It’s the day after New Year’s Day, and an official holiday, since yesterday was Sunday. This is the best kind of holiday, since there’s really no expectations that go along with that. (All that stuff happened yesterday.)
So I had some grand (but vague) plans around spending the day in front of the TV watching movies. But that didn’t happen. I spent some time this morning reviewing my finances from 2022 and making plans for 2023. I ran some reports out of Quicken, set up some reminders in Evernote. That kind of thing. So that was useful, and necessary.
But then I got the idea that I should look into organizing my Apple Music stuff. Now that’s a pointless rabbit hole, and I know that. But I found this article about the app MusicBox, on MacStories, and decided that I was going to buy it, and then use it to clean up all of my “listen later” notes. And, well, now it’s 4 PM, and I have 200 albums saved to MusicBox.
I started out by going through my Pinboard account, looking for Apple Music and Bandcamp links that were marked as unread. I found about 100 of them, and added them to MusicBox. For Apple Music links, it was easy. You can just copy the link into MusicBox, and it’ll add it. For Bandcamp links, it was a little harder. I think MusicBox is supposed to work with Bandcamp links, but I wanted to have them in there as Apple Music links, so I would search for the album in question in Apple Music, then share the URL into MusicBox. That all took about an hour.
Next, I went through my list of “interesting music” in Evernote. That was just basically a bulleted list. For some of the albums, I had the Apple Music URL there; for some, just the artist and album name. For the ones with URLs, I copied them all into a text editor, cleaned them up a bit, then imported them into MusicBox all at once. For the others, I searched for them in Apple Music, then used the share button to get them into MusicBox. That also resulted in about 100 albums added, and took about an hour.
I also have a habit of finding something interesting on my iPhone and just taking a screenshot of it. So, finally, I went through all of my screenshots and found another 15 or 20 albums to add to MusicBox. For those, of course, I had to search for the albums in Apple Music and then add them with the share button.
So I’ve got a total of 216 albums in there now. (Mostly albums; a few singles too.) I’m not sure what kind of workflow I’ll use to listen to them and determine what to do with them. MusicBox supports tags, so I should probably create an “added” tag for stuff I’ve added to my library. And maybe a “meh” tag for stuff I listened to, but didn’t like that much? (By the way, I was using the macOS client for all of this organizational work, not the iOS client.)
I feel pretty good about having cleaned up the mess I had in Pinboard, Evernote, and my photo library. But I’m not sure if MusicBox is really going to turn out to be much better. I think it will.
I’m a little worried about the fact that MusicBox doesn’t seem to have an export function. If I decide I want to ditch it and try something else, it’ll be a pain to move it all.
And it’s a bit inconvenient that it doesn’t have either a web interface or a Windows client. It only works on iOS and macOS. So it’s not going to be terribly useful when I’m sitting at my PC. I guess I can continue to use Pinboard as an intermediate place to store links, if I come across them on my PC.
Overall, I think MusicBox is going to be a good organizational tool for me. Maybe I need to loosen up a bit on looking at music as a to-do list, but I think I’m just wired that way. I’ve got my “want to read” shelf in Goodreads, and my Kindle wishlist in my Amazon account, and my Netflix queue, and so on and so forth. I don’t think I’m going to change into a happy-go-lucky guy who just picks stuff at random to watch/read/listen to.