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Mar 24

Genius?

Ok, after a long hiatus of now writing anything on my blog due to not being in a great frame of mind and seeking consolation through my amazing family, I have decided it is time to write again.

Also I am on a train.

Co-incidence? mebbe…

Either way, here I am and I am writing.

In December Emma (my wife) gave me an iPod for Christmas.
Like with all the trimmings… Noise cancelling earphones, docking station, covers the works.
She even had “If music be the food of love? Play On!” inscribed on it.
And loaded up a selection of songs that meant alot to both of us.

Sadly I hooked it up and synched before seeing any of those, I just don’t get the subtle part of anything subtle…

Anyways, I liked it, had always wanted an MP3 player. I had never owned an iPod, but HAD owned a Microsoft Zune.
So for me, a man who loves music and HUGE vaireties of it, this appeared to be a perfect gift.

I liked it.

I loaded up my sings and gave it the occaisional listen but it truly lacked the oomph that got me to pick it up every time I went anywhere.

Anyway, three months later my external hard drive died. chatting on skype while writing all of my music and pictures from one location to another, I pulled the laptop to get comfy and pulled the drive mid write onto the floor.

Good bye data.

So I have had no ability to change my music as it was effectively all lost, barring 4 GB (of 170GB) that was on my BlackBerry.

Last week a colleague introduced me to a tool called iRip. This nifty little app allows you to synch iTunes with your iPod and not the other way around. Also allows you to pull the raw format files down if you don’t wanna use iTunes as your media library.

I figured it would be neater if I let it do the native thing and bring all of the music from my pod into the iTunes library.

The I finally decided that maybe I should clean up my music as I know there is alot if duplication, badly labelled songs, no album art, incorrect genres etc.

Being me I looked for an automated way to do this and came up with an incredible app called Tuneup Companion.

This nifty app runs alongside iTunes, allowing you to drag 500 songs at a time into a “cleanup” pane. It then does checks to see if it can clean up the detail.

Now, it does this very well in organised folders. I.e. choose all the songs from one albumn at a time and it will rename everything, get the albumn art, pull in the right genre’s etc.

When you choose poorly named stuff and choose hundreds at a time it seems to struggle a bit ang gets some of them wrong.

What IS amazing though (and it boggles my mind why I can’t use this feature for every single lookup) is all of the track01 unknown artist, unknown genre, unknown everythings taht I had it has cleaned beayutifully.
It seems that where it can find no information to work with, it takes a clip of the song and submits it to a music database and returns results. WOW. So I now have clean, labelled access to 27 albumns that I had listed as track01 track02 etc.

That feat alone made the $20 worth it.

Ok, so now I have removed a HUGE amount of duplicates from my collection, cleaned it up alot (down to only 200 songs that have no info other than a meaningful title) and I have turned on Apples iTunes Genius feature.

Holy cow.

I totlly should have done this sooner.

I was never going to create any meaningful playlists, I have always just relied totally on shuffle.
This creates problems when you want to listen to Cradle of Filth at full volume and it drops you into Dead Can Dance or better yet, a Britanny Spears track from a soundtrack albumn (and yes, I have nuked those ones finally as part of this process).

Genius has gone through my library and created some generic playlists for me that are GREAT, and every time I play though one I can update it and it will recreate the playlists.

Bloody fantastic. The train trip this morning has had:
My Dying Bride, Moonspell, Anathema, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Type O Negative, Satyricon and Opeth.
Drool… I would never have played these songs in this order or all together and would have grouped them very differently.

This damned Genius is truly a genius. Word up Apple!

My Genius playlists are now grouped into twelve easy access shuffles..
1. Metal Mix
2. Punk Mix
3. Goth Mix
4. Dream Pop Mix
5. Alternative Pop/Rock Mix
6. Brit Pop & Rock Mix
7. Techno/House Mix
8. Electronica Mainstream Mix
9. Nu-Metal Mix
10. Classic Rock Mix
11. Mainstream Rock Mix
12. New Wave Mix.

Truly enjoying my iPod now, NOW it has the OOMPH factor it was missing when I peeled off the packaging 3 months ago…

Thanks my love – epic fail removed 🙂