Today Apple released iTunes 4.5 for Mac and Windows with a number of new features:

All the artist/album names and song titles in my library have a shortcut into the music store now. And there is a party shuffle mode where you can control the flow of the songs played and see which song recently have been played. And iTunes now fetches album cover art corresponding a compilation and prints a collage from it.

But these features are marginal compared to this: iMix.

iMix allows people to 1-click-publish a playlist to the store so other people can see your compilation (your “iMix”) and listen to song previews (if they are in the store). Whenever you play a song, you will also see which iMixes contain that song, potentially leading to other iMixes containing unknown treasures. I am sure anybody came up with a crisp name for it – I’d call it the “collective guidance principle”. It is the same principle that weblogs use to provide the trails through blogsphere for weblog hoppers.

By the way: There is now a custom RSS-feed generator for the iTunes Music Store.

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