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Bose and Classical Music


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christopher
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« on: April 23, 2015, 12:12:53 pm »

I thought I would splash out and buy Bose Soundtrack 30 speaker (599) - it can play all the music stored in one's laptop via streaming wireless technology (or something..!), and the sound quality is impressive.

Anyway, a week later I took it back for a refund.

It turns out that, once you select a composer, the next category it takes you through to is "Artist" (ie - performer).  Whereas logically you would expect it to take you through to "Album" (ie - the piece of music).  I have over 20,000 "tracks" in my music library, I really don't know who performed every piece.  I rang the Bose helpline about this, and was informed that "Bose wasn't designed for minority or niche tastes in music" (!!). This made me see red, so I went on to linkedin and sent connection requests to everyone I could find that worked at Bose.  Some of them replied, and even expressed understanding. One even put me in touch with the head of Bose UK (I am London-based), who similarly saw my point of view, and said that Bose, unlike some other companies, is quite receptive and reactive to customer feedback. (Apple has a similar issue with regard to identifying composers, but they are impenetrable.)

The letter I sent is copied in below.

If this is also an issue which vexes you, please do the same and write to senior Bose people via linked in.  This will make them realise that it is a major design fault, though EASILY rectifiable, and not some "minority or niche" issue!


Dear XXXXX,

Thank you so much for replying to my cold-approach connection request!

I recently bought a SoundTouch 30, and love the technology, presentation and quality. As with all previous Bose products which I have bought, the sound quality is first class, best in the market.

However, there is a serious shortcoming which affects those who listen mostly to classical music, which I describe below. When I tried to talk this over with your helpline, I was told that Bose products weren't designed "for classical music or other minority tastes" - please tell me that Bose doesn't regard classical music as minority or niche, it is a huge section of the market, and a huge section of the music world! Maybe not as "flashy" but still....

The issue with the Soundtouch 30 is as follows:

You can select by composer, which is great. But from there, you go through to a list of artists (ie performers), which means nothing when you are searching for a piece of music.

So, for example, once you click on Puccini, you would logically expect to go through to a list of "albums" (ie Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Tosca, Turandot, etc), not a list of random opera singers and orchestras. I have over 1000 classical "albums" - I don't remember who sings/plays what!

Currently the only way to get round this is to click through the artist names one by one till you get to the piece of music that you want. This is time-consuming, and surely not what Bose intended.

To be honest, it vexed me to the extent that I took the SoundTouch 30 back to the store last weekend for a refund, as otherwise it would have sat on my shelf unused. I would certainly buy it back again if I found this fault had been corrected.

I (and many other classical music lovers with whom I have spoken) would be incredibly grateful if you could change this so that one is given the (more logical) option, after selecting a composer, to go through to the "album" list and not the "artist" list.

By comparison, when you search by Artists (say, Madonna), you DO go through to an album list, so please please please make it the same for composer searches!

I do hope that Bose is a company which does genuinely respond to valid customer feedback and that you will be able to give this your attention, or pass it on to appropriate colleagues at Bose.

I am based in London, UK and have also written to Terry Barnard, who I understand is your UK country manager.

Kindest regards,


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Gauk
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 10:49:34 pm »

I get round this by editing the metadata so that the "artist" is the composer. Actually, the artist is the guy who does the CD cover. Performers go in the comments field, or not at all. It's all very dumbed down when you cannot distinguish between conductor, orchestra, soloist, pianist, quartet, etc, etc.

Incidentally, it might be an idea to write about this to BBC Music Magazine. If Bose get negative publicity in the press, they might start paying attention more.
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christopher
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 12:32:21 pm »

I get round this by editing the metadata so that the "artist" is the composer. Actually, the artist is the guy who does the CD cover. Performers go in the comments field, or not at all. It's all very dumbed down when you cannot distinguish between conductor, orchestra, soloist, pianist, quartet, etc, etc.

Incidentally, it might be an idea to write about this to BBC Music Magazine. If Bose get negative publicity in the press, they might start paying attention more.

I might do that...

With regard to the metadata - yes I have considered that option.  However, (a) I have over 20,000 "tracks", and little time or inclination; (b) there is a box in the system called "composer", so let's put the composer in there (that's my bloody-mindedness kicking in); and (c) I do strongly feel that if they are charging 599 for a speaker, they can at least get this right (bloody-mindedness kicking in further!)... Smiley
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Gauk
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 11:19:48 pm »

In some software the "composer" box is not even used, or if it is, it is way down the bottom of the menu.
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Anonden
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 11:31:33 pm »

I've never used libraries. I have everthing in My Music folder set up how I want, and go there if I want to listen to something. Or I youtube it. I tend not to have music going in the background, though, except select Steve Roach electro-ambient. In that case, I did make up a playlist - activated via shortcut on my Start Menu....no Edge for me! - and just let it run on shuffle till I turn the machine off at night.
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Gauk
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2016, 08:05:04 am »

The problem is not just with Bose - I think other makers of music streaming systems are just as bad. Also, if you rip a CD, look at the structure of the metadata (which is what the music streamer is actually going to work with). No two CD companies seem to agree on a system. If the track is the first section of Reich's Desert Music, it may be called:

No. 1 - Fast

or

Desert Music No. 1. Fast

or

Reich: Desert Music No. 1 - Fast

or any other permutation of composer name, work name and movement indication. Really, the only solution is to decide on your own system and rename everything.
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