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A Month In Music
November 25, 2011 12:16 AM   Subscribe

A Month In Music - "There are 10,513 MP3s on my hard disk. According to iTunes, that’s nearly 30 days worth of music. It has taken half my life – 15 years – to build this collection but I decided to listen to them all in one go. One continuous concert, playing songs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I wanted to revist all the songs I'd once loved, and the memories and places they called up. The only choice I made was the first track. After that, the computer randomly decided what was going to play. No stopping. No skipping. No changing the volume. Music, all the time, for a whole month. The Month In Music blog charts the progress of the playback project, updated once a day with original writing and photography." [via mefi projects]
posted by radioedit (70 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
tried something like this when we moved across the country. started a nearly loaded 160 GB ipod in alphabetical order, play each song, whether we like it or not. Except for Merzbow, starting skipping Merzbow. then we started skipping classical. then we started skipping Mountain Goats. by Texas, we were still in the As. then we started skipping stuff we both didn't like or anything that one person liked and the other didn't feel strongly enough to keep on, just to see where we would wind up in the alphabet. by the time we rolled into our northern california town, we were just starting the Cs. ipods hold alot of music!
posted by tremspeed at 1:00 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hell is other people's music.
posted by joannemullen at 1:20 AM on November 25, 2011 [22 favorites]


Yeah I've got him beat. 22,000 songs. (ladies)

My music hoarding got a bit out of hand in the napster days. I've been going through every-single-one of them for the past week (although not as religiously as this guy did). 60% of them are junk boring songs from an album with a couple hits. Time to take all the good ones and put them all into the ULTIMATE playlist. 2700 songs and counting(ladies)
posted by gabrielbacon at 1:34 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


My way of addressing this has been to attempt to write about every song in my iTunes library in alphabetical order. Its been about four years and I'm up to the letter "G." I've taken a couple of long hiatuses and the Elvis Costello section almost killed me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:37 AM on November 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I would go to painstaking lengths to organize my music. Back in '04, I hit upon the holy grail and got myself a 500GB hard drive. As a music fan/blogger turned journalist/industry guy, I waded through a good 20-30 albums per week. For years. I had a amassed the mother lode, and lordy was that shit gonna be organized to a tee. (To anyone who remembers Soulseek, there's a good chance you got something off of me.)

Alphabetically.
/Genre
/Artist
/Year - Album
/(Artist - Song).mp3

Had to be. And damn the people who insist on the Song/Artist order being flipped -- like the people who write their Day/Month as in Europe.

The worst part was having to go in and mess with the tags. Sufjan labeled as folk?? Time to get on message boards and argue about that one! And so on...

Which takes a crap load of time. Worst was when I'd get lazy and let the new music sit untouched for a month. Then I'd have my agenda set for that Sunday evening (hopefully during football season). I'd feel like a prisoner at times, but God forbid if I was going to let several years of music hoarding/cataloging go to waste!

My disk sat at a staggering 400 GBs of mp3s. All meticulously organized. Never mind that over 90% of it never got repeat plays. But there it was, amazingly put together and handy at a moment's notice.

Until the unthinkable happened. Right in the middle of attempting to back up the hard drive... *click, click* "It's dead..."

I was broken. I crunched some numbers and estimated I had put over a good 100 hours cataloging all my music. Another 9900 and Malcolm Gladwell would have written a chapter about me.

I couldn't listen to music. It made me sick. My favorite band's album leaked around the time, but even that took me a few weeks before I was willing to give music another chance.

I started downloading again. Slowly at first, but then more and more, until I was back on the horse! My new folders were overrunning with ambiguity, and I began to get that itch...

And the most amazing thing happened.

I could not give a fuck. One. Flying. Fuck.

I was free!! Free the bonds of my own OCD hoarding!!

Because music comes and goes. (And because it's really easy to find anything online if I need a quick reference.)

Nothing is as therapeutic as slaving away to the false idol of our minds, and watching it smash to pieces.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 2:40 AM on November 25, 2011 [48 favorites]


This is why you shouldn't download music from iTunes, I think...

Who wants their music player to be worth more than their car?!
posted by markkraft at 3:31 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Classical buffs, organise your music like this:

/Composer's birth year
/Composer's surname (usually not necessary, except for Bach/Handel/Pachelbel/Scarlatti)
/Opus number/work
/Performer(s)

It's the only way.
posted by Brentusfirmus at 3:32 AM on November 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can put any mp3s in iTunes, not just ones you bought from iTunes. I would be shocked if the author meant they had spent over $15k on iTunes.
posted by Nattie at 3:37 AM on November 25, 2011


$15k over 10 years = $125 a month or so, lots of people pay about that for cable.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Back in '04, I hit upon the holy grail and got myself a 500GB hard drive.

Funny, when I first read that I thought, "So what, you need a backup".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Personally I couldn't listen to music that way, even apart from the fact that if you stream music 24/7 than you're playing a lot to it to empty rooms (or to your cats), as I need to be in the mood to listen to a particular piece of music. If I'm in an industrial mood prog rock won't do.

What struck me though is the idea that it's possible to play ten thousands pieces of music in just a month -- can't do that with movies or books. It's therefore much easier to be well versed in music than it is to be well read e.g.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:59 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole's classification scheme is almost perfect, it just needs the track number between the artist and song name: "artist - track number song title".mp3

And then you have a perfect oasis of control in the uncontrolled chaos of modern life.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:03 AM on November 25, 2011


I've been anal about getting entire albums for some reason. I don't want one song by a single artist on my ipod. It has resulted in a 30 gig iPod filled mostly with albums I pretty much hate except for one or two songs.
posted by Brodiggitty at 4:54 AM on November 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


I still buy almost all of my music on plastic disks. (Which I immediately rip to a lossless format.) The stack of CDs in the corner makes me happy.
posted by sfred at 5:08 AM on November 25, 2011


This is interesting. I have pretty much the opposite approach, and gave up on seeing the mp3s as a 'collection' a while ago.

A drive full of mp3 files != box full of records, although maybe we still think of things this way. I have about 80 GBs of music, plus a 4 drawer Hon vertical file cabinet full of CDs (it's quite a good way to store them). Most of all this is not sorted rigorously in mp3 format. I gave up on that at some point when I realized that CD 'albums' were no often longer coherent pieces of work but 70+ minutes of content (any content) put on there by the music industry (classical excepted).

So, I have (at times) been using iTunes as a 'radio station' for my own stuff for a while now. For example, sorting all tracks by length and then putting everything under 6 minutes in a 'shuffle' folder. Anything I really like, I know enough to search for and find, either on hard drives, or in iTunes (and hopefully in an iTunes folder). Stuff I don't like I can skip/ignore. I do keep it all (bits are free) but don't really know where much of it is.
posted by carter at 5:14 AM on November 25, 2011


Did this in 2003 when I had a shit job (oh hai backend programming for currency trading) but the office had a giant music share. Slapped it all into XMMS, hit shuffle, and three weeks disappearded.

And all you music filers? Where are your cryptographic checksum files? Woe betide if your files get corrupted and you don't know. Wouldn't want to lose any of my 31,636 songs.
posted by scruss at 5:23 AM on November 25, 2011


and three weeks disappearded

Hah. In fact, shuffling can sometimes make the crappy filler tracks seem quite interesting, when they are juxtaposed with other stuff out-of-context.
posted by carter at 5:31 AM on November 25, 2011


I had no idea anyone would look upon "I put all my music in the queue and played it till I ran out" as an artistic endeavor. It sounds more like a mood I get into every few weeks. Though I only have about two weeks of music, and five days of that is church stuff...
posted by SMPA at 5:41 AM on November 25, 2011


Great writing here and neat idea. Only quibble I'd have is the author needs to acquire more funk, soul and 90s Hip Hop. ^_^
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:00 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Artist-Song.mp3 is logical. Day-Month-Year and Year-Month-Day are both logical too. I'll grant Day-Month-Year looks kinda German, but that's fine. America's Month/Day/Year just makes no sense.

Consider the French/European "Friday 25 November 2011" vs. the American "Friday, November 25, 2011". Americans are simply wrong about how they write their dates. Isn't the only thing American's screw up either.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:33 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can't speak of collections in terms of bytes. My copies of Howard Shore's complete recordings for The Lord of the Rings are DVD-A but they contain the same amount of music as would a crappy 128 KB mp3 rip. (Though I shudder to imagine such a monstrosity.)

Likewise, number of tracks can be misleading. One of mine is 10 seconds of Amy Winehouse shyly introducing a song from her "new record" to a live TV audience. Another is the entire audiobook of George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London. (There's a ripper who took no pride in his work.)

So you can only speak in terms of playing time. "Nearly 30 days"? I'm currently at 196. (Though I may have ticked up to 197 last night after... acquiring the Popol Vuh soundtrack to Aguirre. Good stuff.) That means not only all the Led Zeppelin studio albums but also all the studio fragments - as well as 20 or so live recordings, including the 1980 concert stopped after a few songs when Bonham passed out. (The evening show on September 19, 1970 from Madison Square Garden is the one you want. Absolutely killer.) That means 95% of every note Mozart ever wrote. And there were a lot of them. (I'm missing some of the boyhood operas. I'll probably get around to them.)

Then there's cover art. If I'm sticking with the official art, I want it to be as large as possible, of course. (500 pixels minimum, please.) But I can usually contrive something more to my pleasure. A "record" as good as that LZ 9/19/70 concert deserved a montage of the four musicians - photographed during that particular performance, naturally. But even single tracks sometimes warrant something special. Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" wouldn't seem complete without a frame from the video of him wearing that black tube vest and electrocuting himself. And James Brown's "The Funky Drummer" all but demanded a picture of the funky drummer himself, Clyde Stubblefield, in the act of funky drumming.

But playing all his stuff in one go? That guy's nuts.
posted by Trurl at 6:38 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


My music library is about 16K songs and I'm making an effort to listen to everything in it as a bucket list item (101 in 1001 kind of thing, ending next September). Reading this makes me wish I'd been writing about it all along.
posted by immlass at 6:52 AM on November 25, 2011


Isn't the only thing American's screw up either.

Oh the irony.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:11 AM on November 25, 2011 [13 favorites]


The hard drive on my media server crashed last month and I figured I'd lost all my music, but after pulling everything off all my various portable players I figure I've restored about 75% of what was on the server. "Obsolete" mp3 players are the new cloud.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:11 AM on November 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


According to my Zune software, I have 15k songs. So hooray for me! Middle of the pack!

It swelled over the past summer when I worked at a store that sold used cds.
posted by drezdn at 7:12 AM on November 25, 2011


I've been thinking of doing something like this with every single essential mix starting from 1, but that's like 80 days worth of music.
posted by empath at 7:41 AM on November 25, 2011


I like the idea better than the execution. I agree with his statement that music marks time -- I can listen to a particular track and instantly conjure a memory of what I was doing when I first listened to it, or where I was at a particular point in my life.

I was kind of hoping somehow that this project would be about listening to all of these songs and then deleting them all. I think that I hoard music more jealously than anything else and there's something to be said for the idea of letting it all go, every last file, every last backup, because in the end nothing's really "mine" anyway.

I like his Hong Kong photos.
posted by blucevalo at 7:53 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, maybe I *do* have a problem. 51k tracks...yikes. I can't listen to all this in a lifetime!
posted by notsnot at 7:54 AM on November 25, 2011


Kind of reminds me of when I would listen to WFMU exclusively, using an FM tuner. As many of you know, and especially back in the day, WFMU played a lot of irritainment. There was existential gravitas to just taking it as it comes.

Now that I listen online, and can skip things, it's easier, but something is lost. Something that sucked a lot of the time. It was a form of love, like how you wouldn't shoot your dog just because it barks at everyone.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:54 AM on November 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unlike some, I really think my relationship to music is better with the digital, but there are some drawbacks too. I am slowly making improvements to the metadata, and playlists. I have playlists for music that the kid likes, dinner music, running music, top rated, new stuff, etc. and it really works.

I can understand the hoarding mentality though...I must admit to having a problem. ~26K songs here, so if I hit play now I reckon I wouldn't be done until sometime late January. I need to purge in a big way. I've shared a few hard drive dumps with friends, so probably about 30% of the albums I haven't even listened to, and quite frankly never will - Burning Spear and Blackilicious just aren't really my cup of tea to be honest. I'm thinking of upping the quality and ridding myself of the stuff I know that I will never listen to. It will be hard, but then I remind myself that it is physically impossible to listen to everything out there, so the only option I have is to be ruthlessly selective.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:54 AM on November 25, 2011


35,218 tracks.
69 days, 14 hours, and 8 minutes of music.

Of that, 34,636 tracks are easy listening. Much to my husband's dismay.
posted by Futurehouse at 8:55 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


180.5 days one just one drive, not counting all the rest scattered throughout. It is the 8000+ e-books that is making iTunes choke.
posted by jadepearl at 9:09 AM on November 25, 2011


I love this project, especially the writing. This is good.
posted by limeonaire at 9:12 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had over 2,000 CDs at one point, all of which I intended to rip into a hard drive, which would have given me something like 20,000 songs. Then I got Rhapsody, realized it was easier to call up everything on it than to go down to the basement and unearth specific CDs I had boxed away. Then a few months ago, after our basement storage situation became highly unmanageable, I got rid of almost all the CDs I had except for the ones which had music on them I knew I couldn't (legally) find online. This is fewer than you might expect.

With all that as preface, the current mp3 collection stands at 5,438 songs (14.6 days), with two or three new albums being acquired monthly (latest: the new Kate Bush) in mp3 form, augmented by, you know, 12 million tracks via Rhapsody/Spotify, both of which I subscribe to. I suppose a good metaphor would be my music collection is about 25GB local and about a petabyte offsite.
posted by jscalzi at 9:18 AM on November 25, 2011


I delete my Mp3 collection every few years and start downloading from scratch.
Sort of a musical enema.
posted by signal at 9:22 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


iTunes shuffle doesn't work like that.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:24 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read the entire thing last night at 4 am, trying to comfort a colicky baby. I am disappointed that there isn't more commentary on the phenomenal writing. The fact that he played a month's worth of music isn't what's interesting here. It's pretty hard to make one's personal musings on popular music compelling stuff, but this was a great read and I hope he finds more outlets for this kind of writing.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:41 AM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have any arbitrary goals with my music. PHEW!
posted by everichon at 9:44 AM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


150.8 days. I dream of doing this, but I don't ever think it's realistic. What I also dream of is another "x days" project that no one's done, no one's blogged about, and someone finds interesting.
posted by nevercalm at 9:50 AM on November 25, 2011


> Sufjan labeled as folk?? Time to get on message boards and argue about that one!

...for real? There are message boards where people argue about what Sufan Stevens should be labelled as? I've got a friend with similar stories about baseball message boards, and while I'm glad there are different strokes for different folks, I'm also glad that Metafilter seems to meet the entirety of my internet posting needs.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:01 AM on November 25, 2011


I used to know a guy that had his stereo set up so it would randomly spin through his music collection. I really grew to hate it after a while; jumping up on a whim and putting on exactly the song you want at that moment is great. Otherwise, I feel like I'm sitting in a mall or something.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2011


I've got something like a month of music on my 160G iPod too. But that just makes it really hard to decide what to listen to. So most of the time, I listen to Pandora instead. This presumably illustrates a major character flaw, but I prefer to think of it as saving time...

...until I hear something new on Pandora that's really nice, and I have to look it up.

off to buy an FM radio
posted by Ella Fynoe at 10:40 AM on November 25, 2011


I’ve got 16k tracks, 48 days in iTunes, not counting podcasts, &c. The thing is I’m always thinking I need to put my CD’s in iTunes. Most of what’s in there is things I’ve downloaded (mostly emusic, none of it from file sharing). I don’t have most of the music I grew up with and loved, it’s almost all new music (for me, not historically) that I want to listen to. I have something like 10k CD’s in my house, but a lot of it I’m not interested in, I got a lot of them for free and am too lazy to get rid of them.

I tried to read the blog. It didn’t sound interesting, and it wasn’t. Even more navel gazing than the title would suggest and far too much dramatic creative writing class. I still don’t get the point, but maybe I just couldn’t get far enough. If you’re just going to put the music on and leave the room, why not start it and go on vacation? If you’re just going to randomly listen to a few songs every day, isn’t that pretty much what most people do?
posted by bongo_x at 10:47 AM on November 25, 2011


As an oldster who grew up thinking of music as valuable and rare (e.g. Sometime in the mid-90s I was on the fence about buying Halo of Flies' Music For Insect Minds, and the deciding factor was I might not ever see it again), the last decade or so has resulted in some serious whiplash.

It's just deeply weird to me that the effort that went to hunting and hoarding is now spent on weeding and classifying; that the easy thing is to accumulate hundreds of gigs of listenables without batting an eye, and that the hard thing is making your "shuffle all" remotely worthwhile.

These days, I rate every song that comes across on shuffle and ruthlessly delete anything less than 3 stars. (Two stars for "not bad but life's too short", "there are three days worth of Mountain Goats songs equally good", "not everything Nick Cave has ever done is a keeper", and so on.)

About 4 songs on Music For Insect Minds made the cut. Should've been 2 but old habits die hard.
posted by whuppy at 11:08 AM on November 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ruthlessly deleting things that are less than three stars seems like a terrible way to go.

How many times have I decided I didn't like one song from an album, but later decided it was my favorite?

Playlists are the way.

I have a playlist called "Nice Music" that I'm constantly shuffling from (you can listen to what I'm listening to here). When I get new things, I add them to this playlist - when I decide I'm bored with things, they leave.

I have about 150 days of music, and the "Nice Music" playlist is about 40 days of music.

I was forced into this a few years ago when I got 6000 mp3s of public domain recordings from 78 rpm records. Now, I really want to hear all of these sooner or later, but putting all of the into my collection made me disproportionately old jazz. Now I cycle artists, songs or just results from search in and out of "Nice Music".

Other playlists deal with files that I think are duplicates, or broken files (though I never get around to fixing them, but at least I can throw them right out of "nice music"), or music for parties.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:07 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


About 4 songs on Music For Insect Minds made the cut. Should've been 2 but old habits die hard.

Did "Death of a Fly" and "Richie's Dog" make the cut?
posted by porn in the woods at 12:26 PM on November 25, 2011


Nothing's for certain, lupus_yonderboy, and I know that some of the decisions may be wrong, but there's just so much coming in that I can't worry about the (increasingly) remote possibility that a two star was a keeper.
posted by whuppy at 12:26 PM on November 25, 2011


I finished my meaningless and arbitrary music listing Thing a year or so back. It was to listen to Mozart*.


Used to be a huge binary hoarder as well, but spotify (and increased ADSL speeds) actually liberated me from that, why put the effort into the hunting and hoarding and categorising when it's all on tap anyway -- with the information architecture of remote sites improving all the time, letting you find things in ten thousand different ways according to inclination and whim.

I did start to cull my collection, deleting anything I could stream, but figure with HD prices as they are, trying to save a couple of hundred gig here or there isn't worth it either.



* All of it. Which messed up my top artist stats in the same way that nightly backups mess up MRTG graphs :/
posted by titus-g at 12:33 PM on November 25, 2011


A word of weird music-related warning - if you have a lot of really obscure stuff, iTunes Match may not be for you since it has to upload everything it doesn't find. I have been uploading to iTunes match for four days straight now, since upload speeds are so much slower than download.

I guess at the end of it all I'll be able to listen to my hyperlocal bands and experimental accordion music anywhere in the world, but the process of making that happen is a little ridiculous.
posted by winna at 12:36 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


winna: http://musicbrainz.org/doc/MusicBrainz_Picard is actually pretty good at tagging stuff. Dunno how well it would fare with experimental accordion music, probably get Kimmo Pohjonen fairly easily, but might stumble over the less famous examples of the genre.
posted by titus-g at 12:43 PM on November 25, 2011


[ed: just realised the comment was about availability, not identification... ooops.]
posted by titus-g at 12:45 PM on November 25, 2011


why put the effort into the hunting and hoarding and categorising when it's all on tap anyway -- with the information architecture of remote sites improving all the time, letting you find things in ten thousand different ways according to inclination and whim.

Other than the obvious - I have a ton of music that's just not available from places like spotify (concert bootlegs, demos, obscure stuff I picked up during my travels etc.) - I have two big reasons why I'm not giving up my collection any time soon. One - when I'm at home, my collection has 100% availability, no searching, no down networks, no collapsed lala, as long as I have electricity, I have music. The second big reason - who says it'll always be available? You have a lot more trust in this than I do - what happens when it's no longer available for (almost) free or what if copyright nonsense fights erupt tying up some music, or what if x, y, or z. I don't like wondering. I like to relax - I have my music, backed up in multiple ways, and I don't care a whit about any future shenanigans from any source.
posted by VikingSword at 12:48 PM on November 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, I do kinda have my existing ~35K collection backed up on multiple (geli encrypted in case of future copyright searches) hard drives scattered around the place. Not to mention over 1000 albums on vinyl & cassette in the garage and a 2 foot deep pile of sheet music (and instruments to play it on - having spent a fair amount of my childhood without that there electrickery stuff...) :)

I guess I did come over as suggesting some sort of dichotomy, where it's either collect everything or stream everything; for full disclosure I still probably actually download 5 to 10G a month with the various indie playlists and mix 'n' matching radio stations into playlists (so I can listen to them in alphabetical order, the way dGo intended.

I did used to spend ridiculous amounts of time hunting down new music though (more than I spent working, which weren't good). It's very nice to be (currently, errors and omissions excepted, YMMV, restrictive laws may go up as well as down) freed from that by being able to have so much music only a click away.
posted by titus-g at 1:14 PM on November 25, 2011


what happens when it's no longer available for (almost) free

My assumption that it's a when-not-if proposition is why I've been grabbing and hoarding as fast as I can for several years now.

Short of the RIAA sending armed agents into my house, there is no longer anything they can do to keep me from having enough music to enjoy for the rest of my life.
posted by Trurl at 1:15 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't the only thing American's screw up either.
posted by jeffburdges
Oh the irony.
posted by dixiecupdrinking

Double irony since the serial comma is actually part of standard usage in the USA, but not in the UK or most of Europe.
posted by Winnemac at 4:20 PM on November 25, 2011


What's the point of Spotify if you like more obscure artists? It's only good if you like popular stuff like the Beatles, Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Shellac, Pink Floyd, ANYTHING ON SST, King Crimson, Slint, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, ELO, or Metallica. Wait, no its not.
posted by tremspeed at 4:22 PM on November 25, 2011


I hadn't realized the British are worse about dropping the Oxford comma, also Fowler strongly supports serial commas, interesting.

You should expect that any music-on-demand service like iTunes, Google Music, etc. will eventually delete, invalidate, expire, vaporize, or whatever your collection.

There isn't much concern about the pirate world disappearing though because piracy hasn't even begun exploiting the friend-to-freind net piracy options, although that'll make joining the scene harder.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:02 PM on November 25, 2011


There are 10,513 MP3s on my hard disk.

Fucking Dilletante.
posted by jonmc at 5:10 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


My music penis is only 120GB long.

But it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it, right? I make a mean mixtape, ladiez. Trust me! I do. Really.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:10 PM on November 25, 2011


Death of a Fly, Headburn, How Does It Feel to Feel?, and one player to be named later.
posted by whuppy at 8:11 PM on November 25, 2011


Used to be a huge binary hoarder as well, but spotify (and increased ADSL speeds) actually liberated me from that, why put the effort into the hunting and hoarding and categorising when it's all on tap anyway -- with the information architecture of remote sites improving all the time, letting you find things in ten thousand different ways according to inclination and whim.
Word. Much easier to let go once nothing's ever gone forever.
posted by whuppy at 8:14 PM on November 25, 2011


Case Study: Robyn Hitchcock.

Sometime in the mid-to-late 90s, I read a thing in the Voice alluding to a boot of Robyn Hitchcock performing Dylan's Royal Albert Hall concert song-for-song at the Royal Albert Hall. The audience was in on it, shouting "Judas" and everything. No luck finding out anything further until . . .

. . . fast forward to the mid-aughts. Found it as part of a complete discography. Boom. Every studio album, demo, boot, Soft Boys etc etc. I love love love Robyn Hitchcock but do I really need every radio appearance of him ever? What do I keep? What can I get rid of?

It's been nigh on four years and I still haven't gotten through it all. So yeah, if a non-album version of "So You Think You're In Love" comes up, you better believe it's starting as a two-star.

See also: The Bevis Frond.
posted by whuppy at 8:26 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was inspired to try this too. I loaded up itunes with three hard drives of music. I was curious exactly how much I had since I never really counted. 752 gb. 310.3 days of music. 93453 songs. Nice idea, but that much music was slowing things down a lot. Maybe I'll try one hard drive at a time.
posted by freakazoid at 10:29 AM on November 26, 2011


"I was free!! Free the bonds of my own OCD hoarding!!

Because music comes and goes. (And because it's really easy to find anything online if I need a quick reference.)"

Goes back to this article about memory versus online storage and this about what is the purpose of buying anything anymore.

You didn't escape music hoarding, it's just that the internet is doing it for you. Thank you internets!!!
posted by Staples at 4:13 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the point of Spotify if you like more obscure artists? It's only good if you like popular stuff like the Beatles, Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Shellac, Pink Floyd, ANYTHING ON SST, King Crimson, Slint, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, ELO, or Metallica

Last time I looked on Spotify there was no Zep or Floyd. AC/DC is a notorious hold out on iTunes. It is still possible to be so big that you can refuse to have your music on these formats.
posted by Ber at 5:38 PM on November 26, 2011


you should perhaps try reading my post again, maybe keep the last bit on if you're going to quote it and miss my point?
posted by tremspeed at 9:21 PM on November 26, 2011


It's just deeply weird to me that the effort that went to hunting and hoarding is now spent on weeding and classifying

Just imagine what it'll be like to be a cultural historian two hundred years from now.
posted by DLWM at 9:40 PM on November 26, 2011


Just imagine what it'll be like to be a cultural historian two hundred years from now.
Fortunately, what with nostalgia loops getting shorter and shorter, pretty soon we'll stop producing new output entirely.

(I'm only sort of joking; I half-believe the argument that universal availability and persistence stifles creativity.)
posted by whuppy at 5:53 AM on November 28, 2011


I disagree whuppy, /b/, youtube, etc. all rampantly produce new output.

You might argue that (a) the creative leisure class consists of anybody dedicating their time towards non-economic creative endeavors by rejecting the need to climb some financial social ladder, i.e. screwing around on /b/ instead of working, and (b) the traditional middle class cannot produce new output and/or destroys the leisure classes output because they spend all their time climbing the social ladder.

There is no question the rise of the middle class produced a stodgy wannabe rich music patrons who destroyed classical music and created the vacuum into which Jazz, et al. stepped. I'm less confidant that comic books are being destroyed by short nostalgia loops reselling people their childhood.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:22 AM on November 28, 2011


My half-serious argument is that the remixers of /b/, YouTube, etc. are more about catabolizing existing culture than producing anything new, and that the logical end result is meta-to-the-Nth mashups eventually crowd out actual innovation.
posted by whuppy at 8:46 AM on November 28, 2011


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