A Time to Kill iTunes
M.G. Siegler

Here’s the deal. I have a lot of music. A LOT of music. I was waiting for the iPod and iTunes to be invented so that I could free my living room from being buried in vinyl, magnetic tape, aluminum disks, and stereo equipment. And being able to squeeze all that music into a mere 150gb on my hard drive was nothing short of amazing. Still is.

But let’s face it, I don’t listen to all 13,000 songs all the time. I have maybe 2000 favorites that I play on a regular basis. And going back to my days of making mixtapes on cassettes (remember those?), I use playlists to organize them and sync them to my iPod and iPhone.

Streaming? Yeah…like I have an unlimited data plan. Besides, there goes the carefully crafted playlist I made for this particular roadtrip.

Streaming? Yeah…like I didn’t read “1984” in 8th grade. I know that the RIAA giveth and the RIAA taketh away, blessed be the name of the RIAA. Songs I stream could disappear someday when some artist or record company decides they don’t want me to be able to play it anymore. Songs I download and own are like diamonds…they’re forever.

And I’ll tell you what I hate…Apple’s iOS Music app. It assumes that everyone’s streaming, and makes you jump through fiery hoops in order to just play the music that you’ve synced to your device. I’m so glad someone turned me on to Cesium. Now I never have to use the Music app again. iTunes, however…well, that remains the repository of all the music that’s sitting on my hard drive, and the way I create playlists for various occasions and reasons…not just the Christmas playlists or the road trip playlists or the getting in 10,000 steps a day playlist, but the playlists of songs based on the names of girls, the playlists of Beatles covers, the playlists of songs where Song B has at least one word in it from the title of Song A. Stream that!

Yes, streaming may be convenient in that you can get the song you want *right now*, but I grew up in a generation where the closest we had to that was the call-in radio dedication show, where you might get to hear your song and you might now. If I don’t have the song on my iPhone right now, I’ll live until I get home, download it to my laptop, and add it to my playlist of over 2000 favorites…a playlist which feeds my Smart Playlist of four hours worth of favorites that haven’t been played within the last 90 days.

Remember, just because the “cool kids” don’t want to download and own music anymore doesn’t mean that there’s no value in it for others.