If this is a rant then it's a rant about my own inadequacies and inability to move on. Since I got Boggy (the name of my iPod Touch), I've been using iTunes as the player, downloader and so on. Before iTunes, if I wanted music, I'd nearly always borrow it from someone, think it's good and then get the album. I'd then burn the album onto my PC to listen to when doing Icar stuff or leave it in the car. Most of my CDs live in a Case Logic thing and never see the light of day. There's an iPod dock for the stereo downstairs and Fish got me an FM transmitter thing for the car. I plug the iPod into my computer at work so I can listen to my music while I work and it never runs out of charge.
Those are all things that are extensions to the technology I use anyway. There is nothing there that I couldn't do without CDs. However, there is often a song or two I want to get hold of and just can't find it anywhere. Sultan's of Ping's album Casual Sex In the Cineplex is an excellent example. I have it on vinyl and it's genius but I can't for the life of my buy it anywhere. Except on iTunes. There it is. For Â£7. But I don't get a CD with it. I just get the music. No physical thing.
Hang on, I don't like that.
I've got so used to buying music on a piece of carbon fibre that I can go purely digital. It feels weird. What if the data is lost somehow? What if I lose everything, I can't reburn! I can't reburn my Carter USM 30 Something CD because it's worn out and warped. I can't reburn my White Pony CD because I can't find the bastard. When was the last time I lost a hard drive (literally or through corruption) and the data on it? 1998. When I dropped my PC. I still have the first website I ever wrote (Bodge World in 1995) on hard disc because storage is so cheap. I just move it onto a new drive each year. Same with a lot of the old Icar stuff.
But then there's the case of buying the album that's mostly rubbish and you don't know it yet. You listen to the one or two songs you like and that's it. The rest is pap. A World Without Dave by Carter USM suffers from that. So, I've got this disc that has only a couple of songs on it that I like, which I'm going to put on my MP3 player and still store the disc. That sounds like a much worse proposition.
HYPOCRACY! I accuse myself of hypocracy. I bought the excellent Half Life 2 Orange Box online. Never saw a CD. I bought an empty box for BF2142:Northern Strike. An empty box with a key in it. Had to download it. So, it's alright for me to spend a lot of cash on software (far more expensive than a few tunes) and to not have anything physical but it's not ok for me to do this with music. Idiocy.
I'm having trouble. Love or hate being tied into things, iTunes is here and it solves so much. And dammit, it does it so well. If you use it for all it's features, then it has to be admired for how easy it is. If you're a power user, you might find it annoying at times but I've had so few problems with it that it should be admired.
Podcasts. I have been getting into RPG podcasts recently, learning how to make Icar and the way I run it better. Before iTunes, I used my Google Reader to tell me when there's a new one so I could go to the side, hunt for it, download it and then listen. You tell iTunes you like a podcast and it downloads automatically. Videocasts are the same. I can even get it to synchronize automatically with Boggy (I don't because I listen to them while I work, so I select specific things for Boggy).
Then there's the big thing: buying music. I wanted to get that tune off the MFI advert. I wanted it because Kate pulls a funny face and does this weird elbow driven dance when we hear it. Like a Pavlovian response. I hunted on Google for the name of it, plugged it into iTunes and it turned up a load of results. So, which one? The iTunes shop has a 30 second preview so you can check it's the right one. I downloaded it, put it onto Boggy and played it to Kate on the stereo that very night. I had to admit, very slick.
So, what about other music. I searched for Carter USM. There were two I didn't have: "Twin Tub with Guitar", a load of covers that sounded old school and cool and "You Fat Bastard", which I knew I could get from Amazon. Now, do I get it? Does that mean I should get Sultans of Ping FC too? I don't have to buy it all at once, at 80p a song, I could get it in bits.
But then, what about that other song I heard on Pandora before it got shut off? Or that recommendation I heard on Last.FM? For just 80p I could get those. No need to buy the album. No physical thing. Damn.
I'm in a pickle. A paradigm shift is incoming.