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Heid on "Your Mac Life" again. Last night, I spent a fun 20 minutes talking about iTunes 4. To skip to my segment, drag the slider until the time read-out says roughly More shameless me-commerce. Everything you've read here in the last two days -- and a whole lot more -- is in The Macintosh iLife '04 , the new edition of my book and two-hour instructional DVD combo. Now Showing: iMovie 4. The update fixes some serious bugs, including the hideously unusable Ken Burns zoom-outs that I reported on here last week.

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Can I get a hoo-ray? Get the update, but heed Apple's warning about installing it: "You must have iMovie 4. If you do not have iMovie 4. Apple has delivered a new latest version of its music jukebox software , and the new release brings enhancements big and small. I've had the opportunity to work extensively with iTunes 4. The book is going to the printer this week, and you can pre-order your copy now. To hold you over until it arrives, here's a detailed look at iTunes 4.

Pointing the Way Toward Commerce iTunes 4. But look closely at your library or playlists, and you'll see little right-pointing arrows next to each song, artist, and album name. Click one of these arrows, and you're taken to the relevant area of the iTunes Music Store. This is a swell way to quickly locate and buy music that relates to tunes you already have. It will also be a swell way to herd iTunes users to the music store.


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You don't have to participate if you don't want to: to hide the link arrows, choose Preferences from the iTunes menu, and uncheck the box labeled Show Links to Music Store. More in the Store While Microsoft has been blathering about " closed ecosystems ", the iTunes Music Store has become the most successful online music store.

Many of the enhancements in iTunes 4. Here's what's new. You've crafted a killer playlist? Share it with the rest of us. Just click the little right-pointing arrow next to the playlist's name, and you can publish your playlist on the iTunes Music Store for all the world or at least some of it to see. A published playlist is called an iMix, and it appears in its own screen, much like an artist or album page.

With the "Tell a Friend" button, you can let people know about your published playlists, and they can preview its songs -- and, Apple hopes, buy them. What's in it for you?

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All the fame you can bear. The iTunes Music Store doesn't provide an affiliate program like that of Amazon. Exactly how many of those 99 cents were you hoping for? With published playlists, you aren't just seeing songs that Apple and record labels are pushing -- you're seeing ones that other music lovers are recommending.

I'm a big believer in carefully crafted playlists, and I look forward to seeing what people come up with. And to rating them. Previews in playlists. This can be a handy way to put together a temporary shopping list -- drag previews into a playlist, then go back and review them again before deciding what to buy. You can also publish a wish list of tunes: Drag previews into a playlist, then publish the playlist. Your friends won't be able to buy the tunes for you -- the music store's copy-protection system prohibits that -- but they could buy you gift certificates. Hint, hint.

And because someone out there just asked: if you burn a playlist containing previews, iTunes simply skips over the previews. Radio charts. Interested to know what the hot songs are in your town? Me neither. But for folks who are, the new Radio Charts feature should be popular. It lists the top songs from hundreds of cities and over radio stations, and will be updated monthly. It's cool! A very diverse array of stations are represented -- we aren't talking just Soft Rock Hits for Soccer Moms here -- and it's fun to travel around the country and sample what folks are listening to.

One free tune each week. Each week, the music store will provide one free download of its choosing. I'm looking forward to this, but I hope Apple offers songs from a variety of genres. More music videos. The music store will have more music videos as well as movie trailers with links to related soundtrack albums and audiobooks. Ripping without Losing For golden-eared audiophiles, the best news in iTunes 4. Lossless encoding is not new. File-archiving programs such as StuffIt perform lossless encoding every time they compress a file.

But lossless encoding hasn't been part of iTunes until now. Because lossless encoding doesn't mangle audio the way lossy encoding does, your encoded files aren't nearly as small as AAC or MP3 versions would be. According to Apple, tracks encoded with AL will be about half the size of their uncompressed equivalents. I conducted some informal tests with a pre-release version of iTunes 4. As you can see, file sizes are still hefty with AL. I'm not planning to re-rip my CD collection any time soon, but I know people who are, and it's smart of Apple to address them in this release.

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New QuickTime required. In order to use Apple Lossless, you need to upgrade to QuickTime 6. Latest iPods only. Songs encoded with AL will play on any iPod with a dock connector including the iPod mini , though you'll need to update your iPod software to the new 2. They won't play on earlier iPods. Surprise Me: Party Shuffle iTunes 4. It's an interesting hybrid of random shuffle mode, smart playlists, and conventional playlists.

To use Party Shuffle, click its icon in the Source list of the iTunes window.

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By using the Source pop-up menu at the bottom of the Party Shuffle playlist, you can specify that iTunes narrow its pool of eligible songs to specific playlists -- handy if, for example, you don't want any classical tracks in your mix. What's the difference between Party Shuffle and iTunes' ordinary shuffle mode?

With shuffle mode, you don't know what iTunes is going to play next.


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  7. With Party Shuffle, you get a list of the songs that iTunes has chosen. Don't like what iTunes has come up with? Click the Refresh button, and iTunes comes up with another set of songs. Slot machine meets jukebox. You can also change the list on a song-by-song basis, just as you can with other playlists: drag songs up or down to change their playback order, delete songs you don't want to hear, even manually add songs from your iTunes library. While we don't know if future updates of iWork and iLife apps will be compatible with all old devices, it's worthwhile to download the latest versions now.

    You must login or create an account to comment. Skip to main content Mac and iOS users with old hardware can now get some of Apple's fundamental software for free. Valentina Palladino Valentina reviews consumer electronics for Ars Technica, testing all kinds of gadgets with a focus on mobile devices and wearables. She has a soft spot for Chromebooks.

    Twitter valentinalucia.