Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Last year, I blogged about how one of my favorite DJs from my DJ stint in Chicago back in the 80s, Jeff Pazen, filled up a Nano with music and made a few great playlists for me. They were playlists by club, year and tone. I nearly stopped carrying my iPod around and just carried the Nano picking the playlist that best suited my mood. It was like playing that favorite DJ tape over and over again.

The problem was, the iTunes Music Store music was registered under Jeff's name. In other words the Nano was "loaned" to me, so I didn't really own the music. I could listen to it directly from the Nano, but on on my computer or elsewhere. When I played the Nano through the computer, it would get stuff on the licensed music. I started buying the songs from the music store, one by one by hand. Then I noticed that there was an operation that said it would convert the ownership to me and copy over the songs with my copies. I, stupidly, thought it would be a fast way for me to purchase the songs on the playlists that I didn't own. Instead of doing that, it "reset" the Nano to an empty state. I was devastated.

As Tower Records Japan says, "no music, no life." So content I had been with the Jeff Nano, I hadn't been playing with that much lately so I decided to fire it up. Congrats guy on a great redesign. I fell back in love with which saved my day. I had left the comfy familiarity of the Nano and enjoyed wandering along a sometimes annoying but fun and eclectic musical journey.

Browsing the playlists of various people I know or saw, I realized how different my taste was from many people I know and like. One in thing that struck me was how even after almost 20 years, Jeff's taste in music, even the new stuff, hit the spot for me and was perfect. Somehow, during my immersion in the music scene, my musical taste was set on some trajectory that included cycles. Somehow I am still in sync with Jeff. I'm not sure what this means exactly, but I found it interesting.

As I sat listening to radios of various people, I realized that continuing this process for a long time would make your "taste" appear similar to theirs and you would eventually show up in their neighborhood on as someone with similar taste. This would be a kind of weird stalking method if you were obsessed with someone enough to listen to their music collection all day every day. ;-P

Conversely, I won't say who, but looking at their music, I realized how difficult it would be to hang out with them too long even though I consider them my friend. I don't think I could ever take a road trip with someone who didn't share any favorite artists with me.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I'm an investor in


It sounds like a great idea, but since doesn't see my Captain Beefheart songs and doesn't know about the Bollywood music I listen too... I will probably end up in the wrong neighborhood. :-(

Even if the song or artist isn't in the database for playback, it will find other people with the same musical taste I think. The problem is that if the music isn't in the radio database you won't get it queued into the radio stream.

Nah, sometimes says 'Not currently listening' while I _am_ listening to a track, or it will stay stuck at the previous track. Happens consistently with some tracks.

Hmm... Weird.

Joi, good news.. I have a backup of that Nano sitting right here. No joke. 3.5Gig...
Michiel, are you using the latest client or one of the updated 3rd party "scrobblers"?

Using 1.0.1 for Mac OS X 10.4

All tracks with an artist name that include '&' are skipped. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band. Pfffh.

I bought a 60gig from someone with 10,000 songs loaded onto it. When I got it home I found that most of the good stuff was locked by the licensing. Bummer! I then accidentally(yeah right) deleted all the songs at once which unintentionally corrupted the drive.

I took it back and apple gave me a new one. Every cloud has a silver lining. Phew!

LastFm is a great idea. In the world of infinite content, digital natives will have the world as their reference point and one big question "where to start?".

Yeah, ist great. I'm a member since Jan 2005 and still using it :)

and yet they all are presnet and accounted for in their database:
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention
Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band

Perhaps check the Client Support Forum.
There are also lots of 3rd party apps and plugins and such which do a better job of "disappearing in the background" or otherwise enhancing your music player and do the "audiscrobbler thing". I use Menuet myself.

We should compare MP3 folders sometime. ;)