Evernote. Prezi. SugarSync, Dropbox, YouSendIt. Instapaper, Google Reader. Google Calendar, Remember The Milk and Expensify. These are the tools that I can no longer live without in my multiple device, schedule-challenged, storytelling-producing/sharing world. And unlike say, five years ago, I “own” none of these outright as software tools on my computer. Rather, I “rent” most of them as premium packages on my computers, tablets and mobile phone. You see, I’ve decided to surrender control over data on my hard drive (for the most part) to the convenience of accessing my vitals “in the cloud.”
I’m beginning to think more seriously about the tools I use as I prepare to cover the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a journalist (it’s also an opportunity to promote the MCDM and the latest chapter of Storyteller Uprising to my other press credential-endowed colleagues).
So you’ll be hearing from me on this site over the next while commenting on subjects such as the Kindle Fire, 3D content, social TV — and how their impact on storytelling.
As part of this new consumer-centric focus on experimentation, I even went as far as to upload my music library to the recently launched iTunes Match and Google Music platforms. That’s a pretty big step for me. I have 13,215 songs in my library, which represents around 70% of my CD library (I generally prefer to own the physical container of my media — whether they be music or movies). It was a painful ordeal: it took 36 hours to match and upload almost my entire library to iTunes. Google Music’s free service was more temperamental, and much slower, because you need to upload each and every eligible song to its servers (iTunes cross-references your music with its database and only uploads the ones from your library that it doesn’t already sell, but it’ll cost you $25 a year for the privilege of accessing your music on any iOS device). It took roughly four days to get Google Music up and running, with the 12,626 songs that made it.
(For a more thorough comparison of the various “music locker” services, including Amazon’s, read this.)
So far, I’ve yet to really play with my iTunes Match library on my Apple TV or iPad. That’s because Google Music is far more readily available to me through my Android-powered Galaxy S2 phone, or any browser — including those on my OS X and iOS devices.
That said, I only did this for convenience. I’m an utter audio snob, and prefer to listen to high-resolution music as FLAC files or via their physical containers (SACD, DVD-A, Blu-Ray) on high-end Sennheiser headphones. I’m just not sure that’ll endear me to anyone at CES.