Apple iTunes 9.2 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Apple iTunes

CNET Editors' review

As one of the most popular programs for managing music and video content on a personal computer, Apple's iTunes software has become an indispensable part of our digital life. Version 9 of iTunes brings a handful of enhancements to Apple's ubiquitous media software, including an improved storefront, tools for sharing media between multiple computers, a new Genius Mixes music experience, and a more flexible system for syncing media to the iPod or iPhone.

Design
The look of iTunes 9 is a little more polished than that of iTunes 8, but the layout is basically identical. A source menu runs as a column down the left side, offering quick access to your media library, the iTunes Store, Genius features, and playlists. Once a selection is chosen in the source menu, all the relevant content spills out into the large main window, where it can be organized and sorted using an arsenal of sophisticated, spreadsheet-like options or switched into a cover-flow view that hearkens back to the days of flipping through record crates.

One feature that received a substantial overhaul is the iTunes store. Store navigation links now run horizontally across the top of the window and include drop-down menus to quickly drill down into specific sections, such as Jazz. Front page content is more attractively arranged and allows you to launch music and video previews directly, without jumping in and out of specific album and video listings. Another welcome design change seen throughout the iTunes store is an option menu next to every purchase button, allowing you to copy the item's URL, add to your Wish List, gift the purchase, or share the link on Facebook or Twitter.

Features
What started out as a basic jukebox program for ripping and burning CDs and transferring music to your iPod has evolved over the years into a multimedia behemoth capable of handling everything from HD-movie rentals to syncing appointments with your iPhone. In spite of all the bells and whistles that have been tacked-on to iTunes over the years, at its core, iTunes still remains an excellent tool for managing your music and video collections.

Several new features have been introduced in iTunes 9, including a new iTunes LP media format, Home Sharing, Genius Mixes, and new device-syncing options. As a throwback to a bygone era when people purchased and revered full-length albums, the iTunes LP format treats music fans to an immersive album experience, filled with liner notes, lyrics, interactive menus, and bonus videos. Like any album or single purchased using iTunes, the songs included with an iTunes LP are delivered as DRM-free AAC music files that can be transferred to any iPod, iPhone, or AAC-compatible device. All of the extra stuff included with an iTunes LP--the special menus, photos, videos, and interactive elements--are only available to view directly on your computer. In spite of its limitations, the iTunes LP format should find a home with music fans looking for a richer album experience from their favorite bands.

Apple is taking a similar approach with video, adding the sort of bonus material and extras found on DVDs to many of the popular movies and TV shows available through iTunes. The format is called iTunes Extras, but just like iTunes LP, none of the added material or special menus can be transferred to an iPod or iPhone.

Apple's Genius feature, added in iTunes 8, harnesses Apple's vast collection of iTunes song data to give you educated recommendations when it comes to what music or videos may interest you based on the media you already have. The same data can also be used to create instant 25-song Genius Playlists, built around any song in your library. In iTunes 9, Apple adds another use for its Genius song recommendations called Genius Mixes. To minimize the amount of time it takes to launch iTunes and start listening to great music, Genius Mixes are automatic mixes of music from your library based around a common genre, such as Rock, Classical, Pop, or Jazz. The effect is similar to switching on a good radio station, surrendering song selection over to Apple's Genius technology, and trusting it not to mix your Zappa songs with Ella Fitzgerald.

Of all the new features included in iTunes 9, the most practical by far is Home Sharing. Up until now, multiple computers on a common network could use iTunes to stream content between computers, but were prevented from actually copying files back and forth. In iTunes 9, you can now bless locally networked computers with Home Sharing privileges, allowing unrestricted access to their music, videos, podcasts, apps, and playlists, which can be copied between computers directly within iTunes. It's a great feature for families or any multicomputer household, and can even be set up to transfer any new iTunes store purchases between all of your computers automatically. Of course, content added to your library using means other than the iTunes store (heaven forbid) is excluded from automatic updates, but can still be transferred manually through Home Sharing.

Finally, anyone with an iPod or iPhone will enjoy the extra syncing options available in iTunes 9. With your iPod or iPhone connected to your computer, the iTunes device summary window now includes a dedicated tab for iTunes U academic content (formerly lumped in with podcasts), and the syncing options for music, videos, photos, and podcasts, now offer more control over what media you want to transfer. For example, in the music tab, you now have options for syncing the specific artists, playlists, and genres you care about, and a check box for filling up any leftover space with random selections. iPhone and iPod Touch owners will be happy to see an improved Apps tab where you can arrange and customize the selection of apps that get synced to your device.

Worth the download?
Updating iTunes is about as inevitable as death and taxes. Try and resist, and some iPod or iPhone update will come along and twist your arm into updating anyhow. And while Apple hasn't done much to lighten the load of the iTunes installation package (or the bundled Quicktime install that comes with it), it's hard to complain when the program is free and offers such an impressive range of features. So yes, it's worth downloading--if for no other reason than the excellent new Home Sharing feature. Visit CNET's Download.com for the latest version of iTunes 9 (Mac or Windows).

iTunes 7.7:

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.9 stars

    out of 1,726 votes

    • 5 star: 442
    • 4 star: 293
    • 3 star: 198
    • 2 star: 218
    • 1 star: 574
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

    out of 10 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 10

  • 4.0 stars

    "Overall, a decent product ."

    July 17, 2010  |   By NEILDownload

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    Streamlined interface,Free. .iTunes store is great...playlists are easy to make...handles my 6,000+ songs better than WMP

    Cons

    Could be better if Apple could add the feature "iPod/iPhone to computer" .
    Functionality is not intuitive for so many features. Where is the ease of use? I expect more from apple.

    Summary

    Just bought a new iPhone its really cool and I want to transfer my music from iPhone back to Computer but it doesn't work. I use free PCiPod to do this now. Hope this feature will be added to iTunes soon.

    Reply to this review

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  • 3.0 stars

    "dontnoihavenotbeenonyet"

    July 16, 2010  |   By lizzycon

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    itisasgoodasitgets

    Cons

    nothingitsok

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "It just works!"

    July 15, 2010  |   By DR .No

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    Very easy to grasp, podcasts are a breeze and the UI is fab!

    Cons

    Takes ages to upgrade/install :(

    Summary

    Well I love my iPod, but my major downside was that once I upgraded to the 9.2 version It clashed with Microsoft Security Essentials? Seems like that has been sorted, ok back to the product, It's my main media player, pod-casting and just general stuff, burning CD's is a pain, I use Ashampoo free! Well worth a look at folks, works great on 3 of my machines, enjoy!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "downloaded first time but check 64 bit if windows 7 pro"

    July 11, 2010  |   By downloadwrong

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    no hangups others sites caused

    Cons

    no problem good product

    Summary

    worked right but pay attention to 64 bit 32 bit wont work

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  • 1.0 stars

    "iTunes doesn't work"

    June 24, 2010  |   By boristhemoggyreturns

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    I like the way you can organise your music, and search it in many different ways, or simply browse it by album art.

    Cons

    It has never worked for me, and despite months of trying I have never resolved it. Every time I try to update my iPod iTunes crashes. I've tried the forum and no-one could answer my problem.
    I use Media Monkey now.

    Summary

    It doesn't work, and there is no support.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Makes syncing easy and buying a breeze"

    June 24, 2010  |   By quiltfanatic1

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    It's many facets. Synching capabilities, storing backups of your music and data; easy to make purchases and puruse products.

    Cons

    read the paragraphs above

    Summary

    read the paragraphs above

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Slower than you can imagine on a windows"

    June 21, 2010  |   By bjbranch12

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    It gets the job done in managing music and video and things like that, It is organizes and managable.

    Cons

    To familiar, needs a big face lift to make it look better not to forget it is very very slow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Summary

    Bottom line only get it if you need it for your iPod or other apple device

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Comment on "Still Caught in the Web of DRM, - NO Help""

    June 19, 2010  |   By pshane

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    I have loved the i-tunes set-up since first discovering it years back, as it provides a lot of good service and features for FREE! - Probably the best of all of 'em, but - (see below)

    Cons

    I have never found a firm answer as to whether I can make a CD of music I purchase from i-tunes ,and walk out of the house with it, play it on my CD player in the car, or at my family's or friends house on their CD player, or PC. - Does Anyone Know??

    Summary

    Apple is sooooo huge that it cannot give answers to individuals wanting to know how this whole thing works, - ie DRM, etc. - Seems like once a tune is purchased, it should belong to the buyer to do with as they please, as long as they don't go commercial, or make money off of it. - HOW does one find out except via 'The Hard Way' (buy it and find out!) - - Comments anyone?? - Thanks

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  • 2.0 stars

    "still caught in web of DRM no help from 9.2"

    June 17, 2010  |   By ccolekey

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    I have yet to find any pros.

    Cons

    No help with managing my existing library, compluters on home net work and multiple apple devices, Itouch, ishuffle, etc.

    Summary

    I have purchased over 1500 songs from all from Itunes over the years and even upgraded them all during the itunes plus movement.
    So I am very frustrated when I can't play my music on my computer or sync yet another new Itouch I purchased. There seems to be no support, I can't get anyone on the phone.

    This year durin my move to Windows 7 64 it I upgraded all of my computers and server with new hard drives. I can't seem to deauthorize any of them but they or reauthorize them but they are the same machine. No one has the old hard drives they are in the pc's as additional hard drive space. I tried deauthorizing all machines and it says I have to wait until September.
    I don't spend thousands of dollars every year with apple for this kind of poor service
    I don't understand all the CNET reviews about as usual all purchase from the itunes store are delivered DRM free. Since when ?
    Mine don't come like that,
    Am I missing something.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 2.0 stars

    "It works just ok"

    June 17, 2010  |   By sharwy

    Version: Apple iTunes 9.2

    Pros

    good if you purchase a lot from the itunes store. good for searching things in itunes store.

    Cons

    kind of a pain actually comes on when I plug in Ipod. maybe just want to recharge it only.

    Summary

    if you have to to have it get it for your ipod

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 10

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