Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Mew Zic

One of the perks of the new job, besides the bigger salary (natch) is that I actually have an office, with a door! It's fantastic. For someone who has lived in cubicle land for the bulk of his career, being able to close a door is like gaining a new sense. Now I can close the door and actually use a speaker phone! I don't have to share every conversation, personal or otherwise, with all my co-workers and people who happen to be walking by.

Of course there's a catch. The office is right next to the elevator in this side of the building, so all I hear all day is elevator going up, elevator going down. Hiss and crank. Doors open, doors close, hiss and crank. It's kind of maddening, but my coworkers claim they don't even hear it anymore. I do.

My solution was to bring in a stereo from home. About 10 years ago I bought a bookshelf stereo system and hooked it up to my PC so I could listen to music or movies or games or whatever with decent sound. It actually has a lot of features for a bookshelf stereo, like a dvd player and a wireless remote. I never used it for more than its AUX IN feature. But my desktop PC usage diminished when I stopped playing online poker and WoW. I pretty much survive with laptops, netbooks and tablets now. The desktop is the port of last resort.

One of the beautiful features of the stereo was that it played MP3 files from the disc, which was a DVD. So that's up to 9gigs of music played in random order. It's like a commercial free radio station that only plays songs you like. I burned some collections on DVDs. I had a ball making disks of various artists, discographies and interesting mixes. One DVD is all greatest hits albums, one is top 100 songs from each year in the 70's, etc.

Unfortunately, when I got the unit to the office, the DVD player wasn't functioning. It just says "no disc" no matter what you put in there. It's been so long since I tried it I have no idea when it quit working. I'd replace the system but nobody really makes anything like it anymore. Why would they? An Ipod and a speaker does the work with far less effort.

But that's essentially what I had, an Ipod speaker, except that it sounds better than 99% of those on the market. I grabbed an MP3 player that hadn't really been used in a while (I actually had many to choose from, shamefully) and cleaned the built in disc of random movies and songs that had been stored over the years. I copied several of the DVDs onto the drive and set it for random play. It's a beautiful system because I have the player sitting on my desk with a long wire running to the stereo in the back corner. I can pause if the phone rings, fast forward a track I'm not in the mood for, whatever. It's awesome.

The collection is weird though. I have discographies of Rush, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Supertramp, Alan Parsons Project, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, etc. So the bulk of the songs that get played are classic rock standards and deep cuts, with other occasional bands from the greatest hits collections and one disc I called "good albums" shuffled into the mix. There's still room on the player's hard drive, so I can add more music to the 3214 songs that are on there. I haven't put the "top 100" discs on there yet, and I may delete some of the Rolling Stones' albums. They have some amazing stuff, but some are almost embarrassingly bad.

Yes, I'm stuck in classic rock hell and will never listen to anything new this way. If there was a way to listen to new music (youtube?) that wasn't nauseating I might hear some new bands occasionally. This is Nashville, so going out and hearing music means both kinds, country and western. To be honest I most get exposed to "new" music from movie soundtracks and television commercials. So that puts me far behind the curve. But so what? It's all shit since Elliott Smith died anyway.


JT88Keys said...

If you're looking for a way to get some good streamed music you should go with Pandora.com or Spotify.com. If you don't pay for the premium service you'll get some commercials sprinkled into both, but they're a good way to get a ton of music at your fingertips.

With Pandora you put in a favorite artist or song and it randomly picks songs that match it's music genome. I always get a few off Pandora where I say, "Ahhh...I forgot all about them."

With Spotify there is a huge database of songs and you can build your own playlists.

JT88Keys said...


Its not it's in that instance. One of my biggest pet peeves and I did it myself.

DuggleBogey said...

wow, I really do have a rep as a grammar nazi, don't I?

I love Pandora, I do hear stuff I like that's not in my collection when I listen at home (it's built into my blu-ray player.)

Unfortunately the network admins have their shit together here and have streaming audio and video blocked. I can circumvent, but don't want to be too obvious.

JT88Keys said...

I honestly didn't even know you had that rep. I used to be an editor of tech manuals, so I'm usually on top of those things unless I just make a dumb typo.

But glad to hear you're a grammar nazi too. Have you ever checked out the website http://www.TheOatmeal.com? It has some hilarious grammar themed comics.

DuggleBogey said...

I love the oatmeal. I think I forwarded a comic to Josie once to point out a grammatical error and she teases me for it every chance she gets.

Josie said...

Yes, Duggle has shared some gems with me like alot vs a lot. Im so stubborn I use the wrong one just to aggravate. ;)