Hate iTunes? I do. It syncs to my phone, good. It integrates well into the OS. There endeth the advantages. While it was pretty cutting edge when I first started using it more than a decade ago, iTunes has stagnated in features and forged ahead with annoyances even as is slides backwards on performance, ever since those primordial days. 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.
- beets claims to do this now, via the browser
- also supports acoustic fingerprinting! I mean in a useful way, for you identifying your own tracks, as opposed to some faceless corporation issuing takedown notices against your family videos on youtube. What a refreshing change.
- Also analysing via echonest. Why yes, I would like to be able to index my music by “danceability”, “energy”, “liveness”, “loudness”, “speechiness”, and bpm, whatever the fuck they are, why not?
- …and key detection
- MPD abstracts away iTunes entirely and has its own clients… Reportedly the protocol is in a state of developmental logjam (see standards) but it is probably functional and has a huge, an unmaintainably huge mass of clients. PS it is intrinsically networked so you can do ccute things like having a collective iphone party dj app.
- cassette tapes
music listening data
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.  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.
|||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:
- mxcl’s dashboard scrobbler. (Max Howell is a genius of minimalism, please send him free money.)