New Shoes in the Rain

Monday, June 30, 2014

Musical chairs

Happy Monday, one and all!

Recently something prompted me to take a good look at my music collection, just to see what I'm missing.  Several years ago (and I want to say that this process was recorded within this blog somehow for posterity), I moved away from using physical recordings of music and into those of the digital persuasion, if you will.  That meant that I said goodbye to some stereo equipment that I had had since high school (I know) and some vinyl records that I had had for longer than that!  I also divested all of my cassette tapes and the accompanying tape player, since neither of our cars have tape players in them.

At that time I mounted a pretty serious effort to reacquire most of that music in digital form, whether through the purchase of music through iTunes or CD (I still have a few CDs, since the cars will play them).  And I think I did a good job of recapturing some of this stuff, but there were invariably a few gaps.

Now, if you're like me and you troll shopping sites on the Internet periodically, you have no doubt noticed that it's possible to buy turntables and cassette players that will interface with a computer, thus making it possible to make copies of these recordings.  To my knowledge, these devices weren't around at the time I was making this transition, at least not at what I would have considered affordable prices.

Anyway, taking the long way to the point of today's discussion, I was listening to the 70's channel on satellite radio recently and heard a song or two that brought back some memories.  Have to confess that for the first year or better that we had satellite radio in the cars that the 70's channel was my go-to channel for music, then I finally began to diversity a bit. Anyway, I heard something that clicked and I thought, I used to have that record.  And so it began again, as it does every year or so.

And then I heard over the weekend that R&B great Bobby Womack passed away.  Never heard of him?  I hadn't much, either, but he put out a single called "Lookin' for a Love" while I was in high school and that made me a fan.  I think he was a better guitarist than singer, but that's what I remember of him.

So in the interests of completeness, over the past weekend I reviewed what's in my iTunes library.  Almost 2400 songs.  Then I stopped to think what I used to own in the form of records or tapes that I've missed having.  Kind of hard to do that without some point of reference, but I thought of a few items.  Then I began to see what was available on iTunes for purchase. For example, I was a big Boz Scaggs fan back when "Silk Degrees" came out.  Monster album (I still think of them as albums, folks, sorry) that yielded something like five top 40 singles (boy, I can tell I'm old when I start talking like that!).  Through the magic of iTunes, I bought the four songs I really liked and started playing them that morning!

Then I looked at the CDs I already have.  What of those had I not copied into iTunes?  Quite a few, as it turned out.  So I set about "ripping" those into my library, augmenting my digital selections a bit.  Next stop, my local public library, great source for music and such.  Found a few things there that I didn't have, so I'll pick those up for a listen soon.

Now, I know full well that most everything I want or like to hear can be heard on SiriusXM satellite radio.  And with online services like Spotify and Pandora, they're very customizable, to the point that you can even "rent" access to a music library of your choosing and listen when- and wherever you like.

But I'm still old-fashioned enough to feel that "owning" this music has value, even if I can't touch the records or disks or tapes or look at the liner notes.  So I'll continue this way, dinosaur that I am.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the Beatles are warming up in the other room.


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