I Want To Create A Replacement For iTunes

Sometimes I wish that I had studied computer programming instead of magazine journalism. I mainly have this feeling when I have to deal with iTunes, a program I hate but that I can’t find a good alternative to.

I wish that I had mastered computer programming so that I could create an iTunes replacement that not only organizes the crazy amount of music I have but also lets me track and rate music I listen to that’s not on my computer.

There must be a better way
There must be a better way


Increasingly, I find myself streaming music instead of downloading it. Part of me prefers this method because it means I don’t have to fuss around with downloading a track or worry about the space it’s taking up on my computer (I have 250 GB of space on my MacBook; over half of it is filled with music and I have additional tracks on an external hard drive). But it’s hard to get a handle on all of those streamed tracks since they are on so many different platforms (YouTube, Soundcloud, BandCamp, HillyDilly, Hype Machine, various blogs, you get the point).

Recently, I’ve been trying to use the site Minilogs to essentially bookmark songs that I stream and like. But it’s a buggy site that has a variety of issues. It also doesn’t connect at all with the songs on my computer.

If I could, I would create an improved version of iTunes that tracks your streamed songs and connects to your various streaming sites, whether they are free like HillyDilly or paid like Rdio. This way, all of your listening habits and preferences would be saved in one spot.

While you would have the option to see songs organized via platform, you could also see say, the last 25 tracks listened to, regardless of whether you were listening via your YouTube account or someone on your hard drive or your SiriusXM subscription. You would also be able to rate tracks and organize them into playlists, again, regardless of platform.

Now, you wouldn’t be acquiring a song that you were listening to on say, Rdio. Instead, the program would simply be recording the meta data and, if allowed via the platform, the link so that you could play that song on demand. If an artist suddenly pulled out of Rdio, you would no longer be able to hear that artist via any of your saved Rdio links for that particular artist. But you would at least have a record that you gave that artist’s now pulled song five stars and had it on your “Let’s Dance” playlist.

My fictional music organizer would save you from having to jump around from platform to platform and would give you maximum access to your full music library. It would also be quick and highly intuitive to use. Unlike iTunes, which is ugly to look at and to use, my program would be sleek and would have an emphasis on letting you decide how much information you wanted to see. It would also be a breeze to add new music, whether it be a specific song, or a new music platform account, or delete duplicate songs.

There could also be a whole social aspect that would let people share playlists and explore libraries, but let’s not get a head of ourselves.

This is one of the images that pops up when you Google image search for "music brain free"
This is one of the images that pops up when you Google image search for “music brain free”

I realize that the program I’m describing would have its challenges since the web isn’t always about everyone playing nice and sharing info. But hey, Rdio has an API and so do YouTube and SoundClound so that’s something. If only I knew how to code so I could take advantage of those features.

Maybe I could teach myself? Though that does seem rather ambitious.

At least I have a name for my program: Cerveau. It’s French for brain since this program would be like a brain for your music.

How does something like Cerveau not already exist? Or is creating such a program way harder than I’m picturing?


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