Content has been in short supply here at the Big Bad Blog over the last couple of weeks. There are many reasons — Karen has returned to work after maternity leave, which seems to be producing exhaustion in both of us. I’ve returned to fencing (again). I’ve been playing D&D.
But, mostly, I’ve been fiddling with my phone.
One of the reasons I enjoy my Android phone so much more than I enjoyed its Apple predecessor is the freedom the Operating System gives to customize the device. While both the stock Apple and Android experiences are excellent, only Android embraces users who wish to go outside the stock experience to create one of their own.
This fiddling brought me full circle back to my current music problems, and also made me think that I was approaching music in a wrong way.
What’s that wrong way?, you might ask.
“Tethering” would be the reply.
Rebuilding my phone made me note how well almost everything I use on my phone is kept in synchronization with great ease. From contact information to calendars, backups to books to bookmarks and beyond, everything on my phone just synchronizes with any and every other connected device I might use.
I set it up and forget it — if I enter your phone number into my address book on my computer, I can dial it from my phone the next time I need it. If my phone dies tomorrow, yesterday’s backup files are sitting on my computer. If I take a photo, I can find it on my computer without needing any direct connection.
But music? It wants my phone to be tethered to my laptop, via WiFi if not an actual wire.
And it occurred to me that this is wrong. This is how Apple set things up when they came out with the iPod a decade ago, and nobody ever bothered to make it better.
Until now, of course — now the cloud is all the rage. Nevermind that we all signed up for Yahoo! mail back in the late ’90s, technically a cloud service.
So I took the plunge.
Out with Apple
And a plunge it was — I didn’t figure out what was going to do, and then get rid of my old system. Instead, it was out with the old, despite “the new” being yet unidentified — without knowing what I was going to do, or how I was going to make it work, I deleted the evil that is iTunes from my computer.
It wasn’t needed.
It wasn’t wanted.
It isn’t missed.
In its place has come MediaMonkey. It is fantastic by comparison to iTunes, and I’ve been enjoying playing around with my music collection for the first time in years — organizing it, modifying scripts, and generally playing around.
Ten years ago — before I joined the iTunes collective — I really enjoyed compiling and organizing my music collection. Playing in MediaMonkey generates a similar feeling.
Is it that it’s a new toy? A better toy? That I’ve just reminded myself of how I enjoy this sort of thing?
I couldn’t say. But MediaMonkey already gets my hearty endorsement, in any case.
While getting rid of iTunes was easy, it seems that moving to the cloud is a bit more challenging, however.
Over the next few days — or perhaps weeks, given the speed at which I seem to be writing of late — I’ll go through my attempts to synchronize music through the cloud. We will see what works, and (mostly) what doesn’t.
Suffice it to say that the piece that I thought would be the easiest part of the journey has, as it turns out, been the rockiest.