not suck the ram out of my computer.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:06 AM   #20
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Lossy conversion to lossy conversion..that sounds hideous.
doesn't have to be lossy to lossy. i have my collection as lossless so transcoding would be awesome.

also there's a version of aac (mpeg4-sls/hd-aac) that supports a 128bit "core" so it doesn't re-compress it just parts out the core to the portable device

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_SLS
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:07 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post
Anything to make the program better is welcome. However when are they going to put the program on a diet? While its current size is because of what it does, there has to be someway to cut back on the bloat. It's only going to get worse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goobot View Post
i would really like it if they do a rewrite of itunes to make it better and not suck the ram out of my computer.
I'm betting that'll happen in iTunes X, which will come out within a year or two.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:09 AM   #22
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All of these cosmetic changes. Where is the 4.0 system overhaul?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:10 AM   #23
Jolly Jimmy
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Automatic bitrate conversion, yes please!

My collection is entirely lossless, but I only have a measly 2 GB nano

Converting before syncing is a real pain.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:12 AM   #24
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Love the bitrate option. My library is a mess wrt bitrates and formats. I'd love to be able to import all of my music as ALAC.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:12 AM   #25
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I wouldn't be that excited for automatic conversion. There are times when I'm in a hurry and I don't have time to wait for the conversion. I only have a 520 lossless collection so it's not that bad though it should be worse for others with thousands of songs.
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