Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ARRRRGH, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF IT ALL!

Ever wonder what it looks like when you put a CD in your microwave? A friend of mine did it for me once at his house, and it's pretty cool! I don't know what it does to the microwave, but the CD looks pretty cool when it's being cooked, and equally cool afterward! I found the picture at
http://margo.student.utwente.nl/el/microwave/ , a site that has lots of fun stuff to do with your microwave... check it out!
But before I get into agonies and ecstasies, first things first:
I'm having a major problem with Blogger lately, or maybe it's just with my computer... but it won't let me copy and paste things any more. It's very annoying. I was writing the following in an e-mail to J. Marquis, and thought "hey, this might be fun to post at my blog".
So when I went to copy what I was writing and post it here? Nothing. Blogger (or my computer) allows me to copy and paste when I am here at Blogger writing my post, but it doesn't allow me to do it from outside sources. If any of you might have an insight as to how I can fix this without having to spend hours on the phone with a support tech or waiting for an e-mail response from Blogger, I will appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

Now, on to what I was writing about, and I have had to retype it all here:

ARRRRGH, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF IT ALL!

I'm at something of a loss as to what to do with my CD collection. It has gotten quite large. I haven't counted the CDs in a long time, but I know there are well over 1,000. There are at least that many, and maybe twice as many burned CDs. Being obsessive-compulsive, it makes thinking about such things rather difficult for me. I realize I am basically hoarding things for the mythical time that might come "when I might need" the thing. But is some OCD behavior justifiable?
But maybe I shouldn't be at a loss, and should just allow myself to enjoy it all without any guilt.

I tend to get emotionally attached to some music, and I find I want to have the CD around whether I ever listen to it or not. I have some CDs I haven't listened to for years.

For example, I can't tell you when the last time was that I got out any of my dozen-or-so Rolling Stones CDs. It has possibly been at least a couple years... But would I want to get rid of any of them? I'm not sure. Would I want to burn particular tracks I like onto CD-R compilations, and just keep the compilations? That's a tough question for me.

On the Stones' "It's Only Rock and Roll" album there are four or five tracks I really like, but there might come a time when I would specifically want to hear other numbers like "Short and Curlies" or "Luxury". I dread experiencing a sense of loss I might feel because I would not have a way to hear those songs other than via a download.

I also tend to view albums as whole works. I tend to view the songs I like on particular albums in the context of the album as a whole. Using the same Stones album as an example, I always think of "Till the Next Goodbye" as the song that bridges the album's title track and "Time Waits for No One". When most artists create an album, they set out to create something that creates not just a collection of impressions, but an entire impression. Looking at it this way, albums develop their own attitudes or personalities in my mind, and they become very real, very human. Individual trees combine to make a forest. And without some of the other, smaller trees, the woods can take on a very thinned-out look.

Would the Beatles' "White Album" feel complete without "Wild Honey Pie" or "Revolution #9"? Would "Led Zeppelin III" be complete without "Bron-y-Aur Stomp"? Of course not!

I do like downloading songs for several reasons. It is convenient, most things I would want are available as downloads, and it allows me to cull through albums for particular songs I like and thus spend less money by not having to buy a CD for $15 or more just to get those few songs I want.

However, I'm "old-school" in that I find downloading music to be kind of impersonal. It is an almost-impersonal way for me to go about collecting and listening to tunes. Without the cover art, the liner notes, and actually being able to hold the artifact in my hands, it just doesn't seem complete. It seems like without these things, I lose a great degree of connection to the artist, in that I have only a partial piece of the picture the artist created. For me, it is like viewing a famous painting with only the prominent features visible and nothing in the background. It strips the artwork of context. As a lover of music, I want to feel that connection.

Okay, okay, so I am just trying to justify my obsessive-compulsive behavior. I admit it. But I think this DOES justify it to an extent. I don't see this behavior as BAD. The CD collection takes up quite a bit of space in a spare room of our house, but because Mrs. Snave and I are "empty nesters" the collection is basically out of sight and it doesn't invade anyone's personal space. Other than being online a lot, the CD collection is really the only vice I allow myself besides books, but Mrs. Snave shares some of my love for books (she could probably care less about the CDs, but she has put up with my CD obsession for about 22 years, bless her heart!)

I will probably keep most of my CD collection. When vinyl LPs were pretty much discontinued, I sorted through my collection of about 900 to 1,000 records and saved out about 250. I actually do get a record or two out and play some of them now and then. Same with my cassette tapes. I probably still have a few hundred of those around too.

Some day when CDs are no longer being made, will have a few thousand items which can only be played through an obsolete delivery system? Maybe not. CDs are so ubiquitous today, I see no way they won't still be around in 15-20 years, maybe even longer. Heck, vinyl LP records have made something of a comeback in the last five years. Why wouldn't compact discs also have staying power? Or, should CDs fade, why wouldn't they also have a renaissance someday?

I could look at it this way: "Hey Snave, if you don't think you have listened to it in five years, get rid of it." That would cut the number of factory-manufactured CDs down to a few hundred.

But no, I will continue doing things as I do now. I will only cull through the collection a few times a year, pick out a dozen or so discs to take to the CD store to use as trade-ins (after I have burned a few tracks I like onto CD-Rs) and keep all the rest, while continually adding new stuff. Cycle and recycle.

I look at my big CD collection as a great investment for a lot of hours of happy listening when I am an old man. I think that when I am 80 or so, it will be GREAT to have all that variety, and so much of it with original artwork, liner notes, and albums in their entirety. And when I'm gone? Mrs. Snave and the kids can have what CDs, cassettes and LPs they like and sell the rest of them for like fifty cents a pop at a big yard sale. It obviously won't bother me at that point.

Until then, having a big variety of music to suit my many moods is of great importance to me. Music is a major thing in what makes my world turn.
So is anticipating the arrival of new music... say, when does that new Wilco CD come out?
Why, didn't you know? It's June 30, of course!

10 Comments:

Blogger Demeur said...

As for the computer problem the best place to go is www.waynejohn.com. He is a resident expert on blogger problems. He has tons of blogger tips and tricks. Tell him I sent you.
On the music keep the good stuff like the Beatles and the Stones. I've had some music that I never want to hear again. So I'd keep the classics like the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd and dump the Manalow.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

That photo: Close Encounters of the Microwave Kind?

I'm with you. I can't get into the download thing; I'm an album guy (of course the internets is great for checking out new stuff). And I've got CDs I haven't listened to in years, but I simply couldn't get rid of any of my stuff. Maybe I'll want to listen to it in a few years.

7:16 AM  
Blogger 1138 said...

snave said: "I also tend to view albums as whole works."

I agree with that and that's why I still maintain my massive LP collection and turntables.
Many LP's (E.L.O., Alan Parson Project, Post Mop Top Beatles) and others were composed as two or 4 sided pieces of a whole with the intermission(s) of turn and changing platters. It's not the same all run together on a CD ROM disc.

Does the copy pastte problem persist if you completely shut down your PC and turn it back on (not restart from the shutdown options)?

11:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Putting a CD in the microwave -- that sure is tempting. I just can't get those newfangled things to work. Every time I put one on the record player, the damn needle just slides all over the place and I can't get any sound.

What the hell are you supposed to do with those dadgum things anyway?

2:39 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

I know what you mean about having a hard copy of liner notes, it gives you more of a connection to the music to have some knowledge of it's creation. back hen I was pirating music (a long time ago, I don't do it any more) I would still buy a CD of an artist I discovered just for that fact.
Round here, we spend most of our time building both our CD and vinyl collections. My album collection is now in it's third incarnation, having been broken down and sold off twice. You can now find CDs at garage sales at the same price as albums, when you can find albums, as most America ditches another format for the next, and I imagine that if no one buys them, they end up in a land fill for ever, so I'm doing my (very) little bit.

3:37 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I like having the cds. I mostly listen to them in the car and listen to the downloads on my IPOD at work.

I think I have about 500 or so cds. I always figured they bugged my wife and I offered to put them in one of our spare bedrooms but she said she liked having them in the family room. I love this woman!!

5:11 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Isn't music wonderful! 8-)

I might actually start buying some vinyl again. I have a good turntable. The problem is that when I moved the stereo from one room to another, I think I lost the ground wire from the turntable. I took it in to the local stereo shop and they tell me it doesn't need a groundwire, but when I turn on the turntable, I get a pretty loud hum. Not sure what to do... But once I get that problem solved, I might start getting some records again... just because!

I have been picking up a few here and there at yard sales during the past few years, probably accumulating about 50 or so during that time period. Of course it's all stuff from 15 years ago or longer, but that's o.k. Newer music doesn't necessarily mean it's better music!

I guess I don't have an ear for what so many seem to perceive as the differences between vinyl and CDs when it comes to sound quality. Some people say CDs sound harsh, brassy, etc. and LPs have a warm sound. Well... I can say some of my LPs have a nice warm sound, warm like the sound of music with crackling fire in the background. One thing I do like about the CDs is there is no hiss, no popping, no crackling unless the artist has put it in there on purpose (i.e. on the song "Daphnia" by Yo La Tengo from their album "I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass"... one of the best album titles of all time, IMHO!)

7:20 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

It sounds to me like a problem with your browser and/or operating system, and/or RAM.

What operating system are you using? What browser? How much RAM do you have? Does your PC's graphics component have its own dedicated memory or does it use a portion of system RAM? What is your browser's cache setting?

Had you been doing a lot of stuff online for quite a while when you found you couldn't copy and paste?

If it happens again, try closing down the browser, then restarting it and going back to where you were. See if you can then copy and paste. Then let us know what happened.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

I wish I had a solution for you regarding the CDs. I have the same problem with my DVD collection...where do I put all of them? Anyway, I would definitely keep the classics--Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, stuff like that. More recent stuff can go...

8:48 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I probably won't have time to try those suggestions until Saturday, because I'll be out of town... but I will try the things you have suggested! Thanks!

9:04 PM  

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