Well, this one caught us on the hop – normally I just select “Check for iTunes Updates” out of habit and expect nothing, but today brought the 4.5 update.
What’s new? The most obvious addition is Party Shuffle – a little application for keeping your soirées rocking. By selecting tracks from your playlists and presenting them in a slightly simpler (presumably so even drunk people can operate it), slightly prettier interface (it’s for parties after all), you’ll never make a musical gaff at a party again. It even shows the last five tunes played and what’s coming up, so people can still bicker over the music choice – and you can even set it so that it plays high-rated songs more often.
Artists featured in the iTunes music store now have handy arrows next them – clicking on the arrows will take you to a handy area in the store with the option of buying more music.
Another new feature allows users to share playlists – you can share your favourite list with friends and people you’ve never met, accompanied with some spiffy artwork made up of a mosaic of sleeves from the tracks in your mix. This is done simply by choosing “Publish playlist to music store” from the file menu. iTunes users can rate each other’s mixes (be prepared to be insulted by people you’ve never met in ways you’d never dreamed of) and top lists are displayed in the iTunes store.
Cheekily, iTunes will now convert your Windows Media files to AAC, if you require – so now you can have music bought from other websites on your iPod.
The Windows version of 4.5 seems to make it a better behaved Windows application, which is welcomed after the first release ignored all the user interface guidelines.
So, not major update but adds a few interesting features for the youngsters – it’s still the best jukebox software out there, and that’s even without a music store in Europe to back it up.