Maybe it is just me, but the greatest personal benefit of web2.0 to me is not the “social” aspect, but the tagging. I am a digital pack-rat; I always have been. The problem with being a pack-rat in the paradigm of folder/file is actually finding the stuff. Folder hierarchy can get quite complicated quickly: if it is too broad, you can’t find anything; if it is too deep, you can’t find anything.

Solution: tagging.

Tagging allows a dynamic, infinite range of possibilities for storing information. A file (or shortcut) is not just relegated to one place where it collects dust from non-use, but can be robustly recalled by a search function. Related tags, such as used in del.icio.us aids the search even more.

I also love my iPod; iTunes is okay, but I have decided to stick with it because of its tight integration with the iPod. One problem has been its inability to tag songs. Now, before you rise up and declare the tons of metadata both the files contain and iTunes supports, what I mean by is tagging a folksonomy: like del.icio.us or last.fm.

Anyway, thanks to Merlin over at 43folders and smartplaylists.com, I am adding “smart” to my smart playlists in iTunes. (I had been using them, but even more so now.)

What I have found (with the help of the above-referenced sources) is that I an use the comment field in iTunes to populate each track with tags! Hooray!

For example, for the song “God of Wonders” (by Third Day, Caedmon’s Call, et al) I can tag it: “creation” “worship” “God”, then I can create a smart playlist based on one of those tags (of course, I would want to tag many songs to make this playlist worthwhile).

Previously, I had created a [dumb] playlist called “Hymns” wherein I had added songs to it that were, in fact hymns (call me crazy). Now, I can replace this dummy with its more intelligent cousin wherein it looks for any song thusly tagged “hymn.”

FABULOUS!

Now, I create a smart playlist called “_NeedTags” which is built using the following logic:

  • playlist is @1Music (this is a smart playlist containing all music; thanks 43f)
  • comment is blank
  • play count is greater than 2
  • last played is in the last 1 months
  • match all of the rules; live updating (a must)

This creates a playlist of songs without tags that I have actually listened to recently.

Now I just need to create some good playlists based on these tags…

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