So I was thinking the other day - from next year, it will be 10 years since I started collecting mp3s. That might not seem like a big deal, but before I collected mp3s I wasn't really "into" music - it was through this medium that I came to discover so much new music and develop my own tastes. It all started with Napster...
In those 10 years, I guess I've always had a "current" playlist through whatever medium, particularly as of late 2000/early 2001, when I began burning CDs (this was a big thing at the time... with the software as it was, I had to convert them to massive "wav" files first!). To begin with, I had about 10-20 mp3s, and I'd burn them to CD, then make virtually the same copy with the exception of a handful of new songs added, and chuck the old one out (it used to frustrate me that I couldn't just "erase" what was already on the CD - you could do it with cassette tapes, after all!). After a while I realised this was a waste, and so began to do them in volumes. I called them "KoKaIRu and the Leabs" (I'll admit it's lame but are you really surprised?), and I'd collect as many mp3s as possible (remember, this was dial-up too, so it would take a fair while to get each one, and on Napster, if you got disconnected, or the sharer went offline... you'd have to start all over again...), then once I had a good 20-30 songs, I'd somewhat excitedly burn a new volume (to begin with, it was about 1 a month). Alright, I could listen to it on my computer, but I preferred doing it in my room (this was brand new as of March 2000, too - until then I'd shared with Rosie).
I just started to write a paragraph about the transition from pay-as-you-go Internet and fixed rate, AudioGalaxy, etc., but this entry isn't really about that. As I started to say in the above paragraph, this format of listening to music really created a soundtrack for certain periods of my life. I can't remember all the songs that were on each volume of KoKaIRu and the Leabs, but I could list a few from each one, and roughly the time I made each volume (I think there ended up being about 12, from Jan 2001 to mid-2003). As a result, listening to certain songs can really "take me back" to a time and place - it's a very powerful effect. So I decided to make a playlists - 10 songs for each year, for 10 years, from 2000-2009. I'm working on it now, but I want to do it carefully.
I have to say, it was much easier doing 2000-2004 than it was to do 2005 onwards. I got Poddy on Christmas day 2004 - this is an interesting thought in my opinion. Obviously I would not be without my iPod for anything, but this unrestricted means of listening to music certainly dampened the effect I just described above. I still have playlists obviously, but with Poddy & Poddo, I am able to listen to all my music wherever and whenever I want. I like this - I always hated having to select just one CD or cassette when I was in the mood for one song from a Less Than Jake album and a J-Pop track on KoKaIRu and the Leabs volume XI. However, I am now effectively listening to all of my music, all of the time - so it's not tied down to a specific time period. For example, I got Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall off BearShare in late 2005, but it's on various playlists and I've listened to it off and on for the past 4 years. It still very weakly takes me back there, but as I say, not nearly to the same extent as, say, No Woman No Cry by [spunge] takes me back to Italy in 2001.
All the same, we'll disregard that - as I say, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am putting together a playlist of 10 songs for each year - I've got most of them done, but some of them are lacking and others have too many (2003 for some reason is very sparse, whereas 2001 is epic). Moreover, maybe I'll have to wait till mid 2010 to determine what takes me back to 2009! I was going to list my "draft" so far, but I'm running late... maybe tomorrow ;)