Friday, March 09, 2007

The Digital Domain

(I think I may have blogged about this before but cannot exactly recall. Apparently I am getting old and running out of ideas.)

I don't download music. Shit. I'm not writing an op ed for the Moonie Times so opening with a blatant lie is probably not a good thing. Yes, I do download music - illegally. However I only download crap I would never buy like "You're the Best Around" from the Karate Kid soundtrack which I like to listen to while I am at the gym, or Madonna tracks for Vogueing about my apartment. But the point of this is not a moral rationalization for my rampant use of Limewire (for which I am karmicly in the clear since ASCAP gets a nice chunk of my income per annum) but rather an exposition on why I still buy CD's in light of iTunes.

For starters I want to kill the fallacy that I need to "go digital" with my music collection as has been asserted by some acquaintances. My shit is digital. Long ago the indentions on magnetic tapes that were induced by the wondrous sound waves generated by my favorite musicians were sampled, converted to one's and zero's, and digitally stored on a compact disc. So there, I'm digital. I suppose what they really mean to say is that I should consolidate all of my bits (pun intended) and pieces of music into one compressed and space-friendly storage medium. And that is where this diatribe really begins.

I don't own an iPod or any Apple product for that matter. I can't stand their proprietary format nonsense when it comes to the mp3's they sell and generally, I don't care for the premium they place on all of their products as transaction cost for joining their weird expensive subculture. Yadda...

But I do own an mp3 player of which I am very fond and utilize on a daily basis. However this only occurs in one specific situation; when I am travelling on foot (and yes, running in one place on a treadmill counts). In this instance I do enjoy the micro-sized portability of my music collection without the burden of discs and jewel cases and wonderfully enlightening liner notes but that is only because I am trying to get from point A to point B and am without a cluttered backseat and a combustible engine. Otherwise, I need my collection. I need them all. I need every album divided by sub-genre, alphabetized by artist, arranged chronologically (with reissues sitting next to original pressings), and all consolidated into one monstrous wall-occupying space upon which I can gaze longingly and revel in how cool I am. How cool I am.

I was pretty shocked not too long ago when a friend who has been quite the auteur since high school (a time when I still thought Physical Graffiti was the closest thing to perfection) copied every one of his CD's onto his hard drive and sold them all. I was aghast. He described it as a liberating experience but I am far too bound to my possessions to even contemplate the psychic benefits. I mean, how am I supposed to seduce women in my apartment without a kick ass album collection to peruse?

"Oh, wow. You have a lot of cool CD's."
"Thanks. I have some more in my room..."


At 3/10/2007 7:28 PM, Blogger Hey Pretty said...

That's exactly how I feel about my books, although digitizing literature isn't as mainstream as it is with music. But I can't imagine life without bookcases crammed with musty old books, and piles of books littering the corners of my home. They're like my trophies from the hunt.


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