Apparently everybody’s iPhones are getting fancy updates. I don’t know, exactly. Basically all I know is I read an article where somebody used the word “skeuomorphism” and I tuned right out. Look, I’m a simple guy, I don’t need a fancy phone to do crazy complicated stuff like be “flat” or have “frosted glass” everywhere up in my business. As long as I can blast music out its little speakers, send emails to my mom, and watch live streaming footage from the camera I put on my cat’s collar, I’m good. But what the hell, we’re all on the internet so I can assume we all like computers at least a little bit, so here’s a bit of relevant news for ya: iOS 7 was officially released earlier this week alongside an announcement that Apple will soon make some new-ish telephones available.
You’re nodding your head, “Oh, Mr. Newswriter, that’s sort of relevant, but I mean, this is a music site, do you have anything that’s even more… musical?” Of course I do! Now, because I’m in medical school right now and doing everything I can not to keep the doctor away (gotta prepare from the MCATs somehow) I pretty much tend to avoid Apple products, but even so, I’m well aware of the company’s music delivery program iTunes, which, good news, is also getting some fancy updates in the form of iTunes 11.1. It’s got a bunch of neato-mosquito features, and perhaps most importantly, it’s the version of iTunes you need if you want to sync your newly updated telephone to your computer.
Now when I heard “new features” I got all stoked for an automatic chopped and screwed remix generator or something, but it turns out the technology isn’t quite to that point yet. According to Mac World, this new version brings a whole bunch of other new features, including iTunes Radio, Genius Shuffle, and Podcast Stations. iTunes Radio, of course, is Apple’s long-threatened internet radio service in the vein of others such as Pandora. As on iOS 7, you can create stations based on artists, genres, or songs for those situations when picking the perfect soundtrack for a social event is just too stressful to bear. The service is also integrated with the Apple Store, so you can purchase the songs you hear from right within the app with one click. And what’s more, you can easily share the stations you create with all your besties via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Neat! (?) As of right now, iTunes Radio is only available in the US.
Genius Shuffle lets you click a button and have iTunes generate a random-ish playlist of songs that it thinks you might enjoy, like a nosy but super helpful music butler. Neat! (?) There are improvements to the podcast section as well. You can now sync your subscriptions and playback location across devices. There’s also a new My Stations feature which basically lets you make playlists of your podcasts so you don’t have to be such an asshole on the freeway anymore when you run out of new episodes of Fresh Air or whatever. All in all, it’s been a decent day for folks who like to listen to music on their computers, a good day for those who like their telephones fancy and updated, and a great day for computers, who are scheduled to become sentient by the time iTunes 11.2 comes out.
• Apple: http://www.apple.com