The Low-Down On iTunes 2

| News

In the hubbub over the iPod yesterday, we failed to mention the details on iTunes 2. The next version of iTunes 2 was announced with along with the iPod, and will be released by Apple at approximately the same time. In addition to support for the iPod, iTunes 2 will include a number of new features. The most important of those new features is the long looked for equalizer, but Apple has added more to iTunes 2 as well. From Apple:

Apple today announced iTunes™ 2, the next generation of its award-winning digital music software for the Mac® that has been distributed to over six million users. iTunes 2 adds the three most requested features from iTunes users: MP3 CD burning, an equalizer and cross fading.

But iTunes 2is most stunning new feature is its seamless integration with iPod™, Appleis new breakthrough portable MP3 player. When iPod is first connected to a Mac running iTunes 2, all the songs and playlists from iTunes 2 are automatically downloaded into iPod, and updated whenever the iPod is plugged back into the Mac. iTunes 2 will be available in early November as a free download.

With its elegant user interface, iTunes was the first "digital jukebox" application to take the complexity out of managing digital music, making it fast and easy to rip MP3s, create playlists, burn custom CDs and store an entire digital music collection on a Mac. iTunes 2 seamlessly integrates with iPod, allowing Mac users to quickly and easily download their entire iTunes 2 digital music collection of up to 1,000 songs into an iPod in under 10 minutes.

New performance enhancements in iTunes 2 allow users to burn audio CDs up to twice as fast as before, and iTunes 2 can now burn and recognize MP3 CDs. While standard audio CDs are limited to 74 minutes of music, data CDs containing MP3 files can hold up to 10 hours of music on a single disc. These MP3 CDs can also be played on other Macs and PCs, and the MP3 format is now being recognized by an increasing number of consumer CD players.

iTunes 2 offers a richer audio experience with a new 10-band equalizer with over 20 presets, enabling users to customize audio settings to fit any style of music from classical to jazz, rock or hip hop. The new crossfader creates more graceful transitions between songs, providing smoother playback of songs mixed from different albums, and a new sound enhancer creates additional depth and richness in sound output.

iTunes 2 also allows users to:

  • pinpoint any song in seconds with a powerful real-time search engine;
  • quickly browse an entire music library by artist, album or genre;
  • create custom playlists with an easy drag-and-drop interface;
  • encode at up to 320 Kbps to ensure the finest MP3 sound quality;
  • burn CDs with one click and get perfect results every time; and
  • tune in and listen to hundreds of Internet radio stations.

Pricing & Availability
iTunes 2 will be available as a free download beginning in early November. iTunes 2 will be included on every new Mac system beginning in November. iTunes 2 will also be included as a free CD with iPod, Appleis breakthrough MP3 music player when it ships beginning November 10. iTunes 2 requires an Apple system with Mac® OS 9.2.1 or Mac OS X v10.1 or later.

Apple has updated the iTunes Web page with information on iTunes 2.

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