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As it’s Advent, have a christmas carol for your ballet class.

trafalgartreeTo download the song, either right-click (Mac: ctrl+click) the player above and select ‘save audio as’, or right-click (Mac: ctrl+click) this link and select ‘save link as‘.

Someone posted a comment on an previous post saying that they couldn’t download the file. Yes, it seems that if you have an Apple device like an iPod or iPhone, this is the point at which you’ll realise how much those things are designed to create an impenetrable, exclusive syphon between you and the iTunes store. If there is anything available out there in the world for you to download without paying for it (like my christmas carols), Apple won’t help you take advantage of it.

There is a workaround, however. MyMedia download manager enables you to do the thing that I’ve just said Apple won’t let you do. You have to adjust your methods a bit, but once you have, it does work. Once you’ve downloaded the MyMedia app, you use the in-built browser in the app to browse the web. When you come across a site that has audio files on it (like mine), long-clicking on the audio file or media player will bring up a ‘download file’ dialog. You’ll be prompted to name the file.

The files are stored in MyMedia’s own media player, accessible by clicking one of the icons on the bottom of the app. Your downloaded file(s) will appear in a list, rather like iTunes, and you can play them from there.

MyMedia isn’t the most graceful or intuitive of programs, but that’s not the developer’s fault – it seems to me that it’s the walled-garden approach of Apple to you, music and iTunes that prevents it from integrating with your phone and your life any more seamlessly.

I would much rather have a Mac any day than a PC, and I like my iPhone. However, it’s things like this that demonstrate that there is nothing very portable about iPhones and iPads, when it comes to music. Unless you have a computer, and are prepared to spend a lot of time and work syncing and organizing your media files between the mobile device and iTunes on the computer, what you have in your hand in musical terms is little more than a hotline for your cash to go to Apple, not much of a useful, agile tool for independent music use.

I’d be delighted if someone said ‘You idiot Jonathan, there’s no need to go to these lengths, all you have to do is…’. If you know a better way than what I’ve just described, let me know.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist