Monday, March 05, 2007

Smart Playlist

I've been using the "Smart Playlist" function in iTunes a lot lately. The way the Smart Playlist works is, you enter your parameters from a pulldown menu, say, tracks where the year is 1972, and tell it how many tracks you want, and whether they're at random, or ones that you've played most or least frequently. Then iTunes gives you a list of tracks based on your choices.

Today I was listening to "1964," and it turned out to be a fine assortment of British Invasion, Girl Groups, American Soul and California Sound, with a Dean Martin song thrown in. It was like a cross-section of what you would have really heard if you were a child listening to AM radio that year, that never seems to be duplicated authentically by any oldies station.

"Here, here," iTunes said, nudging me like a nagging parent. "The Dave Clark Five! You never play that one anymore."

All those years of putting mix discs and playlists together, and iTunes puts together a better mix than I do. The Smart Playlist is smarter than I am.

But I can't discredit myself completely. I've had some control over the matter. I selected the CD's and ripped the tracks and assiduously entered all the info on the "Get Info" screen. So I'm not altogether a pawn of destiny. You do everything that you can, and then you set yourself up to roll with the punches.

In the next few weeks, I expect a lot of punches, so I'd better get ready to roll.

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