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June 11, 2005

Soaked in Music

In the last three months I have added 463 songs to my music collection. My father tells me that I have too much music, that I cannot really engage with it all. He's right. I listen on shuffle, either to the full collection or to the new stuff. Most of it is slightly familiar, little of it is ingrained. It's all on the new internal hard drive now, which swallows it up and laughs. More than 15 thousand tracks, nearly 250Gb free space.

I discovered the iTunes Album Art Screen Saver, which is my favourite new feature in Tiger. Better than Spotlight. Better than Dashboard. Better than sex, frankly. It works like this; it creates a collage of, say, 40 iTunes album covers from your collection, and then changes one every second or two. Set iTunes on Shuffle, turn on the screensaver, and get a visual overview of your entire music collection. It's the first good substitute I've found for that massive stack of CDs I've got in the attic somewhere. I can point people at this and ask them what they'd like to listen to, for example.

Now, I've always been a bit obsessional about iTunes album art. I've spent hours tracking down clean images for every album I own. For live sets, I add shots of the band playing live. By contrast, I don't store art for music I don't legitimately have on the system. For years I've been worried that this is all a bit pointless. But now I have my all-time favourite screensaver. I can sit watching it happily for ages, marvelling at my fine taste in music.

A random 40 albums:

a collage of tiny album covers

I own 31 of these albums on CD; the other 9 all come from eMusic. One is a magazine cover disc, and two or three of the others were very cheap. One of them would be one of the albums that I'd have to give serious consideration to if asked for my favourite album of all time. 6 are single artist compilations. 3 are multiple artist compilations. 2 are tribute albums, both amongst the strangest albums I own. 5 are live sets. 3 don't really fit my musical tastes, of which one is too wet and two just don't quite suit. One is a recent download that I know hardly at all, and another is a more recent download that I feel very familiar with.

It's a random selection. I think it is broadly representative of my musical taste.

Posted by Alison at June 11, 2005 12:56 AM


I'm amused by the number of those that are also in my music collection. Five are exact matches, and several others are different albums from artists I have some music from.

Yes, one of the exact matches is the Stairways tribute album.

Posted by: Christopher Davis at June 14, 2005 01:02 AM

Well, hey, Christopher, stick around; there's a good chance I'll write about other music you like!

Posted by: Alison Scott at June 14, 2005 09:03 AM

Judging from what I can recognize, I like your taste. And thanks for giving me another good reason for finally installing the copy of Tiger I've had sitting around here for weeks. This is a truly cool new feature, and I hadn't heard anything about it until Lise pointed me at your post.

Posted by: Moshe Feder at July 14, 2005 05:12 AM

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