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February 14, 2011



Here is an example where I "made do" with the limitations of a piece of software. I was editing playlists in iTunes and dragged some songs onto the list. iTunes asked something like "those songs are already in the list. add them again as duplicates?" At the time I thought this was a ridiculous question. Why would you ever want duplicate songs in your playlist? A couple months later I bought a iPod Nano which didn't have enough space for all my music. So I built a playlist called "Nano Playlist" with a subset of my music. It turned out I still had lots of extra space on the Nano and wanted to browse the music that wasn't yet in the playlist to see what else to add. iTunes doesn't have the ability to query "all my music minus stuff in playlist x". So I created a playlist called "All my music" and put everything in it. I then dragged the contents of my Nano playlist onto it and answered "yes" to the "ridiculous" question about adding duplicates. I then used the iTunes feature to "show duplicates" and deleted all those duplicates. Voila! Now I could see all the music that wasn't yet in the Nano playlist and choose new music to add to it. I still wonder what Apple had in mind with the "add duplicates?" question since I really doubt they envisioned the steps I took to make use of it.

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