This is the location of the podServe blog posts published up to June 2015.

Welcome to the podServe blog, a selection of tips, tricks, comments and various other ramblings on the topic of CD ripping, digital music, streaming and all the things that go right and wrong in being entertained.

iTunes - The Hidden Gem?

We've had some huge CD ripping projects since Christmas, today we complete an 1800 CD music library. The last few tracks are making their way across to the NAS drive now. It's a huge library covering what seems to be everything in the popular and classical catalogue. So, how does the owner of such a large music library get to enjoy the full benefits of their music? Time for the hidden gem in the iTunes system.

The Genius playlist facility. Here (in overview) is how it works. Highlight a track you like, hit the Genius icon, and the intelligence of Apple's computers will create a playlist for you based on that track. Once done you can re-order the list, delete items, and of course save the list. Saving allows you to create another list and access the previous list from the menu. As with any intelligence Apple's genius learns, and you can prompt the system to update its analysis of your music when you add new tracks to your library.

If you log into the iTunes Music Store after the Genius function is enabled you'll notice their brain has assembled some new tracks you might like. Cynics will say this is just a merciless sales tool, others will find it a clever way to find new music.

But there's more .... Genius Mixes. After your library has been scanned the Genius brain will create a set of mixes for you, just hit the icon for a selection of your music in the theme shown on the mix label. All done for you, as if by magic.

Any down side? Although you don't have to pay to use Genius you do need and iTunes Music Store account which requires an Apple ID. That's a pretty simple process. When you switch on Genius you'll be taken through the Apple small print and you need to understand Apple will have some summary data about your music library. Apple doesn't use the data for anything other than this process and it doesn't collect any more personal data than this, but you do need to be aware of this. Also, the process takes time and data is exchanged over the internet so you'll need a link and maybe some patience.

Aside from that this strikes me as a great way to tackle big music libraries and uncover some great tracks nestling in the hidden recesses of your music vault. Give it a try.
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