Create Smart Playlists in iTunes to Find Forgotten Tracks

I’m a big fan of discovering new music. I really miss my XM radio that I had for years in the mid-00’s. But recently I realized that my own music collection – compiled from plenty of iTunes purchases, Amazon.com purchases, and mostly from my historic grunge rock CD collection – was full of tunes that I’d neglected. Okay, it’s true, most albums have a ton of junk in them, but every now and then a deep track pops up that is totally fresh to the ears and really makes my day: “Holy crap, that’s a great song that I’ve owned for like 15 years!”

So, I started playing around with iTunes’ Smart Playlists, and I wanted to share a couple that I’ve built. I think they’re handy, and a great way to discover tracks lurking in your collection.

The two Smart playlists that I’ve created are Never Played and Occasionally Played. Setting up Smart playlists in iTunes is pretty easy. Continue reading Create Smart Playlists in iTunes to Find Forgotten Tracks

Why Amazon’s Change is Important

Updated [7/3]:¬†Angel Djambazov had an excellent writeup at GeekWire titled “A Guide to Why Amazon is Losing the Tax Battle” that I had to include in this post. Go check it out, it’s well worth the read.

It’s been a busy day or two for affiliate marketers… I caught this tweet earlier, and wanted to add my commentary.

Danny SullivanDanny Sullivan – @dannysullivan
106 comments later, people really have a lot of opinions on the Amazon Affiliates closing in California, it seems. Whew http://bit.ly/jBZxOX

Danny’s argument is that Amazon is in the wrong here – by not giving enough fair warning to affiliates, and then by not just owning up to the issue by just paying the taxes. Though I agree with him that the warning provided by Jeff Bezos was virtually instant and therefore not very helpful, I disagree with him wholeheartedly on the “just pay the taxes” argument.

Furthermore, I think my real issue with Amazon’s termination of their program lies in the fact that they could have changed their existing referral model to a CPM or CPC program virtually instantly, thereby providing CA-based affiliates at least some value in retaining their referral links (until they moved their physical location). Seems to me that the issue here was based on commission-based sales referrals. But would the law still affect people who were reclassified and compensated as marketing partners?

ReveNewsReveNews – @Revenews
New Post: Commission Junction Responds To California’s New Nexus Law http://t.co/2HcL2UU

Though there’s not a whole lot of detail, Commission Junction (a massive player in the affiliate marketing industry) obviously sides with Amazon’s argument. There’s a strong sentiment that this isn’t a “net-zero” activity – ie: a loss of income-tax revenue is offset by the increase in tax collection. Instead, it appears that the expectation on the part of affiliate managers and merchants is that this will lead to a vacuum of revenue – fewer sales, fewer commissions, and fewer programs willing to undertake the task of coordinating 50-states worth of tax law headaches.

And that, by the way, is the crux of Amazon’s argument. A business such as theirs should be governed by the state(s) they directly operate in, as well as the federal government as the group charged with the responsibility of interstate commerce. If Amazon left their program open, they’d set precedent that they really don’t want to make.

Apple is kicking RIM’s Ass

If you’re wondering whether or not APPLE is going to be a good growth buy, or if RIMM done, I think it’s pretty clear the answer is that Apple wins on almost all sides.

Katie RoofKatie Roof – @Katie_Roof
RT @JonErlichman: 3 years ago, #Apple’s market value was 2X Research in Motion. Today, it’s 20X $RIMM. #signofthetimes $AAPL $$

Jon brings up a great point – Apple is just trouncing Research in Motion on every front. I think it’s pretty clear that RIM is a buyout contender right now. Great reference Katie.

I can say, even from personal experience, the Playbook tablet is a pretty solid example of how poorly RIM is able to compete right now. It took me nearly 3 weeks to successfully sell a brand new 16GB Playbook, and even for a new product like that (currently advertised on TV even!), the best price I could manage to move it for was around $350… Continue reading Apple is kicking RIM’s Ass

Why Artists Need To Think Like Startups

Over the past week, I’ve been buried in development work (both code & business), and like I so often do when I’m tethered to my computer – I’ve sought out some new music to jam me through my days. Now sure, I’ll be the first to admit that apparently my taste in music is somewhat limited – I can typically find music I like in the “clearance” bin at Amoeba records (when I make it up to the bay). I am a bay area kid of the 80’s and 90’s, and my taste in music is probably stuck in some sort of post-Nirvana, “classic”-Soundgarden phase that will stay with me forever.

But when I look around at the music choices that are available to me today, I don’t see an abundance of real revenue-focused innovation. I see the same games being played as they were a decade ago. Continue reading Why Artists Need To Think Like Startups

Game of Thrones is totally out of control!

This is a post about GOT…

Game Of Thrones Game Of Thrones – @GameOfThrones
“I have never been nothing. I am the blood of the dragon.” WATCH Recap: http://itsh.bo/kUZfg3 #gameofthrones #baelor

This past episode was wild!

Leonardo FerreiraLeonardo Ferreira – @leualemax
RT @GameOfThrones: “SPOILER ALERT: Fans Grieve a Major Character Online” READ: http://itsh.bo/lQsHQe #gameofthrones #baelor

Totally can’t believe they killed off NED!

8 Business Card Design Thoughts

Last week, I realized that my new startup, DashboardLabs (DBL), was going to need a little bit of self-promotion. I had back-to-back-to-back networking opportunities between SANG, TEDx, and SMMOC, so I knew I was going to want to build at least a basic business card to hand out. Fortunately, Staples does same-day business card printing (not great card stock, but good enough for rush work) so I set out to engineer a business card.

It occurred to me that I’ve created a lot of business cards over the years, so I decided I’d share a little bit about the assumptions and things I’ve learned in those processes. Continue reading 8 Business Card Design Thoughts

That First Blog Post

Ahh, so this is that first blog post. I’m staring at a brand new WordPress installation and saying to myself, “What important & worldly knowledge should I share first?” Well, since I obviously have no worldly knowledge to share, I guess I’ll just espouse on what I want this site for.

Over the past few years, I’ve found myself writing less and less. It’s not a result of lack of topics or ideas, it’s simply that I haven’t carved out the time to sit and write. I’m certain I’m not the only one. Continue reading That First Blog Post