Friday, December 21, 2007

Damn Devil iPod!!!

I love my iPod.
10,978 songs. 1103 albums.
51.91GB of memory taken up by 30 days, 17 hours, 54 minutes and 42 seconds worth of music (30:17:54:42).
I made the leap into MP3’s a little over a year ago because my wife bought me an iPod Nano for Christmas.

This was especially exciting to me because at that time my cheap-ass-factory-installed Mazda Protégé cd player was starting to really piss me off. If I ran over a pebble on I-5 the disc would skip and default back to track #1. Sometimes it would make a really obscene screeeeeeeeeching noise which sounded something like a rusty nail being slowly dragged across a vinyl LP.

It got to the point where I was desperate enough to turn on the local talk radio station in the mornings where I would begrudgingly listen to the two ‘good ’ol Boys’ spew their "unbiased" sound bites, such as “Gawrsh, ya hear Rush Limbaugh yesterday? He sure is a fair feller, yup. He shore-nuff knows the score!” and “Shore gettin’ all the Libs callin’ in today, must be a full moon”. Worst of all were the jokes, stolen from old sitcoms and regurgitated for your listening pleasure and aural enjoyment!!

An Example:
Yokel #1: Muh wife just ran away wif muh bestest friend!
Yokel #2: Yeah? You Bitter?
Yokel #3: Yup. Bit him, tewwwww! HARDEHARHARHARHEYUP!

Needless to say, the stations up here have little in the way of solid entertainment choices, much less good music stations (ARE there any more GOOD radio stations anymore? Other than satellite?). So the nano was a godsend and appeared at exactly the right time, just moments before I was going to drive my little Mazda into Shasta Lake out of frustration.

Since the nano has limited space, enough room for about 1,000 3:00 songs, or approximately 800 in my case,
(Pink Floyds “Echo’s” and Underworld’s “Lovely Broken Things” are 16:31 and 28:37, respectively) I chose the items for download very carefully. Only had room for so much, so a lot of quality tracks had to be left off, regrettably. I would fiddle often, removing tracks and adding new ones, changing the playback quality (which also reduces space, by the way!), deleting old albums and adding new ones, etc.
It was fun, but time consuming.

THEN, recently, the wife got a heck of a deal on a REAL iPod! 80 MB of memory! I quickly tossed the nano in her direction, locked myself in the computer room with a bag of Doritos’s, a jug of water and a bed pan and went to work. I was a downloading machine, man! CD in, download, out; CD in, download, out; CD in, download, out.

Repeat 1,000 times.

I didn’t care what I downloaded. I downloaded everything and anything I even remotely liked or used to like. Neil Diamond. The Monkees. Every Beatles album. Pop Will Eat Itself. Super Furry Animals. Elton John. Pink Floyd. The Eagles. The Pixies. The Pogues. The Dead Kennedy’s. The Meatmen . Renegade Soundwave.

You name it, I downloaded it!

A weird thing happened, though. With my iPod nano, I could quickly scan the albums and inevitably find something I felt like listening to, but with this new MEGAPOD it became a lot more work. So I put it on ’shuffle’, thinking that it would be like the coolest radio station ever, you know? But I found myself forwarding songs at an alarming pace.

Nope, don’t feel like that right now.

Nah, heard that one too much.

Not in the mood for electro-jazz-punk at this time.

And the single-song thing ain't working for me either. I really enjoy FULL ALBUMS, to experience the piece as the artist intended, in it's entirety. This is important to me, and I think I have found a solution.

I guess I just need to plan better.

Take some time before I go to sleep at night to plan out the next days album. Analyze, trend and graph, by day of the week and possibly by month, taking in consideration the phase of the moon, and analyze how these variables relate to my listening patterns. Pay close attention to my moods and take the time to input the data into an Excel spreadsheet. If I am diligent and steadfast I should be able to get some pretty good analytics in about 6 month’s time. That means, until the beginning of Q3 2008, I will have to play it by ear.

I shall keep you all apprised of my progress.


Greg Pate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Pate said...

Hey Mr. E.,

I use iTunes, too. I moved all my CD's (I won't say how many, as the number is miniscule compared to your's and everyone else's I know--but, surprisingly, I have yet to develop a case of CD envy) onto my computer hard drive a year ago or so. I haven't graduated to an iPod yet, but maybe, perhaps, one of these days...

Anyway, I find your experience with "shuffle" interesting, because that's the same feeling I have a lot of the time when I shuffle my music. I've tried to solve the problem by creating folders and shuffling within the folder. For instance, I have (an easy one) a Christmas Music folder; one I made up for easy listening in the background for my daughter's birthday party; "FGH," initials whose meaning is clear only to me, and then only after I've smoked a few bowls; and "Owl Stretching Time."

I recommend you try the same. Although I am also interested to see the results of your analysis. Which would be nice, because then I would know for certain there is at least one other person out there more anal retentive than I. And believe me, I've been looking!



uNCLE e said...

I'll try that, Greg. Thanks!
And don't worry, it's not the size of your collection, but how you use it!!