I guess I started down this path in the last year. As part of my continual paring down of the material things in my life, I sat down with a box of old cassette tapes (oh horrors) and copied them to MP3. Most of them, some had degraded too much to save. I didn’t have acres of cassettes. And, honestly, most of my choices for music in that era of my life don’t thrill me anymore, but it was a sentimental trip.

Then this past week, I wanted to get Jack Peñate’s album that was just released here in the states. I didn’t hunt for it exhaustively, but I did look at a few places. And then I just decided this was pointless. I could go home and download the album. What was the point anymore of having the CD? I hardly ever look at the liner notes anymore. I had argued with myself for ages that the CD was essentially my back-up of the album’s I bought. But three shelves worth of back-up is a lot more space than just backing them up on a spare hard drive…

So, I’ve made the jump fully to digital. I spent the last week ripping all my CD’s in my spare time (of which there’s been plenty as this darn cough won’t let go). That was enlightening as well. I had no idea how much music I have that I hardly listen to. I’d gotten into a habit where I listened to only what I had ripped, which would be my favs from the past and any new purchases. That’s not to say I didn’t care for the other albums, they were just less accessible. The only place I listen to CD’s that much anymore is the car because of the 12 disc changer.

So, I’ve pretty much left the CD era. I’ve ordered some albums and as soon as they get here, I’ll transfer all of my CD’s into the albums along with the liner notes and dump the scratched up jewel cases. I’ve got my music collection on a network attached hard drive and backed up to a spare 80 gig external hard drive (the laptop’s old HD that I just replaced with a 200 gig model).

If anyone has suggestions for music (or media in general) library software, let me know. I’ve used windows media player, but it’s not impressing me. Less so now that I’ve got music on a network drive. I want to be able to shift music over to the laptop in the library for when I’m on the road. Sure, I can drop and drag in windows, but the library then finds the new location and doesn’t just update the location, it now shows a whole second copy… except of course it eventually complains that one is missing… duh!

I’m trying out atunes right now. That’s not a typo. I used actual itunes once some time ago and was not impressed. Maybe it’s improved since? So far I’m liking atunes. Not perfect but I can shift locations of my media within the library itself. The only thing so far that’s annoying me is the shuffle function doesn’t seem so random as I would like. Never happy am I?

Anyway, this is Mark’s digital life…

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