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iTunes Genius – too clever by half?

Posted by onlydarksets on September 10, 2008

I don’t mean to rag on iTunes, but, as music managers goes, it does kind of suck.  I was intrigued by the new Genius sidebar in iTunes 8, though, so I gave the upgrade a spin.

The first snag is that the Genius sidebar has to examine every single file before it will start working.  All 11,000+ of my music files are on network storage, which my PC accesses over 802.11g wifi.  That took a little under 3 hours to complete.  Yes, hours.  Why did it have to rescan every file?  Why didn’t it just use the database iTunes had already built (which, incidentally, took under 30 minutes including processing album art)?

So, after a half day of processing, I finally had a chance to test it out.  As always, I started out with Metallica to see what comes up.  Can anyone spot what’s wrong with this picture?

Yes, I clicked the link in the “Genius” sidebar, and, yes, it’s referencing the version of the song on Reload.  Now, I understand it’s using heuristics to recommend alternative music.  However, it’s doing a simple lookup for the “Songs You’re Missing”, so if the ID3 data matches (which it did), it shouldn’t show up on the list.  Incidentally, it found 9 songs I “didn’t” have, 4 of which I did, in fact, have (everything except the new singles and the Swizz Beatz single):

Not to mention the albums/artists it just couldn’t “find”.  The archaic stuff, I understand.  However, I’m pretty sure this should have pulled back some results:

You have to get the simple stuff right.

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iTunes taking a page from WMP

Posted by onlydarksets on September 9, 2008

OK, maybe WMP didn’t invent it, but I find it a little ironic that Apple is touting as a “new” feature one that it ripped off from pretty much every other player out there – The Grid View:

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iPhone hate – keyboards

Posted by onlydarksets on May 5, 2008

There are some things I love about the iPhone (UI, performance, storage space) and some things I hate (lack of extensibility, no tasks, no 3G).  What I hate most about the iPhone is the fact that it’s near impossible to have a rational conversation about its pros and cons.  This even extends to the supposedly impartial fourth estate.

I came across this article about the iPhone keyboard:;_ylt=Apr_sHbpkCOcVRnVDAijiZ.SxLEF

The following, I believe, is absolutely true:

In spite of all the well-deserved hoopla about the iPhone, RIM still has an impregnable position in enterprise and corporate markets — its tactile QWERTY keyboard is way more accurate than Apple’s glass keyboard, and corporate types are less tolerant of e-mail errors than rank-and-file consumers.

This, however, seems completely unsupportable:

On the other hand, RIM, which has been advertising for experienced Apple technology experts, may be able to replicate the Apple touch screen — other handset makers have similar handset touch screens — easier than Apple can come up with an accurate enough keyboard to satisfy corporate users.

Who could honestly believe that RIM can invent a touch UI more easily than Apple can slap a keyboard on its existing UI?  That’s just bunk.

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