Friday, February 16, 2007


I didn’t know MSN would display my iTunes songs!

I use MSN Messenger for my contacts. It works pretty well and I’ve created groups for friend and work contacts. I’ve fiddled with the options and fonts and colors and I find it works for me pretty well. I have set up messenger windows so my friends show up in their own colored window. I know lots of people use Trillian or some other type of multi-service application but MSN has worked for me. Recently MSN has started a beta program where I can actually contact people using Yahoo messenger right through my MSN. I expect that more and more messenger clients will trend towards universal availability.

I also use iTunes. I love iTunes. I think it’s a killer app especially since I also have an iPod that I also love. For several months I didn’t have an iPod and it drove me nuts. I listen to it in the car and every once in a while when falling asleep. I am thrilled with the ability to have ALL my music with me in once convenient package. The Apple DRM model I’m not thrilled with especially with respect to the movies and TV shows available on their site. If I buy a video I don’t want to be restricted on where I’ll play it back so I will stick with DVDs as my purchases for now since they are easily converted to play on my iPod or computer or where ever I want to but the reverse is most definitely not true. That, though, is a thought for another day.

MSN Messenger has a spot for a personal message that you can type in that to share with all of your contacts. I love this idea as a method of customizing the experience and sharing how you are feeling right now. I love these but I really have a hard time when it comes to typing in my own. For a while I had “cuddly yet astringent”. This was from a comment that someone made to me that I enjoyed. I’ve tried movie quotes and song quotes but filling out that blank box is almost as hard as coming up with a name for a character for me. I usually just leave it blank.

MSN Messenger, like lots of IM clients has a “Show What I’m Listening To” button. I’ve seen it used before by people in my contact list. Their personal message would display the name of the song that was currently playing on their computer and the artist that is performing it. I always looked at that option while agonizing over what to put in my personal message space and wish it would work with my iTunes. HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART: I never tried it – I just wished it would work for me. I made the assumption that it would not since I was using a Microsoft IM client and an Apple music player.

HERE IS THE POINT OF THE IMPORTANT PART: I was wrong. It totally works together. I never even tried and just moped about wishing it would work for me without finding out. I was astounded the other day when I turned it on and it worked. I didn’t have to tell it what my music player was or anything it just worked!

As a person I have a tendency to get stuck in a rut doing things one way and one way only. I am reasonably risk adverse and definitely a comfort seeker so doing things the usual way usually feels good to me.

The experience of MSN Messenger and iTunes just WORKING together when I never thought they would is a good lesson for me. Try things. It’s ok. Sometimes they will work and I’ll be pleased. Sometimes they won’t work and I won’t be any worse off than I was before. Sometimes it’s the little reminders that make the big differences.

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