I made a chronology of how I adapted to liking using my computer for music rather than my CD player. Do I even have a CD player? Not sure. In this chronology I can see my shift in philosophy as I entered into using iTunes, from first only transferring my favorite CDs, then to transferring my favorites plus some I played less often, to finally opting to transfer everything. I also see my gradual increase in quality, from initially opting for 128kbps, supplanting that with 160, then 256, then briefly 320 before deciding on the best quality of Apple Lossless (“so I’ll never have to do this again.”). As I compose this blog entry, I have fewer than 100 cds left to import, and then I’ll have transferred everything – down to every last single and concert – to hard drive. 3,100+ albums in all.
2005-08: I state that “I still want my music on a disc”. Meaning a CD.
2006-03: I learn that iTunes is not just a store, but also a playback interface.
2006-10: I transfer some of my CDs to iTunes “picking only the best albums” at 128kbps AAC.
2006-11: 6.63 GB from importing CDs.
2007-02: Enjoying shuffle play.
2007-02: Transfer to iTunes some albums that “I only like when I am surly”.
2007-07: “I am slowly upgrading my music collection from 128 kbps to 160 kbps because 160 sounds smoother.” “I am only re-ripping my favorite albums.”
2007-12: Become a fanatic about getting cover art in for promos and other albums that iTunes does not have art for.
2008-08: Retransfer the current selection of CDs at 256kbps. Takes 6 weeks.
2009-03: 15,511 songs.
2009-08: Enjoying remixes. “Thanks to iTunes on shuffle play, you never know what version you’ll hear.”
2009-?? Retransfer my favorite albums at 320kbps. Believe, incorrectly, that this will be it.
2010-02: Decide that lossless music sounds better than even 320kbps. New hard drive bought so I’ll have the necessary room.
2010-02: Retransfer the current selection of CDs in Apple Lossless. Only studio albums, not live recordings.
2010-03: Decide on new philosophy: Transfer all my studio albums whether I like the album or not — intent is to never have to go into basement to get actual CDs out if I want to listen to an obscure selection.
2010-04: Finish transferring all my studio albums in Apple Lossless. Am I done? Not yet. Decide to transfer all live recordings as well — some 700 or so.
2010-05: 616 GB. 33,291 songs.
2010-05: 100 more live recordings to transfer, and when I am done every CD I own will now be on hard drive in Apple Lossless. 3,100+ albums in total. Oh crap, I forgot, I have about 50 more live recordings on my shelf — my three favorite live artists (Tegan & Sara, U2, and Kristin Hersh) who I did not store with the rest.
In all this time, I only bought maybe a dozen songs from iTunes. I remain a steadfast supporter of CDs, insofar as they are the only source for what we call “lossless” music. I buy CDs from ebay, Amazon, and tons of other online discount stores. I check the Salvation Army. I check other thrift stores. And lately, only lately, I check for lossless (CD quality) downloads from JunoDownload.com. I can now see the day when CDs will no longer be produced, and lossless downloads in CD quality — or even higher quality than CDs — will be the norm.
And I’ll be fine with that, after all.
…Oh, is there a moral, or a lesson here? I suppose there may be. Kids, start with Apple Lossless.