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One's Music Collection...

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  • krunky
    Eternal Companion
    • Jan 2004
    • 726

    One's Music Collection...

    Bill asked: "What's your choice of music?"

    The best I can do is tell you that I am working on a music server that will deliver music throughout my house with a few flicks of the wrist via a wired network. That server at the moment (and as I build it up) contains only 90% of my CD collection, and maybe 5% of my vinyl collection. Right now a quick search revealed 21, 296 songs in 512 main directories that are titled by artist, composer, or band name; and also by soundtrack titles (unless a single composer has a lot of material and then it gets placed under a composer directory). Obviously, a directory titled something like "Led Zeppelin" or "Queen" will have the vast majority of that band's discography under it (in most cases I am a completist). There are also a small handful of directories containing what I call "various" categories like Easy Listening, 70s, 80s, and Spoken Word.

    It's probably easier to tell you what's not there: very little country, not as much classical as I'd like (more than plenty by the average person's standards though), and since most popular music of the last 5-10 years leaves me cold there is very little of that.

    Honestly, it's like a music store. And I actually own the vast majority of it, very little was downloaded off the internet. By the time I'm done with the vinyl I expect to be at approx. 40,000 MP3s.

    Here's a quick sampling:
    45 Grave
    Al Stewart
    Astor Piazolla
    Astrud Gilberto
    Barry Adamson
    Big Black
    Bill Nelson
    Black Sabbath
    Carl Stone
    Caroline Lavelle
    Clubfoot Orechestra
    Combustible Edison
    David Bowie
    Deep Fix (of course!)
    Diamanda Galas
    Einstuerzende Neubauten
    Faith and the Muse
    Fiona Apple
    Gina X
    Grace Jones
    Harold Budd
    Henry Mancini
    Hesperion XX
    Howard Shore
    James White
    Jefferson Airplane
    Joemy Wilson
    John Dowland
    John Zorn
    Joy Division
    Lola Rennt soundtrack
    Loreena McKennitt
    Louis Armstrong
    Lydia Lunch
    Mad Monster Party soundtrack
    Marc Almond
    Master Musicians of Jajouka
    Miles Davis
    Miranda Sex Garden
    Murder Inc
    My Bloody Valentine
    Nina Hagen
    Nine Inch Nails
    Ofra Haza
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
    Patsy Cline
    Philip Glass
    Pink Floyd
    Pj Harvey
    Rage Against the Machine
    Robt. Fripp
    Robt. Johnson
    Rose McDowall
    Roxy Music
    Rudiger Oppermann
    Stan Getz
    Steve Miller
    Stockholm Monsters
    Syd Barrett
    Talking Heads
    Terry Hall
    Thelonious Monk
    They Might Be Giants
    This Mortal Coil
    Throbbing Gristle
    Tim Buckley
    Tom Waits
    Tony Bennett
    Traci Lords
    Underground Resistance
    Vijay Anand
    Violent Femmes
    Virgin Prunes
    Witold Lutoslawski
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Yma Sumac
    Yolanda Kondonassis
  • VonWeiner
    Eternally Confused
    • Jan 2004
    • 950

    Dude, no Clash? All good stuff Krunky and I agree with you, its easier to say anything but country when describing my musical tastes. I have a very diverse collection. Alot of classical, alot of old school rock (The Cars, Bowie, Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Doors, Sabbath).

    Eighties stuff - Billy Idol, Depeche Mode, The Cure, REM, U2 (their first few albums), Tears for Fears, Psychedlic Furs, Spandau Ballet etc...

    Oh and I love old rap - Easy E (NWA), Snoop, Dre, Ice Cube, Public Enemy - you know what I'm sayin' mutha-fuckah?

    I am also a big fan of gregorian chant. Arabic music is good too. And I like some "New Age" stuff like a soundtrack I just bought a day or so ago by Vangelis - Blade Runner.

    I like reggae too. All the above artists don't represent all I have but it gives you an idea.

    No country in my collection though. Most everything else. I'm listening to "Straight Outta Compton" right now Boyee!
    When they had advanced together to meet on common
    ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
    and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
    each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
    mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
    killing, and the ground ran with blood.

    Homer, The Illiad


    • Bill
      Champion of the Balance
      • Feb 2004
      • 1063

      I'm good with all that, except that I do like country and am not big on most rap and reggae (although I like some). There is some good stuff there; I noticed Robert Fripp and a couple others, but no real progressive music (Genesis, Yes, King Crimson).

      For me music starts and ends with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Everything from that is gravy.

      I am really interested in the system you are developing. That sounds very cool. I have about 800 CDs and about 400 vinyl albums (some duplicates, some I am transferring to mp3 as well). I am a completist to a degree as well, and although I occasionally download, it is more out of convenience, and I make every effort to only download things I already have but just not digitally and that I cannot readily get elsewhere.

      Are you willing to share more details on that system (You can email me if you would prefer)?


      • Dobbie
        Nomad of the Time Streams
        • Dec 2003
        • 41

        I always find it hard to describe my tatste. I like a broad range of music. Big fan of Rock, Indie ( as in indepent post punk guitar bands) and classical, now how vague is that.
        My Favourite composer is probably Mahler but there again it could be Bach or Beethoven or Birtwistle or Mozart.
        A couple of indie bands I have enjoyed recently are Bearsuit ( ) from Norwhich Uk and The Aislers Set ( ) from Calfornia USA. As well as my mates Sheffield and Leeds based bands; The Mother Fuckers, Real Losers and Chuck have all put out some good vinyl in the last few months.
        Rock I range from Hawkwind to Black Sabbath to Slipknot to Emperor to AC/DC and of course there is then Jimi Hendrix.
        I am a narrow minded bigot and just won't listen to certian types of music. I don't like the Clash but really love the Buzzcocks and other '76 punk stuff and yeah no country in my collection, never taken with rap or hip hop either.
        MEEP !


        • Bill
          Champion of the Balance
          • Feb 2004
          • 1063

          I just noticed that "Tool" and "Traci Lords" were next to each other on the list. I am juvenile enough to think that is funny.


          • krunky
            Eternal Companion
            • Jan 2004
            • 726

            VW: I have complete, or very nearly complete, discographies for Clash, Hendrix, Doors, Depeche Mode, The Cure, U2 (their first few albums), Tears for Fears, and Spandau Ballet. I have at least samplings of your other stuff too. My list above was very incomplete - just a taste.

            Bill: Genesis, Yes, King Crimson - I have extensive holdings in each category.

            I'm not sure what to say about the media network except that it requires crawling up in the attic space of a 1950s ranch style home to run the wires. I use old or abandoned computers to hold a basic OS, video and sound cards, and the basic software: foobar 2000 and Winamp 5 (both free and seemingly spy and adware free also). On most machines you could probably get Knoppix to boot from the network itself, and it has everything you need already (for music at least). That's basically it really. After some mixed results with other stuff, I now use only Exact Audio Copy 0.9 beta 4 and Lame 3.90.3 (I think I got this from a link from Hydrogen Audio online). I record CDs to MP3 at "alt preset standard" which is variable bit rate at either side of 192 Kbps (it gets both very high Kbps for complex musical passages, and very low for simpler passages). I can only tell minor differences between these recordings and the actually CDs if wearing my Grado headphones, otherwise given ambient noise and other factors - it's plenty good enough. You don't have to use full computers BTW, you can use music specific wireless appliances that read from a server and play out via attached speakers. The reason I don't use a simpler solution is that I ultimately want the more robust interface provided by Winamp, the simplicity of using an Explorer-like directory structure (easy navigation), and I may ultimately add other stuff in there too: movie capabilities and a recipe folder to access from the kitchen, shit I haven't thought of yet, etc. Probably the biggest flaw in my scheme is in recording vinyl across a Soundblaster Live! card, but I am not going to spend a lot of money on a better card just to transfer the vinyl over. If I get nutty about it I can always start upgrading to CDs. Given the flaws of vinyl I find it easier to correct minor imperfections if I notice them, but also to generically use noise filters to globally take out white noise or hiss. Basically I record WAV files via EAC, edit them in SoundForge (track splitting mostly, fade in, fade out), encode via Lame. My turntable is nothing spectacular (an old Yamaha direct drive), but I did purchase a new Stanton cartridge and needle for this project.

            Interestingly on the use of EAC, I find that I have trouble ripping King Crimson, Foetus, and Genesis CDs. Out of 1300+ CDs that I have ripped, only about 10 gave me trouble of any kind. In case you don't know, EAC is probably the only program for windows that checks what it is doing more than once - in other words, it is programmed to pass all sections at least twice to verify that what it is recording is what's on the disk being ripped. If it finds a dissimilarity, it reads again to get a consensus, something like that.

            My first upgrades will be to fanless mini-itx systems, to reduce the appliance noise to almost nil. As it stands I try to house the boxes in furniture with an airhole out the back or something to reduce sound. I don't really care if the boxes fry - they are all one foot in the grave anyway, which is exactly how I ended up with them as spares.

            My basic layout is one box each for the kitchen, living room, the various bedrooms, the office (actually the server itself, 130 GB of MP3s on a 250 GB drive), and "my stuff" room. Speakers extending from the living room to the backyard allow me to control music from the living room box. I have considered software that allows one to control different boxes from another location, but I am not sure I see the point at all. The Living room box will probably ultimately serve as a MAME game machine also. One of my longer-term goals is to buy a Funhouse pinball machine to sit next to a MAME console.

            This could all be reduced substantially if all you really want is music in different parts of a house -- all you really need is an amp with a speaker selector switch (cheap at radioshack). You run wires through the house for the speakers, set up a play list and switch on the speakers you need to be playing. I did that via a fancy Sony receiver for many years. Now it's nice to have a little system specific autonomy. Ultimately, every electronic component in your house will be networked. Hell, we may soon have neighborhood, or even huge social networks soon enough - sharing resources like mad and quite speedily too. Obviously, there are political and legal issues at stake just as with P2P. We may have to go with some kind of national library model with govt. funding for the useful arts. Just watch.

            It might also be worth noting that I don't have either cable or satellite. Got rid of that. I use rabbit ear aerials to view local stuff only. I only watch a very small handful of shows anyway: That 70s Show, Nova, Frontline, 60 Minutes, NOW - shit like that. Love music, hate TV. DVDs on the weekend mostly. I therefore have lots of time to play with my music. It serves as my main source of entertainment beyond books or my other hobbies. Plus it's all ways nice to have music playing in my view - whether it be "Here Come the Warm Jets" or "Discrete Music."

            Dobbie: I love the Buzzcocks - I have a lot on vinyl.

            No significant hip hop, but I do like middle era rap like Schooly D, Run DMC, NWA, etc. - older rather than newer stuff. The new stuff sounds like corporate crap, and all sounds alike to my ears. For those that remember it's not that the Monkees sucked, it's just that they weren't nearly as interesting as the Beatles.

            Of course, the Beatles were as humans compared to a God when standing next to Jimi Hendrix. That's a little before my time, but I like to try and think back to an era of the Mamas and the Papas and then wonder at what it must have been like for the next few songs from the radio after California Dreaming to be by Jimi Hendrix. Fuck, even Fripp sounds terribly "earthbound" compared to Hendrix.

            In Los Angeles I once knew a therapist that claimed to have counseled Hendrix just before his death. The reason it came up at all was because I noticed an unusual piece of artwork on the wall of the guy's office signed Hendrix. Bleak shit too - like something from a Ralph Bakshi nightmare of New York city street sleaze in the rain. There was a speeding taxicab headed in the wrong direction as indicated by the "one way" sign. Authentic or not, that seems to sum it up.


            • VonWeiner
              Eternally Confused
              • Jan 2004
              • 950

              Originally posted by krunky
              VW: I have complete, or very nearly complete, discographies for Clash, Hendrix, Doors, Depeche Mode, The Cure, U2 (their first few albums), Tears for Fears, and Spandau Ballet. I have at least samplings of your other stuff too. My list above was very incomplete - just a taste.
              Well, OK, if you say so.... :lol:

              No seriously, you have alot more than me. Alot more. I collect more books than music. And I have kids so not much chance to sit down and listen.
              When they had advanced together to meet on common
              ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
              and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
              each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
              mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
              killing, and the ground ran with blood.

              Homer, The Illiad


              • Jules
                Eternal Companion
                • Jan 2004
                • 609

                No idea what to really add to this - similarly eclectic and massive collection - probably 400 CDs, over 1000 LPs - lost count, and I clear unplayed ones out periodically - only so much storage - plus a few hundred 45s. By far the largest part is 60s stuff, ranging from early US r'n'b and soul (late 50s to mid 60s), through a whole load of garage bands and the uptempo end of psychedelia (i.e. all the Hendrix LPs, not much post-Barrett Pink Floyd), jazz, bossa nova, library music - a lot of it is compilations of obscurities - and even a bit of country rock (Byrds, Gram Parsons, Bobby Gentry, Lee Hazelwood).

                That said, I'm not averse to modern music, and most of my CDs are 90s onwards - plenty of good stuff around today if you look - even love some of those Timbaland and Neptunes r'n'b productions (Missy Elliot, etc) - though only ever buy the singles because the LPs are always so disappointingly patchy.

                If determined by recent listening : lot of Scott Walker, Orange Juice, Franz Ferdinand, Broadcast, Boards of Canada - and a band called Kinski that might appeal to anyone into both heavy and progressive music.


                • krunky
                  Eternal Companion
                  • Jan 2004
                  • 726

                  I love Lee Hazelwood! Too cool. The dude is Mr. Drama...

                  Jeez, and here I was mentally making him early to his grave:


                  "In 2002 Lee unfolded his plans to do a third duet album with Nancy Sinatra. In February 2003 the takes were done in Nasville with the help of well-known arranger Billy Strange. Duane Eddy plays guitar on one track. Expectingly this album will be on the market in January 2004. "


                  • Jules
                    Eternal Companion
                    • Jan 2004
                    • 609

                    I saw him play London last year - made a comment about one of his songs that 'I'd love to play it for Bush, but I'm an old man and I don't know if I'd live long enough to explain it to him' - which brought the house down.


                    • Bill
                      Champion of the Balance
                      • Feb 2004
                      • 1063

                      Whoa, that sounds like a cool, cool setup. It never occured to me to have the server-type set up, although we have long talked about "wiring" our house for sound. I may go with the central system and just speakers in each room. Haven't decided. I have a similar setup for my vinyl transfer. It goes okay; but like you, for the stuff I am really serious about, I buy the CD where I can.

                      Cool story, told by McCartney on-camera in the Beatles' Anthology.: "Sgt Pepper was released on the Friday [June 1, 1967] and on the Sunday Jimi Hendrix opened with Sgt Pepper when we saw him at the Savile Theatre. That was the biggest single tribute to me. I was a big fan of Jimi's, and he'd had only since the Friday to learn it." McCartney further described the evening as "simply incredible, perhaps the best I have ever seen him play." It's funny, becuase he was undeniably untouchable, but I rarely ever put his music on to just enjoy. Much rather listen to Jimmy Page or Ritchie Blackmore (who, while good, is a hack compared to JH).

                      I am just getting into the Cure; the problem is I much prefer the "Pornography" era work, but am having trouble getting into the early stuff.


                      • krunky
                        Eternal Companion
                        • Jan 2004
                        • 726

                        There is a lengthy article on home/PC audio available here:

                        Here's a pay program that goes with a wireless solution via the hardare listed below (the main component is a program called "AudioStation"):
                        price (download): $30

                        Here's the RF (not IR!) Remote unit :
                        price: $25

                        Here's the Audio RF receiver (same page as above!):
                        price: $40

                        [N.B. the quality of the reception is subject to RF Interference that is dependent upon the residential location. Audio cables are not included (which is to say the wires from the receiver itself to a stereo or a powered set of speakers).]

                        Seems like it provides a "wireless" 150 foot solution via remote control, I almost went with this solution too.

                        I think I prefer to have a cheap networked system at each location though. My big ??? was about the user interface - I hate most UIs like the one on my portable Philips CD/MP3 player or even the one on "lamer's only" iPod. They are not nearly as robust as a proper directory listing and full song specs that I get from my own homegrown solution. For example:

                        1. I want to hear some Ben Harper
                        2. I have a single icon that looks like a CD on my task bar (it is a shortcut to the main music server directory), I hit the icon once and my whole music server list appears.
                        3. Because I alphabetize by first name, I scroll to the Bs and find Ben Harper, click twice to enter the directory.
                        4. Inside this directory are 9 other directories comprising an assload of Ben Harper music, I select "The Will to Live" and doube-click to get in.
                        5. From here I can drag individual songs over to my Foobar2000 or Winamp5 Mp3 players - say if I want to listen to monster hit "Faded", or I can select the whole album by dragging over a single file titled "The Will to Live.m3u" - an m3u file being basically a pointer/playlist of all of the songs on the album. My filename format is very friendly: I have EAC setup to rip MP3s into directories of artist name and then album name, and then to title the tracks thusly: "Ben Harper - The Will to live - 01 - Faded.mp3" (Artist - Album Title - Track Number - Track Title). They appear in order because the first file name difference amongst the music files is the Track Number. An installed program called "DbPowerAmp" allows me to "hover" the cursor over a file and get information like File (name), Location (path), Type, Extension, Length (in minutes:seconds), Size, Compression Ratio, Bit Rate, Frequency, Channels, Channel Mode, Level, Encoder info, ID Tag, and then a complete list of the track info as from the Id3 tag.
                        6. Press the play arrow. I'm done because I am already listening to music.

                        From the same machine, I can do most any other computer related task including email and websurfing. Why? Because it's a complete computer system like every other in the household. My only limits are whatever the hardware components can handle, the speed of my network, and maybe the ADSL connection.

                        And let's face it, you really can put together a computer system quite cheaply these days - I'd say for as little as $600 including a flatscreen and speakers. If you have a lot of old stuff you are hanging onto, cheaper still.

                        I was just noticing "wal-mart" has a 13" flatscreen for $200. It's probably a POS, but it's the direction all of that cheap offshore labor takes us (not that this is what I want, but the situation exists).


                        • Jules
                          Eternal Companion
                          • Jan 2004
                          • 609

                          Bill - you probably want Cure's Disintegration - and apparently the recent LP Bloodflowers completes a trilogy of LPs that started with Pornography. Must say it's years since I heard that (too bound up in memories of a specific Cure freak girlfriend to be listened to objectively for me). There's a Scottish band called Mogwai that do instrumentals in a similar territory too.


                          • Doc
                            Eternal Champion
                            • Jan 2004
                            • 3630

                            Originally posted by Bill
                            I just noticed that "Tool" and "Traci Lords" were next to each other on the list. I am juvenile enough to think that is funny.
                            Me, too.

                            By the way, Disintigration is a fantastic album.


                            • Etive
                              Citizen of Tanelorn
                              • Feb 2004
                              • 222

                              Led Zep, Sabbath, Dio, Hawkwind, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Saxon, Judas Priest, Uriah Heep, David Bowie.......

                              Adam and the Ants, New Order, Kraftwerk, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Duran Duran, A-HA, Wham!, Madness, Human League........

                              This is the kind of stuff I like, I tend to work backwards looking for older music, that's why my Dad has no records in his cupboard