Monday, June 14, 2004

Fun with iTunes

A couple months ago, I wrote about using JuK and how "I've read rumors that it's similar to iTunes, but I have no experience with that". Well, I've been using Windows quite a bit lately, so I've installed iTunes (free download) and loaded my music into its library. It's pretty cool.

Down at the bottom of the main window it says: "1326 songs, 3.4 days, 4.36 GB" and yes, I own the CDs for all of these (or at least 1300 of them).

There's a "Party Shuffle" option. I've done no extra configuration on this, so it's shuffling through all my music. This produces interesting musical transitions such as this sequence:

  • A track from Mozart's Don Giovanni
  • "Born Under Punches" from the Talking Heads' Remain in Light
  • "Black and Blue" from Lyle Lovett's Pontiac
  • The opening number from Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods
  • "Roxanne'97-Puff Daddy Remix" from Sting's album 1997 - The Best Of Sting & The Police
  • "Purple Toupee" from They Might Be Giants' Lincoln (what kind of geek would I be without TMBG in my library?)
  • Variation 9 from Glenn Gould's recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations
That's fun for a while, but iTunes does make it easy to listen to more coherent playlists. I've created smart playlists for "Classic Rock" and other genres just by specifying the genre as the criteria. When I import another album in the genre, it's automatically added to the playlist. As I wrote with JuK, this is dependent on having good ID3 tags on the mp3 files. I used ID3-TagIT (freeware) to clean up some of my library. (This was especially important for some more recently ripped music since iTunes doesn't seem to recognize version 2.4 of ID3 tags and ID3-TagIT let me easily write version 2.3 instead.)

I don't use the iTunes music store and I don't have an iPod to sync this with. It's just a nice way to play music through my computer (and through my new noise-cancelling headphones).

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