June 26th, 2006

New Tilley Hat

A Post-Katrina Music Collection

My brother and sister-in-law are finally at their new place (their old house was a casualty of Katrina) and my nephew J is off at school. They asked me to replace the music compilations I've been making for J since he was six, a total of 15 so far. The kicker is that they are traveling light (and might move again) and don't have a stereo; they have iPods. That turns out to be a bit tricky, as the first dozen or so of the compilations were on tape. My CD/digitized collection has a large overlap with but is not the same as my vinyl and tape collection. I discovered this when I went back to make the very first minnehaha K tape... and only had easy access to about half the songs. I told them not to expect exactly the same collection. I tried e-mailing mp3s, but I could only send a few at a time. Sending all the files, even at mp3 or aac compression, is more than one CD, so I'm making a DVD.

I just finished the first pass. I went through all the files I currently have, trying to come as close as possible to the original tapes for J and also catering to my brother's taste in music. My iTunes has over 3700 files. That's less than meets the ear: There's a large chunk of Shockwave material in various forms, and almost all the music is in at least two forms: uncompressed for burning on CD and compressed for an iPod. This has given me the impetus to clean up a lot of my iTunes files, the majority of which were imported from previously digitized files. The names and other annotation is not part of most of them, and I've been having a grand time fixing iTunes listings. Whee!

The easy part is done. The file for the DVD is up to 708 songs, 1.6 days of music, only 2.65 gigs. I can put several hundred more songs on, and probably will. The hard part is coming: Adding as many of the songs to iTunes. I have to compare my lists of the tapes with the songs already on file, then find the CD and add the tracks. One CD is not a big deal; dozens of them might be.

I'm just sort of amused that I'll wind up with a collection of perhaps a thousand songs -- ones that I rate highly -- mainly for kids/tweens/young teens but not exclusively so, on a DVD that cannot be played: You MUST go through iTunes (or the equivalent) and listen digitally. I now have a lot more kids music on CD than I did ten years ago, and while I won't be able to find every song from a tape, my bro will like the collection.

The second tape has This Island Earth by Dandelion Wine. Time to import music...
New Tilley Hat


The Minnesota Fringe Festival kicked off with a Mini-festival of 30 shows, three minute segments of each. It was very crowded, and they had to add many extra seats. The 30 shows were a spectrum of the Fringe, ranging from shows I never heard of that were great, old favorites with new material and stuff I'm just as happy I know to avoid. I had a great time. I expect to have a great time at the Fringe itself, and at surrounding events (some of which will be on Shockwave; sound files from last year here; be sure to listen to Otis and Melvin. I saw them at the May Day Parade, and will try to get them on the show this year).

The Fringe, this year from Aug 3-13, comprises 172 shows spread out over 11 days. Apparently, they're instituting Encore performances in most venues, so the best attended show will be repeated. I don't know quite how that works yet.

The Fringe Festival web site for this year is up and running, with more bells and whistles.