Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Towering Project; or What I'm Doing Rather Than Working On This Blog

“I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.” - Goethe


 
What you are looking at is approximately two and one-half years in the making.  The tower of CDs represents the 240+ Christmas albums I've downloaded in that span of time from various Christmas blogs and sharity sites around the Internet.  Various blogs?  Half of these came from that mad genius Ernie (not Bert)...  thanks for doing your part for the economy Ern!

At the beginning of 2009, I was overwhelmed by the task of getting everything organized and burned.  So it began to pile up here, some over there, and everything that was downloaded was uploaded onto a Western Digital 500 GB external hard drive.

After getting a new computer last year, I began cataloging all of the albums onto my master spreadsheet; a task that probably would have taken me a month if I really worked at it.  But I didn't work at it that hard.  I took a rather leisurely pace, causing it to stretch on and on well into the summer and fall.

As soon as the cataloging was done, I began assembling and labeling the CD-Rs for each CD, printing out the artwork for each CD, and keeping each CD in alphabetical order so the burning process would be streamlined.  

About a month into this phase, the 2010 Christmas season was underway.  Another 100+ albums were added thanks to Christmas gifts, my own purchases, several donations to my PO Box, and the generous (and boy do I MEAN generous) Christmas sharity community.  Back to square one with more cataloging and assembling.

In the middle of all of this physical assembly and organization, I made an important decision.  Since 1/3 of my collection had come from Christmas shares and was digitized already, I bit the bullet and began to make plans to digitize the other 2/3 of the collection - possibly eliminating the need for burned CDs in the future.

So while I was adding new entries onto my spreadsheet, I was working on FOUR other spreadsheets: the first was keeping track of all the Christmas downloads for the past year, the second was organizing what Christmas shares I needed to burn to CD, the third was determining what Christmas albums (including artwork) that are or aren't digitized.

Armed with the lists, I now go forth.  Starting with A&M's 1997 In Store Christmas Sampler and ending with Christmas With Zamfir, I will be working on digitizing all of the Christmas CDs in my collection.

Count as of 3/5/2011:  


1,572 albums

25,508 songs


During this process, I will try to post links of the albums I've downloaded over the past four years.  This way, the two or three people who read this blog will be able to listen to the albums I've burned or will be burning.  

I'll actually be able to listen to some of these albums for the first time (remarkable, huh?) and maybe add a one or two line comment on each album.

The whole purpose of this blog was to keep track of new additions to my collection.  In posting the links, I'll be doing two jobs at once.  We'll see how this will end up...  Stay tuned.


Capt

15 comments:

Ernie said...

Noble aspirations, my friend. I shudder to think what would happen if I undertook to count all my Christmas music. I think I need to stop buying it first. :)

Greg S said...

WOW!! I'm way behind you. I got my collection in iTunes to 15,000 Christmas songs. NIce job Capt.
Greg

jeffco.productions said...

Go Capt Go!

grey74 said...

Congrats on your progress. I as a serious music collector suffer the same fate. I am ever evolving the way I catalog and try to keep track of my collection. Since my collection is diverse, it can often be a daunting task, but it is a labor of love. I'm not sure I will ever truly give up having the music on disks, and of course I will have my vinyl records forever. My Christmas portion pales in comparison to you. I have around 250-270 different albums, but my overall music collection is closing in on the 10,000 lp range.

Inkydog said...

Wow, I'd love to think that one day I could be that organized with my tunes. I have good intentions, but it never seems to happen...

Badgercat said...

Unreal Capt!!! "Labor of Love" doesn't do it justice I'm sure...

bongolong said...

Zounds!! That's a huge library!!!

I did a quick search and I have only around 18,000 digital songs (which includes all my vinyl), don't how many albums, around 300+ CDs and several cassettes.

You are the master, may we learn at your feet...

Der Bingle said...

Wow - what an impressive, amazing project. I spent a goodly amount of time this past season jsut trying to arrange the shared downloads and other free tunes into semi-organization on the hard drive. I still have stuff from Ernie in 2009 I haven't gotten to yet :-) Looking forward to your project updates.

Steph said...

What a collection of Christmas music! That is a lot of Christmas songs. Look forward to seeing how it all comes together...

Anonymous said...

Sir..I am IMPRESSED!!

I thought I was doing OK with my chincy 2,000 songs...

-Tim

Dan Hart said...

Cor bloody blimey - hell of a collection Capt! Puts my paltry 30gb of music to shame.

Interesting you say this has been keeping you from updating the blog - I've written a humorous account of how I spent last Christmas, wrapped in the bedlam of life with my family.

I've been looking to hand it over to a Christmas-themed blog as a guest post of some form. D'you think you might be interested? I've written for blogs before, so I can point you to a couple of examples of my previous material.

Drop me a line if you're interested, I'll send the story over for you to have a flick through.

scribblewizard@hotmail.co.uk

Keep up the good work!

Marc Adam said...

Now that's a lot of music! Hope you start blogging again for 2011, it's almost that time again!

Kevin Moon said...

Hello there! Are you still around? Will you be posting your wonderful, much-loved and appreciated Christmas compilation this year? And is there any chance you would reupload the first two Yuleblog Samplers (2006 and 2007) at some point? I've really been enjoying all the ones since 2008! Hope all is well and hope to see you soon! Merry Christmas.

Gerard Gallucci said...

This is a way cool site. You actually listed Walt Harpers' Xmas album a few years ago. But the link is broken. Can you repost it. I got married in Pittsburgh and went to grad school there. My father-in-law gave us his copy of the Open Pantry album but I must have let it go somehow.

Allen Heatley said...

I've got 11 more songs if you're interested. My name is Allen Heatley and I just released a Christmas album on i-tunes and Rhapsody called "Christmas Roots." Let me know what you think if you are interested and have the time.