Friday, November 19, 2010

My music's worse than yours

It took much of the past week, but I did it. I got just about all the music in my CD collection into iTunes -- 1,726 songs, more than doubling my existing online collection. I wanted to get this done because with the way things are going, it appears the computers OF THE FUUUUTURRRE won't have CD/DVD drives anymore.

And at the end of the process, I've come to a sad conclusion: I own a LOT of bad music. For several reasons:
  • Sometimes I've been loyal to bands beyond all reason. So while the first few Cranberries albums were good buys, the fourth and fifth were seriously unnecessary. Same goes for the Connells' third. And Social Distortion's second. But I ripped then all.
  • I would often buy CDs to get one song I liked. Like, um, Hanson. Shut up! Mmmbop is a damned good song and I'm only partly ashamed to say so. But I ripped the rest.
  • Worse than that, I would sometimes buy CDs because I had a vague recollection of maybe hearing a band's songs on the radio sometime. Thus you get That Petrol Emotion. Which I was amazed to find is not only on Wikipedia but for sale in the iTunes store. Ripped it.
  • And I bought a lot of music in the '90s. So there's some EMF, some Electronic, Everclear and the Farm. (And that's just the Es and Fs.) Ripped them, too.
  • Once I bought a CD because the group's name -- The Schramms -- was the same as my girlfriend's last name at the time. I don't know how I ended up with it because I actually gave it to her as a gift. Ripped it.
I ripped it all. All the bad songs by bad artists as well as the less favorite songs from good ones. That means 83 more R.E.M. songs. 92 by Smashing Pumpkins, whose Aeroplane Flies High box set of covers and Melon Collie outtakes I inexplicably bought.

I put all my remaining Beatles tunes online, including songs I over-listened to as a kid and albums that I think are really overrated, like Sgt. Pepper. I had a really nice client a few years back who had a huge collection and asked what music I like. Off the top of my head I said, the Beatles, Bowie ... and he ripped their entire catalog for me.

So now I have 461 Beatles tunes, which is odd since they only recorded about 150 songs. There's live stuff, and the Anthologies and various duplicates.

I even went through all the random CD mixes I got from weddings and birthdays and shows I did. I was a little choosier with these, since it wasn't my music in the first place.

It's all on the computer now. 3,183 songs. 17.71 GB. Over 8 days of listening. Which now would overload my 16 GB iPhone, so I need to do some selecting and playlisting.

And it's all backed up, too, so I'm thinking of getting rid of all the CDs. (If I could also scan all my photo albums and replace all my hard copy books with eBooks, my next moving job will require maybe three boxes.)

What an ordeal. For anyone converting their discs to the computer, I would recommend doing it all at once. When I burned mine 5 or 6 years ago I was selective. Big mistake. iTunes is a finicky mutha. So if you've got The Pretenders listed without the "The," iTunes is going to put them in different albums. Or if your punctuation is off or a hundred other things, you've got a lot of manual fixes to do.

Glad to be done. And this wasn't even on my to-do list this year ...

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