Monthly Archives: January 2004

I Want To Script iTunes and Transcode RealAudio

I’d like to get things set up so I can run daily jobs to pull down periodical audio content from the web and pump it into iTunes for use on my iPod.

Unfortunately, iTunes on windows isn’t very scriptable, and far too much content is delivered in RealAudio format, which isn’t the most amenable for transfer.

I need to look into scriptable utilities for capturing and perhaps transcoding real-audio streams.

Sure, choosing for your domain name is cute if your name is Mike Rowe, and sure, you get a lot of free publicity when Microsoft comes after you for infringing on its trademark, but is it really a good domain name for a business?

I mean, the whole reason its cute, is that its a homonym for the name of a very prominant company in roughly the same industry and the problem with homonyms is that they can be confusing. So, if Mike Rowe verbally communicates his website address to someone they are pretty likely to think he said “,” at which time they will probably decide he is being a smart ass, and isn’t interested in their business. Or, perhaps they know that his name is “Mike Rowe,” only they think it might be spelled “Roe.”

Its just not a good name for a business website.

How the iTunes Music Store Sucks

I just wrote a longish post on how the Apple iTunes music store sucks, and blogger seems to have dropped it in the bit bucket, so here are a few points without a lot of elaboration.

1. Spotty selection. I mean really spotty. Looked up the Clash, or 14 albums, only 2 were available in their entirety. Looked at London Calling, an album originally released as a two album set at a nice price; an album listed at #8 on Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time. Only two songs were available.

2. No way to browse or search by Label. Labels used to matter, think Motown, Atlantic, or more recently (but not too recently) IRS, fuckin’ SST, Two Tone. It is in Apple’s interest that labels matter again, that new labels emerge, based around an on-line distribution model like iTMS, that gives Apple a decent cut. Instead, Apple give’s labels the scantest visibility.

3. No wishlist. Until you sign up for the service, you can’t set aside songs you might want to buy, and yet people might be reluctant to go to the trouble of signing up for the service unless they have enough songs they want to buy to make it worth while. Apple should make it easy for them. Apple should also make it easy for teens (and everyone else) to publish a list of tracks they want and enable their friends to buy it for them. This giving of small gifts holds groups togeather, especially groups of geographically disprersed teens who keep in touch through blogs, chat rooms and instant messages (ie the vanguards of digital consumptions). Apple should become entwined in their culturee. Instead, they have the cool, but very paternal “allowance” concept.

More to come, I’m sure.