Saturday, February 17, 2007

Disk death (a chance to listen again)

My preparations for the Boston workshop last week were enlivened by disk death, which involved two important things: the arrival of a new Macbook Pro, and the death of my iPod library. Well, actually, the death of part of the library.

So I now have to start reloading a large portion of my iPod library from CD again. Not something I look forward to doing, but it's been an interesting chance to look at those shelves again.

One thing I didn't expect to consider is my habit of what I put on the iPod. Previously, I had this notion that I'd be going through my library and keeping only the cuts on a given recording I liked. But going back to reloading stuff, I'm struck again by hearing the things that I left off the first time. The last specific example was some material from Talk Talk's "Spirit of Eden" that didn't make the original cut.

What was I thinking? Probably saving space. But I've decided to be more selective about including entire albums, and leave off the individual cut selection for a while.

In turn, I've been thinking about the notion of novelty vs. diffusion; My reloading puts me in the interesting position of simultaneously adding new work alongside things that have been off my radar for a while. The verdict: diffusion trumps novelty. There's just more in the past to be surprised by.