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November 06, 2003
The iTunes Catalog is Cool
Ernie the Attorney points to a neat little program called the iTunes Catalog that lets iTunes users (Mac only) create a professional-looking catalog (including album cover art) of all your iTunes music in HTML of PDF formats (What's in your iTunes music catalogue?). You can check out a sample catalog taken from Ernie's collection here (Ernest's Library). I think this very cool (though I don't have an iPod).
However, a few questions/points:
First, why do you have to pay ($10) for this software? The HTML catalogs can easily be linked into the iTunes store, thus providing lots of free advertisement for iTunes and their licensed artists. I rather expect Apple and its now numerous rivals to provide this functionality in upcoming releases for free. Heck, I would imagine that they would host the catalogs free-of-charge.
Second, where is the easy ability to publish playlists and the associated software that will let me automatically download all the music to go along with someone's playlist that I trust? I have eclectic tastes in music, but generally I don't want to indiscriminately mix genres (discriminately mixing genres for a playlist is something else). Playlist functionality would be a useful addition to all these online systems.
Third, people always talk about the social benefits of Original Napster-like collection browsing. Doesn't software like this provide almost the same social benefits (and in some ways, more), while being fully legitimate?
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