A brief musical interlude

Holy crap! Two posts in one day! Lucky you!

I do intend to revive my poorly conceived music blog at some point in the near future. Doing so will coincide with whenever I finish my “Best of 2008” list – yes, I’m sure you’re all giddy with anticipation. However, until that time I wanted to point out that Amazon.com is still running their Black Friday promotions, which includes their top 50 mp3 albums for 5 bucks.

Normally I would assume that the top 50 albums were all pure crap, but there’s a lot of good music there. I’ll tell you right now that Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend*, She & Him – Volume One*, Santogold – Santogold*, Moby – Last Night, Mates of State – Re-arrange Us*  and Jamie Lidell – Jim will all be on the list or honorable mentions. There’s also several other worthwhile downloads and a few that I just picked up myself. Not sure how much longer this sale will go on, so take advantage while you can.

* – These ones are also available on eMusic.


I knew I was approaching the number, but it wasn’t until this morning that I realized I did hit the 30,000 track milestone on last.fm.

30,000 - It's lonely at the top!

Now, why should you care? No reason, really, but I wanted to make sure that Chris saw this and was forced to acknowledge my greatness. Alright, in reality the milestone is simply an excuse to encourage any of you who listen to music regularly through the computer or on mp3 players to try out last.fm if you haven’t. It’s a stats geek dream. Honestly, it’s difficult for me to listen to music for more than 20 minutes without checking what my profile and my friends’ profiles look like.

I originally joined the site when it was just audioscrobbler – which is still the name of the technology behind it – but was never regular enough with it at work. For starters, I didn’t have my entire CD collection (or at least a majority of it) ripped and available. Which meant that I only listened to what I remembered to bring with me or whatever was available from my eMusic account. As a result, things like Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm got played way too much while Arcade Fire sat in my car. Once I started ripping certain CDs and storing them with my digital downloads, using the shuffle mode resulted in tons of Led Zeppelin, Yo La Tengo, and Pearl Jam interspersed with random tracks I got for free – not exactly a stellar listening experience. Then when I tried to play full albums, I’d end up with lots of dead time as I would be too busy to find another one to listen to after the first.

So, what changed?

For starters, ripping about three quarters of my CDs to an external hard drive and sorting them properly with my digital downloads. Now it’s not a matter of picking and choosing – everything is there. More recently, I decided to remove all of the samplers and freebie tracks I’ve gotten from eMusic. You might not think that makes a big difference, but it comes out to over 3000! No wonder it screwed up my shuffle mode! I’m still keeping them, but they’ve been moved outside of the “library” so that I can go through them at me leisure. Also, I switched to foobar2000, because Winamp took up so much memory it would interfere with my work after awhile (not to mention that the interface got too bloated with all of the online stuff I didn’t use).

Now I can sit back, put my collection on “Shuffle (Album)”, and enjoy lots of music without having to babysit the media player. And now, once again, I’m putting on my sad little face and asking for more online friends – because that’s how I measure success. Seriously, it’s very cool… and I’m lonely…