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iTunes 8 in 'interesting' shock! (Part1)

 
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daniel



Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: iTunes 8 in 'interesting' shock! (Part1) Reply with quote

It's only taken 8 iterations but Apple has finally released a version of iTunes that has made me sit up and take notice. What's got me excited is the addition of Genius(tm) - a tool that analyses the audio content of your music and can use this information to create playlists that "go great together" (tm). People who've tried it seem to agree it's pretty good.

We use MediaMonkey at work. It's the swiss army knife of Music Librarians, is fast, never lets me down and has all the features I ever need.
At Home I useWindows Media Center as our Media Front End, and Windows Media Player as a library manager. This is a wicked combination in a leisure environment.

But I have had to write plugins to both systems to give me what 'Genius' (tm) promises for iTunes:


Of all the code I've ever written, these two plugins get the most use and give me the most pleasure.

The key feature of both (which I hope Apple have included in Genius) is their ability to cue up a new track when the last track in the 'Now Playing' list begins. This means that the music never stops until I want it to. I can select one song or a whole album to listen to, safe in the knowledge that when it's finished, a new song will begin keeping the mood alive.

Both of the above plugins utilise the mad analysis and selection skills of the free (as in excellent value for money) MusicIP mixer, which attained 'Genius' status before the iPod shuffled in. I kinda feel sorry for these guys - slogging away for years to little acclaim and then watching Apple take the standing ovation, but maybe this is the tech behind 'Genius (tm)' ? But you've got to admire Apple. When they do something they so often do it so right (iPhone or Windows Mobile 5 Professional anyone ?).

Take the 'Genius' (tm) integration with the iPod line:

You just know this is going to be fantastic.

MusicIP's attempt at putting their tech into portable mp3 player certainly had its attractions:

But the reviews indicated the final product was kinda sucky.

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daniel



Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick Update. It seems that the 'Genius' (tm) may not be analysing the songs themselves.

Paul Lamere tried it with three different styles of song (big band, bach and prog rock) by the same artist (Emerson Lake and Palmer) and got recommended the same set of artists each time.

Only time will tell...
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Daniel Webb
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