the perils of early adoption

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It’s fairly rare that I’m an early adopter. Not for want of trying, but instead because for the most part I can’t afford to get new toys. When I switched from Acorn computers to PCs I was well behind the tech curve not because I wanted a scabby old AMD processor, but because the new Athlon & board was so far out of my price range it was laughable. I have occasionally been an early adopter. DVD springs to mind, I was quite quick off the mark with that (my 1st Gen DVD drive for the computer was region free because region coding post-dated the drive)*.

Generally, not so much though. I run a Mac that’s now a couple of years old and am generally pretty happy with it**. The change to an LCD tv came about purely because we didn’t want to fill a big chunk of this room up with a pointless big box. But, digitised music? That I did early on.

Whilst I love my vinyl collection, the simple availability of all my music on one box, and the ability to throw it from there onto (now) my iPhone (but back then stacks of ‘mix CD-Rs’ was instantly appealing to me. My first MP3s were ripped using the original port of a command line program to the Risc PC. The Risc PC literally spent more than a day encoding one track. When later versions came around (versions which didn’t take a day to encode a track) I ripped the odd CD (but it was always painfully slow on my Risc PC).

As soon as I had a PC I started ripping tracks more effectively, and when I started working from home brought the sheer might of ‘time at home’ to bear on the problem. I ripped every track on every CD. I killed at least 2 CD Burners in the process just because there were so many disks. I spent hours typing track names in because the few music databases that existed were small and inadequate, or didn’t have any of the UK versions of disks in.

It was slow and generally a bit painful.

It lives in my memory as a slow torment.

And now I might have to repeat it. Not because I’ve failed to transfer data successfully, but simply because TuneUp has singularly failed to fix the many and manifold problems that exist in my music collection. See, there are tracks ripped at hideously low bit rate. That I accept is purely an unfixable. But the lack of album artwork, the somewhat variable naming policy, the failure to fully complete some of the tags… some of that’s down to me. Some of it’s because I have vinyl of some albums and thus downloaded digital versions, and the person who ripped them made an arse of naming the files.

@pinkemma suggested that I should re-rip them all, anyway, as FLAC. Unfortunately, iTunes doesn’t support FLAC (obviously) and the VMP74 doesn’t support Apple’s lossless format. So, uh, yeah. Seems to be a lose-lose situation there. Feh, is generally my feeling on this at the moment.

And don’t tell me about Cloud computing. Given that the computer won’t even sync my calendar across to iCloud you think I’m going to trust you with music, one of the most important things in my life?

Bah. And possibly humbug.

Still, Ug made fire today, so that’s cool :)

Ug make fire. Ug happy. ;)

* Although I did take great pleasure in watching my DVDs on my first generation colour TV (A Mark 1 Ferguson Colourstar).
** Issues with iCal and the fact it desperately wants more memory notwithstanding.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at