S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Blurred boundaries

I never had a reason to rip my CDs onto my computer before acquiring an iPod. If I put the CD into the machine while I'm online, iTunes automatically queries the GraceNotes database to find out what the track names, album names, and genre of the album are. The genre has proved to be the most interesting and unexpected aspect of this whole process.

I'm not necessarily very good at identifying genres. When I went to buy a Deep Forest album, I looked under New Age, Pop, Folk, and then gave up and asked. It was under Dance music (although iTunes has it labelled as World). Finding out what GraceNotes thinks is the correct genre can be equally disorienting, and shows just how malleable genre boundaries are.

* The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney) isn't a soundtrack apparently - it's pop music.
* I would probably have filed the arabianpop album under Dance, or even Pop, as the name implies, but apparently it's World music.
* I always thought of Dar Williams' work as classified under Folk or Pop, but at least one of her albums is now my only Alternative/Punk entry.
* ToyBox was a shoo-in for Dance, Pop at the outside, but no, it's a Top 40 album. I had no idea that "Top 40" was a genre of music.
* Fiorello is an obvious candidate for the Dance category, or maybe even Pop (or Top 40, whatever that is). I sure wouldn't have classified that particular album under Rock.

In any event, it's entertaining. I wonder how much behind-the-scenes politicking goes into labelling these albums?

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