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 emusic.com, 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.