Amidst all the other Apple news from today’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll” music event is the fact that iPhone OS 3.1 (or, technically, 3.1.1) is now available. With it comes things like support for Genius Mixes, pre-cut ringtone downloads at $1.29 a pop, app organization support in iTunes 9, and Genius recommendations for apps. There’s also a bunch of polish, bug fixes, and ease of use features as well. Just connect your iPhone or iPod touch and check for an update.
MARC BERNARDIN is a Senior Editor at Entertainment Weekly. He edits the Galleries that you find on EW.com, so he says, “whenever you see ‘25 Best Action Movies Starring Danes’ or ‘13 Peruvian Documentaries’ that’s my fault.” By his own admission, he’s also their Resident Geek. “I get called into every meeting that involves comic book, sci-fi, videogames, or general nerd subject matter.” Despite the turmoil in magazine publishing Marc admits he’s “survived the bloodlettings that have been sweeping the publishing business for the last six months or so. I guess there’s still some value in having a geek-in-residence…” That’s his day job. By night he, mostly with writing partner Adam Freeman, is a comic book writer who’s already squeezed some very nice books into the marketplace: The Highwaymen (Wildstorm), Monster Attack Network (AiT/Planet Lar) and Push (Wildstorm, and on sale now). Their upcoming series, Genius, was one of two winners in 2008’s Pilot Season contest from Top Cow.
TOM: First off, congrats on winning Top Cow’s 2008 Pilot Season. How long is the upcoming series going to be and when can we anxious voters expect to see the first issue?
We thought we were the only ones with issues with some of these smaller iTunes 8 issues, but obviously enough people were complaining that Apple has pushed out a new version, iTunes 8.0.1, to address these things. We are happy that Genius is getting fixed, along with App Store update checking. Here’s the full list:
- Seamlessly plays the current song when creating a new Genius playlist.
- Improves syncing spoken menus to iPod nano.
- Addresses an issue of deleting HD TV episodes when downloading.
- Improves checking for updates from the App Store
- Improves accessibility with VoiceOver.
- Addresses problems syncing Genius results to iPod.
Let us know how it goes for you.
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iTunes 8 was announced this morning as part of the whole Let’s Rock Apple announcement festivities, and there were a few nice pieces of news. First, NBC is back on iTunes with shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Ballestar Galactics. What’s more, though, is that iTunes will now be selling TV shows in high definition. Aside from the feeling that I know my wallet is about to be drained, this is a very welcome addition. My only hope is that they allow those of us who have purchased shows in SD to “upgrade” to the HD versions at a discount. It’s only fair, right?
In other news, Apple has added “Genius” to iTunes - that being a recommendation engine that looks at the track you are listening to, and recommends other tracks in the iTunes store that it believes you would like. In addition, Genius can also create truly customized playlists on the fly, again, just by sampling what you are listening to. It will pull other songs from your iTunes library that it believes would complement your selection, without any work to be done on your part. We must admit, it looks slick. Speaking of which, they’ve also included a new visualizer, which is just off the hook. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
iTunes 8 is available now.
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Apple is improving the iPod touch with a thinner stainless steel case, hardware volume controls, a built-in speaker, and a Nike+ receiver (you’ll need to puchase a Nike+ kit to take advantage of that one.) Battery life is now at 36 hours for music, which translates to around six hours for video. The new Genius feature will be included, alongside the App Store. They’ve also redone the casing, which is now a thinner stainless steel, and we’ve even got actual hardware volume control buttons. The new iPod touch is available now - 8GB for $229, 16GB for $299, and 32GB for $399. You can pick on up from the Apple Store Online now.
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