Dylan Goes Electric... Again... (Part 1)

March 18th? Really? Is that the last time that I posted anything on any of my blogs? More as a note to myself than anything intended for the eyes of others -- what the hell happened? Those in Alaska know of my recent appearance in that icy burg, so certainly the trip up to sit at my mother's side following her operation (and the late night carousing with numerous, wonderful friends) played a definite part in my lack of online writing lately.

But it's not the real reason at all. It's part of the reason, but I could have easily written something late at night or early in the morning and put it up here during that time. No, the problem rests with the fact that, exactly three weeks ago, I made a decision that for most people is just another purchase in their lives as professional consumers of popular goods. It was something that I wrestled with for several years now -- for what seems like eons, really -- and the time had come, with the impending trip to Alaska looming above me, to finally make my move.

I bought an iPod. And not one of those dinky stick ones, or the puny don't-make-me-laugh 30gig version, or even the double-the-size-but-still (seriously) you've-got-to-be-kidding 60gig former heavyweight cham-peen of da woild that had taunted me with its shiny lustre for several years to this point. I bought the big guy: the 80gig MONSTER. With video, nonetheless. Why this was such a tough decision to me is due to the size of my music collection, and I was waiting for the right moment, and the right machine, to jump into the fray with the rest of the earbud-wearing moron-squad that normally I rail at for being disconnected. You see, it isn't that I wish to be different; I just want to be a moron on my own terms.

And the music collection was the chief delineator of these terms. You see, I own almost 2000 cd's. 1974, to be exact. I also own another 1200 albums on the outmoded LPs and cassettes that I can't quite seem to get rid of to this day. If I were rich, this would be nothing. If I were rich, I would probably go out and buy that many CD's in one shot, just because I could. But I am just a schmoe with a normal cash flow, and because I am constantly purchasing new albums and DVDs, I don't really have the wherewithal to get funds together for the means with which to play them. Moving to California found me getting rid of a lot of old stereo equipment, and planning to set myself up anew once I established myself in the job market. So, I've been playing music on my Mac (I have a swell surround system set up for my baby) since I arrived, but the problem is: I don't have enough space on my computer to store all the music that I want to have immediately at my fingertips. Loading the machine up even partially to the point where I wish it to be leaves me with little room (or memory) to do anything else on the computer.

And so, after years of not being happy with the size of the 60gig (a not-particularly-scientific investigation of what it would take to store all of my CD collection on iPods fell into the 2-1/2 to 3 60gig iPod range), I just up and went to the Apple Store. (Yes, Mattman -- I have one just a couple miles from my home, and it is sheer torture...) I didn't even tell Jen I was going, nor did I ever mention to her in the week preceding this decision that I was thinking of getting one. I just went to the store, looked at it, left the store, caught a bus to downtown Brea, watched The Host at the theatre, caught the bus back to the Apple Store, asked for one, handed them my credit card with a very unsteady hand, retrieved my card, took my iPod out the door, caught the bus home, and never once looked in the bag until I got home. I put it on the bed (where Jen was just rising for the day) and said "Guess what?" She replied, with a sing-songy voice, "What did you get?" I showed her the Apple on the bag, and she said, "Did you get your iPod?" I nodded my head in a Lou Costello "I've been a bad boy, Abbott"-manner, and answered, "I'll see you in about a week..." and left the room to start jamming songs onto my new precious baby. More precious than gold...

After about nine days of dropping songs from the majority of my collection (90% full albums, by the way - I am not a singles guy at all), I had put over 16,000 songs on my new toy. The box says it will hold 20,000 songs, but they tend to work with 3-minute averages and not include 18-minute long Zappa sound collages or Pink Floyd jams, which exist in great proliferation in my collection. The other thing I discovered, in my rush to cram as much as I could onto the thing, is that 80gig only means "74.4gig", meaning that a certain amount of its capacity goes to storing the software that runs the thing. I think this is bullshit, and that when they say "80", they should give you that full 80 for storing music. (I am all about truth in advertising...) So, as I watched the available space dwindle song-by-song on the control screen in iTunes, I lamented the fact that I would have to stop at some point. 16,301 songs -- or rather, tracks, since a certain portion of them were actually comedy bits -- 16,301. I could have jammed on a couple more -- I had about 47mb left at that point -- but, really... when is enough enough?

(To be continued tomorrow...)

Comments

matt Fosberg said…
Technology lust is a horrible thing, glad to see, and I did literally SEE it, that you've got a new toy that you like.

Matt

(and yes, I'm MOST jealous about the fact you live that close to an Apple Store)

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