16 January 2010

My iPod is blowing up

I have a lot of music. I think I mentioned that I have well over 4000 CDs. It has been said that "if you can't find something you like in my collection, you don't like music". I now add that even if you don't like music, I probably have something in there for you (Stockhausen, The Residents, Rap, and so on). I try to have a sample of pretty much everything out there.

That said, I bought the largest capacity mp3 player I can find on the market, the Apple iPod classic 160GB. I loath the thing since it is a pain to manage and crashes frequently. The advantage is that it does have a large capacity which allows me to carry a pretty good selection of music.

The most annoying aspect is the management, in particular playlists. You can only manage it on one computer, which is a total pain. This is especially true if you find you put the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" on say your "last Night of the Proms" playlist by accident. A proper version of "God Save the Queen" is OK in such a situation, but not the Sex Pistols' version. Likewise, I found that I had put some of The Move and Wizzard's music on an English Restoration Playlist which was fairly jarring. I mean jumping from Purcell (even if the song was "pox on you for a fop") to The Move's Omnibus really buggers up the mood.

DId you realise how hard it is to perform "pox on you for a fop"? I mean you have to belch and fart on cue.

Henry Purcell, epitome of "The Flowering of the English Baroque". The artist and composer of sublime secular and sacred music. The man whom John Dryden described as:
So ceas'd the rival Crew when Purcell came,
They Sung no more, or only Sung his Fame.
Struck dumb they all admir'd the God-like Man,
The God-like Man,
Alas, too soon retir'd,
As He too late began.
We beg not Hell, our Orpheus to restore,
Had He been there,
Their Sovereign's fear
Had sent Him back before.
The pow'r of Harmony too well they know,
He long e'er this had Tun'd their jarring Sphere,
And left no Hell below.

Or just some twit who wrote puerile songs?

Anyway, back to my point. You find that some GMFU like this has occurred and the only way to deal with it is to skip the offending songs if you aren't near the computer one manages their iPod. I found that just using the "baroque" genre did the trick for the time being.

On the other hand, some people come up with fairly bizarre genres for their songs. Such as categorising Stockhausen as "blues" as opposed to "noise". OK, I don't know how you would describe "Hymnen", but it sounds as if someone is tuning a shortwave radio for 4 LP sides. I didn't bother with removing the record surface noise when I transferred THAT to MP3. In fact, isn't ambient noise part of the whole John Cage, Stockhausen, et al genre?

I am writing this as I synch my iPod. It has just gone from 148GB to 136GB as it "updates" my files. This is because I have a library of 45,000 songs! The iPOd can't handle a library like that even though it wants to synch your entire library to the iPOd, which is another reason the thing crashes. The best way to get the iPod to synch what you want is to use MediaMonkey for the bulk of your library, if you have a large collection. Put your songs into playlists and transfer the playlists to itunes.

In fact, delete your itunes library and just use playlists from MediaMonkey.

Unfortunately, you can't use RealPlayer or MediaMonkey to manage large files since the iPOd's directory crashes if you try that.

Please, please, please somebody come up with an MP3 player that can handle large amounts of music. As I said in a previous post, I like the Brennan JB7, but I don't think it is as portable as I would like it to be. Archos makes a media tablet with a 250GB drive, but I don't trust "media players" after my experience with the Argosy and IOmega versions which couldn't read elementary files for MP3 and DVDs. The ASUS O!Play sound like it could handle my video needs and possibly my mp3 needs, but it is also not portable.

Another possibility is to create a new OS for the iPod that allows for it to be managed in such a way that you don't have to use Apple's proprietary software with its encumbent problems. I haven't tried using MediaMonkey to manage the thing since I have had bad experiences with other programmes than iTunes to manage the iPod.

And while you're at it come up with a super open source OS that beats the crap out of Microsoft Windows. As I said before, I am switching to ubuntu before I move to another form of windows.

FInal ending note to this rambling rant: iTunes has just informed me that it cannot synch all my music, but will try to get as much on as it can.