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A love letter to my iTunes music library

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The Briefing

Dear iTunes libary,

I hear you’re planning some big changes to our rela­tion­ship and I wanted to write this letter to tell you that I under­stand. We have been growing apart for many years. And while I don’t think you’ll ever really be gone from my life, I think we both need to face up to where our rela­tion­ship is now, what it means, and what we’re going to do for each other moving forward.

We’ve been together for a long time now, haven’t we? This must be one of the most sig­ni­fic­ant rela­tion­ships of my life. You’ve been with me through bad times I thought would never end and good times I thought would never begin. I love you. Or rather, I loved you. We became increas­ingly distanced, and I take some respons­ib­il­ity for that.

I just don’t know who you are any more. I don’t even know where you are.

Remember the time I attempted to use something called Tunespan to split you into more man­age­able chunks, but got confused about where all the chunks were, and which bits of which of them were in the cloud, on my laptop or on a hard drive? That was my fault. I thought I was making things better, but I just made them worse. I started to resent you for something that wasn’t your fault. I guess I just felt insecure about the size of my hard drive.

But you also need to take some respons­ib­il­ity for what happened. Do you remember when you intro­duced me to iTunes Match? You changed that day. Parts of you suddenly looked different. Parts of you sounded different. You were never the same and neither was our rela­tion­ship. I couldn’t trust you any more. I remember how com­fort­able I felt back in the early days of our rela­tion­ship, when I knew exactly where you were and what you were doing. Suddenly, when I didn’t know where you were, I found myself panicking. Maybe this says more about me than it does about you. But I think it def­in­itely says things about you.

You tried again, didn’t you? You tried to make sense of yourself when you came up with Apple Music to put some spice back in the rela­tion­ship. But I didn’t know if bits or all of you were still in iTunes Match. Is some of you still in iTunes Match, or are you all in Apple Music? Are the bits of you in Apple Music still the bits I ori­gin­ally held on my hard drive, or are some of them auto­mat­ic­ally replaced songs with the wrong artwork?

I think perhaps, in the more recent years of our rela­tion­ship, I wanted you to be one thing, and you wanted to be something else. Or, rather, you wanted to be lots of other things. I didn’t ever love you for your apps, or your streaming services, or your movies or your radio stations. I started to miss the music library I fell in love with. I loved you for what we built together. You were so beautiful when we met. So confident. What happened?

Well, yes, I know you were doing all that other stuff because I’d started seeing Spotify, and again I take respons­ib­il­ity. If you hadn’t feared losing me, you might not have tried so hard to win me back, and you might not have lost sight of who you really were.

We had some good times though, didn’t we? I remember those endless days we spent together: ripping CDs I didn’t even like, burning CD-Rs and printing out sleeves. Remember the time I found a hack to give things half-star ratings? That was a great day. I loved you so much that I even tried Ping when you offered it to me. I accept, too, that at times I was too demanding. There was that time you got yourself a brand new logo and I said I hated it. And the time I com­plained about not being able to see the full title of Mini Viva’s Left My Heart In Tokyo. I can’t criticise you for not loving who you were when I, too, refused to accept you as you were.

I’m writing this letter now because I’ve heard you’ve got some changes planned for how we’ll be seeing each other in the future. I really hope we can make it work, because I do miss you, and while I know things can never be the same I do still want the old you back. I think you do too.

Hopefully, sometime soon, you can be yourself once more. And I’ll be able to love you all over again.

Give you give you more give you more give you give you more

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