Lefsetz’s Sonos Mea Culpa – Maybe

lefsetz.jpgFor those among us who hang on every word uttered by music biz uber insider Bob Lefsetz, it’s shocking to hear him praise the virtues of Rhapsody. I thought it was his opinion that only idiots and clueless record company execs believed in rental, but here’s the man himself as he sees the light:

I’ve spent eons downloading, STEALING, so much of this stuff. But now all you have to do is lay down ten bucks a month, and you can hear it EVERYWHERE!

Granted, he’s waxing Rhapsodic about the new (and outrageously priced, but Bob gets it free) Sonos player, an Internet radio that doesn’t require a computer, only a broadband connection. From the sound of Bob’s post, it’s also the greatest remote control ever devised.

But I gotta say, Mr. Lefsetz sounds like Sam I Am finally digging the green eggs and ham. I’m glad he’s beginning to understand that the ability to call any song, from anywhere, at the touch of a button is worth ten bucks a month. The instant gratifaction factor alone sold me a long time ago.

I get it on my PC, like most proles unwilling or unable to lay out nearly a grand for the latest gee-whiz gadgetry. It bypasses Windows, though, and that’s a good thing.

But causiing a cranky rental holdout like Lefsetz to grudgingly depart the P2P pulpit – that’s priceless.

Welcome to the club, Bob.

More iTunes 7 – Album Sorts Improved

itunes7album.jpgWhen I relied on my CD collection, organization kept me from going crazy. This was even more true when the media was LPs. I had thousands of them – still do, for the most part – and if I hadn’t kept them alphabetized, my enjoyment of them would have been seriously dimiished.

So I’m pleased to see one of the new, albeit less crowed about, features of iTunes 7. Click on the Album column a few times, and you’ll see it changes from Album to Album by Year and Album by Artist.

That’s how albums should be organized, but iTunes, like most brute force database solutions, didn’t take into account, so that when I clicked on Artist and scrolled to Beatles, different album titles would be mixed together.

With the new cover art view (still waiting for the automatic artwork download feature to work as advertised, it’s about 30 percent there), I can browse my collection by disc.

When I sort Album by Year, I’ll see With the The Beatles, followed by Beatles for Sale and so forth.  This works even better with CD-only artists.
itunes7album2.jpgThe program won’t allow you to sort all your albums by year – to see Sgt. Pepper followed by Are You Experienced, and then Atom Heart Mother for example, or drill down by a particular criteria – in the top level view.

But if you create a smart playlist, you can then organize within genres. This is handy if you have, say, a lot of folk music and a lot of punk/alternative, and you’d like to see just folk ordered by year of release.

Of course, the results you get when you click on the column are only as good as the data in your ID3 tags. To clean those up, there’s MusicBrainz, an open source tool that cleans up the messy metadata in your MP3 collection. If you P2P a lot, this is an essential tool.

Of course, you don’t P2P outside the boundaries of the DMCA, do you? That would be stealing.