As expected, Apple today released a deluge of new products, from an iPod nano featuring a camera, to a $59 iPod shuffle to the revised touch line-up (which for a given density costs $10 more than the Zune HD, rather than $100 more). Of all the press releases we received, though, the one to really catch my eye was regarding a new iTunes release. Not a minor version update, but a major one… iTunes 9.
Recall the post we made last month which discussed the recording industry’s upcoming format that would essentially bundle many extras into a simple package? We also touched on the fact that Apple was working on such a thing as well, and believe it or not, it’s here. It’s called the iTunes LP, and it does a lot of what we expected it to.
Picture a DVD movie. There are few that don’t include a variety of special features, and for the most part, the idea has been carried over to iTunes LP. Picture purchasing an album, and then having access to an interactive menu that avails special artwork, miscellaneous videos, liner notes and so forth. That’s just what iTunes LP is, and I have to say, the implementation doesn’t look too bad at all.
Like the rest of iTunes’ catalogue, iTunes LP albums will be priced based on various factors – some will be a lot less expensive than others. Currently, most of the LP’s available are being sold for between $13.99 – $19.99, and I assume the amount of extras that come included are factored into the pricing. These LPs can only be viewed through iTunes – not on an iPod. Also, I’m not sure whether or not these LPs act as an archive, or whether the individual songs can be handled separately. If any of the launch LPs interested me, I’d take a chance, but I’ll pass for now.
iTunes LP is just one of the few updates made to iTunes, but it’s one of the most notable. I do have to say, though, that iTunes 9 as a whole is awesome. This is coming from someone who has hated iTunes in general up to this point (despite having purchased a fair amount of music via the service). The new version looks a lot better (and cleaner), seems to react much more quickly to basically everything, and is overall just more of a pleasure to use.
I have to ask though… why did Apple have to go remove the Shopping Cart?! Was I the only one to actually use it? With that, allow me to thank Apple for wiping out the group of songs that were sitting in there. As if I’ll remember what I had in there!
The visual experience of the record album returns with iTunes LP. Download select albums and experience a beautifully designed, interactive world right in your iTunes library on a Mac or PC — many are created by the artists. While you listen to your favorite songs, you can dive into animated lyrics and liner notes, watch performance videos, view artist and band photos, and enjoy other bonus materials. And become an even bigger fan.