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Apple

New Apple stuff

iPod Nano? Meh. iTunes phone? Meh. iTunes 5? Meh (with the exception of being able to group playlists into folders; yet marred by having to drag and drop them one at a time).

Quicktime 7, with H.264? Now also available for Windows? OOH, SHINY.

Geek, geek, geek.

5 replies on “New Apple stuff”

Funny, my cow-orkers and I went gaga over the Nano. It’s got better screen resolution (and color) in a smaller package than the mini, and no sharp edges.
Maybe I’ll be less enthusiastic after seeing one
in person, but it looks like a winner to me.

I don’t remember where I saw it, but I read about a survey showing that most people don’t carry more than a Gig of music around with them on their portable players. If that’s the case, then I’m sure Apple will do a brisk trade in these babies. They sure look the business. But I’ve added 5.5GB to my music collection in 2005 alone, and the lower-capacity pods just don’t quite cut it for those kind of volumes…

I’m proud to have contributed to that 5.5GB increase (assuming you’re including my contribution!). And I fully agree with you. Apple’s software does a pretty horrible job of allowing you to take advantage of a big collection (mine’s nearly 100 GB — about 1500 CDs) with a small player.

There are ways to do it, but they involve either meticulous usage of their rating system and other metadata with cleverly contructed smart playlists, or you need to write your own software. Having done the latter, I’m pretty content with 2 GB of rotating material, which lasts me about a week between refreshes, and 2 GB of “favorites”.

Oh yes, definitely including your contribution. That, plus a couple of DVDs full of stuff from a couple of other friends, and the fountain of copious joy that is AllOfMp3.com, account for the most of the volume. Store-bought CDs, and the occasional purchase from iTunes bring in the rest. It’s been a damn good year for music.

I could probably do the 2BG favourites + 2GB rotation thing, but that would take even more effort to figure out than it does now. My 20GB pod is running at about 75% capacity with a combination of 4+5 star rated material, selected favourite whole albums, and everything I’ve acquired in 2005.

I’ve started tagging albums with additional metadata as I import them into iTunes. I’m using the comments field to insert a note of when I got the album (or song), so that I can set up a Smart Playlist to automatically extract, say, everything from the second half of 2005. This makes selecting which playlists to sync with the iPod much easier. (I haven’t integrated this with my own iTunes library parser yet…a project for another time.)

Once your music collection exceeds the size of your ipod, you simply need to start using playlists. For one thing, if you just copy stuff onto your ipod out of your library (ie, manually manage songs), then song counts and last played times don’t get updated.

I’m doing an unusual thing: I’m using the ipod to force myself to listen to everything in the music collection. (117Gb currently.) This forces me to revisit old music that I haven’t listened to in a while, and also makes me listen to the orphaned stuff I’ve picked up but haven’t spent time on.

I use a few playlists. The main one is the ‘ipod selection’ playlist, and that contains the stuff that I want on the ipod. Every now and again, I delete things that have been played, and copy in a new batch of unplayed stuff. The ‘Keepers’ playlist contains a list of played music that I can’t bear to leave behind.

This is a long-term project. I’ve recently passed the half-way mark. It’ll be sometime next year before I’m done. (Especially considering the winter sabbatical.)

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