Friday, September 15, 2006

an ode to iTunes

My mornings are usually a bit rushed. Depending on the day I’m dragging one or two boys out of their warm beds and trying to get them fed and dressed before shoving them into the world. Did I mention that I’m trying to do the same thing for myself?

At any rate once they are taken care of and placed in their respective locations for the day I’m off to Scripps for the next several hours. I know that Jamison once told me that leaving the computer on over night is one of the worst things you can do to a hard drive, still I have my reasons. In fact this reason is one of the simple pleasures I have learned to really enjoy.

The iTunes on my desktop has 3936 songs, in rotation over 13.2 days taking up 17GB of space. When I show up in the morning it’s a great joy, almost anticipation, to see where the shuffle has landed. My favorite times are when I walk into the middle of a powerful Dead jam from the first balcony, sometimes I stroll into a small Irish pub for a bit of harp or a bouncy reel. Other mornings I feel like I’ve caught a lively Texas road house jam with Lyle Lovett, SRV, Robert Earl Keen and Willie Nelson stopping for a breakfast after restful nights on the tour bus. Some mornings I’m reminded to count my blessings with a song from Rich Mullins, hymns from the Harding Univ. choir or any number of country crooners off a collection of classic country gospel albums. Composers like James Horner, Duke Ellington or Henry Mancini line up to audition their favorites while Andrea Bocelli and Charlotte Church share stores and theories of technique with Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday. In the corner of this musical transit station there are corners of country and bluegrass musicians who are looking for a cross over jam. Jerry Garcia and Bela Fleck pick out tunes with Dolly Parton taking vocals, Bush, Vassar and Monroe, trickle in between bass riffs from Rob Wasserman. Kelly Clarkson, KT Tunstall and Robinella take turns sitting on the knees of their predecessors, slowly spreading their wings. Discussing the power of modern amplification the Green Day, Led Zeppelin and Clash guys share hearty pints with Beethoven and Verdi. Glenn Miller and Jimi Hendrix sip coffee with Marty Robbins and grumbling members of the Marsalis family.

I know that I’m adding untold years to this computer by leaving in on during the week but I love to come in and slide into my cheap headphones to see what sort of sonic trick or treat I get. It should be noted that there are time when the stars have not aligned and there is something playing that causes me to sift through all that crap to find something that’s perfect to me. Sometimes after a hectic morning and a glance at my tasks for that day I’m not in the mood for a primal drum circle. Hearing a screeching guitar or soulful moaning about languishing relationships could make me go postal some mornings.

Still, with a few clicks of the “next” button I’m eventually transported to the perfect setting allowing my day to begin anew with my heart literally singing a new song.


Brewster said...

I had always heard leaving your computer on was better than constantly shutting down and restarting, but what do I know. I do often leave mine on over night to do little maintenance clean up thingies. At work, you know when I was employed, they always had us leave the computers on all night. Of course they were always crashing too!

I've never heard of anyone leaving the music player on constantly just so they could pick up the headphones in the morning. You know you could just start up the itunes thing as soon as you got in.

Jamison said...

leaving a computer on means you are leaving your hard drive spinning, and fans running. Biggest cause of a crash in a computer is a fan stopping and the CPU burning up, or the hard drive just giving out. The fans, like any man made invention, will stop one day. Likewise, if gas and pollution were no issue, it would be the same as you leaving your car running all the time because starting the engine will eventually wear it out.

Heck, leabve your oven on, because it costs so much to warm it up when you cook...

Jamison said...

Wait... mullins... you ahve spent close to $4,000 on songs...?

Brewster said...

I turn mine off usually at night, but what a pain in the butt to turn it off and on throughout the day.

I suspect Mullins simply brought in cds and ripped them. Unless he's got a stash of cash he hasn't told us about.

mullinz8 said...

I’m sure that I’ve spent that much money on music, actually I’m sure I’ve spent much more on that. I went through a huge purge on music a while back and dumped a lot of stuff. Sadly I realized I did this before I was getting into the whole iTunes things, I could have kept everything without the physical space. Realizing my mistake and from that point forward I’ve taken almost my whole catalog of CD’s and ripped them. When I get something from the library, it gets the exact same treatment.

No I don’t want to hear some song and dance about stealing music you Metallica, Garth Brooks nerds.

No one complained when we were all doing the exact same thing tape to tape. Now that it’s digital it’s a crime, bullocks.

Jamison said...

Brew, just turn it on at the begining of the day and off before you go to bed... yes, turning it on and off every hour may do damage.

Brewster said...

Mulls, are you on That's a little site that tracks all of your listening habits. Kind cool in a geeky sort of way. I'd like to see your playlists.

bigsip said...

I liked your blog, Mullins. I thought you wrote it well.

You have a good sense of rhythm in your writing and it plays well in a post about music.

mullinz8 said...

Thank you Sipper.

I expect the well to dry up after this posting because it always does after an observation about the group is made. But like the rest of you guys I like the process of writing. I’m light years away from the likes of Big Sip and the Brewmiester but I enjoy it none the less. I’ve posted a couple of things of the FVS site and try to make a few of the posts on this site interesting.

Back to the dry well, it’s funny how we’ve all got some sort of creative streak. We also enjoy the idea of writing and have tried it in some capacity. Between us all we’ve got graphic design down, creative illustration, writing, sketching, and performing arts locked up tight.

I think the God has allowed us to be friends because he knows that way we won’t organize enough to form the creative super group that could change the way the world functions and exists if we were business associates.

Brew, I just got listed on the site you sent me, what do I do now? My name is mmullinz8.

midnitcafe said...

You'll probably have to download a little piece of software, which you can find on the main page of the site.

Essentially the site tracks all the music you listen to then creates lists of that music.

It will also make recommendations of what music you might dig. It does this by comparing what you've listened to with others who have listned to similar songs, but have another artist in their collection.

Essentially it is spyware in that it does spy on your musical listenings, but what I've read on the manner is that it doesn't send you spam or kill your computer.

When I registered my winamp (so much better than itunes in my opinion) it automatically signed me up to

You can see what I listen to by user name midnitcafe