About

Note: this page is largely out-of-date. Still, most of it applies.

What you’ll find on this site

Music

tunequest started as a specific journey though music. That journey ended on the last day of 2006, but the exploration of music remains a lifelong endeavor. Thus, music remains the primary focus of this site. My tastes are extensive. One never knows whether, on any given day, I’ll write about grunge rock or exotica, a film score or some downtempo/nu-jazz/electronic, classical music or funk. The styles may very greatly, but you can be sure that it is all music that I love and that I recommend to others. At the same time, I hope I’m educating, adding history, trivia, facts and context.

I’m always exploring new music as well. Doesn’t matter if it was released yesterday or 60 years ago; if it’s good, I’ll let you know about it.

iTunes/iPod

You don’t use iTunes from the day it was released and not pick up a few hints, tricks, tips and insights, especially with regards to managing a large library. My library’s size fluctuates as I add and remove music. As of February 2009, it consists of 16,799 songs / 98.29 Gigabytes.

For starters on my iTunes writings, check out my article on tagging classical music for iTunes and iPod or this suggestion for finding art to use with live recordings/bootlegs.

Star Trek from time to time

Hey, I like Star Trek.

It’s fun. And it has been the source of some genuinely brilliant music. While the franchise is a genuinely entertaining universe to visit, explore and poke fun at (I’m a sucker for a good Star Trek joke, parody or reference), what really fascinates me is the intersection of Star Trek with the rest of popular culture. Whether it’s a film like Free Enterprise, or the Star Trek: New Voyages project, I’m amazed by the various ways that fans of the shows have adapted, remixed, interpreted, discussed and derived new works from it.

Of course, like any reactionary movement (like post-modernism), appreciation is only possible with familiarity, so don’t be surprised if I rattle out the best lines from Wrath of Khan or whip out some arcane trivia, like that the Starship Enterprise, saucer to nacelle, was designed to be about 100ft shorter than the length of the U.S. Navy’s USS Enterprise aircraft carrier.

Miscellany

Rest assured, if any of those items above happen to collide with each other, you’ll most likely hear about it. Also, while I tend to avoid tangents, I do reserve the right to write about a top that’s not mentioned above, if the cause is just or overwhelmingly cool.

Cheers.

History

tunequest started in February 2006, after I realized that vast portions of my iTunes Library were languishing in the long tail of obscurity, with a significant number of songs not receiving any play counts after years of iTunes tracking. So I set out on a mission to listen to all 14,000+ songs in that library, sharing my thoughts, experiences, insights and recommendations along the way. I accomplished that goal on the last day of 2006.

But tunequest won’t be going anywhere.

Below is the original text of this "About" page:

motivation

By the end of 2005, the sheer size of my iTunes library had become burdensome. For years, I’ve searched for and collected tracks from artists known and unknown, mixing and mashing a great many genres to suit my broad pallet, padding my mainstream music with the rare, obscure and different. And while I’ve prided myself on the number and diversity of the songs in my library, the fact of the matter is that, after 3.5 years of iTunes statistics, 9597 songs (65%) had never been played or only played once. further analysis revealed that 10% of the songs were responsible for 49% of the play counts (and my play counts are accurate to the day that iTunes gained the ability to record them in July 2002).

My listening habits have relied heavily on iTunes’ ability to give each song a star rating, and songs that have been played and rated were increasingly likely to be repeated while unplayed and unrated songs were likely to be ignored.

The result was a library that was bloated, bogged down, slow, and cluttered.

So I realized that a change is in order. I will listen to each and every song that sits in my iTunes. No repeats. And I mean actually listen to each song, giving it my (hopefully) undivided attention and evaluating it on its merits.

Undiscovered gems will be found along the way, while other passing fads and indulgences will be removed and deleted. By the time I’m finished, I hope to have a leaner library with all my most excellent music at my fingertips.

methodology

I have created a smart playlist in iTunes with a single condition: date last played is before Jan. 1, 2006. It is limited to 300 1000 2000 songs chosen alphabetically by album name. there is an additional playlist with 3 hours worth of 4 and 5 star songs. these playlists are loaded onto my iPod which is set to shuffle by album. A new 80GB iPod allows me to fit every remaining song on it.

On the date this project began, my iTunes library contained 14812 songs.