The play-count function in iTunes is sort of useful to me. My default Smart Playlist extracts the 500 tracks (of 6,001) that haven’t come up lately, and I impose a ceiling on play count (currently 25) so the numbers eventually create the illusion of evening out.
I know if I’ve listened to the songs. It is not important if the program knows it. This is the sort of anal-retentive nonsense computers force on us, a clear violation of what we know to be true and what the machine knows. Right? I mean, why is it important for the machine to validate what I know to be a fact? Does it matter that I know I’ve listened to Eddie Cochran’s “Sittin’ in the Balcony” at least three times in my life, but the machine — its memory and experiences born anew when I did a clean install and a fresh import of the songs — stubbornly believes the tune has never once been summoned? Who the hell is this computer to tell me I’ve never listened to “Oliver’s Army” by Elvis Costello?
My current count on “Oliver’s Army”: twenty-four. You can score that as anal-retentive nonsense.
Just for the hell of it, here are eight tracks — not to be confused with 8-tracks — that as of this morning had never been played on this box:
- Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
- Alex Band, “Without You”
- Arcade Fire, “Modern Man”
- Lee DeWyze, “Sweet Serendipity”
- Fierce Bad Rabbit, “All I Have Is You”
- Finger Eleven, “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me”
- Ingrid Michaelson, “Soldier”
- Train, “Marry Me”
As Eddie Cochran never said, there ain’t no cure for the shuffle-track blues.