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OK, because this Tohu Bohu was getting lonely, but Your Humble Blogger hasn’t the mental capacity at the moment to write an actual note: The latest iTunes meme! (Ooh, I’m using meme that way again. Ooh!)

How many songs? Oddly enough, at the moment, there are seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy-seven songs in my Library. 19 days.

Sort by song title, first and last Last is “Zoot Suit Thing”, by, you guessed it, Zoots and the Swingin’ Suits, closely beating out the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and “Zoot Suit Riot”. First by sorting is the “’49 Mercury Blues”, by the Brian Seltzer Orchestra, although if you don’t like the way computers alphabetize punctuation, it would probably be “A Bad Case of the Blues”, in the Dinah Washington version.

Sort by time; first and last?Well, there are the sixty or so 4-second segments of Dots Will Echo’s annoying “Within or Without You”; they split the song up into a zillion four-second slices so that there are 99 tracks on the CD. Then, of course, there are the Fingertips, mostly under 10 seconds. There’s Jim’s Big Ego’s four-second “Intro” to Noplace Like Nowhere, a couple of six-second pause tracks from the Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert (1938), and a few intros of various kinds. The shortest track I would call a song is “Miracle Cure”, from the Who’s Tommy (the band’s album, not the movie soundtrack or the show’s). It’s twelve seconds. The longest track is Winton Marsalis’ “Blue Interlude (The Bittersweet Saga of Sugar Cane and Sweetie Pie)”, at 37:14; it beats out the Rebirth Brass Band’s “The Main Event” by more than five minutes.

Sort by album; first and last? ’Round Midnight, a Mel Torme album. Again, if you don’t count punctuation, or numbers, or whatnot, the first would be the Billie Holiday collection called A Fine Romance, but that’s the eighth album listed (two of which I own only one track from). The last is Zoot Suit Riot, by the aforementioned Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Top five played songs? The most played is “Sleepwalkers”, of They Might Be Giants’ No, with eleven. Second most is “Cockles and Mussels”, and third is “Friends Lullaby”, both from Larry Grace and the Disneyland Children’s Sing-Along Chorus recordings released as Disney Children’s Favorites (vols. 1-4). Fourth is They Might Be Giants’ “Lazyhead and Sleepybones”, also from No, and fifth is Tom Chapin’s “I Need a Lullaby” from Making Good Noise. These are all from a lullaby playlist, if y’all hadn’t guessed. I should add that we’ve only started using iTunes fairly recently, so the playcount doesn’t really denote how often I listen to stuff.

Find “sex”; how many songs show up? 54. Mostly from the Bodeans album Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, the Dave’s True Story album Sex without Bodies, and the shouldn’t-count-at-all Sinatra and Sextet Live in Paris. In fact, leaving out album titles, and instances of ‘Sussex’ or ‘Essex’, I have three: “War between the Sexes”, off the Jabbering Trout album Swell, the final track off Live Stiffs Live where Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and the rest join Ian Dury for “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll & Chaos”, and the title track from the aforementioned Dave’s True Story album.

Find “death”; how many songs show up? Again, most of the 30 songs have the word only in the album title, in this case from the Punk anthology Forward Til Death. Going with song titles only, there are seven: “Death of Zorba”, the Jody Grind; “The Death of Suzzy Roche”, the Roches; “My Death”, a Christopher Tye number recorded by Hespèrion XX; “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”, Phranc’s cover; “Death is a Star”, the Clash; “Angel of Death”, Shane MacGowan; “Death and the Lady, a John Renbourn group version.

Find “love”; how many songs show up? 405. (52 of these turn up because of album titles, though).

Oddly enough, this probably gives a Gentle Reader a fair picture of what’s on the ol’ hard drive.

Thank you,


at the risk of starting an inappropriate techie conversation on a well-spoken blog, what settings do you use for ripping?

MP3 192 -- so far, no complaints about the sound quality, and it lets me fit 24 hours of music in under 2 gigs.

ah i forgot to put mine in. because of my new, long commute, i recently switched to listening to music through my dusty-but-excellent sony pro headphones and it killed my faith in 192. after some tests i settled on 192/variable bit rate/high quality. i couldn't quite believe it but i could even hear the difference between the CD and 256 - this is noise that various speakers in the house don't reproduce, but the 'phones do - as they should, since we bought them in the first place to do sound editing.

(at this setting 24 hours is about 2.3 GB - the VBR thing is neat-o)

okay this all counts as one comment, right...

# songs: 5576*, 16.6 days

a-z 1st song: "a bayamo en coche" by adalberto alvarez y su son
last: "zwiefache einfach" by well-buam

time 1st: "el atlaal" by oum kalthoum (48:26)
last: "door" by luscious jackson (0:06)

a-z 1st album: a dove, by the roches
last: eponymous, by zap mama

top played songs**:
(16) "zouk la sé sel medikamen nou ni" by kassav'
(16) "yagga yah" by the pinchers
(7) "i will survive" by gloria gaynor
(6) "fu-gee-la" by the fugees
(5) "just like heaven" by the cure

3 sex songs*** (excluding album titles; including salt-n-pepa's "let's talk about sex" which remains a great thing)

6 death songs (including cassandra wilson's "a little warm death" which should probably count as a "sex" song)

171 love songs (fun titles: "full moon full of love" by k.d. lang; "buddy ebsen loves the night time" by los lobos; "love wore a halo (back before the war)" by nanci griffith; "anotherloverholenyohead" by prince & the revolution; "i'm the man who murdered love" by XTC)

* about 100 songs are not in play rotation and are in the library because it's easier to keep them than to burn them again later.
** the long slow, crash-laden process of re-ripping all our albums has reset all the counters. the bottom 3 spots belong to other songs but i couldn't tell you which...
*** many (1/5?) song titles are non-english, without translation. some of those must talk about sex, death or love. not enough to turn ohio blue, though.

Generally, I rip to mp3 at 96 kbps; I know it's lo-fi, but I have crappy speakers and crappy ears. I think I've had this conversation with each of you—high fidelity is just wasted on me. I might as well rip 'em fast.

ah - that conversation actually took place - now i can stop doubting it as a dream.

lots more songs. this is proving to be much more interesting than eating or sleeping.

same first/last alphabetical results, no real difference in top 5 most played.

2 new sex songs (total 5):
k.d. lang's "sexuality"
macy gray's "sex-o-matic venus freak"

3 new death songs (total 9):
"stranded on death row" by dr. dre
"till death do us part," madonna
"death lament," tereze dede gjoni (a nice old lady from albania)

36 new love songs (total 207). interesting titles:
"love song of the animals"
"love hung on an antler: buying a treasure"

very many of the new songs are written/performed by women. the sweetheart has instituted a quota policy.

never toiled my heart to unfairly block
the passage of the fairer sex's songs.
'tis iron men who clap the household gate;
women, steeped in chains, can fare no verse.

another 3 months, another 3000 songs. still, tuition + music = well less than UC.

# songs
8532 (24 days)

a-z songs
1st: "a bailar con eva" by eva ybarra & her conjunto
last: still "zwiefache einfach" by well-buam

a-z albums
1st: a dove, by the roches (same as before)
last: zero, by david rudder

top played songs still not meaningful.

7 sex songs - new ones:
"sex appeal" by ute lemper
"sexy sadie" by the beatles

14 death songs - new ones:
"awou (death)" by sally nyolo
"death on two legs" by queen
"kifo (death)" by remmy ongala
"oh death where is thy sting" by the rev. j.m. gates
"wall of death" by nanci griffith

268 love songs - new fun titles:
"attack me with your love" by cameo
"i'm in love with my car" by queen
"you've grown old and i no longer love you" by m. vamvakaris
"when the lovelight starts shining through his eyes" (aaaaargh! my eyes!) by diana ross & the supremes

it may be spring in hell before we have a statistically significant change in # of songs here. however there are fun things.

8 sex songs - new:
"sex and dying in high society" by x

15 death songs - new:
"the chill of death" by charles mingus & band

292 love songs (+24) - new fun titles:
"tatooed love boys" by the pretenders
"the americans have stolen my true love away" by eliza carthy
"contract on the world love jam" by public enemy

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