Decade of Data

Some time in mid-May of 2004 the hard drive of my otherwise trusty PowerBook G4 gave out. It was probably a direct result of the emotional stress I had subjected it, and everyone else that I cared about, to over the preceding week. I had just finagled an A in my final undergraduate class; somehow getting credit for building a functional bagpipe while simultaneously not building a functional bagpipe. And also breaking Jobonga's sewing machine.

The point being, I had lost all of the backup for the past 4+1 years of college; except for my WeBWork―my entire collegiate career's worth of work, gone. The other point being I still had 2,388 mp3s on my reliable 2nd generation iPod (back when 10GB sounded like a lot). And luckily, that was the important point.

At 1:01 PM, May 18th, 2004 I started importing these songs back into my iTunes library. And now, exactly a decade later, I have 10 years of uninterrupted iTunes metadata at my fingertips. And guys, I'M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT.

Some important notes:

1. The 1st song added back into my library, and thus, the song which will forever be my oldest iTunes entry: "When The Angels Sing" by Social Distortion. It's not what I would have chosen to be the originating entry, but the data doesn't lie. My oldest songs, in reverse order:
I do feel pretty good about "Informer" showing up there at #4. Also, "Boogie Shoes" by KC &/or The Sunshine Band has proven to be a really insightful Napster grab for me. Pre-2004 Whitney had some insightful predilections. 

2. In 10 years I have acquired 35,999 songs (see above). Which is roughly 9.8 songs/day for 10 years, which are basically Wangari Maathai numbers. Or, in other words, if I started playing my library today it would continue non-stop until August 19th. It's a little disappointing that I didn't hit the 36k mark, but it still feels good. Really good. And I'm sure that it's still more than Schwenn has. 

(At this point I'd like to throw out a shoutout to Napster, The CIF server, and the internet in general. Actually, mostly The CIF server. To this day its Internet2 connection is the ideal by which I judge my life. It would be enjoyable to have today; in 2002 it was transformational.) 

3. Most Played Song: "No One" by Alicia Keys. By a wide margin. Obviously.
Other highlights: "Bring It On Home To Me", because it's amazing. "The Dreamer" by The Tallest Man On Earth, because it's what I whistled in my jail cell that time I got arrested. "Break My Stride" by Unique II, because BIKETUB.

4. 196 Genres, 4316 Artists, 5377 Albums
5. My Oldest Play: "Freeze Frame" - Less Than Jake. 
That's right, the last time I listened to it was a decade ago, while I was still importing those 2,388 songs. IT WAS NUMBER 2368! And then never again. Over the course of 10 years. #memories

Because, THE DENSITY. After Crapples and my Sweater Book, this is the thing I am most proud of.
Because my Play Density is what I live for. Sorry, for which I live. It's the reason Pandora, and Spotify, and Jennjamin's Mix Tapes, and Rdio have no appeal to me. I need the data, and I need the playcount. Always. Otherwise what will the next decade of my life mean? 


The Whiskey Always Knocks Twice

This one time, on a Saturday, Sealander texted me and said he was stuck in Philadelphia. You may remember Sealander from that time he showed up in Madison unexpectedly and ditched his other friends to drink dinner-mimosas/game all day and part of the night with us instead. There was also that time Jojo and I blew through Rochester, NY reliving past glories and busting down the walls of the future of our past. There's surprisingly sparse photographic evidence of that night actually. Maybe because I came closer to getting arrested than I ever have—except for that other time I actually got arrested.

Anyway, Sealander was in town for the Paul Simon/ Sting tour, because that's a thing, and didn't have anything else to do Saturday night. What followed was two nonconsecutive meals accompanied by City Specials and bloody marys. 

Our most serious discussion was obviously regarding the demise of Google Reader. And then also the psuedo-demise of The Old Reader. Because, what are other people doing on the internet if they're not using an RSS feed aggregator? Seriously, that's an honest question. In related news, I'm giving InoReader a spin. I don't know, I'll basically try anything at this point.

Oh, and David Byrne's cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". Listen to it.

And also listen to this, which is the sound track to my life.