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Old 04-07-2015, 06:01   #61
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Re: Music storage and access

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Anyway, I'd gladly using something else but would miss the itunes genius feature, is there an android/win alternative which can do the same as good as itunes does?
I'm sure there must be because services like Pandora have had the feature longer than iTunes.

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Old 04-07-2015, 06:04   #62
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Re: Music storage and access

Apple hater here. I use the default app in Ubuntu called RhythmBox, and on my androids I use VLC, currently. Most of my music listening is on the Ubuntu laptop.

One thing I find essential is a way to batch edit mp3 tags. The tags make it easy to sort music by genre, etc. I rely heavily on playlists, too. You can have playlists for every occasion or mood. Sometimes I like to just have my music play randomized from a very large playlist composed of all music I have rated at 4 or 5 stars.

I don't like FLAC. Very big files. I can't tell the difference between lossless and 256kb mp3. On low end systems I can't even tell the difference at 128. Serious audiophiles will disagree of course, but I got about 170GB of mp3 tunes and quadrupling or sextupling the file size is not an attractive option. Also mp3 is universally supported, even by fairly primitive players.

There are I am sure better apps for playing and managing music than what I use, for Linux and android. There are a gajillion to choose from, and most are free. I just haven't found time to do exhaustive trials. The thing is, you have those options with Linux and android.

I have used iTunes over windoze, and it works well enough if you carefully change the default settings before you let it screw up your music collection. Plus it is the easiest way to manage music on a non jailbroke iPhone or iPod. My iPhone followed my 8 track player and vcr to the resting place of all such technological dead ends. It felt good to finally jump with both feet into the androidverse. A rooted android is so much more powerful and flexible than even a jailbroke iPhone. But sure, a lot of folks are comfortable with the i-things, and once you truly have iTunes set up properly on a windohs machine it isn't a bad player. The trick is not using the default settings.

SSD is looking better and better. I still use the ancient spinning platters, for now. I recently bought a couple of Samsung's 4TB USB external drives, and also a couple of the ultra slim 2TB ones. One I actually removed from its case and transplanted into my laptop where it is humming along nicely, giving me twice the onboard storage anybody else I know has. Anyway, redundant backups are really important. Even if you still have every record or CD you ever owned, you really don't want to spend the next 3 months re ripping your music. Cloud storage is fine if you only have a few GB but for the rest of us, not one but two backups is my recommendation. Don't keep them all in the same place, either.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:11   #63
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Re: Music storage and access

Mark, you're right. In fact, it is so simple and obvious to create an iTunes account without using a credit card, that Apple had to create a support page telling people how to do it. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204034
Simply declining or skipping during the installation process apparently is an option that many other people haven't been able to find, either.


The Genius function? Thanks, if I want that I can use Pandora. I don't need crowdsourcing to make mix tapes for me.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:12   #64
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Re: Music storage and access

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not one but two backups is my recommendation. Don't keep them all in the same place, either.
I fully agree with multiple backups (I use two for my computer and four for the music) - particularly if using HD's on a boat. However, not keeping them all in the same place is difficult on a boat. We extend that sentiment to not keeping them all in the same place on the boat. Hopefully, that mitigates some the danger from a leak (although they are in waterproof boxes), lightning EMP or other types of damage.

Frankly, once the CD's are ripped, I see no reason at all to keep the physical disks. Sell them on eBay and it will pay for several SSD drives (quality of music library dependent, of course ).

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Old 04-07-2015, 06:21   #65
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Re: Music storage and access

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Mark, you're right. In fact, it is so simple and obvious to create an iTunes account without using a credit card, that Apple had to create a support page telling people how to do it. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204034
Simply declining or skipping during the installation process apparently is an option that many other people haven't been able to find, either.

The Genius function? Thanks, if I want that I can use Pandora. I don't need crowdsourcing to make mix tapes for me.
I just bought a simple, common plastic NPT/barb converter at home depot that came with detailed instructions on which end to screw into the female fitting and which end to stick the hose on. Incredibly, the company's website also contained instructions for all of their simple plumbing fittings. They even have instructions for how to use a hose-hose barb. Apparently, many other people have not been able to figure these things out.

So what is your point?

Pandora does not provide genius playlists for music you own, or music residing on a player.

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Old 04-07-2015, 06:29   #66
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Re: Music storage and access

My point about the need for a credit card is that apparently I'm not the only person who couldn't find any way to install iTunes without one. And when you can't find something, it might as well not exist.


No, Pandora isn't for music you own residing on your computer. Google Play will do that for you, both locally and in unlimited cloud storage. But again, if I want to do that, I know what music I have, and I can roll my own playlists. Don't need crowdsourcing to tell me what socks to wear, either.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:29   #67
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Re: Music storage and access

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
...

Pandora does not provide genius playlists for music you own, or music residing on a player.

Mark
Would be nice to have a single player that did it all with APIs into services like Pandora, Sirius, iTunes...and would play local music files too.

Any app developers reading along?
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:39   #68
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Re: Music storage and access

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
My point about the need for a credit card is that apparently I'm not the only person who couldn't find any way to install iTunes without one. And when you can't find something, it might as well not exist.


No, Pandora isn't for music you own residing on your computer. Google Play will do that for you, both locally and in unlimited cloud storage. But again, if I want to do that, I know what music I have, and I can roll my own playlists. Don't need crowdsourcing to tell me what socks to wear, either.
My point is that people also apparently cannot figure out how to hook two hoses together using a barb connector.

FAQ's for lots of simple things exist everywhere - if people are involved, there will always be the need for instructions. I imagine even Charmin has a FAQ on their support site.

In 2014, iTunes had 800 million accounts. It doesn't surprise me that a few can't figure out how to install and use it. You are in good company.

I find Pandora, Genius, etc to be delightful. I know all of my music and can make my own playlists, but I find that these services often times group songs together that I would have never thought of doing. Besides, with >20,000 songs, I don't want to spend the time and effort to go through all of them and think about their possible permutated relationships to all the others.

I only own 2 pairs of socks, but don't know where they are.

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Old 04-07-2015, 07:10   #69
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Re: Music storage and access

I use a program called Media Monkey for my music management. I have the music organized by folder so all one music type is in the Genre Folder (in my case 3 basic groupings, Rock - Island Music - Blues), then each artist has it's own folder under the Genre Folder and each album is a folder under the Artist Folder. The system then allows to build a playlist that is randomized for a complete folder (including sub folders).

You can also use this system to build "cd size" groups of songs for putting on another device (like and Ipod or CD). I do this because I have 260 GB of data and the capacity for a stand alone MP3 player is less. So I build a playlist (randomized) of a set size (lets say 16GB for my mp3 player) and then it puts all these files to be burnt to CD's in one folder which I can then copy to the MP3.

There is much more that can be done with the system but I haven't dug any deeper (random playlists was really what I was looking for). There is a free version and a pay-to-play version that has additional features.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:30   #70
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Re: Music storage and access

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
No, Pandora isn't for music you own residing on your computer. Google Play will do that for you, both locally and in unlimited cloud storage. But again, if I want to do that, I know what music I have, and I can roll my own playlists. Don't need crowdsourcing to tell me what socks to wear, either.
No one seems to be able to come up with an offline alternative to itunes genius, but there must be some out there somewhere. Matbe when my 160Gb ipod classic finally bites the dust, though no sign of that yet.
You should try letting a little randomness into your sock and music selection, it's liberating and surprisingly satisfying in a digital world with too much choice.
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Old 06-07-2015, 16:34   #71
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Re: Music storage and access

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I like music, a lot. I don't have enough space on my boat for all the CDs that I would like to have aboard. So, I'd like to create a computer storage system for music that I could then play on my stereo ( a new Fusion). It would be especially cool if there was a database function so I could search for and retrieve selected works (and especially excerpts). Does anyone have an idea how this could be done? Will MP3 work for this?
You have just described an ipod. I have an ipod classic with 12000 songs on it. And space for 12000 more. And they aren't even expensive. You can use your windows PC or mac to load and organize your music.

If you need more help, ask anyone under 16 years old with earbuds stuck in their head.
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Old 06-07-2015, 17:18   #72
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Re: Music storage and access

"You should try letting a little randomness into"
As I said, I do listen to random mixes. However, the Genius tool is not really a random mix. It is a mix of what other people with arguably similar tastes have listened to. Or, what has played on their systems while they went out to lunch.(G)
Random mixes are easy. Curated mixes, like a Genius mix or Pandora, or an Amazon reading suggestion, are something else again. Pandora's real genius (no pun intended, they deserve the kudos) was in sitting down and assigning SO many attributes, correctly, to SO many songs, that they got it right more often than anyone else.
They're still the only ones who break down "Yodeling" into multiple subgenres: Male two man team yodeling, mixed four-way yodeling, individual castrati yodeling, probably a good dozen subcategories that no on else even lists. (In "team" yodeling they are both in the same spot, in four-way yodeling, the four members are separated at four distant points across the valleys, so it gets much much harder to co-ordinate the vocalizations.)
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Old 06-07-2015, 18:42   #73
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Re: Music storage and access

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"You should try letting a little randomness into"
As I said, I do listen to random mixes. However, the Genius tool is not really a random mix. It is a mix of what other people with arguably similar tastes have listened to. Or, what has played on their systems while they went out to lunch.(G)
Random mixes are easy. Curated mixes, like a Genius mix or Pandora, or an Amazon reading suggestion, are something else again. Pandora's real genius (no pun intended, they deserve the kudos) was in sitting down and assigning SO many attributes, correctly, to SO many songs, that they got it right more often than anyone else.
They're still the only ones who break down "Yodeling" into multiple subgenres: Male two man team yodeling, mixed four-way yodeling, individual castrati yodeling, probably a good dozen subcategories that no on else even lists. (In "team" yodeling they are both in the same spot, in four-way yodeling, the four members are separated at four distant points across the valleys, so it gets much much harder to co-ordinate the vocalizations.)
So what's the offline alternative? Sooner or later my much used ipod will give up and for music/podcasts on board there doesn't seem to be much competition with features like genius mixes, which work very well if not perfect.
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Old 06-07-2015, 18:54   #74
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Re: Music storage and access

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So what's the offline alternative? Sooner or later my much used ipod will give up and for music/podcasts on board there doesn't seem to be much competition with features like genius mixes, which work very well if not perfect.
Im in a similar situation. My old iPods are getting flaky and the only direct replacement is another old iPod off eBay. I'm migrating to a basic no-name Android 7" tablet. Just loaded all our tunes on it. Also have Pandora etc loaded for when we have good Internet bandwidth.

I haven't found a player I'm especially impressed with, but there are plenty with basic functionality including random play or play by major attributes like artist/album/genre. So at least as good as pre-Genius iTunes.
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Old 06-07-2015, 19:20   #75
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Re: Music storage and access

"So what's the offline alternative?"
Perhaps you have heard the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times." ?


"Sooner or later my much used ipod will give up and for music/podcasts on board there doesn't seem to be much competition" Well, on iPods (presumably the 160GB Classic?) giving up, the first thing you will lose is the battery. Conveniently, Apple requires special security tools and clandestine meetings to have someone replace that, and that black market will doubtless go on for years, if Apple has stopped changing batteries.
Competition? Eh, "interesting times" again.
Companies like Fiio have had digital music players for years. Better DAC circuits than Apple used, so better sound quality. And using solid state memory instead of that pesky hard drive, which was obsolete over five years ago.
So with a Fiio X3, you can pop in twin 128GB micro SDXC chips (you have to manually toggle to one or the other) and get a 256GB player. Now. Fiio makes other models, as do other companies, and that capacity is not unusual. Supporting lossless formats, too. But Fiio has a clever idea that "no menus, no words, just Iconese" is a good idea combined with their own unintuitive OS, they just don't get it.
Then there's Neil Young busily hyping his PonoMusic store and player, claiming we can all appreciate the difference between bad mp3's and DVD-or-twice-better digital music. Dunno...24 bit, maybe, but wasn't that argument solved when the 16-bit CD standard was issued, and the record companies forgot to exterminate the bad engineers? Um.
the Pono Player is another disappointment, it can be bought with only 64GB of internal storage (really? when the goal is to sell ultra-large ultra-high-quality music that makes conventional FLAC and all seem compact?) and supports only another 128GB of microSDXC card.
The microSDXC standard supports something like a 4TB (TB) cap, so when someone says they support SDXC but only to 128GB....yeah, they're in the buggy-whip business.


SOMEONE. Maybe even Sony, who are also screwing around with products. But someone is going to get this right in the near future. For now, there are a couple of phones from LG and HTC that will gladly take a 128GB card and be your new music player. And I think one of them now supports a 256GB card as well.


So the hardware is here, or can readily get here.


Software? Well, "Genius" crowdsourcing is a moot point when you are offline (or prefer not to buy data and all the "mixing" will be from your own library. I use PowerAmp on the android and sometimes I'd swear the NSA must be programming the random mixes because they just hit it on the nose, hours on end.


But with the market for generic music players already so crowded (on all the major platforms) this is a perfect way for some programmer to make their product The Killer App. I'm sure we'll see some folks work on extending the indexing that they do on your files, i.e. so that when you look at an index from Foobar or MusicMonkey, instead of just seeing some of the tags, you'll see extended tagging that can be used for "not so random" mixes. Not just genres, but genre plus year plus record label and lead vocalist. Or, refreshed from some server, "This song was a top 40 FM played mainly between midnight and dawn".


Nature abhors a vacuum, and right now, there's huge ones out there. Too many folks are trying to sell subscription music services (hey, there's good money there) but someone is going to realize there's a whole other market. If it isn't out there already.


with features like genius mixes, which work very well if not perfect. "
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