last.fm for vinyl?

Filed under: life,tinkering — jaydublu @ 6:03 pm

OK, long obscure post this one – this all got triggered because I’ve been evicted from the house and have been setting up all my ‘stuff’ in a portacabin in the garden.

Jim’s new den

I’m sure it will work out for the best in the end – I was a bit cramped in a spare room, and I’ve got a lot more space now. And the opportunity to get at things that have been in storage is great, including my record collection and turntable – hence the post.

In my rush to get things set up – computer’s hooked up (hence I can post) I thought ‘let’s have some tunes’ – iTunes would have been too easy given all this nostalgic music at hand. I’ve no ‘proper’ speakers over here yet so I figured out the easiest thing would be to get it playing through my PC speakers – a bit distasteful to a true audiophile, but I’m not so who cares?

Initially I had a bit of grief getting line-in passing through to the speakers, but with a bit of fiddling with XP’s mixer settings I finally got there. First album out while fiddling was ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres – an old faithful, but I’ve got that on MP3 somewhere – what have I got on vinyl but not on MP3? Robert Palmer Riptide was first to match my mood so that’s in the background now (and it’s just started skipping!).

When sorting all my junk out a few weeks back I thinned my vinyl collection in the theory that there was no chance I’d ever listen to it all again, so I kept only those albums I thought there was a chance I might listen to, given an opportunity.

At this point I would like to position myself relating to my listening habits – in my bachelor life (almost 15 years now!) I used to listen a lot, and I’m a strong believer in analogue formats for ‘serious’ listening – I never bought a standalone CD player, and given a choice (before I was given an iPod at any rate) I’d still buy vinyl not CD. I’m not a total hi-fi purist, but there is something about a really sorted system that makes your heart lift. I most often get it from old analogue rigs, and rarely modern clean digital sanitised systems. It’s got to be felt rather than heard, and who cares about the odd scratch?

Anway, proper listening opportunities are now few and far between – I’ve got 100 odd albums in my reduced collection – is there any chance I’ll ever listen to them all again?

When thinning them out I thought it would be great if you could keep track of how often you listen to an album, or when the last time you played it, or what albums you played in the same session – sort of like Last.fm but for vinyl. <sidenote> congrats to all at Last.fm on their buyout by CBS – I’m chuffed that true innovation and entrepreneurship can still happen, and in the UK – more power to them!</sidenote>

Back to the main post – TOO GEEKY! I reckon we all have a bit of trainspotter in all of us – I certainly recognise latent anorak in some of the things that go through my head. I could create a list of all the times I’ve thought about starting lists – chronologically organised, alphabetised and cross referenced. But I’m not that man – honestly.

(switch to The Cult Electric)

I succumbed on the wiki to list top 10 bourbons, films, sites – can I do something not too nerdy to satisfy the list maker in me? How about recording most recent albums played as they should be (on vinyl)?