Amid all the ruckus (both good and bad) from MacWorld NY this year, I find myself happy that iTunes 3 cleans up my one big complaint–the gap between tracks that makes itself heard on mix discs and classical music. There were a couple of possible fixes that Apple could have taken for this problem. The one they chose to implement was the ability to combine CD tracks into one MP3 when ripping.
I’m glad to say that this works easily and as promised. No more gaps (or skipping, as they say). Combine this with a fix that appeared for the iPod long track battery drain problem that showed up a while ago, and I now have a happy pair of ears.
As far as the other new features in iTunes–namely SmartLists, play counts, and Audible.com support–I’ve heard some people ask "What good are they?" However, I like them. I never could get around to sorting my music into playlists and putting some programmatic smarts into playlist creation sure does help. And I’m just now venturing off into exploring what can be done with Audible.com files. Several friends have been enjoying listening to books on tape (and CD) lately, so now I’m giving it a try to see if I like it as much as they do.
One last major improvement: The visualizer now runs at frightengly fast speed if you let it–at least on my GeForce 3 equipped PowerMac. I had to enable frame-rate limiting to 30 frames per second. 50-60 frames per second is just too fast. Not that I’m complaining of course. And I haven’t tried it on my now old school TiBook with its puny ATI Rage video chipset as it’s been tied up for other purposes.
Of course, iTunes isn’t done yet. I’m looking forward to seeing Apple integrate support for the the new MPEG-4 AAC format. I’d also like to see support for Ogg-Vobis–though I’m not holding my breath. Bottom line: iTunes 3 is a solid update that addresses the last major problems with the product. It’s all frosting on the cake from here.
What do you like or dislike about iTunes 3? Are you using SmartLists and the like?