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? 

1 comment:

jeremy said...

sometimes the data has a hard time wrapping its mind around PITUSA.