The changes in iTunes 9 are mostly in the iTunes store, and not in any of the actual software of of iTunes. The iTunes store becomes a bit easier to navigate and process through, and there is also the new addition of iTunes LP.
iTunes LP is the ability to buy certain new albums in the classic LP fashion. In other words, you get lyrics, artwork, other special art graphics, videos, and other extras to go along with the music. However, with the recent price increases at the iTunes store, amazon.com still usually offers cheaper music prices. I would always check with amazon before buying from iTunes, and that makes Songbird’s built-in broswer the quickest for searching and comparing music prices without switching between browsers and music players.
One of the advantages of iTunes 9 is the sleek look that people are often looking for. Although Songbird already has many of the features of iTunes LP already built in for free (you can have the lyrics right next to you on Songbird, you can watch artist videos straight from the mashtape feature, and also read an artist bio and more right form the browser).
I do have to applaud iTunes, however, for trying to create a product that is more difficult for music piraters to copy (although definitly not impossible). This may just make for more elaborate torrents and other such things. I think that the people who already buy music will find this new feature cool, but those who never did in the first place won’t start now.
Verdict: I’m going to be sticking with Songbird.