If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled to make Spotify or Pandora or any other musical discovery apps work for you in a way that you might like.
I’m almost certain that there are thousands of songs out there that I’d like to listen to, which would fit perfectly into my personal sweet spot of enjoyable music. In theory, any music discovery app should be able to help me track down those songs, simply by extrapolating my clearly marked favourites into songs that are highly correlated with those favourites but which are inexplicably missing from my library. And yet, whenever I let these apps have a look at my musical tastes and preferences, I inevitably get back songs and artists that I’ve heard before and have no interest in exploring further, or other songs that miss the mark by a surprisingly long way.
Now it’s possible that I’ve already somehow independently located every single song in the world that appeals to me and that there’s nothing new to be added. It feels unlikely, but let’s take these music discovery apps at their word.
If so, I have no need for them. Why would I pay a subscription to them or listen to advertising when all my favourite music is already safely on my hard drive? (And, of course, safely backed up to an external hard drive – recurring task).
No, if I already have access to my favourite music in iTunes (or ‘Music’, if you insist, Apple), then what I want to set up is a personal jukebox that throws up all my songs in a nice mix of favourites, songs I haven’t heard in a while and others I might want to consider. Which is useful, because that’s exactly what I have set up.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll show you exactly how I went about doing it.
The first step needs very little explanation. Get every piece of music that’s not on iTunes into there. If they’re already on your computer, or a friend’s computer, or an external drive, import them into the iTunes app.
If they’re not on your computer, and currently live instead on CD, vinyl or cassette tape, then you’ll have to digitise them. That means you’ll perhaps need extra hardware and a way of importing those albums. I can’t help you much with that.
But if you have a lot of songs to digitise (and the hardware with which to do it), then that’s a recurring task – and I can help you with that. Set up a ‘Digitise 5 CDs’ task in Recurrer that repeats every 1-3 days (say) and stick to it until everything’s safely on your hard drive. (And, as alluded to above, set a regular backup task if you don’t already have one.)
Once all your music’s in iTunes, then this is where we start to get a bit clever. But I’ll cover that next time.