iPod farming

I learnt a new phrase this week. After his talk to the MA on Monday I went out for a quick meal with Mike and described how I’d spent half my morning deleting and adding tunes to iTunes. ‘Ah yes’, he said, ‘I call that iPod farming’. And that’s what I’m doing now, before going to an exhibition and taking my nephew swimming. Only, there’s an added urgency. I’ve had a 60GB iPod photo for nearly three years and it’s been full since Christmas. I’ve taken various precautionary measures – unclicking most files over 10MB on my iTunes, converting tunes with a high bit-rate to 128AACs, but this week I got to over 14,000 tracks and, when I updated my iPod, first it refused to import the photos and then it left off half of the Duffy album (research – I’m going to see her on Friday. She’s playing Nottingham’s smallest venue, when she could be selling out the arena round the corner: go figure). I thought I’d calculated the space carefully, but not realised that iTunes had downloaded a bunch of new podcasts.

Today, I’m anxious to load up the Bon Iver album that Laura Barton wrote so eloquently about on Friday (the couple of tracks I’ve heard on my computer suggest that she wasn’t exaggerating about its quality), so I’ve started deleting. Unclicking tracks just saves the problems for later and, anyway, my 320GB external drive is nearly full. So far I’ve lost half a dozen podcasts, a couple of Animal Collective albums and all but one track of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Frank’ (guess which one). It’s a fairly relaxing way to spend Sunday morning. Part of the joys of the process is that you click on a track you got from an mp3 blog but barely remember and it turns out to be wonderful.

I’ve only got to the Bs so far. Maybe I could do three letters a day. I reckon if I get rid of another dozen tunes, I should be able to load everything up, including some of the high bit rate stuff. There are some things I want to play through my new amplifier without adding to my carbon footprint by burning yet another cd to add to the tottering piles in the living room. Yet anything less than 192kbps sounds terrible through a good hi fi and 256 is preferable. And yes, I know, that I could follow various friends and my brother Paul by buying a 160GB iPod video, but I’m reluctant to replace something that works perfectly and, anyway, I’m not sure if the newest iPods work with the USB1 connector on my 5 year old iMac. Shuffles certainly don’t. But there’s now way I’m replacing my anglepoise mac, with its handy adjustable screen position.

Now then, who the hell is Bobby Hebb and do I need both those tracks by him? Oh yes, I do. I’ve got to the end of the Bs (‘When Jesamine Goes’ by the Bystanders, another forgotten but wonderful song) and am down to 13,996 songs. Will that do? Better just connect the iPod and find out…

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