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Thursday, 23 October 2003

iTunes rawks

Now that Apple has released iTunes for Windows, it seems that a lot of people are picking up on the fact that Apple designs some good shit. However, there's been some bitching that you can't resell your tracks. That's a bunch of bullshit, as this guy has shown that you actually can, although it might not be practical. It suggests that you'd probably need to sell a batch of them at a time, to make it monetarily worthwhile.

Whatever. I use iTunes because the goddamn thing is really well designed. I haven't even used the store yet. The smart playlists are where it's at. Current smart playlists of mine include:

  • DJ sets - time is greater than 35 minutes (I rip my mix cds as one continuous track to eliminate the gap problem)
  • tag-editing - Artist, Song Title, Album Title, Comments (I put the label info here), or Year is empty
  • never played - Play Count is zero (currently trying to whittle away at 12 days worth of music never played as an mp3)
  • recently played - Last Played within two weeks
  • most played - Play Count is greater than n, where n is an arbitrarily chosen integer that keeps the number of songs on this list less than or equal to 250; sorted by descending order of Play Count
  • highest rated - I don't often rate songs, so this one may go the way of the dodo
  • recently added - mp3 added within the last four weeks

I have a few others, but you get the idea. And all of these update in real-time. Beautiful.

Posted by Dennis at October 23, 2003 08:47 PM

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Comments

Actually, the financial consideration isn't the reason why you have to sell your songs in batch format. There just isn't any other way to sell them aside from selling your entire account. To top it off, the account you sell needs to be linked to a valid credit-like card (MasterCard, Visa, etc.) which makes it that much more of a PITA.

The irony is that Apple's big feature is that you can buy individual songs, but you can only sell your account. The used CD store analogy is that if you want to sell one CD you would need to sell your entire CD collection. That doesn't sound like ownership to me.

You're right that Smart Playlists are where it's at though. http://www.smartplaylists.com/ has some interesting ideas for other Smart Playlists.

Posted by: George Hotelling on October 23, 2003 10:39 PM

I didn't realize that. I wonder if there's a way to hack iTunes to use more than one account - that would allow you to get around the restrictions...

Posted by: Dennis on October 24, 2003 12:55 PM

Actually, iTunes can use more than one account, but a purchased iTunes song is permanently linked to the account that bought it. That account can authorize up to three computers to play its tracks, and a computer can be authorized by multiple accounts.

The process of selling an iTunes song is to first change your account to remove information linking it to you and your credit card, so that the person receiving your account can't buy more iTunes songs. It's possible that the new allowance feature would let you restrict purchases on the account, I haven't explored that.

Once your account is unlinked to your credit card (by getting a prepaid MasterCard) you then send the person who bought the song the username, password, and all your purchased music. You de-authorize your computer and they will be able to authorize their own computers and play the music.

Posted by: George Hotelling on October 24, 2003 01:10 PM

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