Saturday, November 10, 2007
Adventures with iTunes
Last month I mentioned that we got my son an iPod nano for his 12th birthday. He's really enjoying it - takes his music when we go places or visiting family so he can listen to the songs he likes. He's even done some downloading of music from the iTunes Store site with the giftcards he got on his birthday as well.
I had set him up with about 80 or so mp3 files myself from files I had stored on his computer. That computer was my old desktop model which I had used for many years. Still stored on it were fourteen directories filled with mp3 files of songs I pulled from our CD collection. I had them organized by year (1970 through 1983) and I actually had burned a copy of each directory onto CDs for storage purposes.
In setting him up with songs for his iPod, it got me thinking about all those files again after a long time. I took the CD back-ups and put the files onto my laptop. Then I installed the free iTunes software from the Apple site. Now the iTunes software can work independently of an iPod; one can use it really just to organize music files, video files, photograph files, etc. on your computer. It's pretty slick for some free software. Apple's goal, of course, is for you to use their iTunes Store to pay to download music, videos, etc and/or to get an iPod to take those things with you.
I'm mostly playing with it for the music files. One of the fun things you can do is update the details on the music files. You can modify the attributes like artist, song title, and music genre. You can also update the data from which album the song came from. When you do that, you can also click the mouse and have iTunes sync up with the iTunes Store site to download the album artwork, if they have that album on the site. How cool is that? Since the iPod will display an album cover when it plays a song, you can have a visual touch to go with the music. That appeals to me a lot.
Now, I have noticed that some albums aren't there. There tend to be more greatest-hits type collections. I'm really trying to sync my songs with artwork from the albums the songs first appeared on. So that takes a little longer to get the exact album. In fact, I've gotten obcessive over the past few weekends and started to clean up my files. I've updated artist names and albums and then pulled in the album art for many of the songs I had. It's been time consuming but a lot of fun too. One of the other neat features on the iPod is to scroll through the Album Art. It reminds me of flipping through albums on one of those CD jukeboxes.
I also noticed a number of artists, surprisingly, did not have any songs in the iTunes store. Sure, some are one-hit wonders so I would expect those not to be there. But, also, some bigger names: Led Zepplin, AC/DC, Bob Seger - to name but three.
My goal for all this? To have my files set up perfectly for when I get my own iPod. It's on my Christmas list - actually the only thing I'm really interested in getting. We might break down and snag one sooner, just to be sure stores don't sell out too close to the holidays. That's okay though - it has been many many a Christmas since I've had any big surprises under the tree. In any case, I'll be ready to roll with my music collection when the time comes. Yeah, I'm a huge plan-ahead kind of person. Can't you tell? ;)