Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Project Complete

I just completed perhaps the most useless project I've ever conceived. Last year, I decided to listen to all of my MP3s in alpha order by song title. Generally speaking, the songs I skipped were those where I had multiple copies (studio and live versions, remixes, covers by multiple artists, etc.). In addition, I allowed myself to skip other songs on rare occasions for the sake of my sanity (e.g., Metallica wasn't always a big help when I was feeling stressed at the office).

According to iTunes (it's amazing the sorts of stats that program compiles) I started this project on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, at 7:36 AM while at the office (iTunes doesn't track my location... or it doesn't display that info if it does happen to track it) by listening to "A-11" by Richard Thompson. I completed it today, Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at 1:23 PM, also at the office, listening to "'..." by House of Freaks.

And while I accomplished nothing of any real value to anyone, I feel a bit of pride tonight. (I'm kind of a weird guy, I know.)

So here is the tally from this 127-day effort: 9,634 songs making up just over 35,444 minutes of music (or 24.6 days worth or 4.65 hours of music per day).

I listened to songs from 1,210 different albums by 547 different artists.

The top 10 artists in terms of number of songs are U2, Bruce Springsteen, Minutemen, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Oingo Boingo, David Bowie, Guy Clark, Muddy Waters.

The top 10 artists in terms of total time are generally the same, except that Sonic Youth, Marshall Crenshaw, and John Hiatt pushed Minutemen, Guy Clark, and Muddy Waters from the list.

The songs covered 80 years of music, dating back to Mississippi John Hurt's 1928 Okeh sessions.

According to iTunes' classifications, the songs covered 26 different genres, not counting "Unclassifiable" (which accounted for 121 songs). The genres mean very little when you consider that four songs are listed as "Squiggle," easily my favorite label. Those four songs, by the way, are from Bryan Harvey's sadly never-released solo album. If you're a House of Freaks fan, you can find those songs by going to this blog and scrolling to the entries that start on May 8 2006. If you don't know House of Freaks, well, go here and here.

So. Don't you just feel better knowing all that? Yep, I figured you would. You're most certainly welcome.


  1. Wow! Congrats on that. Actually a pretty amazing feat. So how did you get the stats out of iTunes? They certainly don't make it obvious.

  2. in iTunes v8:
    File > Library > Export Playlist. It'll save to txt or xml. There's also an Export Library option in that same submenu: I don't know what the difference is. The ExPL option give you more info than you you could ever reasonably expect, including Bit Rate, Date Last Skipped, Medication History, and Credit Rating.

  3. You are such a geek, love it! I listen to a ton of music at work, too. A couple months ago I had to upgrade from my 2GB iPod Nano to a flashy new purple 16G, and I also loaded "Napoleon Dynamite" -- can't really watch that at work, tho.

  4. Napoleon Dynamite? And yet, you claim that I'm the geek?!