One Part Funk and Three Parts Groovy

My computer, which had served me well for many years and across two continents, kicked the bucket a few weeks back. And it was rather sudden, so I had to move fast in choosing a replacement. I think I got a good one though, a beast of a machine from a local gaming PC shop called G-Tune. It plays games super great, audio editing is faster than ever, and it’s by far the quietest PC I’ve ever had. I love it.

But it really can’t play music all that well.

Although I suppose that’s really not the computer’s fault. In this situation, iTunes is entirely to blame. On my old PC, I never updated iTunes, I think I was rocking a three or four-year-old version of the program. And it was a slog and slow as hell and had all kinds of problems, but it played music well, and that was kind of the point.

On my new machine, with the newest version of iTunes, music sounds like shit. If I have just a handful of applications running, it starts to pop and crackle, almost non-stop. And I’ve tried mucking about with various settings, both in Windows and in iTunes, all to no avail.

So I thought I would try some alternative programs. The first one that I gave a try was MusicBee. I had heard good things, and it was supposed to be easy to use. And it was at first, but how that programs handles rips (or any new files in my library for that matter) is just atrocious. Simply put, they don’t seem to show up, at least, not in a matter that I would deem punctual. I add an album and have to wait several minutes for all the songs to propagate in my library. And when I would play new songs the song order would get all wonky for no damn reason. Every problem I had with the program just seemed nonsensical and beyond hope. Fuck it.

Now I’m trying MediaMonkey. Allegedly, this program is made special to handle super-large media libraries. In my experience so far, that hasn’t been the case. Constant hangups and lag whenever I try to sort anything. And searching my library often creates delays as well. The interface is just a clusterfuck. So hard to make your way around anything.

Can anyone out there recommend a media manager/music player that just fucking works? One that makes adding new media easy. One that can rip CDs. One that allows me to make playlists and gives me plenty of sorting options. I don’t even care if I have to pay for it. I have no problems paying for a program that works!

Suggestions would be welcome, thanks.

Sheila E.
Glamorous Life Medley
This is from a German 12″ single and includes truncated versions of “The Glamorous Life,” ‘Sister Fate” and “A Love Bizarre.” Medleys are sometimes good, it’s like getting a concentrated version of your favorite artist. And any excuse for me to post more Sheila E. is a good thing.

Pizzicato Five
The Audrey Hepburn Complex (Extended Stanley Donen Mix)
The 59th Street Bridge Song – Feelin’ Groovy (Club Mix – Night Owl)
Let’s Go Away For Awhile (Club Mix – Cafe Bizarre)
I haven’t talked about Pizzicato Five much, I think I’ve only written about them once on this blog. Truth be told, I don’t know all that much about them. They were kinda-sorta a little popular in the States for a brief period in the 90s, but they’ve actually been around much longer than that. They’re almost contemporaneous with YMO, with their first releases coming out in the mid-80s.

This is actually their very first single, and it really sounds ahead of its time, in an entirely retro kind of way. I mean, it’s ahead of its time in what it’s references, that mainly being music from the 60s and 70s. They were definitely throwing back to that retro sound before it was cool. Their jazzy club sound is certainly more reminiscent of acts from the 90s, with Saint Etienne being the most obvious comparison.

This shit is groovy, that’s what it is. Makes sense, as the Shibuya-Kei scene from which they came was heavily influenced by 60s and 70s pop music (I mean, one of these tracks is a Simon & Garfunkel cover after all). PIzzicato Five own some Leslie Gore albums I know it.

5 Responses to “One Part Funk and Three Parts Groovy”

  1. KevM says:

    Thanks for Pizzicato 5, I really enjoyed them in the mid-90’s with Baby Love Child etc.

    Re music player/manager, I was having similar problems. I’m trying a lightweight player Winyl from it’s been OK so far.

  2. Stephen says:

    Dig the Pizzicato Five. Their tunes with a lounge-jazz feel are my favorites.

    Audio programs.
    I’ve hated every version of iTunes I’ve ever tried over the past decade and change. They’ve all been bloated, slow, intrusive, and unintuitive.

    I used to use a tiny stripped-down program called “Z!”. It played MP3 and OGG files, and Internet streams, and did nothing else. I loved it, but now its abandonware.

    At present I’m using Audacious. It doesn’t rip CDs, but I have K3b for that.
    I’ve pretty happy with it. It’s fairly small and light, and I like its easy navigability and unobtrusiveness compared to progs like iTunes and Armarok. I’m using it under Linux, but I see there’s a Windows version.

  3. Jason K says:

    I gave up on “bigger” programs and use Winamp mostly with a little itunes thrown in there at the office, but I don’t load up players with more than a few hundred songs or catalogue like you would. Post if you find something!

  4. Walt says:

    I’ve been using MusicBee for years after abandoning the increasingly awful iTunes and I find it really good. The ripping issue might be that it places them in the “Inbox” before the main library, but I think that’s a step you can override in the settings.

  5. BabyLotti says:

    Thanks for the Sheila E (and everything else you’ve ever put up here!)
    I personally use Foobar2000, an open source player, it’s great for FLAC rips, takes a little setting up but is my only media player now.
    I had iTunes about 15 years ago & it fucked me off so much I will never use an Apple product again! I used to use Creative Media source, it was brilliant, which I think has morphed/merged with MS Media player (so that’s out as an option)

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