iTunes for Windows just hits the street

iTunes 4.1 for Windows has just been released by Apple. Both Mac and Windows users now can access the iTunes Music Store and buy music on-line, if you are currently a resident of North America. It just felt weird when you go to Apple's home page, and what was presented in front of you was a PeeCee running Windows XP's Luna theme and iTunes 4.1.

Updated on 17 Oct 2003 @ 4:08pm: It seems that two fellow FOCUS bloggers, Thomas and Tim also blogged about the release iTunes for Windows.

Updated on 19 Oct 2003 @ 7:49am: According to this Slashdot comment, setting the QuickTime Sound Out to use waveOut instead of DirectSound will fix the muddy output problem of iTunes for Windows.

Anyway, I have downloaded the iTunes from Apple's website, and it weights at 19.5Mb. Definitely not the lightest media player in the world. Anyway, when I tried to install it on my 700Mhz Dell Inspiron with Windows 2000 Professional, it freezes when it attempted to install the QuickTime 6.4 component. I have to uninstall my old QT5 installation first, then iTunes installs without any trouble. Apple has faithfully reproduce one of their finest application onto the Wintel platform, and they did not forget to remind me that I need to restart the computer after the new application is installed. Just like my other Windows application installations. Great.

After the restart, a few more processes have been started. There's QuickTime icon in the task bar, iTunes Helper running in the back ground, and then the iPod service. I don't like less-than-frequently used applications taking up precious memory, and I don't own an iPod either, so I quickly terminated and disabled them all.

After the iTunes started, it consumes at least 9Mb of memory (23Mb VM) while playing simple MP3's, and that compares to 5.5Mb of memory (9Mb VM) that my favourite WinAmp 2.8x uses. Not too bad, I guess, consider the number of features it offers. However, most of them have little use to me:

  • Obviously, I still cannot shop in the iTMS. Please. Please bring on the iTMS for us Aussies!
  • CD burning capability somehow did not work for me. Ops. I forgot that I don't have a CD burner on this Dell box.
  • Library/album management on iTunes is much superior than many other media players that I've seen. However, I am still used to managing my music using nested folders.
  • AAC quality is arguably better than MP3 at the same bit-rate. But I hope iTunes supports Ogg Vorbis format, which half my CD collections are ripped into.

Sound quality wise, I felt a bit disappointed as well. With Simply Surround DSP plug-in on WinAmp, Clapton's clean tone strat sounds much lively than iTunes even with Sound Enhancer enabled, and the same track ripped with Ogg Vorbis at the same bit-rate sounds even better. I might have to test again with AAC to see how they compare. It might also be EQ's problem. Gotta listen more...

iTunes on Windows

Currently playing: Joe Satriani Summer Song