I'm an unabashed fan of Apple and most of their products. I own an iPod (I've gone through several) and use iTunes compulsively at work and at home. I listen to a lot of music - over the past year, since I started working on my music blog, I've come across a lot of music and my tastes in music has spread to a number of genres that I might not have ordinarily gone to. Apple last week unveiled iTunes 8, the latest edition of the program, which seems to have caught up with the user-generated content phase with the internet, chiefly through the addition of the latest addition to the program, Genius. The program takes the music that is in your music library and compares it to the rest of the music online, other users preferences and the popularity of other songs. From there, it makes recommendations and with the push of a button, can create custom playlists based on certain attributes of the selected song, and provide you with a playlist of similar songs.
It's neat in theory, and I'm guessing it works pretty well, but while I like the push-button option to create a playlist, I'm not terribly thrilled with iTunes taking my personal information and making personal recommendations based upon it. Granted, it's something that I've come to terms with when it comes to sites such as Amazon.com, and you can turn off the sidebar, which I was initially afraid was a permenant fixture to the main window.
My main problem right now is that the music that's on my computer right now is limited. I only have a hundred or so songs at any given time on this computer, while the good stuff is on my home desktop, which isn't connected to the internet. Unfortunately, it'll probably give my computer a stroke if I try and install it, but we'll see.
This comes at a time when the nano and other iPods have been re-designed a bit, per the usual Apple methods, putting mine out of date, and making the newer ones much more desirable. I'm currently contemplating upgrading to an iTouch, simply because you can do more with it - including surfing the internet and the like. iPhones, while they work in Vermont, can't be purchased because of something with the networks they run on. I guess we'll see. The prices have come down a little, and they're not terribly out of reach for me any more. I guess we'll see.