When in the Artist view in iTunes, rather than album covers scrolling along with the tracks, they should bump up against the header and stay in view until all of the album’s tracks scroll out of view, much like Music on the iPad or the header bars in the iOS Contacts app.
In the move to digital 1, and particularly with streaming, the musicians who play on recordings are rarely given credit outside of AllMusic or Wikipedia. A PDF of the liner notes might mention personnel, but I don’t know of any download or streaming service that embeds such information in tracks. For MP3, there is a standard in place for such metadata — ID3 has the TMCL and TIPL for tagging files with personnel credits. There are Apple namespaced equivalents for MP4 (AAC) files. I’ve long used the Comments field for this purpose, but it suffers from limited character length and lack of structure. The only software I’ve found that supports TMCL and TIPL with an interface designed for their input is a Windows application called ID3TagIt. Not wanting to fire up a virtual machine to use an app which has not been updated since 2006, it would be great to see support in Metadatics 2. Currently, it handles musician credits only as raw text:
I’d like to see a UI for inputting credits:
The menu button at the right of the name field would give you access to commands to remove the person, the instrument or role, or add another person with the same instrument or role.
Providing a field for the Lyricist would also be nice:
Of course, this is pointless if playback software doesn’t provide some way to use this metadata. I want to be able to start a stream of songs with lyrics by Stevie Wonder, or create a Smart Playlist with all recordings of Pino Palladino on bass. Unfortunately, Apple seems to have lost interest in expanding iTunes’ metadata support and Spotify and Rdio have only the most basic track metadata.
- Note that I am not a retro-tech nostalgist. Not every LP sounds amazing, they wear out, and they are not the least bit portable.
- Licensed! It’s only $10.00.
- Some of which are similar to Last.fm.
I finally redeemed two iTunes gift cards last night, finding the process generally straightforward. That said, many Macs now have iSight cameras built-in. As proven by Delicious Library, an iSight can also function as a barcode scanner, moving the bulk of the input burden from the user to the computer.
A second barcode (which creates a bit of confusion) would not have to be added if the scratch-off alphanumeric code could be recognized as such using OCR. With foreknowledge of the typeface and the processing power of modern Macs, this seems technically feasible.
In case the camera is in use by another application, the Scan via iSight button is disabled and the application name is displayed.
There would have to be some conditional rules to hide the mention of optical scanning and the attendant button on Macs without a compatible camera.
When selecting multiple items to be sent via e-mail or IM or copied to another volume, it is helpful to know the total size of the items; many e-mail servers restrict attachment sizes and CDs and DVDs only hold so much.
The Finder provides this running total through the Inspector (Command-Option-I), which is both fairly hidden and changes based on the active view. The only method I know of for getting similar information in iTunes is to use the File menu’s “New Playlist from Selection” command (Command-Shift-N), then looking at the status bar. Status bars that display the sum of the selected items’ filesize (and length for linear media) can provide this information more conveniently.
Somewhere between 7.0 and the current 7.1.1 release, left and right arrow key navigation of the iTunes browser columns (Genre, Artist, Album) was added. Much better.
I like listening to artists’ recordings in chronological order to follow the evolution of their sound. The ID3 (v2) specification supports the input of precise recording dates (and times, but even I’m not that particular), data which I’ve added to some MP3s using the only application I know of that supports extensive ID3 tags with a somewhat understandable interface, ID3-TagIt for Windows. Unfortunately, iTunes does not take the day and month into consideration when sorting albums by Year.
How iTunes sorts Grant Green’s albums by year and when they were actually recorded:
An artist’s sound can change significantly over a handful of months, a process I’d like to be able to follow. I know this is not of interest to a majority of music listeners, whose favorite artists usually release an album every year or two.
With all three columns displayed in the iTunes browser, the Genre column is much wider than it needs to be and lengthy Artist and Album titles are often truncated. Resize handles to the rescue…
I included column resize handles in my visual browsing mockup, but this more clearly illustrates the benefits.
Rather than downloading audio files in your browser, locating them in the Finder, and then dragging them to iTunes, why not drag-and-drop the links to them on the iTunes Dock icon?
The download process would be handled by iTunes.
If the audio file’s Name tag could not be read while downloading, the link title text would be displayed until the download completed. The title text would remain if the Name tag were empty. The actual audio files would be saved in the user’s iTunes music library location.
If you decided to add the site to your audio feed collection, you could drag-and-drop the syndication link to iTunes rather than having to use the “Advanced [menu] -> Subscribe to Podcast ” dialog.
Being able to drag-and-drop movie links to QuickTime Player would also be nice. Movie files could be downloaded to either ~/Movies or the browser’s default download location.
Naija Jams has good samples of Afrobeat and Highlife music from Nigeria. The Sade song shown in the mockup is no longer available (they probably realized it was a copyright violation!), but it can be had by purchasing “Red Hot + Riot: The Music and Spirit of Fela Kuti” at Amazon.
Here is the dialog iTunes presents after CD information is successfully transmitted to the CDDB:
This dialog might as well be worded like this:
If iTunes cannot immediately send the CD information due to lack of a network connection or because the CDDB server is busy, it should quietly wait until a network connection becomes available or attempt to send every few minutes until it can connect to the CDDB server. The user should be able to assume that the application will perform the task the user ordered it to — no confirmation is necessary.
I’d much rather the iTunes development resources be invested in eliminating existing interaction problems like pointless and/or poorly worded dialogs than creating new visual styles.
I’m meticulous about tagging my music and I know I’m not the only one, so I’d like to see some additional metadata infrastructure that would allow the structured storage of track personnel and instrumentation information.
Once this was in place, it could be used to build Smart Playlists based not just on the primary artist(s), but also who played on the recording. This is great if you want to focus on a particular musician who may be widely recorded, but not have any recordings under their own name.