I installed iTunes 9 last week, but it wasn’t until today that I really took a look at the results.
First, some background: At one time, I owned rooms full of CDs, LPs and cassettes. This was largely because I was a newspaper music writer, so I was sent every new release by every label for about 15 years. These things tend to stack up. I bought an MP3 player around 2002 or so, a 64-meg jobbie called an MPio or something like that, but it wasn’t until I bought my first iPod that I realized the convenience of incorporeal media.
I spent a long time adding my favourite CDs to iTunes (to be honest, many of my CDs were never even taken out of the plastic). But that first iPod, which is still working, held only 20 gigs, so I couldn’t put the whole collection on it.
In 2005, when everything imploded, I gave away several thousand CDs and put the ones that mattered in storage in my father-in-law’s barn. He isn’t my father-in-law anymore, and I suspect those CDs are long gone. But I kept the music. Over the years, those 20 gigs worth of songs have been transferred from that iPod to a computer, back to iPods, back to computers, over and over again.
Over the past few years, I have, now and again, deleted songs from iTunes to make my library fit onto that old iPod. This meant songs went missing inside my labyrinth of storage. When we bought a new computer last fall, I continued to synch my iPod with my old laptop, because I am lazy.
I was given a new 120-meg iPod for Christmas, and decided to move all my music and video to the new computer’s monster hard drive and synch there. But I never got around to it. It wasn’t until iTunes 9 came out last week that I dumped all my digital content into one place and plugged in the iPod.
This results in some weird effects, something iTunes 9 has made clear. I have all kinds of weirdly distorted file names, and I can’t change them, so I have to download an ID3 editor. For some reason, this new iTunes is coding some artists’s songs individually, so when I scroll through my iPod I find 100 entries for the Dandy Warhols under “artist.” Also, I have several Bon Jovi songs. I didn’t know that.
So I’m culling. The kids have outgrown all the children’s songs I have, and really, I’m never going to listen to the audiobooks I borrowed from the library and copied all those years ago. I don’t need this Bloodhound Gang album. And why do I have seven copies of The Fixx’s One Thing Leads To Another?
Sometimes I miss CDs, but then I look around at the hundreds that have stacked up in my house over the past two years — discs that have never made it to iTunes — and I realize I’d still rather keep it all in my pocket. Except for the Bloodhound Gang.