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Little suggestion #428

Also known as “it’s the little things that make me happy”, it’s time again for more unsolicited advice from consumer to manufacturer! Today’s adventure: faceted music classification. A dream of multiple genre tagging in iTunes, the iPod, and any other music–playing hardware or software on the planet.

It needn’t be fancy. It needn’t be a “feature” with an overblown user interface and too many checkboxes. Just allowing me to comma–delimit the genres in a textbox would be enough (there aren’t any genres that actually use commas, are there?), and it’d add a whole new dimension to the musical experience. OK, that’s exaggeration (whole new dimension. who buys this crap?), but being able to browse in comfort is a big step up. Who needs to remember whether they put Kylie Minogue’s latest number one under Dance or Pop? It’s both.

Suddenly I can label Men at Work’s seminal Down Under as —my god— Reggae and Australiana and (if I had been silly enough to buy Ringo Starr’s cover of the aforementioned classic because iTunes doesn’t stock Men at Work) Live Performance. William Shatner’s Common People, amusing as it is, could be tagged Spoken Word and Rock and Alternative and Cover and Pop. No need to cut corners deciding which category it most fits into; it fits them all, honey, embrace it. None of this silly “Alternative & Punk” bullshit for half my old CDs; I have a lot of Alternative music that isn’t Punk and a lot of Punk music I wouldn’t sully with the hackneyed label ‘Alternative’, so I’ll do as I please and have subgenres out the wazoo.

A little thing like a comma could be enough to, say, reinvigorate ‘genres’ as a useful means of classifying music; it could make “browse by genre” something you actually use. A little thing like a comma could change my whole world.

OK, enough of the hyperbole. I’m making myself gag.