Apple iTunes 10.5.2 - 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:

    1.5 stars

    out of 11 votes

    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 8
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 11

  • 1.0 stars

    "Won't do the BASIC functions I want."

    January 16, 2012  |   By ZippySlug

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    It's free (like cancer)

    Cons

    Can't sort by file location or easily select a few songs convert.

    Summary

    I only agreed to download this program because it appears to be the only application that will successfully convert mp3 songs to the proper format for the Nintendo DS. I only want to convert a few of my songs for my daughter's music collection, so I did what I thought was logical: I put the desired songs in a folder specifically for her. Well, itunes will not let you sort songs in the library by file location. Once it's gone and found all of your music, you have to look through EVERYTHING to find the songs you want. I hate this thing and may go spend the money to buy her a separate mp3 player so I never have to use itunes again.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Can I swear here?"

    January 14, 2012  |   By Bennyamd

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    um lol er... let me think hard

    Cons

    Too many to list.

    Summary

    Downright Terrible

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Horrible and stupid"

    January 12, 2012  |   By whodapho

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    Yeah you can transfer music and videos and other things

    Cons

    you can only transfer all those awesome things with one computer.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Songs won't play and tech support is no help"

    January 8, 2012  |   By brooknorton

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    When it works, songs are organized and transferred to iPods effectively.

    Cons

    Once or twice a year it "breaks down" and requires hours of work to fix whatever ails it. No where near a "it just works" product and so the foundation of my families music collection is on very shaky ground. Email tech support is worse than useless. They don't read my emails describing the problem, but instead send me standard articles on how to fix it, and when that doesn't work, the next tech sends it again, and so forth. Hundreds of my songs created under a now obsolete email address won't play due to computer-activation issues that fail due to the obsolete email address and Apple can't figure out how to fix it.

    Summary

    Hundreds of songs on an old email account will not play now and Apple cannot figure out how to fix it.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Install if you want a software to mess your hard drive."

    January 7, 2012  |   By masterjoe2012

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    do I have to?

    Cons

    Stuborn me, happened twice! Importing folders into library, it "organices" the itunes way, your already organized folders. Had unchecked what was supposed to be unchecked this second time, and like magic, all my music collection is a mess. Instantaneously unistalled. Windows 7 should advice when a software is doing this.

    Summary

    Look for other options. If your music collection is small, there should be no great deal, but for those of us with huge libraries, this is a headache.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Crashed my system"

    January 4, 2012  |   By debra517

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    Since I can't access the iTunes store in this version, it's hard to think of one

    Cons

    I wasn't able to access the iTunes store at all. I researched the problem and discovered many other people are having the same issue. I tried several proposed fixes and ended up back where I started. After my system crashed, (it's been a long time since I've seen the blue screen of death), I uninstalled it.

    Summary

    When they fix the problem, I'll consider re-installing. Terrible!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "It killed my CD/DVD drive !!"

    January 3, 2012  |   By my2pence

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    Plays a limited number of music and video file formats.

    Cons

    Had no preconception of iTunes when was advised to trial it prior to purchasing an iPod Classic for my large collection of world music. My 5 reasons for uninstalling it:

    1. sound quality far inferior to Windows Media Player 12 (WMP 12)
    2. file management system (library, playlists) inferior to WMP 12 (libraries, playlists, folders, files)
    3. media file information retrieved via internet was false and inaccurate
    3. does not play WMA files (have 20GB worth of them)
    4. ripping not at all better than WMP 12
    5. tends to freeze (in two weeks has frozen more than WMP 12 in two years)

    When unistalling, iTunes corrupted my existing WMP 12 libraries and 'killed' my CD/DVD drive, i.e. drive was no longer visible. Had to find and re-install drivers to be able to use it again).Patronising or inept programmers? I suspect both.

    Good riddance of this invasive piece of rubbish software and I will not be buying the iPod.

    Summary

    Thank you CNET for this service.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "It's a shame this is a standard."

    December 30, 2011  |   By JohnnyFiver

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    Err... I'll let you know.

    Cons

    As a music player this does nothing that others can't.
    Shame that it's the official and most popular software to transfer music to your iPod.

    Summary

    Man, I hate this program. It crashes constantly for me, even after upgrading to the latest version. Drag more than ten songs at once to your iPod? Crash. Quickly changing through tabs? Crash. After closing and relaunching the program my device will often not appear on the side bar. My computer doesn't cause other programs to crash, it seems quite specific to iTunes. I'm currently searching for another program to transer music to my iPod. I'm really starting to dislike Apple in general, I'm now on my third iPhone since last October. Both replacements were due to serious hardware problems: a malfunctioning antenna that would get horrible signals and an audio card that fried and wouldn't accept any sound input or output. I will get a different smartphone after my contract is over and be done with Apple and iTunes.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "the best music management application"

    December 29, 2011  |   By Tatzlos

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    cool,awesome,reliable,secure

    Cons

    nope,this is the best

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Wish I could think of one"

    December 16, 2011  |   By mvic855242

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.5.2

    Pros

    None that can think off

    Cons

    If you want to see a cpu at 100%, then this is the ideal program

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Results 1-10 of 11

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