I’m sure this is old news to a lot of you, but humour me.
I’m amazed by how much it has changed my listening experience, having all my music on the computer. I didn’t actually intend to put all my music on the hard disk when I got the computer – the CD player is within easy reach of my desk anyway, and I don’t have an mp3 player – but I tried it out mainly because I wanted to play with the software on my new machine. What makes the difference isn’t the way that all your music is at your fingertips, although that’s nice. It’s that I have a whole load of albums which I like, but don’t particularly want to listen to all of at once. The simple fact that the computer mixes up tracks from different albums breathes life into your collection, just because you don’t have to take the decision to listen to a whole hour of acid house, or Breton folk, or early blues, or whatever it might be.
I thought that if was going to make a lot of use of the playlist function it would be making playlists like ‘funky stuff’ or ‘easy-cheesy’ or ‘Americana': specific selections to suit my mood. In fact my main playlist completely ignores genre and mood; it consists of a combination of:
high-rated songs that haven’t been played for four days
unrated songs that haven’t been played for two weeks
Oddly enough, the fact that the playlist might go ‘Charles Aznavour – The Prodigy – Bob Marley’ isn’t as much of a problem as I would have expected. I thought that switching between wildly different kinds of music would just be annoying – but actually I quite like the variety.