I didn’t always love iTunes. In June, 2001, when I got my first Mac, I wasn’t

sure how I would ever live without WinAmp. After all,

it really whips the llama’s ass. I

loved WinAmp so much that I even alpha tested WinAmp for Mac. Total failure of

an app, but the spirit was there. OS X was an infant, and was an additional

OS, not the primary (9.1 was, in fact). Me and my modest MP3 collection of

about 100 songs entered the Mac world with a nervous gait.

And, I really didn’t love iTunes. I had come from a world of compact players,

making it the accessory to my computer experience. I still had a [I didn’t always love iTunes. In June, 2001, when I got my first Mac, I wasn’t

sure how I would ever live without WinAmp. After all,

it really whips the llama’s ass. I

loved WinAmp so much that I even alpha tested WinAmp for Mac. Total failure of

an app, but the spirit was there. OS X was an infant, and was an additional

OS, not the primary (9.1 was, in fact). Me and my modest MP3 collection of

about 100 songs entered the Mac world with a nervous gait.

And, I really didn’t love iTunes. I had come from a world of compact players,

making it the accessory to my computer experience. I still had a]3 and the world’s slowest CD burner, but

I didn’t even have the knowledge to connect the two. My MP3 “collection” fit

on a ZIP disk. But, choice-less, I transfered to my iBook and let iTunes

become my venue for auditory entertainment. We got along after a while. I even

encoded my CD collection so I wouldn’t have to drag them to college (I did

anyway – remember, Discman). My iBook came with a Rio (pre-iPod), and iTunes

would manage it for me. Our relationship started to grow from there.

And then, on January 13, 2002, my world changed. I got my first iPod. Gen 1,

5gb, pure happiness. The great “encode those discs!” campaign started. I

walked around with a brick in my pocket, but it was my entire music

collection. Since then my collection has changed, the iPod has grown in hard

drive size by a factor of 32x (and in physical by 7/8ths), but for the most

part, iTunes has stayed the same.

My interest in iTunes has sparked again, and I’m undertaking projects to clean

up and categorize my library. I figure the future of music will continue to

get more computer-centric, and with an AppleTV extending my music collection

to the physical spectrum of audio receivers (bye bye, CD Players) and iPods

taking it everywhere else, my library needs to be clean. It’s a phased

approach, and I will be documenting it along the way.

So, what does being a database freak have to do with anything? Simple – iTunes

is a simple database that keeps track of file location and attributes. If you

know what you’re doing, iTunes can actually be pretty powerful. Smart

playlists, track metadata, and patience combined can create something pretty

neat. Perhaps you want a playlist that has a certain pace to the music? Or,

you really want to see a listing of all of the full albums you own? How about

tagging a track on your iPod as a reminder for later? All of this is totally

doable, and the whole listening experience tons more enjoyable.