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iTunes 8.1 Now Available for Download

As foreshadowed by Apple earlier today, iTunes 8.1 has been released and is now available from the iTunes download page.

The supporting documentation included with the download details the changes present in the update:

iTunes 8.1 is now faster and more responsive. You will enjoy noticeable improvements when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing.

In addition, iTunes 8.1 provides many other improvements and bug fixes, including:

- Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rdgeneration)
- Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ
- Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows
- Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs
- Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods
- Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus
- Includes many accessibilityimprovements
- Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls

Earlier today, Apple also released an update for their Remote application for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding compatibility with iTunes 8.1 and including assorted bug fixes.

Update: Apple has also released Front Row 2.1.7, which weighs in at 12.6 MB and adds iTunes 8.1 compatibility to Front Row.