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After one of my occasional anti-iTunes rants a friend asked me what I did for a content management system. He thinks one of the benefits of iTunes is that it organizes your soundfiles and you can search and create playlists within this data. Myself, I don't keep any permanent playlists (except a master file of music I wrote). For recreational listening I assemble temporary playlists piecemeal, picking and choosing songs from folders I've created on my hard drive. I use Winamp to find and play the files and save the playlists. Unlike iTunes, Winamp will stream them from anywhere on your PC (maybe iTunes has changed, but you used to have to resave all your music to a special iTunes folder).
My folders are organized roughly chronologically (by decade) and alphabetically within each decade. Thus I can visualize the entire collection and also think about relationships within it (once a rock critic always a rock critic--pity me). This scheme makes me less reliant on someone else's bad metadata from the individual tunes--a real problem with iTunes in my opinion. I do a fair amount of pruning--whereas I had a hard time deaccessioning CDs and vinyl I'm pretty merciless with mp3s. If it's not floating my boat it's not taking up space on my hard drive. As the collection gets larger I'll start breaking the decades down into years. Oh, and the folders also contain jpegs of covers and other info. The entire schmear is backed up on a separate hard drive.
Excuse this nerdy indulgence but I wanted to put forward a model different from the one Steve Jobs expects you to use as part of his entertainment colonization scheme.
Also, as I mentioned I don't use a portable mp3 player (headphones bug my ears) but if I did I would just move songs out of these folders and wipe them from the player when I was tired of listening to them. DIY, baby, DIY.
"VCJS (Slow)" [7.7 MB .mp3
This is "Vox Computational (Japan Square)" at half-speed, minus about 30 seconds of the drum break.
Not every song is going to get the DJ Screw treatment, but this one works pretty well, I think, as a "romilar dub" piece.
"Vox Computational (Japan Square)" [4.3 MB .mp3
A variation on a tune previously posted. I like the "compuvox" preset but it was so full-bodied it was masking things in the mix. This one has lighter leads and is a bit longer so I could hear some of the percussion stuff I liked. It's sort of stiff and halting by design. The arpeggios at the beginning are kind of an experiment.
In a previous post I mentioned my and John Parker's Scratch Ambulance CD
was being marketed through iTunes. This led to a friendly email wondering why I'd changed my mind about iTunes. I haven't!
The company we used to press the CD also helps the artist market the work through a number of different indie and non-indie sources, one of which is iTunes. It's gonna be a couple of weeks before it's available.
I still don't have iTunes on my computer and still dislike it. I just don't dislike it enough to prevent a few pennies possibly coming my way by withholding my music from it.
I've never used a portable stereo type device (headphones hurt my ears) but I also like the idea of DRM-less sound files being freely distributable outside a monolithic single-company scheme.
On my computer I have Winamp, which takes files from my own foldering system.
These are front and back scans of the CD cover for Scratch Ambulance,
a music collaboration between John Parker (under his earcon alias) and me. The release has been "pressed" and in the next few weeks will be offered on iTunes and wherever fine alterna-CDs are sold. I designed the cover and John mastered the tunes. I'm happy with how it turned out. As the front cover explains, these are John's remixes of tunes I wrote on my old Mac SE from the late '80s until it died a few years ago. It is instrumental electro, a mix of old and new sounds, but more a present day artifact than a paean to the '80s. The idea was to preserve what was worth preserving from what we call "ancient digital signal processing" and composing software written circa 1984. The original music isn't archivally respected but rather sampled and used as mashup material, with many of the original melodies and harmonies still lingering. Also the files were passed back and forth on the Net so both of us are adding current material to the mixes.
GIF by Ryuko Azuma
See also these color-inverted telegraph poles
Thanks to Philip Shropshire for introducing me to this artist's blog.