I’m having a little bit of fun watching iTunes competitors such as BuyMusic.com wrangle with their masters as they try to bring the same level of service to customers that Apple has already so elegantly accomplished. I loved today’s note about BuyMusic blocking Mac browsers. Good one.
Meanwhile, back at the Music Store, I want to bring up a couple of things that you might have forgotten about amid all the excitement concerning file sharing and online music in general. Now, granted, my library probably doesn’t hold a candle to yours. Right now I have 1215 songs in iTunes. I’ve done my share of purchasing in the Music Store too. But there’s a lot of good music on my iPod that I just don’t seem to get to. And that’s a waste.
So I created a new smart playlist titled “Unsung Heros.” In the parameters for the list I set
Last Played -> is not in the last -> 30 days, and then I set up a couple more limiters such as
Album -> does not contain -> Christmas so Bing Crosby doesn’t constantly appear at the top of my list. One other parameter I set is
Limit to 50 songs -> selected by song name.
Now, when I want a change of pace, especially while driving in the car, I go to my Unsung Heros playlist and let it fly. In the same way water is upwelled from the ocean floor, those hidden songs I haven’t listened to in the last month or so are now reeled off one after another, and I never know which one is going to play next. It’s the ultimate radio station without the commercials! And it ensures that I enjoy my entire music library, not just the same old songs.
Purchased Music CD
The Mac I use to manage all my music stays at home, but my laptop is with me at all times. Since I have an older PowerBook with a smaller hard drive, I keep its iTunes library much trimmer (plus I always have the iPod with me anyway).
But sometimes I do want laptop access to my purchased music without actually having to load it all on the drive. Since my laptop is an “authorized” Mac, there are no DRM walls to worry about.
So, I just burn a CD within iTunes of my Purchased Music library and keep with with my other travel CDs. When I insert it into my travel laptop, it shows up as a regular library, and I can enjoy any of the songs.
The only drawback is that music on CD doesn’t show up in my iPhoto music dialog box for slideshows. I have to drag to the song to my iTunes library on my hard disc for that to happen. I hope Apple fixes that in the next round of iLife upgrades. BTW: a backup CD provides an additional level of protection so you don’t lose your purchased music from the Apple Store.
The Other Guys
I guess we’re going to see lots of competition on the Windows side for online music stores. That’s great. The more opportunities artists have to sell their work, the better. It’s going to be fun to see if the competitors can come close to the current Apple experience. I can’t wait to see iTunes on Windows. That’s going to be a riot!
But for now I’m just rocking down the highway. I haven’t enjoyed listening to music this much since I was 16, and my complexion is much better now.