Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Obsessions Of A Madman - Volume 1

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This song playing is important to the blog so keep it playing!

Obsessive compulsive people such as myself are not limited to the wonderful examples of getting fat, or drinking themselves to oblivion and moreover can be rather disguised as other things all together. Now my raging case of “drinks until the safety of those around him” would be a glowing example of my issues, my lack of “drunk to the point of being scary” often lets people pretend that I am rather normal. There is a plus and a minus side to all of this and neither of those are very obvious either so I am going to give you an example of my new horribly addictive problem that is dominating my life, and the wonderful things that can come from it in the meantime. Not without a long winded accounting though because that is another issue I have.

I have been collecting MP3s now for some time leading back to my first wife and the “being locked in my office trying to avoid her nagging” years were coming to a close. MP3s were a very new thing in the late 80’s but they came in handy when you were hanging out in chat rooms {powered by pIRCh} and you wanted to send songs over your blazing fast 28.8k modems {and that’s the way it was and we LIKED IT!} to each other. Up until MP3s came along you had to send a crappy sounding 20meg WAV file which took approximately 4 days and interfered with downloading the thousands of dirty pictures we were grabbing from Usenet {shut up!} so when songs could be compressed into neat 4meg files we were excited to get them in less than 2 hours! Ok by today’s standards that is very pitiful and dinosaur like, but I had my first copy of Winamp {v0.8 Beta} and could keep my 5 or so MP3s on my 80meg hard drive. You see where I am going with this I am sure, but trust me when I say that my MP3 collection and I have been through hell together.

During my marriage with my second wife I had instinctively put all of my CDs on the computer and stored them so that they could be played over the 1mbit Ethernet on the computer in the bedroom. It came in handy as I had children by this time that were discovering how fun CDs were to either throw like Frisbees or dig things up in the backyard so thanks to technology I could burn a new shovel/coffee coaster/bath toy at blazing 4x speed {30 minutes} and by this time for about a dollar which was still better than the 10 dollars it cost to replace a CD. By the time that woman {affectionately referred to as the Bitch} had found my replacement {think she gave him the last 3 or 4 CDs I had} I didn’t have any of the CDs I had bought over the last 4 years anyway, but my MP3s were safely tucked away on my PC. You need to also understand that I had gone from Winamp to EasyCD to Musicmatch to DBPowerAMP in this amount of time as well so even though they all were compatible they were starting to get a bit different in their formatting.

During the EX3 years I had acquired several hundred more CDs, burned them all, moved up to a 120gig external hard drive with several hard drive changes between the 4gig I had when I met her, and two other computers. Needless to say when she left me, she took all of my CDs with her, but again my trusty MP3 collection came to my rescue, and I had endless folders full of CDs all organized really neat. I had learned to do the whole “downloading” CDs thing {mental note - when you download the copyrighted WMA files always burn them to a CD and re-rip them to your computer as MP3s so they can screw themselves and their stupid “share” blocking} and of course many gigs of … um … “accidentally acquired” CDs as well which I then needed to go out and get the two 350gig externals that I have now, because I have over 50,000 MP3s and over 4000 CDs and compilations {like the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest and every Billboard Top 100 for every year since 1970} and they are in about 30 different format of MP3s along with the fact that they have been moved from at least 20 hard drives, so they tend to be a bit “cluttered” to say the least, regardless of how neatly I left them in their own folders.

Here’s the obsession part if you thought the fact that I have over 50,000 MP3s was the obsession, well hell for an obsessive compulsive person like myself that is really tame, and here is where the fun comes in. As I was getting CDs from one of my sources I noticed that the folders had little pictures of the CDs in some of them called “Album Art” and I said to myself “Self? I want Album Art” for all of my CDs!” because after all I am a sick and suffering compulsive lunatic. The problem was that my copy of DBPowerAMP didn’t “do” any of that fancy shmancy stuff, so I started searching around to get a program that would. I found one called Fixtunes that promised me it would do all kinds of neato things like download the Album Art and fix all of the crappy coding in all of my MP3s. I then said to myself “Self? I want all the crappy coding fixed in my MP3s!” and away I went telling my girlfriend that I had found the second coming and was going to fix all of my crappy coding and get Album Art as God had intended me to! God of course being a very nasty woman with a very poor sense of humor, I found that Fixtunes wouldn’t even load right, so I spent many hours going through one bad review after another talking about how Fixtues sucked and was a rip off. I then said to myself “Self? We are going to have to go find a better program to fix our crappy coding and get Album Art!” and away I went because that is what obsessive compulsive people do.

Now mind you, my MP3 collection was perfectly fine until I started this little quest but now I needed the “Mother of all Clean and Organized MP3 Collections!” and nothing was going to sway me from that! Of course there were no other programs that promised to do what Fixtunes did {probably because they FUCKING CAN’T!} but I had to have it, so I gave in and downloaded iTunes because by all accounts it could do all of these things with a little more effort from what I had read. I was going to get my damn Album Art! I loaded iTunes so that it could install itself throughout my entire PC like Norton Antivirus just to load it up and see that like Norton Antivirus it just kept crashing! Oh hells bells I was going to get around that. I cross engineered everything so that it would finally load everything up and it started downloading my damn Album Art! Well about 5% of it before it refused to work anymore because I didn’t have the right tags in all of my MP3s! Well Fuck Them! I finally uninstalled that malevolent piece of crap and got pissy because I wanted my Album Art! I had only been dedicating all of my free time to it for a WEEK!

I finally had to do something that I never thought I would have to do {ok never thought I would have to do again as I went through this with WordPerfect, Netscape, and the Damn Amiga OS} but I finally went to the big evil people at Microsoft. Yes, after telling everyone what a piece of crap Media Player was for … um … ever I think actually, I finally loaded up all of my MP3s in Media Player and was excited when it found about 10 percent of my Album Art! Then that was it, damn. I started looking into it all and realizing that I had to reformat all of my MP3s so that they were encoded in a way that Media Player could go and grab the Art and spent another half a week recoding about 50% of my MP3s in a way that they could be grabbed and then here is the real obsession, but I can’t just let it go. I have been doing the other 20,000 MP3s one at a time so that I can have it all neat and tidy. It will take me another week I am sure but I can’t stop. Hell I am losing sleep over it and I probably need to start some other 12 step program for MP3oholics here! On the brighter side I am becoming an expert on MP3 encoding and getting a lot of tricks along the way {great more useless shit clogging up a wasted brain} and have even come across some old songs that are amusing me. That’s where this song comes into play. I remember Opus from when I was a kid. Amazing “One Hit Wonder” and I opened the file because I didn’t know who the heck it was until I heard it. I figured since it has been stuck in my head for the last 3 days it should be stuck in yours as well!! ;8o)

P.S. I will chronicle my MP3 experiences along the way. Might as well since I can’t get anything else done these days until it is done! UGH!

Other Crap This Weirdo Publishes... Mental Notes & Random Musings {Daily Blog} The Crow's Nest {The Homepage of J~ Crow}

Nothing that was printed here was intended to offend anyone, and if it did, screw ya, you begged for it. If you believe that there are some measures that can be taken to change me, then please feel free to pray for me, and while you are at it yourself, because you read this far, and if you hated every minute of it, then you are an idiot, not me, or the other people who like what I have to say! .. Jeremy

All writings Copyright © 2007