Apple iTunes 10.1.1 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Apple iTunes

CNET Editors' review

Bottom line: Version 10.6 of iTunes brings a handful of enhancements to Apple's ubiquitous media software, and adds support for 1080p video.

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.

Interface
The look and layout of iTunes 10 is essentially identical to that of iTunes 9, with just a couple of noticeable differences. The first is that Apple has updated its logo for iTunes. Rather than the old-school music note-over-CD icon, you'll see a much more applike image. Still, the company hasn't figured out how to more broadly represent the jukebox's multimedia functionality: there's still just a music note.

There's also been a slight change to the source menu that runs as a column down the left side. The bright blue icons representing the various submenus have been changed to gray--an odd change in our eyes as it makes them stand out even less, which doesn't make a ton of sense for menu options. That said, they still offer 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.

Once you're in the iTunes 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 attractively arranged and allows you to launch music and video previews directly, without jumping in and out of specific album and video listings. There's also 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. We're happy to see that Apple kept all these great enhancements from version 9.

As the primary tool for managing content on iOS devices, iTunes continues to make it easy to find music, apps, podcasts, videos, and more using the navigation buttons across the top. In the iTunes App Store, for example, you can view Apple's New and Noteworthy apps, Hot apps of the moment, and Staff Picks if you're looking for app ideas. The iTunes App Store also offers a number of features in the right navigation like Games of the Week, Games starter kits, most popular lists, and other rotating links for more app discovery choices. Similarly, the Podcast, Books, and Video sections all have options for content discovery making it easy to browse for new content for your iOS devices.

New in iTunes 10

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 iOS device. 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.

One of the major feature additions from version 10 was Ping, a social music tool akin to Microsoft's Zune Social. Ping lets you select your favorite artists to follow, and then provides updated information on new music and concerts in your area (as well as a Twitter-like feed of comments from the artists). In addition, you can connect with your friends through iTunes by sending e-mail invites or by linking to your Facebook account. Ping is also built into the iTunes app, allowing users to access it on-the-go. Ping started off slow at release with only a few artists to follow, but after a few iTunes updates, Ping blossomed into full-fledged service. Ping still struggles to catch on, however, and is probably not as widely used as Apple might have hoped.

On the plus side, the recent versions of the jukebox do carry over all the great features from their predecessors. There's the iTunes LP media format, Home Sharing, Genius Mixes, and plentiful device-syncing options. The iTunes LP format treats music fans to a more immersive album experience, filled with liner notes, lyrics, interactive menus, and bonus videos. Though it seemed like a great idea when iTunes 10 first launched, relatively few artists currently have LP versions of their releases at the time of this update (iTunes 10.6).

On the video side, you can still expect to get 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.

iTunes 10.6 adds the ability to play 1080p movies and TV shows from within the iTunes App Store. Apple says song matching has been improved, and iTunes has improved the way album artwork is handled, downloaded, and displayed. We haven't noticed any big differences in matching or album artwork management in our testing. The update also fixed an issue where songs were skipping when playing from iCloud.

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 added 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.

iTunes also allows you to 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.

iTunes Match
Originating in version 10.5.1, iTunes Match lets you subscribe to match your current music library up with iTunes' vast music database and stores all your music in iCloud for $24.99 per year. Once subscribed, iTunes scans your library then matches up your songs with the iTunes database. Even if you have songs that aren't in the iTunes database, they will be uploaded to iCloud allowing you to download them on authorized desktop computers and your iOS devices. It's important to note, however, that Apple has implemented a hard cap of 25,000 songs for iTunes Match, so those with enormous music collections won't even be able to sign up for the service. Hopefully Apple will come up with a way to account for users with giant music collections (even if that means offering the capability to designate which songs should be matched), but it seems like a large oversight to not have some way for these users to sign up.

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. If you're willing to spend $24.99 a year, the iTunes matching service might be worth the download to get all your music available via the cloud (as long as you have 25,000 songs or fewer). So yes, it's worth downloading--if for no other reason than to manage your devices and the content to go with it.

iTunes 7.7:

Publisher's Description

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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:

    1.4 stars

    out of 16 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 14
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 16

  • 1.0 stars

    "No Improvement Over 9.0 Whatsoever. Don't Upgrade!"

    January 30, 2011  |   By teatglobal

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    None whatsoever; for myself, I can't identify a single benefit of upgrading from 9.0. Rather, I "gain" a b/w picture and loads of bugs if I''m to believe everyone else.

    Cons

    Hard to read monochromatic new interface. What little color was used for blue and purple list symbols is now uniform grey and hard to read.

    Summary

    Why ON EARTH did they drop ALL COLOR from the sourcelist and file window? I guess they thought their "store" would pop out all the more, to their benefit. And yes, going there is like leaving a desolate island in the arctic for times square at night--every inch covered with colorful and animated pitches, designed by spying on you, your library and your purchases. I went to CNET reviews hoping that SOME personalization had been added; instead I am now also alarmed at how bloated and buggie it sounds. I had no idea it was causing errors right and left for people.
    I NEED that color -- in fact it would have been better to use more color-coding to distinguish filetypes and such.I have a 1.5 Terabyte library, I spend hours compulsively fixing track info, smartlists and eliminating dupes while on the phone, etc. I have HUNDREDS of playlists within categories. After seeing the new iTunes and the changes they've made this would now be as fun as reading code.
    I suspect they want more revenue opportunities for themselves, to accomodate now the ipad and cram this band-wagon "social" nuisance in, its sounds to be as buggy as MS 98 or something. For my part, all I "gain" is a backward step into black-and-white and alarming vulnerability with so much money and especially man-hours devoted to "my" property over several years. I'm off to backup things immediately..
    I have chosen NOT to update my main library PC and will hold out as long as possible. Several others I did update. I suppose this is the starting point for cobbling together people with Ipads now, but based on all these other reviews, for my purposes, I've dodged a bullet -- for now.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Terrible. Avoid."

    January 19, 2011  |   By mccarcass

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    Apple have forced iphone users to install itunes, so I guess the positive thing is that it allows you to use your iphone. But only if you can get itunes to work.

    Cons

    Freezes upon opening for extended periods making it unusable. It will then suddenly start working again inexplicably. When it does work it is far from intuitive and has a tendency to delete or rearrange your hard drive contents.

    Summary

    Avoid if at all possible.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Absolutely Terrible"

    January 17, 2011  |   By jedi8625

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    Clean looking UI

    Cons

    CPU hog compared to other music players, updating is a huge pain, poor customer support, and more

    Summary

    I have no idea how a program this bad is so popular. For example the first thing it does after it updates is it checks for updates. The updates are gigantic in terms of file size. Apple customer support is great if you are willing to pay the $30 fee to talk to someone at tech support, but if not then its a nightmare. Also it is extremely restrictive about what you can do with YOUR files on YOUR ipod.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Just shoot me in the eye"

    January 13, 2011  |   By rdg001

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    none, zero, zip, zilch, nada, etc.

    Cons

    auto sync, unable to get music from iPod to iTunes, customer service stinks.

    Summary

    The only reason I gave it 1 star is -5 stars was not an option. Restaged my computer & had to reload my library. I was unaware of the auto sync feature when I plugged in. I immediately stopped the program. In about 10 sec., iTunes was successful in deleting 4 gig off my iPod. After spending hours getting my music off my external drive, half my library is useless. iTunes says "I am not authorized to play this song". This is music that I own, many of the songs were purchased from iTunes. I can't believe iTunes can screw with there customers like this. It appears that they are the self-appointed czar of the music industry.

    Bottom line, goe elsewhere for your digital library needs. I purchased Media Monkey & it works like a charm, all my music & playlists have been uploaded & play just fine. Also works great for syncing.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "just one big problem after another"

    January 12, 2011  |   By punky724

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    hmmm that it can convert music and thats about it

    Cons

    if i import a folder i get double the songs i already have, it doesn't have an easy way to find the information of the song like other programs do ect ect

    Summary

    after getting a new comp and seeing how crappy the new itunes is, i sort of wish that i could use the itunes on my old comp cause that one actually worked where this just gives me more problems then usual!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Bloated too much"

    January 6, 2011  |   By cas85

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    none.................

    Cons

    Unbearable performance even on powerful windows machines. Takes ages to respond (well actually up to 10 seconds) whenever I click somewhere.

    Summary

    rubbish...

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  • 1.0 stars

    "doesn't download playlists"

    January 3, 2011  |   By browndt1911

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    nothing. nothing at all.

    Cons

    unable to download any playlists. Have reset my ipod, same result.

    Summary

    full of bugs, lots of people are having problems. don't use.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Almost nonfunctional and ill-supported"

    January 1, 2011  |   By plockplock13

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    Gives you a few extra error messages to deal with upon start-up

    Cons

    Gives audible.com books their chapter divisions

    Summary

    Aside from its functions with audible.com and other inexplicably exclusive sites, this software is a waste of bytes. A source of error messages, wasted CDs and other things, the program does nothing except cause problems. If you want a picture of desperation, check out the forums of people begging Apple to find ways to fix the issues this thing causes.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Endlessly frustrating and utterly worthless."

    December 27, 2010  |   By rdwilliams99

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    At first glance, it looks like it could do a lot of cool things.

    Cons

    Nothing works. You click a button and the program doesn't perform the action, it doesn't return an error message. It does... nothing.

    Summary

    I was a computer science major and I learn computer programs very easily. I can get a feel for most programs in a matter of minutes.
    My mother wanted me to put some songs and a couple religious podcasts on her new iPad. I SPENT FIVE HOURS IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH NOTHING. Nothing I wanted to put on the ipad actually ended up on the ipad. Somehow a handful of songs ended up on the ipad, but none of them are the songs I actually tried to put on there.
    I swear, I swear, I don't normally say things like this and I'm not someone who's prone to hyperbole, so believe me when I say that this is the worst program of all time. I thought Windows Media Player was bad, but it's heaven by comparison with itunes.
    I never understood why people hated Apple so much until I tried to use this program. Attempting to make itunes function in some kind -- any kind -- of useful or meaningful way is like being trapped in the fifth circle of hell.
    I have never felt such seething hatred for a computer program before. Up until my mother opened up that christmas present, I didn't think I was capable of getting angry at a computer. It is utterly beyond my comprehension how something so jaw-droppingly awful could be popular in any way.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Messes up my whole computer and sound system"

    December 24, 2010  |   By Terri_Allan

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.1.1

    Pros

    nothing at all!!!!!

    Cons

    Everything Thanks to this download I lost all sound and lost 6 days of non stop songs that I downloaded from over 600 CD's that r not replaceable!!!

    Summary

    you ruined my hard work and lifetime of cd collection that was downloaded in my comp plus I need to buy a new surround system for my comp and had to download windows and all other programs again and on Christmas morning I hate u Apple's iTunes u owe me large!!!

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Results 1-10 of 16

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