Still in love in iTunes

Tue Dec 14 23:22:51 2004 EDT (-0400 GMT)

Lindsay’s new iPod, and Maclean’s recent article prompted me to put together my thoughts on Apple’s iTunes.

iPod and iTunesFirst off, iTunes and the iPod work with both the Mac and the PC. The iPod works a little better with Firewire than USB 1 and 2, but most PCs these days finally have firewire and USB 2 isn’t that bad. The iPods are expensive, they hold a lot more than all the other MP3 players, but they are expensive BUT iTunes is free at iTunes.com, now let me convince me.

The hands down biggest feature of the iTunes music jukebox is it’s search features. Search Type something in the search box and instantly all the results are there, and as each key is pressed the results are narrowed. So as I type ‘tr’ I see all the ‘travis’ and ‘the tragically hip’ music I have, then as I type the ‘a’ for ‘tra’ I see just the ‘tragically hip’ music. Imagine the satisfaction of finding the song that was stuck in your head with no more than four keystrokes.

A feature I really appreciate is the music sharing. Through a technology known as zeroconfig, which Apple re-branded Rendezvous, iTunes can find music on other computers in the same network. It’s an easy, legal, way to play your own music in a deferent room in the house. Shouldn’t be hard, an LP could do that, but try it with any other jukebox. I have over 50GB of music, so I use this feature and a open source program called daapd to create a shared music server on my linux server, which has enough storage for that much music. It also allows me to play my own music at work. Most of that music is either in MP3 or Apple’s AAC, which is just MPEG4 (which means better quality and high compression). More info here.

We all know how great the iPod is, and it’s iTunes that allows you to move music onto your iPod and create playlists. I have playists created based on what I rate songs, my top 100 played, the music I recently added and music I haven’t listened to yet.

Finally, the latest feature is the iTunes music store: Canada. The selection is limited, but still better then your average mall music store. I assume the policy laden Canadian music industry are to blame for that, and it will improve soon. I’ve bought three tracks so far at $0.99 a song (if you do have an iPod, and you have problems with your purchased music, you likely have to make at least one purchase with the iPod plugged in to be able to transfer your music). What I liked about the US store was the celebrity playlists, which I hope to see in Canada soon.

So there you are. Stop using Windows Media Player, or Win Amp, etc. iTunes is the way to go. You can really see how this iLife thing Steve Jobs keeps talking about can be infectious.

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    www.jrmediacenter.com

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