Freudian Slips: The Ihit List

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

September 16, 2007

The Ihit List

I heard the stories of old folks who actually witnessed the birth of the crackling LP era, welcomed the 8 track player, survived the cassette tape scare and the latest CD revolution. Nevertheless, I stared confusingly at a handheld device given to me last year as a Christmas present. I was unsure as to whether it was a shrunken computer or the latest electronic gadget in the technology revolution. I knew nothing about how to operate the device nor did I recognize how it was about to change my life. That is how I met my first Ipod.
My oldest daughter announced, “Dad, you have no idea what this Ipod is going to do to your obsessive compulsiveness.”
Rachel could not have been more right. The more she taught me about Ipods, the more its simplicity and convenience intrigued me to take immediate action. No bigger than my cell phone, my new handheld device held cold storage for approximately 7,000 three minute length audio songs. Thousands of songs sound like more than enough tracks for the average listener but music aficionados realize its space limitations. I ruled out uploading pictures and video to my Ipod to get the most audio programming storage. I decided I only had enough room on my Ipod to cover the rock genre. I kept my favorite rap, hip hop, reggae, funk, country, pop, blues, alternative, heavy metal, easy listening and even retained stragglers of classical music and golden oldies but the rest ended up on the cutting room floor. With apologies to cover bands, I determined that only enough storage existed for one version of the same song. This created a great dilemma of personal taste and choice. Should I go with the live version over studio, the acetate vinyl over the digitally re-mastered song, the fabulous cover song over the original artist’s work, the explicit lyric version or the clean cut mainstream copy? I anguished over my tough choices, sometimes studying the different versions at nausea. The Ipod took hold of me.
My wife furthered the cause by buying me an external hard drive for my computer to permanently store the uploaded music. The first thousand hard rock songs were given to me by a musician friend. I then painstakingly burned my own personal collection one compact disc at a time. On a computer that cannot multitask, this was a tedious time consuming process. My computer cannot even handle playing track one while it burned track two of the same album. I sat at my overwhelmed taxed computer watching a bar graph move from left to right burning at a rate of about 15 minutes per CD. Days passed feeding the monster. Weeks obsessively passed in front of the same computer screen watching my library grow.
My brother in law gave me about 500 CD’s to add to my modest collection. At a buyer’s cost of $1.06 per song online on Itunes, you can imagine the treasure. On my computer desk, I stacked the CD’s in towering piles that teetered near collapse. When the towers thinned, I bought bulk CD collections off of Ebay for pennies on the dollar. In between waiting for Ebay purchases to arrive via snail mail, I borrowed the CD collections of friends in exchange for returned favors. My brother Jim then loaned me his 200 count CD collection. My brother Anthony pitched his collection. My mother in law loaned me her collection. I resorted to paying open minded co-workers $10.00 for each shopping bag full of CD’s. Like a shameless shill, I borrowed another friend’s collection before he and his wife divorced and divided their personal property. I now have started trolling the underworld of flea markets for used fingerprint-smeared CD’s. I even offered to barter my antiquated CD collection by posting to an online message board.
Short of piracy, I cannot stop my obsession. My Ipod tells me that I can now listen to music around the clock for a month uninterrupted before hearing the same song twice. I have never been happier listening to commercial free music with mega portability. I downloaded album artwork. I power rated the thousands of songs uploaded to my computer on a likeability scale of 1-5. I created playlists and mood music for various activities. I deleted the weaker songs from my Ipod so as to only be left with a solid field of rip roaring tunes. I started to make an Ihit list if you will; songs I cannot live without, tunes that preclude rest until obtaining them for my Ipod collection.
The hits kept coming until I recorded the 7,233rd personal favorite song on my Ipod. Alas, I begrudgingly ran out of storage space before I could complete my music library. Apple unveiled an 80gb Ipod that has roughly two and half times the storage space of my inferior Ipod. Christmas is coming. I just hope my obsessions can wait that long.

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15 Comments:

Blogger Karl said...

I'm still to "afraid" to get an IPod............Afraid I might break it!

10:04 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Karl,
With your salary, I would own three IPods. Don't be afraid. We are evolving as a species, remember?

10:06 PM  
Blogger e said...

Let me guess ... your new car stereo is iPod ready? LOL

About a year ago I asked the question, "Why don't they make car stereos that are able to play from a USB drive?" I went out looking a few months later, and low and behold, they do. I couldn't NOT buy one. I obsessively filled that drive and have reached capacity twice - having to delete songs I can live without. However, Joe, I am ashamed to admit that my USB drive is only a meager 4G.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

e,
The Ipod was the first step in equipping the car. The Christmas gift gave me 8-9 months to load the Ipod before I bought a compatible car. Obsessive compulsive behavior, I know.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous et said...

This is a great piece of writing!!!I enjoyed reading it! Now I know why you never have time for Mario.

Joe, I have to admit, I just don’t get it????? The concept of exhausting one’s precious time in this world, in the pursuit of recording “noise” to the extreme unction of self, is something that eludes my pea brain.

Please, no smart remarks about my ability to live in two worlds!

11:38 AM  
Blogger e said...

LOL nahhh....

If I were you, I would stay up nights to fill the darn thing because I'd have trouble using it in the car if it wasn't filled! Likewise, I would be reluctant to drive the car til the iPod was rarin to go!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Et,
That is the final straw. I am erasing all of the songs by Kenny Rodgers on my Ipod out of spite.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous et said...

You're erasing Kenny from your noise capturing mechanism????? Will Nat King Cole be next if I don't watch my step? You really know how to hurt a non-conformist!

7:36 AM  
Blogger e said...

I don't see how Nat King Cole is a logical progression from Kenny Rogers. Maybe Barry Manilow or John Denver but not Nat!!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

e,
Joe Bartifola goes before anyone. lol

8:26 AM  
Anonymous et said...

e........Nat and Kenny are my favorites!!!!!!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Pax Romano said...

MP3 players are awesome, I love mine!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Pax,
The Wave of the future. te-he

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

If any of the music cd police are reading this comment.....I didn't do it. I never gave him any of my music cds, nor do I recall anything!

9:10 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

jim,
I'll cough up your name to the coppers like phlegm.

12:31 AM  

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