With the switch to a Mac you had to guess it was only a matter of time before the rant about iTunes and the musical revolution. While I’m still setting everything up on the new computer (hey, when you spend all day on your computer, it takes a while to get everything in order), my iTunes library has been in heavy rotation.
A few days ago we began ripping every CD in the house, and I think we might be done, save for a few random CDs here and there. The grand total is 5,360 songs. That’s 13.7 days worth of music taking up 18.53 GB (It’s a good thing I went for the 160 GB harddrive over the 80 GB). Let’s take a look at the top 5:
Of course how many songs I own by a particular group isn’t much of an indicator. Five Iron probably nabbed the second spot thanks to the 33-track Cheeses of Nazareth album. And MxPx is up there thanks to a number of review copies and best of’s (I even have another MxPx album that I couldn’t rip thanks to copy protection to keep reviewers from leaking the album). And of course Petra is up there because I bought every album I could in junior high. What was I thinking?
My list of most played tracks means nothing so far (Simpsons quotes take the top 5), and with 5,000 tracks, I imagine it will take a while before that list does mean something.
The first track I “bought” with iTunes (thank you, Pepsi) was Green Day’s rendition of “I Fought the Law” used in the iTunes Super Bowl commercial. The original was one of my favorite songs on one of my dad’s oldies tapes. My second iTunes “purchase” was the JXL Radio edit of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation.” from the Elvis: 30 #1 Hits album. I’m a little behind the game on that one, but I really like the dance mix. And my third iTunes “purchase” was Johnny Cash’s “The Devil’s Right Hand” from the posthumously-released Unearthed boxed set. I love the simple electric guitar in that song.
“I Fought the Law,” Elvis, and Johnny Cash. I think my dad would be proud.
And thus begins the music revolution. All I need now is an iPod. Then my 5,000+ songs would fit in my pocket rather than the drawers and shelves and boxes they currently take up. And while that’s a ridiculous amount of music (almost two weeks worth!), it allows me to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want. I’m freed from the tyranny of media (to some extent). I no longer have to deal with the limitations of CDs — listening to someone else’s track list, or only being able to fit 76 minutes.
iTunes is a new experience, but it’s liberating already. I’ve rediscovered music I own but haven’t listened to in a while. And chances are I’ll listen to it more in the future since I won’t have to dig the CD out of storage. I’m discovering new music and those gems buried in albums of duds. I’ve rediscovered a vast collection of indie music I forgot I had.
Music at my fingertips. What a concept. The music industry is being turned on its head, and it’s great. The album is dead, and I say so long. It was never an artistic vehicle in the first place, it was a profit vehicle. Now I’m in control of my music — giving the customer choice. What a concept.