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Music for FLAC Player
July 10, 2013 10:35 PM   Subscribe

"Back in the golden age of the compact disc, 1994, Jos Smolders [discogs.com link] released Music for CD Player, a collection of 99 short tracks intended for the listener to sequence. He’s now released a sequel in the form of an 1,100-track album, titled Music for FLAC Player. Yes, that is 1,100 tracks, the overwhelming majority of which are one second or less in length, and all but 30 or so of which are under 45 seconds.

What Smolders said of the project:

"The [Music for CD Player] disc contained 99 tracks. The original plan, however, was to have many more tracks. However CD Redbook protocol allowed a maximum number of 99 tracks, with a minimum length of 3 seconds. With the Internet as a platform these limitations are gone. The number of tracks for an online album are limitless and the length of the tracks can be near zero."

via Disquiet.com
posted by Doleful Creature (16 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't get it.
posted by cthuljew at 11:00 PM on July 10, 2013


Reminds me of Gescom's Minidisc, an 88-track album made to be played on shuffle. It was released on Minidisc because it was the only format that could gaplessly shuffle tracks.
posted by zsazsa at 11:12 PM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


My dad had one of the earlier Yamaha CD players (ca 1986 vintage) that had the rare (then and now) ability to seek to individual "sub-track index" points. So, while CDs were limited to 99 tracks, you could fit a dozen or more sub-tracks within each one, to be accessed at will.

Ostensibly, this was probably useful for locating a particular section of a movement in a symphony, but where it really came in handy was for sound effect discs, which often has thousands of tracks, which would be impossible to properly index on most CD players.

Not sure why the sub-track index never really caught on, hardware-wise, despite being part of the Red Book standard from the get go. Would have made this guy's project easier, anyway.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:45 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh - I've never had the chance, zsazsa to listen to that, but that was instantly what I thought of as well.
posted by symbioid at 11:55 PM on July 10, 2013


I don't get it.

Put all the tracks in a FLAC-capable player, hit 'shuffle' and enjoy the intentionally randomized ambient results. What's there to get?
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:47 AM on July 11, 2013


Also zsazsa's mention of Gescom's Minidisc eventually leads to the wiki article on aleatoric music, which might help contextualize this further.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:49 AM on July 11, 2013


My dad had one of the earlier Yamaha CD players (ca 1986 vintage) that had the rare (then and now) ability to seek to individual "sub-track index" points.

We had that! Aerosmith's LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR from 1990's PUMP has an introduction (dialogue in a lift) which was the first sub-track, then the actual song was the second. That's the ONLY time I ever saw it used....
posted by alasdair at 1:55 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hm. Listening to the 99 tracks version (while waiting for the promised 1100 tracks link mail). Not too bad, really. Most of it is very low key, though there is the odd surprise. This could well be the poster child of why replaygain is not a good idea.
posted by bouvin at 4:07 AM on July 11, 2013


Reminds me of Gescom's Minidisc, an 88-track album made to be played on shuffle.

Reminds me of They Might Be Giants "Fingertips" from Apollo 18 which were a series of short tracks that provided interstitial music when the album was played in shuffle mode.

Mysteeeeeeeeeeeeeeerious Wisper!
Mysteeeeeeeeeeeeeeerious Wisper!
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:43 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


442
586
363
303
2
825
533
685
482
101
...

Very cool.
posted by le_vert_galant at 5:28 AM on July 11, 2013


Maybe also reminiscent of Terre Thaemlitz's Soulnessless from last year – one of the tracks on there ("Canto V: Meditation on Wage Labor and the Death of the Album") was an attempt to make the longest-possible MP3 on a FAT32 file system; it's a piano solo just under 30 hours long. It sounds gimmicky, but the work's weirdly affecting.
posted by with hidden noise at 8:13 AM on July 11, 2013


I saw Negativland play live once in, oh, 1990? And part of their thing was playing triggered samples. But this is all before doing that digitally was easy. So the musician had a mulit-8-track thing in his gear, a gizmo I'd only ever seen used in radio stations. It had slots for about ten different 8-track cartridges and he could trigger any individual one very quickly. Analog finds a way.
posted by Nelson at 8:56 AM on July 11, 2013


Analog finds a way.

I kind of want to put that on a t-shirt
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:20 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Analog finds a way.


Always has. The Mellotron was a keyboard where pressing a key brought a read head down on a loop of recorded audio tape. John Lennon bought one and you can hear it on Strawberry Fields Forever and some other Beatles tracks.
posted by Naberius at 12:57 PM on July 11, 2013


I wish I had a mellotron so baaad
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:00 PM on July 11, 2013


There was also a 99 track piece of beauty by the Not-Being, Netochka Nezvanova; the graphic at the Wiki page is the album's cover art. Here's the little I can find on the net, but there might be more out there. I have the entirety of their output on a harddrive somewhere in my basement. Unless she m9ndw9ped it from a distance.
posted by artof.mulata at 6:16 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


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