When Music Engine normalized my ID3 tags, it changed band names and album titles beginning with "the" to "band name, the." So suddenly The Arcade Fire was listed as "Arcade Fire, The." That's fine. But when I played those tracks in ITunes, it noticed the updated ID3 tags and moved my Arcade Fire tracks to a new folder named "Arcade Fire, The." Actually, that worked fine, too. Then I headed back to Music Engine and tried to sync some of those tracks to a portable player and ran into a problem: Now Music Engine can't find the files because it's looking for them in the old (and now nonexistent) directory.
After I figured out what had happened, I fixed the problem by adding the files to Music Engine again in their new locations, but I'd prefer that I didn't have to. Hopefully a later version of Music Engine will be smart enough to automatically look for missing files in a logical place, or at least allow me to turn off the auto retagging feature. Until then, ITunes and Music Engine serve as a reminder of what can go wrong when programs don't work well together.
Well, the long-awaited MGM-Grokster decision finally came down a few weeks ago. Honestly, it was a bit of a bore. I'm sure we'll see a few new file-sharing apps that attempt to skirt the U.S. Supreme Court's new "active inducement" standard, but by now I think most of us are way past the illegal aspects of file sharing, anyway.
My colleague Anush Yegyazarian has already done a great, in-depth job of dissecting the ruling in her July Tech.gov column, so I won't burden you with a long-winded analysis.
Finally, have I mentioned Live Plasma yet? It's an intriguing visual way to find new music. Just type in an artist (or book or movie) that you like, and Live Plasma produces a map of related artists according to Amazon.com data. Check it out!
The Unforgettable Arm: Aimee Mann's latest disc, The Forgotten Arm, is another winner. Mann has always been one of our finest songwriters, but there's something extra special about the way she can make a song called "I Can't Help You Anymore" sound triumphant.