Archive for the iTunes Category
Posted by: art in iTunes, TV
I bought a new toy.
And right about now, my wife is saying, “Oh, crap.”
I bought an EyeTV Hybrid today, when we were at the Apple store up in Atlanta. I came home, loaded the software, plugged in the little USB Adapter, and then my cable TV cable into that. Poof, not just TV on my PC, but my MacBook Pro is now a DVR that spits things back out (automatically) in iPhone format.
I rule. I totally rule.
Always on the cutting edge, I downloaded iTunes 8. What caught my eye was the new Genius feature.
The idea is that you pick a song, and iTunes will comb through your music library and build a playlist for you around that song. If you like X, you’ll like Y and Z and so on .
So, it’s a fake Last.FM just in iTunes instead.
I decided to throw it a fastball — no kids stuff to get it going. I picked something I got from the iTunes store, but something off of the beaten path. I picked Rebel Never Gets Old by David Bowie and Go Home Productions.
Why? Genius is going to use anonymous user data to figure out what the music relationships are. Basically, they are starting at zero on this when others, like last.fm, have years worth of data on this already archived.
So what did it come up with? It made a very weird list. “Genius” might be a bit strong of a word, though with time I am sure it’ll get better.
Revolution – Eric Clapton * Back Home
Black Math – The White Stripes * Elephant
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Devo * Greatest Hits
The Walk – The Cure * Japanese Whispers
Personality Crisis – New York Dolls * New York Dolls
Two Hearts Beat As One – U2 * War
Straight To Hell – The Clash * Combat Rock
The Cutter (GHP remix) – Echo & The Bunnymen * GHP Complete – CD10 Unofficial Remixes Vol1
I’m Free – The Who * Tommy
Route 66 – Depeche Mode * Behind the Wheel/Route 66
Search And Destroy – The Stooges * Raw Power
You Really Got Me – The Kinks * Kinks (The Ultimate Collection)
Not All Me – Alanis Morissette * So-Called Chaos
Clampdown – The Clash * London Calling
Strange Brew – Cream * Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream
Mellow Yellow – Donovan * Mellow Yellow
Blue Orchid – The White Stripes * Get Behind Me Satan
Myriad Harbour – The New Pornographers * Challengers
Is This It? – The Strokes * Is This It?
Sweet Jane – Lou Reed * The Best of Lou Reed
Tell Her Tonight – Franz Ferdinand * Franz Ferdinand
Do You Wanna Hold Me? – Bow Wow Wow * Totally 80′s
Happy Jack – The Who * 30 Years of Maximum R&B
I Will Dare – The Replacements * Let It Be
Depeche Mode, and then The Stooges? Uh, wow. Not what I would have picked, and back to back songs that don’t actually work.
Oh, the other feature is that iTunes will also recommend other music from the iTunes store, you know, just in case you think you need more stuff. Always with the business angle, Apple see this (I think) as a means to show you things you’d actually be interesting in buying. We’ll see if it works; I have a lot of music already, thank you, and I am no happy with Apple’s DRM or their “install 5 times only” policy for iTunes.
[UPDATE: I've been reading other write ups on the web, and this is the best one I've seen. Best, as in most descriptive, not nicest.]
Posted by: art in iPhone, iTunes
I’ve had this crazy idea for a while now, and for some unknown reason, I started working on it tonight.
I want to be able to surf around YouTube, find a video that I like, mark it in some way (probably as a favorite), and have it magically show up in my iTunes, ready to synch to my iPhone.
I’ve figured out a bit of this using Yahoo Pipes. I can grab my YouTube favorites page, and can sift through it some using the Pipes tools. I’m trying to find how to pull from it just the URL’s for the pages of the videos I have marked as favorite.
I want to be able to then take those URL’s, one at a time, and push them back through the Pipes again, and ID just the .flv
Really, I just want it to work. That’d be awesome. I can envision the concept, I am just unsure if my Code Monkey skills are there or not.
Know what I really want for my iPhone? Batch files.
I want a pretty button on my main screen that, when I hit it, toggles on/off WiFi and Bluetooth, and then updates / synchs with iTunes (to include updates to apps); synchs mail, calendars, etc with my Mac; and then plays a nice little jingle when it’s all done, so I can press the button again and go back into battery-saving mode.
Surely, I can’t be the only one with these kinds of wants – more than just this combo, but this capability.
Why can’t we have this?
So, I now have three iPod variants — a 2GB iPod shuffle, an 8GB iPod Touch, and a V1 iPhone.
All play music. All synch from the same iTunes library on my MacBook Pro.
The shuffle just does audio. I have a nice set of nested Smartplaylists that serve up music for me to listen to when running, which is pretty much all that I use the shuffle for.
But the iTouch and the iPhone both play video. I have the same music library for them, but really, should I be loading audio? Or should I be loading music videos?
Internet rock star Wil Wheaton today mentioned Dark Side of the 80s, saying to get it if you can. It’s on Amazon (here), and it’s uncommon, and it’s expensive. And if I saw where he mentioned it, so did 33,000 other internet rock stars. It only became that much more rarer today.
So, I went to YouTube. And I put together a playlist in my iTunes of the same songs, just with videos from YouTube instead. Almost all of them are studio-produced music videos, but a couple are live performances (when there weren’t other choices). And I think I had one song for which I could not find a video, so I added the MP3 file that was already in my music collection.
Will I pay attention to the video screen while the music is playing? Probably not. Is battery life a big deal to me? No, not really. I think I’m starting to see the merit in the music videos now, finally, after all these years. And that’s only because the iTouch and the iPhone are nothing but video screen; seems a waste to not play the video when I want to hear the music.
So, I synched up my iTouch iPod.
I told it to synch all of my music and all of my playlists.
I specifically told it to synch no movies, no podcasts, no TV shows, etc. Just music.
So, when it was done, it showed that it had synched all of the music — and a bunch of video. 500 MB worth.
What did it synch? 30 podcast video files that met criteria to be included in one playlist or another. Even when I told it no video, and even when I told it no podcasts.
It lists to my instructions about as well as my cat does.
[Update: Select all songs you want to be able to shuffle - Go to "Get Info" menu - In the "Multiple Item Information", in the bottom is the "Skip when shuffling" menu - click no and OK to be able to shuffle between videos.]
I’m looking for some brain power help on this one.
I’ve added a number of video files to my iTunes collection, mainly through this little trick of importing YouTube videos in Quicktime format via RSS.
Some of the videos, though, are ones that I have downloaded (via Firefox) and converted with iSquint.
iTunes recognizes them. They play just fine in iTunes.
After getting them into iTunes, I got into their properties (Get Information) and change the video from Movie to Music Video.
These files then filter through my integrated Smart Playlists just fine, and show up in my playlists just fine.
Only, they get skipped. The audio files play, but the video ones always get skipped.
There’s a related observation that I’ve had. It does this with podcast files – even audio. My first thought was that it was because I was pulling this music video files in via RSS in the podcast part of iTunes, but even the ones that I am manually load into iTunes get skipped.
And this does not happen with non-smart playlists. I can manually make a playlist that mixes audio and video files, and the video files play just fine. It’s the smart playlists that seems to gag on the video files.
Anyone know why? I’m searching the whole worldwide web for an answer, and not finding much.
So, here we go. This is going to cover:
Why? Well, I think I know a little bit about Smart Playlists (and Boolean logic in general), and I find myself often offering up tips and tricks for how to leverage iTunes better, often writing notes on napkins and the like and sending people to go try things.
Why write this? Well, my brother posed posed a question to me the other day, and I haven’t come up with a simple answer. I’ve come up with some elaborate ones that should work, but not a simple one. So, I’m doing as our father taught us — deconstructing the problem and examining my facts and assumptions, in hopes of finding something I did not know that I had missed. The problem? Too much of one artist showing up in a playlist.
- Applematters: Obsessing Over iTunes
- Lifehacker Top 10: Top 10 iTunes Smart Playlists
- Lifehacker: Geek to Live: iTunes power tips
- Just about everything iTunes-related from 43Folders
- But only some things from Smartplaylists.com (like….)