A few months ago I bought a Macbook Air. Remember? Well we are still head over heels in love, still discovering each other, and I'm continuously amazed at the new and exciting things I can do with my new beau.
Last weekend, whilst sweltering in a typical summer heatwave, I decided to rip all my music CDs into MP3 files, using Apple's iTunes. Then I can get rid of the CDs, and the stereo, in my attempt to declutter prior to heading off on a prolonged trip. Thing is, I really haven't been listening to music much over the last 10 years or so, I tend to tune into Radio National on the car radio, and rarely go out to see live music anymore. My CD collection has a rather weird datedness to it, it sort of stops in the mid nineties. There's an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, world music and classic 80s rock anthems, not to mention the ABBA boxed collection! How can anyone survive a long road trip without belting out a few Abba tunes I mean seriously???
Since getting the new boy, I've been lurking over in iTunes. And I discovered podcasts, and lots of free music downloads. OK I bought a few things too, but only with the cunningly purchased iTunes gift vouchers I got at a discount price using Target vouchers I'd redeemed from credit card rewards. Lost? Don't worry. Suffice to say I am now the proud owner of some NEW!!! music as well as my dated collection of 80s and 90s classics. And an iPod Nano to listen to it on. All for free, clever ain't I??
Now some of you may not know that a Macbook Air doesn't have a disc drive. One of the main reasons it's so slim and light. So how the hell could I rip my CD collection? Believe it or not, easy peasy. See my new beau is a darn clever communicator and he talks to all my old boyfriends, even the old flasher. Mainly because the old flasher has a perfectly functioning optical disc drive that we'd like to use please.
So, I simply load the CDs into OF*, rip them and share them using WiFi between the 2 computers, my modem and the internet. Awesome hey?? Next step DVDs.....
Now that I have many gigabytes of music at my disposal it really obligates me somewhat to actually listen to it. I already had a cheap, rather pathetic, MP3 player that had an unusable menu and kept chewing up batteries. You know the old saying about pay peanuts you get monkeys? Enough said! So the iPod Nano (free purchase remember!) is my newest wee toy.
So there I am with mountains of music, over 1000 (yes I got a tad carried away!) podcasts and a tiny 8Gb piece of perfection to clip to my clothes. Where do I start? Do I listen to the music album by album, do I create playlists? That will take forever. But hang on, there's a solution.
One word: GENIUS!
I love it. You just pick a song and iTunes analyses your music library and puts together some really interesting playlists. You end up with lots of songs down the back catalog of your albums, as well as the classics, that you haven't heard for ages and often didn't notice much in the past anyway. Sometimes when I listen to an album the whole way through I find myself tuning out after a while. This way I seem to be continuously rediscovering old songs. I'm having a great time. And enjoying listening to music again. Eureka!!
I'm also enjoying some great podcasts. Some are new music releases, others are comedy, others are my favourite Radio National shows. The absolutely best so far is a wonderful series with Wendy Harmer and Angela Catterns called "Is it just me?". These two women (I'm not calling them girls or ladies, listen and you'll know why!) talk about day to day issues, bringing up kids, their opinions about varied topics, all with the wonderful self deprecating humour that us Aussies are good at. It is the ultimate show for cackling out loud and rolling around the floor in hysterics. I challenge anyone not to find them hilariously funny. Unfortunately the shows are no longer being produced, but the podcasts of 30 odd episodes are available here.
Enjoy! I am...
*OF = Old Flasher, my ex, see this past post