The Opposite of Heavy Rotation: The iTunes Music Library All Album Challenge!

Last week I found a blog through Freshly Pressed that had a post that resonated with me: Things I Learned From My iPod Shuffle Challenge over at Logy Express. The blogger, Tracy, had listened to all 2700+ songs on her iPod on shuffle over the course of several months and written posts detailing the experience. Wow!

I immediately thought, I need to do this! I still have songs in my iTunes Music Library that have never even been played (not by my laptop anyway); some songs have racked up over 50 plays while others languish in the single digits; and every time I run to refill my credit on the iTMS I think “Don’t I have enough music already?” There’s also the matter of the 400+ tracks a friend gave me before he left Japan last year, that I still haven’t sorted through. This Challenge seemed like a great way to take stock of my music library; remembering what I have, taking note of what I need to get or forgot to import, deleting tracks that aren’t to my liking, and fixing incorrect info on tracks I had left at the mercy of Gracenote.

Now, because my listening habits are different, I’m doing the challenge differently from the original. I don’t really, really, for realz listen to music unless I’m at home plugged into my computer via my Sennheiser HD555s or have my external speakers loud enough to just almost be audible from outside my apartment, so I won’t be doing this through my iPod.

My partner in crime is my MacBook Pro! *Snuggles MBP*

I’m going to listen to all 2933 tracks (about 9 days’ worth) in my MBP’s iTunes Music Library once, without skipping or fast-forwarding, with one exception: if I happen to be close to the computer when it starts to play an MP3 copy of an AAC rip of a song, I will skip and uncheck the MP3 version. I made MP3 copies of a few songs that I had originally imported as AACs because before I got an iPod earlier this year, I used a Sansa MP3 player that didn’t support Apple’s formats. In any case, these MP3 copies don’t bring the total number of tracks down by much, maybe by 10 or 15.

Also, I decided to listen to the tracks in order of album, because I hardly ever listen to whole albums. Even when I was playing CDs in my good ol’ Phillips stereo, I pretty much never listened to albums with the tracks in order after the first one or two sittings. Well…unless it was something that just got really jacked up by shuffling, such as My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. That said, a good portion of my Library consists of just a couple or a few select tracks from albums, rather than the full albums.

Come to think of it, I wonder how many full albums I do have? Guess I can look into that.

Anyway, I started doing this on the 20th of this month. So far, I’ve gotten through all the albums that begin with the letter ‘A,’ from Santana’s Abraxas to 50 Cent’s Ayo Technology Single. What did I notice?

Well, my aforementioned friend had given me a lot of tracks that I guess would be considered chill-out or new age or…some other thing like that. I think having a sprinkling of these is good for variety, but I don’t need very much of them. After all, I never put on music for the purpose of ignoring it, which is all I can think the majority of this music is good for. (I’m thinking of a lot of Putomayo releases here. ^_^;) I’ve already deleted several such tracks after becoming exasperated actually listening to them, LOL. Other tracks that I was a bit dubious about I merely unchecked for later review.

Perhaps the most interesting story is the one behind “Hallucinations? (Dream World Mix)” by In the Nursery from Anatomy of a Poet. I first heard this song in the animated Street Fighter movie, during Chun-Li and Vega’s fight. I was in elementary school, and man, did that track haunt my mind! Years passed without me knowing what it was, or where I could hear music like that. (Years later I would thankfully stumble upon 96.3’s radio show “Big Sonic Heaven” with Darren Revell. ♡) Finally, enter YouTube and its copyright infringement fiesta. I was lolligagging online and suddenly it hit me: what if I search for that fight scene, and maybe in the comments it’ll say what the song is?!

It only plays for a few seconds in the movie, but that was all I needed to get hooked on trip-hop. It’s too far down in the comments now, but this is how I finally found out the name and artist of the song. I bought it from the iTMS immediately!

You can hear the whole song at this YouTube vid:

Lastly from the A’s, this was a pretty weird transition that somehow worked: the creepy electronic horse neigh followed by Janet Jackson’s scoping out that “package.” @_@ Meaning:

Steve Vai’s “Bad Horsie,” from Alien Love Secrets. Pandora suggested this to me after I put in “YYZ” by Rush. (I miss Pandora! T^T)

(There’s also this official vid from a performance DVD , but it doesn’t include the neighing at the end.)

Followed by the title track from Janet Jackson’s album All For You.

Damn! What I want is abs like that! >o<;

Well, to give some basic stats of what I covered in the A-albums:

Number of Albums: 40
Number of Albums available in their entirety: 2 (!! Wow! Even I didn’t think the contrast would be so stark! @_@)
Total Number of Songs: 109

Well, I guess next time, I’ll be writing about the albums from B.O.B. Presents Bobby Ray through By the Way (Bonus Version).