itunes for the Android?
July 24, 2009 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Tips for mp3 sorting with the G1 (how to replicate iTunes heuristics)?

Back when I had an iPod + iTunes setup, I would connect my mp3 player, and it would automatically remove the songs that I had listened to, and replace them with new music.

This new music would be roughly:
1/3 songs that I loved (5 stars),
1/3 songs that I didn't hate (more than 2 stars) and also hadn't listened to in at least a month, and
1/3 songs that I had never heard before or hadn't rated.

What's the closest approximation to this that I can achieve with my G1? The key features are clearly not hardware-related, and the OS is open, so it should be really easy to replicate this, right? I certainly would not mind installing new software on my desktop, nor would I mind paying for the apps.

I'm currently using Meridian, which does support rating. However, I'm not sure how to update the mp3 file on my desktop after rating it on my phone automatically.
posted by Squid Voltaire to Technology (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, I suppose I should add that I'm running cupcake (firmware version 1.5) and that I love, love, love it. (Just got it on Wednesday).
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:53 AM on July 24, 2009

I don't have an answer for this, but I would love to piggyback on the question, as I do this for Podcasts, and would love to have already-listened-to ones removed automatically.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:46 PM on July 24, 2009

this feature is coming in Banshee, but I don't think it's there yet. Did you mention what OS you're running on you desktop? because I'm really only familiar with options on Linux. Some are working on porting Banshee to Windows
posted by jrishel at 2:28 PM on July 24, 2009

@blue_beetle, have you tried out the DoggCatcher app on android? it auto-deletes listened to podcasts, and does the podcatching directly on the phone.
posted by jrishel at 2:30 PM on July 24, 2009

Won't DoubleTwist just allow you to continue syncing with an iTunes Library?
posted by yesno at 2:42 PM on July 24, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, right, good point. Ideally I'd sync things with my work desktop, Windows. But if it's Linux-only, I could use my studio pc. Mac-only stuff wouldn't be useful, though, sadly. I'll certainly look into Double Twist, as it seems that Banshee has a bit to go, still.

Thanks, all!
posted by Squid Voltaire at 4:01 PM on July 24, 2009

Response by poster: Uh, is DoubleTwist going to do all that fancy ratings syncing stuff? The interface doesn't even seem to have an option to display song ratings...
posted by Squid Voltaire at 4:06 PM on July 24, 2009

DoubleTwist can use your existing iTunes library and playlists, and thus will pick up on any smart playlists (I think). But I don't think it'll actually "sync" in the way iTunes does, in terms of keeping ratings and playcounts in step between the devices. It just copies files onto the device, the way that most non-syncing mass storage media players do. Sorry for the confusion.
posted by yesno at 4:58 PM on July 24, 2009

The Android music player doesn't keep track of statistics (ratings/plays), so you're not going to be able to use that information.

That said, the iTunes library is just a big XML file, if you have some decent scripting skills you could easily create a program that would delete your low rated songs from the G1 (just mass storage) after reading your iTunes library and copy whatever criteria songs (new, top rated, high plays, etc) to the device.
posted by wongcorgi at 7:10 PM on July 24, 2009

Response by poster: So, to clarify, I am not interesting in non-syncing media players--I got plenty (WIMP, if nothing else).

In addition, I am well aware that the Android music player doesn't keep track of statistics. That was, in fact, the reason I was asking this question. I was hoping that someone might have a lead on a different android music player that did keep track of statistics (Meridian seems to do this) and a desktop-based (ideally Windows) app that would sync them.

As I mentioned, this doesn't seem to be any sort of hardware limitation (please let me know if it is, somehow?) and so there's nothing to stop someone from write just such an app. Have they?
posted by Squid Voltaire at 10:16 AM on July 27, 2009

one possible way around this is to use a music player on Android (such as tunewiki) that will report play info to (scrobbling)

then import the play information from back into your desktop player. There is a plug-in for Amarok that will do this. I've submitted a feature request so Banshee could implement this. I'm sorry I don't know of any Windows specific options.
posted by jrishel at 5:39 AM on July 28, 2009

I haven't tried this, but perhaps a combination of DoubleTwist to get the music on to Android, and and this import play count into iTunes script willl do the job for you?
posted by jrishel at 5:42 AM on July 28, 2009

Response by poster: jrishel, that sounds very promising, indeed! I'm a little shocked that there seem to be only two scrobbling apps out so far (Scrobble Droid and tuneWiki, although I haven't tried the latter).

So far Scrobble Droid only works with the default music player (I was liking but not loving Meridian) and is a little under-developed, but I'll try it and report back.

posted by Squid Voltaire at 2:36 PM on July 28, 2009

let us know if that works, Squid Voltaire.
posted by jrishel at 11:50 AM on July 29, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, awesome. That program jrishel linked to looked promising, but didn't work for me--I get the impression he's a hobbyist who got the thing worked on her system and then can't be bothered to bug fix it anymore (which is fair enough, if frustrating).

However, I did find this one (, which is much more bare bones, but seems to do the trick at least as far as play count goes. So now at least I'm not listening to the same stuff every day (well, I hope not--tonight's the first time I'll actually test it out using this new program).

Sadly, I haven't figured out any way to rate music on my G1 and have those ratings show up on my desktop. Still, this looks to be a lot better than nothing, thanks all!
posted by Squid Voltaire at 3:37 PM on November 13, 2009

Response by poster: Someone just me-mailed me for an update, so I thought I'd post my reply here for posterity.

Currently I'm using a perl program called LastFM2iTunes that can only be run via command line, which scrapes Last.FM and imports to iTunes. This means that all of my lastPlayed data is as much as a week out of date, because LastFM's api only allows access to the weekly played lists, not the up-to-the-minute ones.

Then I'm using a program called iTunes Agent to allow me to synch my iTunes playlists with my G1.

So that kind of sort of works, and is probably less trouble than it sounds. Of course, the default mp3 player on the G1 (and all of the non-defaults ones I've tried) is pretty terrible at figuring out what to play, so I still manage to hear the same song two or three times a day. Hardly the end of the world, of course, but irritating.

I think that the real thing to do is to write my own player that a) scrobbles directly to my own software (and scrobbles other data, like ratings and how often I skip it) and b) sticks each song into a "don't play this again, dammit" list, so that I don't wind up hearing Leonard Cohen three times in a row while lifting weights.

This is possible, but unlikely to happen any time soon.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 9:05 AM on March 12, 2010

It looks like there's a fairly new app called isyncr in the market that can do this all within itunes. So far it keeps track of playcounts, skipcounts, and last played times. It's a pay app. Here's more info on it from the developer.
posted by garlic at 6:13 AM on March 29, 2010

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