The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Playing video and audio

continuing difficulty thereof

Desktop

Hate iTunes? I do. It syncs to my phone, good. It integrates well into the OS. There endeth the advantages. Whilst it was cutting edge when I first started using it more than 15 years ago, iTunes has stagnated in features and forged ahead with annoyances even as is slides backwards on performance. It also tries to constantly sell me shitty pop songs and is generally an eyesore.

Moreover, it is increasingly based on streaming music from the cloud which is nice if you live in Silicon Valley and don’t DJ. Otherwise, no. I don’t live in Silicon Valley and fail to not DJ, so I seek other alternatives.

Alternatives.

Music listening tracking

Slightly obsessive completist personality? Don’t worry, it afflicts many nerds. How about you channel that twitchy compulsion into something productive, analysing your music collection so that you can be a better DJ, which is the most socially acceptable type of completist obsessiveness there is?

So anyway, my preferred service in the quantifed-self race is last.fm. [1] This catalogues your music listening history and puts it online, often with cute graphs. Unfortunately, development has languished for years, and the client is shitty, enormous, slow, crashes a lot, and fills your syslog up with weird errors. I already have iTunes to do that.

[1]Hey, at least letting the world know about that is less harmful than much other data people collect about you without your consent.

If you’re on linux or windows, the alternatives are obvious.

Alternatives to the last.fm client for Mac:

Overengineered household audio appliances

Sonos, et al, for people who find wires too complicated.

Raspberry-based home media system hacks, perhaps?

More satisfactory audio on portable devices

TBD; mention Overcast app for iOs.