I bought my mp3 player probably 3 weeks before the IPod craze began. With the amount I paid for it back then, I could get 40 times more storage space. [not accounting for inflation and stuff. Just a rough estimate.]
However, my player from the Cretaceous Period has one feature that some fancy mega-players lack: voice record.
Today, when I was cleaning it out, I found (all values approximate):
1 hour of STAR 99.9
Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, recorded from NPR
40 minutes of static and noise
4–Quattor–Quatro–FOUR takes of my renditions of Suite Hebraique. They’re so ghastly that I might upload one for your listening pleasures…or you could play it over and over to yield a confession from someone.
Dozens of scales, arpeggios. I can’t tell you what keys because Do keeps changing within each one.
Stuff from concerts that sound misty and far away
My trying to explain musical modes to Ms. Narden for a project on roman music. It includes my trying to sing quarter tones and playing bugle calls on the piano.
I went to Borders last night. I bought nothing, but returned home with insights:
Libraries, in their current condition, suck because they simultaneously go for two divergent goals: Having a complete collection, and trying to get people to actually read something.
Bookstores are great. They make you go, “Wow, there’s so much to read, and it all looks so good–I wish I could have all of them!..’cept I haven’t any money so I’ll just copy down these titles and go to the library and get them.” Of course, they don’t have every single book, and they’re not organized in ways to help people research: for example, non fiction books are still alphabetized by author.
Libraries are also great. They store information in organized manners (with some exceptions) and have book both popular and obscure. But if you’re looking for something to read and go in without a set idea, those narrow aisles of tall shelves with dozens of crackly, ugly, oft-illegible spines don’t help. Usually people just go to their favorite author and get another one of his books or grab something, check that it’s mildly appealing, and go home to find that in context of their busy lives, the book isn’t that appealing after all.
If libraries could focus on only one goal: either to get people to read more, or to have a full collection, they’d be thrice as effective. [Let’s pretend they have infinite $$.] Why not have a central library with a full collection per “information district,” and have smaller town libraries dedicate themselves to displaying books more enticingly? Town libraries don’t have very complete collections anyway–however, if several towns pooled their collections, it wouldn’t be as hopelessly barren.
Then, librarians would pick books to have at their own libraries: probably a randomized list, combined with ones picked by hand. Town libraries would have fewer books than before, but would be able to display more books with the cover facing out or placed atop shelves instead of wedged between other volumes. If someone needed to do research, they should go to the central library. If someone wants to get a book for fun, they’d go to the town library.
There are the issues of how to keep track of books if they’re displayed thematically and not dewey-decimal’d, but then again, if you really wanted to find a specific book, you wouldn’t be at the town library.