iTunes… gettin’ organized

This afternoon I spent some quiet time picking through my CDs and marking the ones I’ve ripped to iTunes. There were over 200 of them. There’s another 127 here to be ripped, plus an uncounted stack (maybe 100, perhaps 150) in the basement, some of which are duplicates, and most of which have never been opened.

I’ve mentioned that I was a record producer for a while. As part of that job, I was a member of the FCMA (Faith-Centered Music Association), which had voting and awards and all that back-patting stuff. I was there when the FCMA was first chartered. My friend Bob Ahlander was one of the founders, and in his own words, the Association existed to “raise the bar” for music released in the LDS market.

The other thing it existed for was to mail Howard 30 or 40 CDs a year, which he was supposed to listen to and vote on. Obviously I wanted to vote only for my own stuff, and equally obviously, that’s no way to run a “raise the bar” association. Voting became a chore, and when I stopped being a record producer, I stopped paying my dues, and the CDs stopped showing up in the mail.

Some of those CDs are quite good. A rare few suck so hard you’d think we were below sea-level. Most of them are “nice,” or so I suppose, since I haven’t opened them, but they’ve been nominated for awards here and there.

Well, my Pop music collection (the stuff I paid for) has mostly been ripped. Only a few of these religious discs have been. Today I was mulling over the fact that I don’t have much “Sunday-flavored” music on my iPod, and it occurred to me that the time had come to finally organize things so that I could fill up my hard-drive and de-clutter the CD-shelf. And so the project began. It’s a nice Sunday activity, turning the marketing loss-leaders of my former competitors into captive ones-and-zeroes so I can enjoy their work with random, shuffling anonymity up in the kitchen.

As of this writing my iTunes Music Library has 9.31 GB of data in it (I’m not asking for bragging rights – I’ve SEEN what a properly huge iTunes library looks like). I’ll have exceeded the storage on my 15 GB iPod before this project is complete, methinks. That’ll be nice. That’ll force me to CHOOSE what I download to the iPod, which will have me happily unearthing things I didn’t know I had, and listening to new-to-me music without spending money.


14 thoughts on “iTunes… gettin’ organized”

  1. One of my favorite things to do when I’m getting bored of the music I’m listening to is to look at my “unplayed music” playlist. To make one: File -> new smart playlist; select “play count”, “is”, and “0” for the fields.


    1. Never Played: 1371 songs, 3.8 days, 5.25 GB. Some of these songs have stars next to them — I rated them when ripping them because I knew I loved them, but iTunes has never played them through.


  2. I forgot that you used to be a record producer.

    I’d ask you for help with my own CD, except that really, the lo-fi Seattle thing I do is probably fundamentally a different approach. :>

    1. A good producer has a few things going for him:

      1) A good ear. I’ve still got that.
      2) A love for the music being produced, and an understanding of its market. In your case, yeah, I lack that. I haven’t been paying attention either to your musical chops or the genre(s) in which you play.
      3) Contacts, contacts, contacts. Everything from engineering to retail — the printers, the CD-stampers, the post-production/mastering folks, the wholesalers, the music critics, etc. It’s a long list. Most of my contacts are in the wrong field, have moved on to other things, or have been acquired by/driven-out-of-business by newcomers. Five years is a LONG time.

      So… about all I’d be good for is a critical ear. Even the technology I used to be so proud to be on top of has moved beyond my ken.


  3. Holy Crap

    That stack of 100 to 150 CDs I saw in the basement was masking two boxes of 50 CDs each, and another short stack of at least 40. I’d say the count in the basement has gone up to at least 250.

    Add that to the 120 or so I have up here, and my non-ripped music outnumbers my ripped music pretty handily.

    Well, now I have something to do while I wait for people to post in my Live Journal, right? 😉

    1. Re: Holy Crap

      That you do, that you do.

      Any of it happen to be gothic metal, out of curiosity? Meaning any of the music you own, actually. Or gothic rock, I suppose.

      I’m just curious.

        1. Re: Holy Crap

          Mmmm, love the Evanescence! What’s up with them these days, anyone know? Last I heard, Ben had left the band…


  4. It is a constant source of aggravation (well, okay, let’s say recurring, really) that “Sunday-flavored” music tends to be “unflavored” — by which I mean, well, bland. Not the content, you understand; it’s just almost universally dull listening in my experience, unoriginal sounding. It’s possible that that’s true of most other genres as well and I’m just better at finding stuff that interests me in the big bad world, I suppose.

    I am passing acquaintance with Rick Wezowicz who does a podcast about independent Christian music, but bless his heart, I find almost everything he plays on there unlistenable for the above reasons.

    But hey, I used to really dig Petra, so what do I know?


    1. My favorite Sunday music is instrumental hymnody. This is what I used to produce, and my favorite album of those I produced was a classical guitar recording done in the Springville Museum of Art (neat acoustics!). The album is called Kingsfold, and I’m pleased to see that those who bought my little record company have kept at least that product alive. You can listen to sample tracks at their site.


      1. Howard,

        I’m not really sure you’ll see this, unless you have comments mailed to you, but here goes:

        Have you listened to Phil Keaggy’s Hymnsongs? I’d be glad to forward a copy to you. It’s a beautiful acoustic instrumental collection of hymns and praise songs. I think it would be right up your alley.

        1. I haven’t heard it. Go ahead and email me directly using the link on the home-page (you’ll need javascript enabled) and we can discuss this stuff.


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