Psychological Music

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I have a LOT of music. I buy a lot, borrow some, obtain others (hey, would you pass up a 4GB download of every “Now” album.. yeah I know, I should’ve too). The one thing I’ve always had a problem with is tracking my short-term listening habits.

I tend to buy music in spurts. I’ll purchase several albums at one time and listen to them when I get a chance, which is where my problem begins. Because I don’t ever sit down to listen to music, it’s always on in the background) then it can take a while for an album to wheedle it’s way into my affections.

I guess I should learn my lesson and cut back on my musical purchases but there is still that part of me that wonders if I’m about to miss the next big thing (when, in reality, I ALWAYS miss it.. ).

Anyway, what usually happens is that one or two albums instantly take root in my brain and remain there for some time. I generally have 5 or 6 albums on rotation but even then some albums slip through the cracks and fall into the depths of my music library (I AM trying to cut back though, I know that 106GB of music isn’t really practical to manage… ahem).

However, having recently purchased a 250GB external hard drive (a Western Digital passport) and backing up all my music there I decided to take it into work as I had a quiet couple of days ahead. Rather than copy the music to my PC, I left it on there and decided to create a new iTunes library. It took about 20 mins to scan it all and then I had a pristine library to browse.

And you know what? All of a sudden I’m actually browsing it rather than relying on various smart lists to filter the new from the old. Without any metadata bogging me down I’m suddenly free to go and find whatever music I stumble across. Yes, I know I could’ve done that before but I guess not having any way to manipulate the tracks, or at least not having my usual methods available to me (smartlists for recently added and recently played) I’ve ended up just randomly scrolling through the library and picking whatever takes my fancy.

It’s been hugely liberating. So much so I’m almost considering doing the same at home.

Almost.

5 comments

  1. It’s the only way to do it, IMHO. I far prefer to choose what I want to listen to, rather than letting iTunes, RealPlayer or whatever choose for me.

    But then, as has been observed on many occasions, I’m a bit of a control freak like that.

  2. Only 106 GB? šŸ˜‰

    I’m at 200 GB and still going. I’d burned hundreds of MP3 CDs, and now that I have a big enough hard drive, I’m still loading them all back in!

  3. In the good old days it was really liberating to only be able to afford to buy 1 ’78’ or ’45’ (-i.e. 2 tunes, one on each side) once a fortnight, or if you were flush once a week. It did mean that you were usually up to date with the ‘Hit Parade’ and could sing all the words of all the songs as you played them ad infinitum till you bought the next one! Cataloguing was done by hand in a jotter you had bought in Woolie’s or if you were gallous, knicked from school. Such uncomplicated days!!

  4. And those of us with a paltry 50Gb or so of music are grateful that you have left said harddrive plugged in whilst you Budapest it up šŸ™‚

    Have found myself listening to Elbow and Yo La Tengo, both of whom I would never have listened to otherwise, so thanks šŸ˜€

  5. I’ve always done that, apart from making huge play lists of certain artists for when I want to listen to them only, or when I am sitting on trains which is the ideal time to make play lists.

    The biggest change for me with iTunes was that for a while I would listen to a lot of random tracks, but after a year or so of that I went back to choosing and listening to complete albums.

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