Listening to every song in my iTunes library

Just got a great idea via my pal Scott MacDonald – I’m going to listen to all 24,935 songs in my iTunes library…in order.

I’m a bit of a music collector, and after 40+ years of collecting albums, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and MP3s, I’ve amassed a fairly large collection. At one point I had well over 40,000 songs in my iTunes library, but thanks to iTunes Match‘s 25,000 song limit, I’ve pruned it down quite a bit. I know for a fact that I haven’t listened to many of the songs, and they are still present due to packratitis and good intentions of “I’ll listen to them some day“. I’ll hopefully be able to delete many of these once and for all. Another thing I plan to do is rate all albums, and if I have the energy, most of the songs too.

To help keep track of progress, I plan to to update a page here on my website.

Here we go. Starting on 2014-10-22 at 8:45 AM EDT with A-Ha’s 1985 album, Hunting High and Low.

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Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People

Via LifeHacker:

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about song writing and the structure of music, but don’t know where to start, this free online book is filled to the brim with pages that make understanding music theory easy.

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People

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Open Music Theory

Open Music Theory is an open-source, interactive, online “text”book for college-level music theory courses. This textbook is meant to support active student engagement with music in the theory classroom. That means that this text is meant to take a back seat to student music making (and breaking). It is not the center of the course.

Open Music Theory website

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alt.folklore.computers.nipples?

I just found an old Usenet discussion (c. 1993) on alt.folklore.computers in which Eric S. Raymond and I discuss nipples. Bizarre.

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Jellyfish Flames on the ISS

From NASA Science News:

Jellyfish Flames

Fire is inanimate, yet anyone staring into a flame could be excused for thinking otherwise: Fire dances and swirls. It reproduces, consumes matter, and produces waste. It adapts to its environment. It needs oxygen to survive.In short, fire is uncannily lifelike. Nowhere is this more true than onboard a spaceship. Unlike flames on Earth, which have a tear-drop shape caused by buoyant air rising in a gravitational field, flames in space curl themselves into tiny balls. Untethered by gravity, they flit around as if they have minds of their own. More than one astronaut conducting experiments for researchers on Earth below has been struck by the way flameballs roam their test chambers in a lifelike search for oxygen and fuel.

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Game of Thrones theme (80s version)

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Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced

From StarWars.com:

Star Wars VII cast

The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

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We need to talk about Kevins

Now this is just sad. From the (fantastic) British TV show QI:

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The Infinite Jukebox

A brilliant music hack using the equally brilliant Echo Nest API:

What is this?
For when your favorite song just isn’t long enough. This web app lets you upload a favorite MP3 and will then generate a never-ending and ever changing version of the song. It does what Infinite Gangnam Style did but for any song.

It never stops?
That’s right. It will play forever.

How does it work?
We use the Echo Nest analyzer to break the song into beats. We play the song beat by beat, but at every beat there’s a chance that we will jump to a different part of song that happens to sound very similar to the current beat. For beat similarity we look at pitch, timbre, loudness, duration and the position of the beat within a bar. There’s a nifty visualization that shows all the possible transitions that can occur at any beat.

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Tales from the Far Side (1994)

Just found this on the Internet Archive:

Finally, I’m able to share this gem with everyone! :) This was the first time anyone had seen The Far Side other than in book form and it aired on CBS on October 31, 1994. This is the first, and possibly only?, airing.

When I heard that it was available on VHS though the BBC, I was so excited! I bought it and mailed it to a friend who had it converted from PAL to NTSC for me. I was over the moon about the included Part II (which never aired in North America and I didn’t know existed)…but disappointed in Part I. Gary Larson tinkered with it for the video release (just like he tinkered with many old comics in The Complete Far Side…*sigh*) and I strongly disagreed with just about every change. To me, it totally ruined the mood! He even watered down the ending! (the ‘dead ranch’ sequence with added narration bugs me most, though) The later DVD version is, unsurprisingly, the same as the VHS. (reminds me of Star Wars OT vs. SE)

Needless to say, I’m SO glad my tape survived all these years! Quality is decent considering it’s sourced from an 18-year-old tape that my mother bought. Haha. I’m so glad I taped it in SP mode.

More info on the specials, including the changes made, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_From_the_Far_Side

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