17
June
2010

Entering the age of magic 13:56 on Thursday

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

I want my iTunes to learn from my behaviour and adjust to my taste: notice the tracks I skip, or when I always increase volume during certain tracks, or stop using my computer during certain tracks, etc. How iTunes uses this information doesn’t need to, or actually shouldn’t be disclosed to users. It should just work. Like magic.

The software in which you can tweak every setting is so 90s. The software you can peek into and see how it works is so 80s. The software you can build yourself is so 70s. Our technology should be more advanced than that. More like magic.

Take another widespread achievement of human technology, the car. The DIY types might appreciate old cars in which you can open the hood when you encounter a problem. But the casual user doesn’t mind that nowadays the whole engine sits inside a moulded plastic case, controlled by numerous computers and sensors connected to it. It just works. At this level “how” is irrelevant. It’s like magic.

3 Responses to “Entering the age of magic”

    Comments:

  1. Janne Says:

    Been using iTunes+last.fm for years. Last.fm’s radio now can very accurately pinpoint my taste in music. Now it’s even better, because whenever I listen to something specific from Spotify, last.fm learns of it and becomes better.

    Yeah, it’s good magic.

  2. Niko Says:

    Indeed. I’ve been a last.fm subscriber (3€/month!) for this year and I’m liking it a lot. One of the great features is that it weighs the recommendation radio based on what you’ve been listening to lately. One of my best combos was a glitch hop radio, with occasional baroque classical pieces and 80s synth pop. You can’t get that on radio. :D

  3. mtairas Says:

    Pandora is the best but not available in Europe.