iPod – second impressions

I’ve pretty much addressed my primary gripe – the inconsistency between the way iTunes and iPod deal with smart playlists – with a workaround. I’ve reallocated virtually all my mp3s to custom genre tags. Every relevant, single artist album under ‘Funk, Dub, Soul, etc’ now has a genre name of ‘Funk, Dub, Soul, etc’. In other words I no longer allocate James Brown to the ‘Funk’ genre and Al Green to the ‘Soul’ genre and then have the smart playlist display everything with a genre ‘Funk’, ‘Soul’, etc. That’s step one. Step two addresses the lack of a ‘Compilations’ option under each genre. Now my ‘Africa Funk’ compilation cd and my Trojan box sets are allocated the genre name ‘Funk, Dub, Soul – comps’. I’ve removed ‘Music’ from the topmost iPod menu and turned on ‘Genres’. When I scroll through Genres I see something similar to the iTunes layout on my Powerbook except that I have double Genre entries e.g. ‘Techno’ for all single artist Techno albums and ‘Techno – comps’ for all Techno compilations. If choosing the latter option I have to choose ‘All’ to see the actual album because what is displayed on the first screen is just all the single artist names for whatever compilations are listed under the particular genre. It’s a workaround, but it’s good enough for me.

I have to confess that I’m still feeling a little intimidated by the amount of choice available to me and however marvellous the scroll wheel and sliding menu interface are (in tandem with my workaround), I still miss the visual differentiation (colour, typography, etc) of the cd spines on my shelves. Not marvellous, but colour coding using the labels in OSX would help a lot. I’ll never get round to it, but I’ve contemplated a number of times writing an essay on the subject of improving the iTunes interface by taking design cues from the OSX interface. Here’s the start I made.

Given the fact I’ve not read of such gripes I guess that I’m in a tiny minority though…


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