Monday, August 27, 2007

Jukebox Heaven



i'm on the threshold of finishing a task that has taken over eight months so far. since early december of last year, i've been converting my CD collection into a digital jukebox on my hard drive. of course, like the linux geek that i am, i chose ogg vorbis as the compression format.

i've now got a library of 524 albums, many of them box sets, on my hard drive's audio partition. that's double the size of the library since the last time i created a backup of my collection. i hate that part because it takes forever and Ubuntu's incomplete support for reading, writing and viewing DVDs makes it painful.

i would be much happier if i had an external hard drive where i could dump everything. even so, my archivist's sense of duty (and my laziness) would dictate that i burn regular backups to DVD. ripping my entire collection again would take a million times longer than burning eight or ten DVDs of ogg files. it would also be a million times more tedious the second time through.

i get physically ill when i think about losing all that work in a massive hard drive failure. it's only going to get worse when i start ripping all my records and cassette tapes. digitizing a large collection of analog recordings is an enormous pain in the ass. especially if you have to clean the recordings beforehand, like many of the records i get for a dollar apiece in my local goodwill store.

it's a certainty that i will be obsessively backing up everything much more frequently and storing multiple copies in different locations to guard against total loss in the event of a catastrophe that involves losing not just the hard drive, but the collection of the originals as well. i can't begin to describe the sheer joy of having hundreds of recordings instantly available. currently, i have my pick of half a dozen genres. my fondest wish is to have all of it available for listening at home and at work, so the external hard drive will eventually be in the picture. the ability to access a large library of music so effortlessly is the most lovely development in audio technology in my entire life.

i'm horrified at the big music companies' reaction to it. they show a remarkable lack of imagination, but what else can one expect from paper-pushing warriors? they are such fools. since i embarked on this project, i've acquired fistfuls of new music. listening to so much of it has the strange and inexplicable effect of making me want more of it. who would have guessed?

today, the second copy of Heart Shaped World i've ever bought arrived in the mail. i owned it in the past, but sold it because my unschooled ear couldn't appreciate it. i'm so happy to have it back in my collection again. it only intensifies my desire to get a guitar. god, how that eats at me. for now, i content myself with memorizing the guitar parts of the music i listen to all day. being able to hum the tune from memory will give me a big head start when i finally take the plunge and buy a guitar to play them.

1 comment:

emily2 said...

my ipod has twice the memory capacity of my hard drive. and you can set an ipod to function as a regular hard drive in addition to a music player. this means that i can back up my entire hard drive on my ipod, but i'm just too lazy to do so...

so yeah, i suggest you get one of those 80 gig ipods.