Apple iTunes 10.6.3 - 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:

    1.6 stars

    out of 7 votes

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

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-7 of 7

  • 1.0 stars

    "Will not play Videos!!!"

    August 29, 2012  |   By romelevans

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    there are no pros for this version that I can see at all!

    Cons

    The first video that you play may work or may not, but the succeeding videos will not work at all. There is no response whatsoever when you click on a movie. If you reboot your system, again you may get the first video to play, but anything after that suffers the same consequence. I saw a LOT of forums on this and apple is not saying anything about it. Save your self the headaches and do not upgrade to this version.

    Summary

    I am about to regress the version back to a working level so I hope it works.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "And this is supposed to be the best?"

    August 18, 2012  |   By Imogen7Ryan

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    Found some great Podcasts.

    Cons

    Confusing. Wouldn't update properly. Podcasts to 'Get' wouldn't download.

    Summary

    I have NO idea why iTunes has been the 'Leader' for so long. I find it a Huge let down, have uninstalled it, just fed up with it's lack of response.

    I just don't trust iTunes with any of my media management. A shame.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Apple Mobile Device 64-bit does not work or load."

    August 13, 2012  |   By Mondoray

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    Older versions worked but no longer available.

    Cons

    Latest version 10.6.3.25 will not load 64-bit version for W 7

    Summary

    Unable to have my iPhone recognized as a "Device". I updated to 64 bit version of iTunes 10.6.3.25 When I plugged in my iPhone a balloon popped up and said to delete iTunes and download the 64 bit version again. I did and got the same result. The AMD sw will not load. I tried EVERYTHING Apple said to do but I cannot get the 64 bit version of AMD to load. I went to the local Apple store and my iPhone was recognized as a "DEVICE" in iTunes. Why the upgrade will not load AMD [Apple Mobile Device] software is a serious well-discussed issue on the internet. No one has a solution.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Lets toss a coin and see what computer it works on."

    August 3, 2012  |   By Jhon000000

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    Software works just fine but slows down one of my computers. This one has an i7 920 Asus P6T (1st edition) 2 300gb velociraptors 6gigs of DDR3 2 Radeon 4890's. I dont know what this is trying to do in the background but seriously a gig of ram for a simple inactive media player.... can you say garbage

    Cons

    My older laptop was stable as heck before it is an Dell precision 6300m with a core 2 duo at 2.4ghz 4 gigs of DDR2 and for video a quadro 1600m. Until i uninstalled all the itunes software and that damn quicktime garbage, my laptop was crashing every 5 min. This software is complete garbage.

    Summary

    Next time I decide to buy a tablet it sure as heck will not be made by apple. But then again who knows perhaps this software wont make your computer crash. As I said its a toss of a coin.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Got W7 64bit - then forget this version of iTunes"

    July 28, 2012  |   By ekei

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    not one single pro - it will install, but it just won't open even after doing EVERYTHING that Apple and the various social media sites recommend.

    Cons

    It will install, but it just won't open even after doing EVERYTHING that Apple and the various social media sites recommend.

    Summary

    Not worth the time.

    Updated on Jul 28, 2012

    Not worth the time.
    And about time CNET put some truth in avertizing. ALL (past) versions may score a user average of 3 stars. But the current version, 10.6.3, has a score of 1-1.5, but that's probably generous since O (zed, zilch, zero) isn't a possible star rating.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Absolute Crap"

    June 20, 2012  |   By DaMonkeyOnCrack

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    Visually appealing

    Cons

    -Can only sync iPod to 5 computers (it uses up a computer if you restore a computer if it crashes)
    -Only add songs from one computer (can be disables with manually manage music
    -Can't sync apps from my own 3 computers (it won't even let me sync apps with manually manage music on. if I turn it off, it will wipe out my iPod)
    -Stops responding quite often
    -Just to sync a few songs took about 20 minutes
    -when I sync, it adds all the songs on there instead of the songs I have selected
    -It quit responding when it tries to play certain songs
    -Failed (and refused) to update my crashed iPad and left me with a useless iPad
    -Apple support sucks
    -File size way too large for iTunes update

    Summary

    About the only reason I use iTunes now is to update. I found an alternative called CopyTrans that works great with syncing music and videos. I have never really liked Apple but at this point, I just completely hate the company. They limit iTunes so much to where they don't want you to do what you want but force you to do what it says. If you don't want to go through hell, buy an Android phone, MP3 player which music can be added by dragging it on to your SD card from Explorer or Finder

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Unaverage Program"

    June 16, 2012  |   By GiannCarl08

    Version: Apple iTunes 10.6.3

    Pros

    Good for transferring music and videos into Ipod, Iphone, etc. Tons of space for music and videos.

    Cons

    Current version: 10.5.2.11: Cannot be uninstalled from computer, Cannot update to latest version, Very slow loading after turning on computer.

    Summary

    At first I download it when it was version 9. After updating it to the version 10.5.2.11, The design was ok, but some things have changed. After the latest version came out, I tried to update the software, But the program was said to be unavailable because of some installation package. After the later version came out, I tried to update, but still, the same thing came out at my monitor, So I tried to uninstall it, but it is useless, I even cannot renew my system just to remove it, So I rate this software at least 2 stars.

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Results 1-7 of 7

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