Friday, October 12, 2007



As a 26 year old, my entire exposure to Casey Kasem is driving home from the diner at 6am in college after a night out and needing anything annoying enough to listen to stay awake...

I have no suggestions, either, as I too am stuck in multiple-itunes installation hell.


Michael writes: "And we're a ways away from this stuff really being as easy as it should be."
I'm in complete agreement with you here. I've had these same discussions with my retirement aged parents who also have a voluminous music collection and the hell my computer neophyte father has gone through to embrace digital music. He'd be the first to give you a loud deep AMEN to your closing statement. My benchmark to measure against is if my parents can use it without me acting as tech support, it's properly designed and is as easy as it needs to be.

I'm happy my comments could spark some more creative discourse over the issues us music loving consumers are facing.

I diverge from one of your main problems simply because of music tastes. Since my music tastes are very eclectic, unique, and are not big label based, I typically enjoy (and want) the full albums of artists I enjoy. These albums typically have a flow from one track to the next, therefore I don't want individual tracks. Also, it was such a rare occasion when I could find music I wanted in the local big box stores, so I don't bother to check anymore. I'm already conditioned to never receive "the convenience of immediate gratification". Perhaps my eclectic tastes forces me to be patient. Emusic caters to my tastes and Amazon frequently has what I'm looking for. With that said, I've gone through the same situation with other online purchases hunting for best deal, multiple tabs open in browsers going crazy. Yuck! While I'm optimistic for more retailers carrying greater variety of artists in DRM-Free high-bitrate encoded MP3 files, I cringe thinking about the great bargain hunt for single track purchases. Will one of the retailers create a frequent buyers club? Price match other (legitimate) retailers? Amazon, are you listening??? Which VC will fund the next pricewatch web site that aggregates the best prices of legitimate mp3 songs for sale? (make sure it's a web 2.0 company ;*)

Michael, FAT32 on a NAS??? If one of my friends actually admitted this to me, I'd probably retort in my best David Spade imitation "Hey, uh, 1998 called and it wants its technology back!" All of the SOHO NAS devices I know of are running a Linux kernel with one of the various robust file systems that will allow clients from any O/S to read from them. They'll also allow you as the "CTO" to make them read-only to all clients except the CTO, reducing your admin woes. Investigate your NAS's user guide to see if it supports better file systems and agnostic client connectivity. If not, I'm afraid it's time for you to post about requesting SOHO NAS recommendations.

I have a hate relationship with iTunes, especially more so now that we've added an iPhone into our household with its crippled dysfunctional relationship to iTunes. If you have a tiny music collection that could fit entirely on your iPod, I can see why people love iTunes. For those of us with iPods that can only hold a tenth of our collection however, Apple could not have made it more difficult if they tried. Attempting to remove and organize content is a PITA. There once was a brilliantly wonderful mp3 player called empeg whose creators made it as simple as possible to use. Simply copy the directory tree of the music you wanted onto the player's USB mounted hard drive. No playlists were required. If you did want a playlist though, it was incredibly easy. Use winamp or any other playlist editor and create/edit the simple m3u files. These playlists just simply referenced the directory tree you maintain and copied over to your player. There was none of this music stored in some funky unmanageable DB format structure on the player. I don't even bother to maintain playlists for iTunes, I just create them on the fly when adding new content. A drag and drop of the music files from windows exploder into the new playlist folder of iTunes gets the job done. I can only imagine the hell you must go through trying to manage iTunes playlists on multiple computers. I'll skip my long-winded rant about changing content on the iPhone.

Again, you've got a wonderful Sonos system for your house. If you can somehow escape from iTunes playlist management hell, you can move back to using a NAS device for the Sonos, have centralized storage, then let your in-house music consumers manage their own iPods on their computers by dragging and dropping files from the NAS (READ-ONLY) music share into their computer's iTunes. Let your consumers maintain and manage their own playlists (CTOs delegate :-).

Lastly, the San Jose MLK library has a vast (albeit old and disorganized) CD music collection. Not a bad place to visit with the family and a laptop, putting our tax dollars to good use.

All the best to you and Viva la Música Revolution!


The ipod as a music server warning caught my eye.
What would you say is itunes' limit?

I agree that itunes can't manage easily multiple ipods, but I was amazed how many people find it hard to manage just a single ipod with itunes.

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