Monday, May 26, 2008

iTunes 101

A couple of years ago I got an iPod Nano. Hardly had anything on it, used it seldom.

Pete bought me an iPod Touch for Christmas. It is pretty much the coolest gadget ever, and inspired me to start really getting on board with it. With that, though, I've still been lax in terms of getting music loaded, and definitely in terms of getting my music organized through iTunes.

I feel like I'm just finally learning the very basics about iTunes, even though I've used it for a couple of years, because I'm just now really getting organized. Until today, I probably had a GB of classical music all in one playlist titled "orchestra". I haven't really taken the time to think through what I want to do. The complete flexibility and control is almost too much to wrap my brain around - it's such a huge mental change from CDs. I finally realized that it's essentially a relational data warehouse, upon which I can build all sorts of views to access the data in different ways. Once I started conceptualizing it that way (my IT nerd background coming in really handy) it all started making sense.

So the light bulb has finally turned on regarding how this will revolutionize my classical music collection. Classical music is different. Very rarely do I feel like listening to "something Brahms", like I would feel like listening to something by Barenaked Ladies, but don't really care what. Generally, I want to listen to the Brahms double, or the B Major Trio, etc. The sucky thing is that classical CDs almost always have many different compositions on them - sometimes by many different composers. So in our 400 disc changer, I not only have to figure out which CD it was, but which track, etc. All that is gone, now. I can have playlists by composer, by music type (symphony, concerto, etc.), by artist... it goes on and on. I could spend months and months slicing and dicing it so many different ways (well, after spending months trying to get everything loaded).

Now I just need to figure out all this compression/bit rate stuff, so I can make sure I'm not totally destroying my classical music. Although, frankly, most of the time my iPod will be used in situations where it's not an ideal listening experience anyway, so some quality loss is probably not the end of the world. I have no plans of ditching my CDs as of yet, and I suppose that when I get to that point, memory will be so cheap that to store everything in a lossless data format will be much more feasible than it ever could be now with my 8GB Touch.

Ah... I love technology.

1 comment:

Meigan said...

You know, I haven't put any classical music on my iPod. I use my shuffle feature a lot & I don't like skipping through the classical pieces. But you're right - I bet it sounds fantastic.

I don't know. Listening to classical music reminds me that I should be playing my violin more. So I stick with ABBA!