Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Digital v Analogue #8: A browsing compromise

My major music source is my iPod, played through my car, home or studio music system. I purchase the majority of my music on CD, rip them into my PowerBook's iTunes collection, add album artwork and move them on to my 'preview' playlist. Songs I like stay, ones I don't get deleted. I also have a 90 song per month subscription to, and go through a similar process with the songs I download, re-ripping them to 128kbps AAC and adding cover artworks.

Storing CDs is a logistical problem. I have thousands of CDs, the majority of them are stored at my design studio, with another tranch in three main locations at my house. There is also a significant percentage 'on loan' to friends. Some of these return.

At some point I am going to rationalise this in to one big 'alphabetised by artist' collection in my house, at the moment, discovering where a specific CD is can be problematic... but at least I can 'see' the ones I do have. The songs I download are more of a problem. They sit in my iTunes collection, effectively invisible unless I remember what they are called (yeah, right!) or if they appear on one of my playlists. Worse still, if I delete a track, then later hear it somewhere else and decide that I actually DO like it, I have to pay to download it again.

So, I've come up with a solution. Before I even listen to them, the files I rip or download are copied to a folder on my hard drive, along with a JPEG of the cover artwork. When there are 12 'albums' in the folder, I make up a CD cover featuring all 12 album artworks with their titles and artists. I then burn the music files (along with the cover artworks and PDFs of the cover artwork) to a CD.

The CD serves two main purposes; as a visual reminder of the albums I have purchased and downloaded, and as a 'backup' so that I have copies of every song I have purchased.


Chirag Patel said...

This is a great idea. I purchase most of my music online now (allofmp3), since I live in a small apartment and don't really have much space to store all the CD's. I bougt an external hard-drive to store all my mp3's in case my iPod crashes or gets stolen or anything else. I also burn the music to a CD but ofcouse after so song you froget what is on the cd or you forget to write down what you burned on the CD. I will now be reorganizing CD collection this way now. My problem is finding quality cover art for the songs I buy. Where do you get your cover art?

brett jordan said...

I use a mixture of amazon and google to find album artworks.