Saturday, 23 June 2007

The Day the Music Died

There was a moment, with the new Mac all ready to go, that Monkey Pipe was hit with the proverbial cold bucket full of fear.

All my music in my last hard drive back up hadn’t saved for some reason. So, as I sat, looking at a blank page of script where I was sure I should have found my some 5,000 odd songs that I had collected and transferred. There is a story behind this.

As someone who is prone to spend money on unnecessary consumer purchases, particularly in times of lowness, I had accrued quite the music collection. The shift from vinyl to CD had come about thanks to my pregnancy-induced mood-swing sister scratching her name into my entire album collection. A few old hip-hop albums aside, this was a painful thing for me. All my Jimi Hendrix and Motown stuff now was completely unplayable. And so I decided to change over.

My first CD purchase was, for some reason unknown to me even today, Metallica’s Black album. I’m not even a metal fan, but this I got – perhaps it was the catchiness of Enter Sandman, the tortured melody of Nothing Else Matters, or perhaps I just bought it for something to kick the process off. Anyway, I quickly went to work on building up the old collection.

As time went on I built on the old collection, and found new and wonderful things to add to it. Old Temptations albums that I’d never heard of (tip: it’s best to end your interest in the Temp’s albums at around ’73 or ’74), for example, and all of Jimi’s work. The problem with Jimi is that there is always something new and unheard that pops up, so his 3 main albums plus 2 extras plus about 5 oddities aside, you can find yourself getting interested in about 200 non-albums, cobbled together jam sessions and hack-kneed new versions of old favourites.

The collection grew more so when I was at University – most weeks a trip to some little record store, the excuse of working on the University radio station came in handy to justify further purchases. I even got the odd freebie from working on the newspaper.

Time moves on, Monkey Pipe moves house a few times. Finally there is the ‘big’ move – the split with the ex and the need to lighten my load so that I can, like some Littlest Hobo/David Banner hybrid, pack my life into as small a pack as possible. That and the need for some money. Out goes the vast comic book collection, most of the books, almost all the clothes and the CD’s. I transferred the music collection across a three-day period some years ago, and then sold on the physical discs.

So, when I couldn’t get the music back, I was panic-stricken. I sometimes lack the patience and the focus to work out techno-fixes, and so asked around, read a few websites and tried to find a way of getting the music off of my ipod and onto the Mac so that I could back it up properly.

Five or so applications, all of varying uselessness, later, I came across ilounge. It was here, thanks to the fantastically simple PodUtil, Music Rescue, that I was able to salvage the collection.

So, anyway, this long ramble aside, I wanted to post the links to the sites here to a) practice the linking application on this blog (thank you for indulging me) and b) to say thank you to those sites and perhaps pass on some useful information to someone else who may find themselves, one day, alone and without their music. Until Apple sorts out the legal side of music copyright protection, the entire loss of a collection can happen – like the computer age version of a moody sister scratching her name in your entire collection.

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