Saturday, August 25, 2007

We've Only Just Begun....

As I've observed in my first week of classes so far, apparently every one in law school has a laptop. So being the ever dedicated, competitive academic scholar that I am (and realizing that this was a great opportunity to get a parentally subsidized new laptop) I heeded the advice of a fellow unemployed NYU alum and got myself a Dell.

I'm pretty satisfied with my purchase thus far. Everything seems to be working fine, Vista isn't nearly as annoying as I thought it would be, and compared to the outdated leviathan that was my old Toshiba from when I started undergrad it'll be a refreshing change not to suffer a hernia every time I tote it around. It's been a few years since I got a new computer (or had to completely format a computer and start anew) and I every time I always enjoy the feeling of a fresh computer with a completely blank slate. Everything runs faster, loads quicker, there's plenty of hard drive space, and there isn't the byzantine system of folders, files, and programs that usually develops through the course of my use. It's all clear virgin territory at the start and I always say to myself this time I'll organize all my files, or keep track of all the programs I install and uninstall, or the porn will be summarily categorized by genre for easy access. I try my best but a year or two down the line I'm trying to remember what I saved that term paper under, or what this random exe file does, or I'm finding a chick on chick video in the middle of a folder of Huey Lewis mp3s. Nevertheless, hope springs eternal in that initial boot up.

While I enjoy most of the activities associated with setting up a new computer the one major annoyance is getting all my music in iTunes in order. Now, this never used to be a problem back in my early days of mp3 enjoyment. I had my small handful of mp3s that each took me hours to download through Napster via a 28.8K modem connection and I would just select and play my precious little collection of files on my winamp player. By the end of high school friends started getting cable lines and CD-R drives and we found ourselves being able to connect to each others' computers and transfer our files through a "network", growing our collection exponentially. As the cache of mp3s began to grow I began to the start organizing them in separate folders based on artists and genres, still accessing them individually using winamp. This behavior reached a critical mass when college started and everyone got a high speed internet line and copious amounts of free time to download and trade music. This all changed during my sophomore year, when our lone Mac using suitemate, against my wishes, installed iTunes 4.1, the first edition available for windows on my computer. I begrudgingly gave it a try and found it diabolically exploiting my personal compulsion to categorize and rank things. By the end of the year my entire collection had been given meticulous star rankings and arranged in countless different playlist groups. I also got a new fangled "iPod" that year, thus further strengthening iTunes' monopoly over my personal music.

Now I find nothing wrong with this arraignment, it's a great system for me. However, this becomes a serious issue every time I have to move my collection over to a new computer. I guess to slow down rampant song piracy iTunes has made it a total bitch to perfectly transfer all your files and information to another computer. Physically moving the song files over is easy enough but the real appeal of iTunes: the stars ratings, the accumulated play counts, the carefully created playlists, stubbornly refuses to move. Since I didn't want to spend countless hours re-organizing thousands upon thousands of song, I searched the internet and found about a million sites, boards, and blogs with solutions to this issue. As it turned out though many involved shady third person software, complicated jerry rigging of code, or flat out didn't work. After about two hours personal trial and error I managed to trick the files into thinking they were in my old computer by creating a near identical directory on my new PC (don't tell them). This was a compromise solution however since I was able to preserve everything but the song counts.

Thus my collection enters a brave new world of statistics. History has been completely reset to zero and the hallowed heights of my "Most Played" smartlist are now open to any number of songs catchy enough, replayable enough, and lucky enough to be considered the most played. With respect to the accomplishments of the past, as of earlier this week the top five most played songs of all time were as followed:
  1. Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne (53)
  2. Rich Girl - Hall and Oates (50)
  3. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths (48)
  4. Sleeping With the Television On - Billy Joel (45)
  5. Someday Someway - Marshall Crenshaw (44)
So who has the chops to wrestle the title from the Pretender? Well, a look at the early exit polls over the last week indicate a wide open field:
  1. Goodbye to Love - The Carpenters (3)
  2. Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check - Busta Rhymes (2)
  3. Queen Bitch - David Bowie (2)
  4. 19 way tie at (1)
Whether Karen and Richard can maintain this momentum in the long run remains to be seen and these numbers will see no doubt some definite fluctuation as I continue to listen to my iPod during my 3 hours daily commutes. You can probably bet Billy Joel and Hall and Oates will make multiple appearances in the days ahead, but until then what lies in the future is a mystery to us all, no one can predict the wheel of fortune as it falls.

1 comment:

  1. You got off easy...I had to re-import over a 1000 songs last week when my iPod crashed.

    Its interesting that we had two of the same songs in our Top 5 before we had to start over.