"There you have it, boys. Dear Uncle Software Update has just brought us the goodie we've been waiting for. iTunes 8.1 has just landed, and it has brought along its distant cousin Front Row 2.1.7. Apple was kind enough to have updated us that the update could land anytime soon. As we told you earlier, iTunes 8.1 is now, apparently, faster and more responsive when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing."
The release of the pre-announced iTunes 8.1 update is here. Funny how lately Apple is pre-announcing things, such as this update. But I digress. A few of the highlights are speed, autofill and importing CDs at higher quality. The speed, of course, to allow faster loading of the larger libraries and syncing the devices faster. The autofill feature allows iTunes to autofill your ipod from the whole library or a particular playlist. Seems to be pretty flexible with this feature which is nice. One of the big things for me is the ability to import CDs to iTunes at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus. I don't buy that many CDs these days, but I do have quite a few that I need to add to my library, and having them imported at the higher quality is a big plus. The only thing I'll have to be careful of is that Apple is basing their capacity calculations on the old 128-Kbps bit rate so there won't be as much room on my devices.
Not much noted on the Front Row update, other than bring "improved iTunes 8.1 compatibility" to Front Row. To go along with this, the Remote application has also been updated, "for compatibility" and some bug fixes.
The feature list can be found on the Apple site, and is very detailed. And as a bonus, after you update, you don't have to restart your computer. Wonder if that is going to be a regular occurrence?