06 January 2006

Kids luv iTunes

In the comments for "Flickr as kid entertainment," Russ mentioned that his kid loves the iTunes Visualizer. Same here, big time. In the kitchen, we have a laptop connected to speakers, all of our music on a wirelessly-shared server, and iTunes on all the time. We can listen to anything we want (usually that's kid music, the Star Wars soundtrack, and, lately, The Nutcracker). Our 6 year-old his his own playlist, which he can navigate just fine, even though he's just learning to read. (Not unlike his affinity for Tivo.)

He'll sit for a long time watching the Visualizer pulsate to his favorite tunes. He loves to listen to the song snippets in the iTunes music store, and he likes to look at all the album cover art. (Of course, he's never seen an actual album cover.)

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My kid likes the Visualizer too! Now that she's older, she's asking me to read the song info at the beginning of each song too. She tends to listen to lots and lots of holiday music, but we've both been enjoying Kate Bush's latest (at least some of it).

The Visualizer on iTunes is nothing compared to the one on WinAmp -- there must be over 200 of them (!) ranging from the psychedelic & trippy to the sublime. Download WinAmp from winamp.com, your kids might spend *hours* playing with them all!

Colum has had a playlist in iTunes since he was about six months old. I actually just put an "iMix" in the ITMS consisting of his favorite songs.
He used to dig the Visualizer as well, though, now, he prefers watching live DVDs of bands playing.
Sometimes I marvel at the fact that Colum thinks those round silver discs are what *movies* come on -- for him, music (that he's not playing himself) has always come from the computer or the iPod.

Joseph has an iTunes playlist as well, even though he's just two months. He seems to like it when he's awake but not overly active; I turn the lights down low, pop on the visualizer, and play his playlist while getting small chores done in the low light (like running the dishwasher and such).

Yes, my boy LOVES the iTunes visualizer. He doesn't have a playlist yet, as long as music is playing and the visualizer is going he doesn't care what the song is. He has also just learned that the space bar functions as pause/play; he gets a kick out of that.

This may sound horrible, but the iTunes visualizer (I actually use G-Force or v-Tunes Skyscraper visualizers) is a great way to distract a baby when it comes time to give antibiotics. Just plop him/her in front of the computer screen in mom or dad's lap and put on something that has a good beat (my wife's techno worked real well). It only takes a few seconds to get it all down. Worked for both of our kids.

ATTENTION: A friend of mine left his kid alone in front of his new 23" Apple HD Display showing iTunes visuals. After returning he found out that his silent little girl used a sharp pen to follow the visuals on screen.

my son's love of the iTunes Visualizer is what gave birth to the flickr photo hack. In fact, the iTunes Visualizer is no affectionately known to our other parenting friends as "baby crack."

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