Current Play List: Summer 2009: The Whole # by David Whelan My music use has taken a turn that enables me to listen in a different way. I call it the whole #, or the whole shebang since that’s what the # or hash stands for in Perl! It has been a long time goal of mine to digitize my CD collection, an even longer one is to digitize my LPs. I started on it this spring and have now got a sufficient amount available that I can pull tracks and put them together in ways I couldn’t before.
The first step was to put some storage in place. The reality is that you can probably rip and store your entire CD collection on the average hard drive. But putting it on a single machine didn’t work for me because we are a laptop family, and I wanted to be able to access the files on all our machines, from anywhere on our network. We added an Iomega Home Network server with a half terabyte of space. It is directly attached to the network, no computer required, and can be managed with a Web browser.
I also have a Maxtor One Touch with nearly the same amount of space on it, and they are both backup devices for our data: photos, documents, and now music. I rip from my attached CD drive and dump on to the Maxtor, which is directly attached and won’t have any speed fluctuations like the network might. Then I move the music over to the Iomega drive at night, when I don’t have to wait for a couple of GB to move. I’m up to nearly 14 GB of music, which would play for 3 or 4 days without repeat.
It has enabled me to use features of music players like Windows Media Player that had otherwise been meaningless to me. Like search! Now I can type in a composer’s name and retrieve pieces by that person from all the discs in my collection. It’s easy to create a playlist and then retrieve the same files whenever I like in the future.
My current play list reflects a variety of tunes that I would probably not have gathered together if I’d had to grab each CD and pull of the single track that I wanted:
- All Together Now and Groovy Train – The Farm
- Fat Lip – Sum 41
- Rock the Casbah – The Clash
- Hangin’ on the Telephone – Blondie
- Hey Ya – Outkast
- Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
- Bones – The Killers
- Diamond Dogs – Beck
- Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters
- Punk Rock Girl – Dead Milkmen
- What’s My Age Again – Blink 182
- Take the Skinheads Bowling – Camper Van Beethoven
Of course, once you have grabbed your play list (created by searching for genre, composers, groups, etc.), it is a snap to sync it over to your MP3 player.
Next step: I would love to run a small personal media server so that I can get access to my music outside my home network, when I travel, without having to sync a slice of music onto a removable drive to take with me.