Sunday, 11 November 2012

Historical Musical Mutterings

Today’s musical mutterings is a little different – it’s a musical history muttering! Enjoy!

One of my more ridiculous musical obsessions is the creation of music playlists for my listening pleasure. The fascination began with my first MP3 player the mighty Samsung Yepp player.

It had a mahoosive 32 megabytes of memory! Yup! That’s right! 32 megabytes! I have single songs with more megabytes than that these days! Oh the memories! I won’t go into the how and the why I bought it or how it was mis-sold to the eager youngster standing there with hi entire weekly pay packet…… ugh. The memories.

Keeping 'it' Fresh YO

Needless to say I had to create many a ‘6 song’ playlist to fit the 32 mb limit so that my bus ride to work and back from work was kept fresh yo.

I hasten to add here that my music collection at that stage was approximately 23 cds and I had only just discovered Napster so my ability to mix it up and keep the music fresh was….. somewhat limited. So after a few months of having to change the playlist every night, I got my hands on some dosh that enabled me to buy a Sony Minidisc player.
It was the happiest day of my musical existence! I now had a device that I could make proper playlists for and I could bring minidiscs with me on my journeys to school, work and friends houses so I could have a choice of playlist! Also I had always been a Sony head. My first Walkman had been a Sony, the blank tapes I bought were Sony, my first stereo system was a Sony and I was a PlayStation fiend! To return ‘home’ to Sony felt good after a treacherous stepover to Samsung. “Yuck” I said as I brushed my shoulder and sanitised my hands. MPFREEEE was how I liked it and MiniDO was the future.

As I was now working a bit more frequently after school and at weekends, I had a bit of spare money to buy more music. My CD collection exploded. Online sites allowed me check out songs from bands I had never heard of. The internet allowed me talk to music heads from around the world and swap songs by email. It was sheer bliss. I discovered original music sites like ‘cdwow’ and amazon and discovered I could get cds for less than half the price I was currently paying HMV. If angels existed, their ‘hallelujah’ moment for me was then. My minidisc collection was small because I didn’t want to copy over albums for the sake of it. My intention was that my minidisc collection would be my personal DJ collection. Mixes and playlists that I created. They were creatively entitled ‘Minidisc 1’ and ‘Minidisc 2’ and….. I think you get the picture! But not only could you have an assortment of discs, but

they were different colours 

What happened TDK?

they were different….. names

Em..... what he said

So in my years of ownership I created in the region of 15 playlists which let me tell you, received the highest amount of detailed listening to ensure one song followed the other perfectly. I tried to mix it nicely with some light rock to start; that would lead you into heavier rock, then to some metal, before ending on a chilled out note.

My Second Minidisc Player
For some reason then in 2004, the unthinkable happended: I fell out of love with the Minidisc player. It was one of those relationships that ended, not due to falling out of love with it, but the love had changed. We were going in different directions. My second minidisc ended up being sold to a Cash Generators store and for Crimboxmas 2004, I requested and received the following:

 Yes. I had gone a full 360 from being MPFREE to being back at MPTOTALLY. Memory size had rocked in the 4 years since I last owned an MP3 player and I felt it was the right time to go back and of course, Sony were my guys to turn to. I still kept my minidiscs as my HiFi system was a Minidisc one so I still had my playlists and strangely, I never remade them for my MP3. They felt sacred to the old Minidisc life and I left them be.

Things went along ok for about nine months. This was a time when no matter what MP3 player you bought, your manufacturer had their own software they wanted you to use and use it you had to. I liked the emerging iTunes, but Sony demanded that I use SonicStage. All my MP3’s had to be converted into WMA’s or something else in order to work. I pined for the days of hassle free music listening and I wanted the ability to choose what software I wanted to use no matter what MP3 I bought. But of course, things would never be that easy. I ended up having two separate but duplicate music libraries on my laptop. I loved iTunes, hated SonicStage but couldn’t bring myself to sell the MP3 that I had received for Crimboxmas previous.

Then in October 2005, my old Dell laptop died. It was no longer fit for anything besides solitaire. My music was thankfully backed up on a hard drive so it was not lost. I wondered what next. My decision was to change my musical and technology based life for ever. I bought an Apple iBook G4 laptop (which to this day is still working!) and that purchase signaled the end for my Sony MP3. It was not Apple compatible and rather strangely I lost all interest in having a personal music player. I sold the MP3 on eBay and didn’t bother with anything for months.

I started working full time in September 2006 in sales and my first months incentive payment was used to move back into the personal music sphere. I bought an iPod Nano! It was 8 GB, the same size as my old Sony so this was perfect for the time. Then I decided I’d be sacreldiscus. I made playlists on my iTunes of all my old Minidisc playlists and in memory of them, kept the creative titling. Indeed, I was so happy to have digitally reconnected with those playlists that on my iPod today I am currently beginning ‘Minidisc 31’! The main changes today are that my Nano was exchanged for a 160GB Classic iPod as my music collection now verges on the insane. I have in excess of 24,000 songs and over 177GB of music. And crazily, all my ‘Minidisc’ playlists are now joined by 11 ‘Chillout’ playlists, 3 Classical playlists and numerous Setlist playlists of bands that I’ve seen live. I have only a few rules when making my playlists. No more than 20 songs and artist duplication is nearly always forbidden. Some playlists I have allowed exceptions! But I try my best to keep the artists as mixed and as separated as possible. Some playlists need exceptions because the genre of music can be so unique, see my example below.

But do I think I have a problem?!

Simple answer is ‘no’! I find it very challenging and thoroughly enjoyable to sit down and try and thrash out a new playlist. I have a ‘list’ that I throw songs I’ve heard and liked into, then I start from there. It can be a great way to hear different genres together and appreciate many different types of music. One of my two most recent playlists is a most interesting listen. I’ve gone for a real up/down tempo mixing rock with some post rock. It’s quite the ride!

Thus far the list is:
Auto Rock – Mogwai
Little By Little – Oasis
Moya – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Come on Home – Franz Ferdinand
Blaise Bailey Finnegan III - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Pardon Me – Incubus
Retreat! Retreat! – 65daysofstatic
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough – Manic Street Preachers
Oroborus – Ulfomammut
Pick A Part That’s New – Stereophonics
State of Non-Return – Om
The Day That Never Comes - Metallica

I’m aiming for 17 or 18 songs on this list I think.

So that’s my musical history muttering! Let me tell you, remembering my old Minidisc’s and MP3 players was awesome! Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this!

No comments:

Post a Comment