Sunday, March 02, 2008


We'll see

After several days of extended focused practicing on the Orchestra pieces, the Cellocracy pieces, Humoresque, and several new Mooney pieces, I'll find out this week what progress, if any, I've made. It *feels* better... Lately, I've been concentrating on the second-to-fifth and third-to-seventh shifts in the Humoresque, and they're playing more naturally, and sounding pretty good too.

The current Mooney pieces focus on the upper-third shifts. Am I the only one who finds Mooney's pieces harder to learn than Suzuki's? Maybe it's because the "tunes" themselves aren't as "natural". But in time, with lots of repetitions, they eventually start to become more comfortable. My teacher says I should look at these as etudes and not worry so much about the "song".


As the days get longer and the sun climbs a little higher in the sky each day, we begin to think that the long winter might actually come to an end; but then another gray day with more light snow quickly reminds us that we still have to wait another six weeks - until mid-April at least - before the last traces of the winter snowpack are finally melted and the ground has fully thawed. And another month after that before actual green-up. The long daylight hours do help with the SAD issues, though. And, if we're lucky, the sub-zero days are behind us. The higher sun angles are also helping to melt the ice from the roads, making driving a bit more tolerable.


So far, I've converted 29 albums to mp3 and loaded them into my iPod. Another 10 to 15 albums have been placed in my what- was- I- thinking- when- I- bought- that- one pile, which I probably won't transfer. So, only another couple hundred to go. My brother has three or four hundred more albums, of which I expect I'll eventually want to record at least half.

These recordings sound really good. Cakewalk does a nice job of basic cleanup and conversion. If there's anything dicey in the quality, I bring it into Audacity, which provides much better active feedback for the slight adjustments I want to make.

Cakewalk records in .wmv format, which I then process and convert to mp3 to import into iTunes. Each album takes up about 500 MB as .wmv files. That same album converted to .mp3 takes up only about 50 to 60 MB. Obviously something is getting lost in the process.

I've decided to go ahead and store the 200 GB of recorded LP albums in .wmv format on a portable hard drive. Five or ten years from now the iPod *as we know it* will probably have joined the 8" floppy disks, the 5.25" floppy disks, and the 3.5" floppy disks in the computer museums. The latest [implanted?] music players will be using some new *.XYZ format. And of course trying to up-convert all those old .mp3 tunes will not recapture all that missing data, leaving us with a lot of unusable music. What better way to keep everybody buying music but to keep changing the formats? For a while they'll be a black market in iPod parts, but... So,

Now, I'm going to want a bigger iPod rather than load/unload various playlists.

In 1984, I got my first "answering machine". One day I got home and there was a message from you:

"What is this new Yuppie thing?"

Now look at your post-yuppie things!

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