i Tunes, do you? Should i?

Cover Flow

I love music! It calms the mind in moments of stress, gives joy when needed, makes for good vibes in the background whilst working (try Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-minor) and of-course entices one to go crazy and dance. (To work of some of those calories we collected watching Games of Thrones laying on the couch like vegetables)

I listened to it every day until the tape broke and I had messed up the magnetics by rewinding certain parts into oblivion

Ever since I got my first sound blaster, in the early 90's, I've been blasting tunes into my life. It started with my Sony Radio Cassette Sound Blaster rocking my heart out on a (non-legal) tape of Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses. I listened to it every day until the tape broke and I had messed up the magnetics by rewinding certain parts into oblivion.

Soundblasters and Boomboxes are all nice being 12 years old but at a certain moment there was only one thing to do... buy audio components to build a proper sound system. Thus I saved all the money I could and spent it all (about $1000) on a proper system in an effort to make my parents go insane.

Kenwood-System

I think back of those blessed days, staring at Marantz, Denon, Harmon Kardon and other systems, only to come to the conclusion that buying a $2000 system is not a prudent thing to do when you are 14 and jobless. (I made most of the money repairing PC's for family and friends) Hence I opted for a nice affordable Kenwood system.

A receiver, tape-deck and CD-player (see image) hooked up to some giant old speakers were now my pride and joy when it came to owning technology.

How MP3 changed everything

Not having assembled a CD collection (I have no more then 15 CD's) after about a year my beautiful expensive system was producing more dust than actual sound. My carefully selected system, that was still pretty to look at, had become utterly useless... until I hooked it up to my PC using a wildly imaginative array of cables and plugs.

My carefully selected system had become utterly useless...
until I hooked it up to my PC

MP3 was the future, these wonderful 96 kbps files meant I no longer needed CD's and these archaic magnetic tapes to enjoy the only drug I had at the time. I started collection music and haven't stopped since, filling my hard-drives (these giant 750 Mb drives) until every available byte was part of some music (and/or porn) file. Slowly but surely I had a respectable collection that rivalled the amount of music most people had, between 50-100 CD's.

Winamp

To enjoy these files one needed some software and the pick of choice was something called... what was it's name again... Winamp, "it really kicks the lovers ass". (is what I made of that intro)

"Winamp, It really kicks the lovers ass."

A small and simple music player used by, well basically the entire world as far as I know.

I loved it's simplicity, making playlists was the easiest thing ever, and combined with ID Tags, Winamp gave for a wonderful experience in the early days. However, this file managing and sorting on a hard-drive was far from optimal for me. Especially since my collection had now grown into a 30 Gb+ Library and I frequently had gotten lost finding something.

Then there was iTunes

When I first used iTunes it was clearly more beautiful then anything I had used uptil that point and my eyes had been opened to a clean and easy-to-use interface for playing and organising all of my music. I no-longer had to leave my program to find strayed files or to embark on some odious clicking-adventure in search of some Britney Spears album. Not only was it a joy to use, I enjoyed the envious looks my friends gave me when they gazed upon my library.

I had literally spent weeks correcting album tag's, typing in correct song-titles, album names and even year of distribution whilst searching google for the correct album art (preferably 500 x 500 px) and since I only accept complete albums (that number had grown to over 800) it took me 1 hour a day for about 8 weeks to complete (no joke).

my eyes had been opened to a clean and easy-to-use interface for playing and organising all of my music

Itunes-topsmall_medium

Ever since that first week of amazement I never looked back. Some have said that Windows Media Player is just as good, others say iTunes sucks balls on a Windows system but since I made "the switch" years ago that has never been an issue for me. I love the look, only use it in fullscreen on the right of my fullscreen mail and with iTunes Match can access all my music on my iPhone. It is fast, I hate the equaliser pop-up that always seems to get lost on some other desktop, it has a good store and as far as I have noticed does not bog down my system at all.

Is my iTunes love-affair last century?

Yes I use iTunes and have been in love with it for a long time. I seem to get loads of negative comments about this. Almost as if I should feel ashamed I get all warm and fuzzy when I click that blue icon and watch my wall of album art appear in front of my eyes. So much in fact I am thinking there must be something I am missing that is far better and superior to use, or maybe I'm just plain crazy.

I get all warm and fuzzy when I click that blue icon and watch my wall of album art appear in front of my eyes.

The alternatives are far and few between and none of them have caught my eye in the same way iTunes did back in the day. There is: Songbird, Media Monkey, Amarok, Foobar, Fidelia and quite a few others that just look horrible in my opinion and even if they work very fast or intuitive I still need my eye-candy of album covers and a smooth interface.

Itunes Match

I hear you say "You should use Spotify" but I am simply not willing to pay a monthly fee for anything other then the gym.

If there is any program that is considered superior to my trusted iTunes I hereby hope to find it and get down from my iCloud to join the rest of you using the product I am clearly missing out of.

Or I will keep listening to my music the way I always have; In a sleek, sexy, beautiful program names iTunes, soon to be sprouting version 11.

19.888 Songs - 60,5 Days - 113,96 GB

Am I wearing pink glasses?