Friday, November 26, 2010

I've Got the Music in Me

I've been working on an "organizational" project on and off for several weeks. Sadly, it has nothing to do with dealing with the treasure trove that is my basement, or launching a dating service for lonely socks. In fact the word organizational earned itself a set of quotation marks because I'm not sure this qualifies, since it isn't a roll up your sleeves, grab a label-maker, trash bag, or storage bin kind of project.

My organizational project is cleaning up all my audio files on iTunes.

There are many ways I could describe this project:  Neverending.  Boring.  Maddening.  HOW CAN IT BE THAT I'M ONLY ON "D"???  All of these are entirely true, but I'm doing my best to concentrate on the word "necessary."

With all respect to the Gods of iTunes, I'd like to meet the person who determines what information goes in the various fields of a song (Song Title, Artist, Album Artist, Composer, Duration, Album Title, etc. etc. etc.) and smack them over the head.  Repeatedly.  Consistency, thy name is NOT iTunes.  There are composers preceding song titles, there are album titles listed as the artists.  They alphabetize the way it appears in the field, which, in this warped musical universe is by FIRST NAME FIRST and THEN last name.  That is, when they give you a first name.  Initial articles are fair game in other languages, so titles are filed under "Das" or "Le" or whatever nonsense some entirely non-musical, non-foreign-language-speaking person chose.

This might sound like a big who cares, but believe me, for someone who arranges and orders things for a living, this kills me.  Even at home, books must be arranged by genre, by hardcover/softcover and then from tallest to smallest.  But there is always THAT ONE BOOK that is longer than it is tall, and leaving the organizer with gut-wrenching decision:  Let it stick out?  NO. That's blasphemous.  Turn it on end so it doesn't stick out?  No.  Doing that covers up important information like THE AUTHOR AND TITLE. It's a lose-lose proposition no matter what you do.

So now I'm meticulously going through my audio files, deleting duplicates, making sure all the albums have a picture of the cover, making sure last names go last and first names go first (RADICAL!), making sure things are spelled correctly, and that I could find something with a spin of the iPod wheel.  Sure, I'm kicking myself for not keeping on top of this in the first place, but it's hard to know how out of hand a collection of anything will become until you wake up one morning and realize it is just that -- out of hand.

 At least while I fix it (and go a little insane) I have background music.

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