Including extras—favorite movie lines, or bits from a podcast or comedy routine—can take a playlist to the next level. For example, when compiling a “Summer 2007” playlist, it makes sense to include the music you listened to in heavy rotation during the summer. But it’s also great to mix in cultural tidbits that remind you of this time, such as a clip from The Daily Show or a “Top Ten” list from The Late Show with David Letterman. There are a few ways to accomplish this.
Mine your Mac
You may have movies or television shows ready and waiting on your hard drive, whether you recorded them with a device like Elgato Systems’ $150
), or ripped them from DVD (see
Convert Video for Your iPod
To grab audio from one of these clips, you can use an audio-capture tool or import it into iMovie (note that you can’t import video you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store). Use the pointers to mark the snippet you want to include, and select Edit: Crop to capture just that section. Go to File: Export and choose to export your clip as a QuickTime file. Select Expert Settings from the Compress Movie For pop-up menu, click on the Share button, and choose either the Sound To AIFF or the Sound To Wave option from the Export pop-up menu. Once you’ve saved your file, drop it into your iTunes playlist.
You can also exert your fair-use rights and sample a clip from YouTube, network TV Web sites, or elsewhere. The trick is to use an audiocapture tool such as Ambrosia Software’s $19 WireTap Pro (macworld.com/0455), which lets you capture audio from any source and save it as an MP3 file. Simply click on the giant record button in WireTap, start the audio you want to record, and click on stop when you’re done recording.
In the end, the point is to have fun with your playlist. A playlist is a reflection of its creator. The more of yourself you put into it, the greater the odds are that your friends and family will enjoy the results.
Mathew Honan is a San Francisco-based writer and photographer. His work has also appeared in
Macworld, Wired, Time,