During the MACWORLD expo keynote this morning, Steve Jobs announced several updates to familiar applications. iTunes has been updated to iTunes 3, with a host of new features, most of which revolve around the idea of Smart Playlists. Also included in iTunes 3 is the ability to stream from Audible.com, and the addition of Sound Check, which adjusts the volume of songs in order to produce a more consistent listening experience. According to Apple:
Smart Playlists are playlists that automatically and dynamically update their songs based on simple rules set by the user. For example, a user can specify that a Smart Playlist contain every song by a given artist, and when new songs by that artist are added to iTunesi music library, they will automatically appear in this playlist. Or, a user can specify that a Smart Playlist contain their 25 most-listened-to songs, which will be dynamically selected based on the up-to-the-minute play counts for all the songs in their iTunes library.
"iTunes 3 with Smart Playlists is a major leap forward in the digital music revolution," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO. "iTunes 3 and iPod provide the easiest to use and most advanced digital music experience available, and are setting the pace for the industry."
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 encode MP3s, create playlists, burn custom CDs and store an entire digital music collection on a Mac. iTunes seamlessly integrates with iPod, allowing Mac users to easily transfer their entire digital music collection onto their iPod in less than 10 seconds per CD.
In iTunes 3, Smart Playlists make it easy for customers to automatically create mixes of their favorite songs from their music library based on any criteria they choose-artist, genre, play count, release date and more. These mixes can dynamically change and grow as the useris music library grows. Smart Playlists work with iTunesi new song rating feature so that users can identify their favorite music and have it automatically added to a Smart Playlist for playback on their Mac or their iPod.
With support for Audible content, iTunes 3 allows Mac users to access a broad range of audio programming over the Internet. Through Audible.com, customers can choose from over 4,500 audiobooks and 14,000 other audio programs, including national best sellers, classics and daily highlights from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. With iTunes 3 and iPod, Mac users have the flexibility to listen to Audible content whenever and wherever they want. Both iTunes 3 and iPod also support Sound Check, which automatically adjusts the volume of songs for a more consistent listening experience.
- Mac OS X version 10.1.4 or later required
- Macintosh with built-in USB ports
- 400MHz G3 processor or better recommended
- 256 MB RAM recommended
iTunes 3 is available immediately as a free download.