Someday We’ll All Be Listening To Kenny G

I’ve written about how I think the future of music is streaming, and while I don’t know how far off it will be, I do think that tips like the following demonstrate why it will, or should, move there.

Yesterday Mac OS X Hints posted about how to avoid crossfades between tracks in iTunes.

I know how to do this. You probably know how to do this. Most people probably don’t know how to do this. Most people probably don’t know these options even exist.

I love iTunes and if you’re like me you probably get asked the same questions I do about iTunes library management, things like:

  • How come all my tracks are named “TRACK 1”?
  • How do I add album artwork?
  • Why doesn’t my iPod sync these tracks?
  • My iPod died. How do I get all my music back?
  • How do I redownload music from iTunes?
  • I just heard about AAC. How do I convert these MP3s to AAC for higher sound quality?

Some of these problems are alleviated with the iTunes Store. When you download from the iTunes Store you don’t need to fill out tags or look up things on CDDB. Only the most meticulous music fans bother editing things like Grouping and Genre 1.

iTunes, in my opinion, gives meticulous music fans the best user experience on a desktop. But most of us aren’t meticulous music fans.

Think of how much simpler the experience is for casual listeners on streaming services. There is no file management and backup. There’s no worrying about file formats and bitrates (I think Rdio intentionally doesn’t answer these kinds of questions for this reason). You don’t have to think about album art or fill out metadata – it’s just there. You don’t buy music and download it, you just pick music and you listen to it. The most complicated thing about Rdio and Mog is syncing music for offline listening 2.

It’s like what Jeff Garlin says about the 2010 late night war in The War For Late Night:

“…you can’t tell me that The Tonight Show with Leno is funnier than Late Show with Letterman. The people that Jay appeals to are not comedy fans, it’s just the general public. Letterman and Conan appeal to people who are comedy fans. It’s like comparing John Coltrane to Kenny G. One of Kenny G’s albums probably sold more than all of John Coltrane’s library. But you can’t tell me for a second that Kenny G is better than John Coltrane.”

I don’t like thinking about it like this, but I think that someday iTunes will be Kenny G.

  1. Tagging classical music is not fun. Who goes in the artist field? The composer or the conductor…the performing group? Should the year be when it was composed or when it was performed? I do my own thing on this, but I bet most don’t bother.

  2. I do wish that you could browse your Rdio library by album art. Right now it does this blob thing where artists in your library are represented by circles. This needs to be much more visual like iTunes Grid View or Mog’s Chrome app.