I know I’ve spoken before about how I will keep buying CDs ’til they quit making them, but rebuilding my iTunes library for what feels like the millionth time is making me rethink that stance.

Not that it is necessarily difficult or even directly time consuming. I mean, I pop in a CD whenever I think of it and let it run. Although, I have had some of these things since the beginning of the century (that makes me sound like a dinosaur or something) and some of them take seven to ten tries before they actually load into the computer due to all the nice scratches. You see, kids, before iPods (or before I had the money for an iPod), we used to carry these things called CD players everywhere with us. That meant usually carrying a small case of a few CDs to have variety. And those CDs would end up with a boat-load of scratches from being tossed around in backpacks and such.

Anywho, I have been rebuilding this library for a couple weeks now (thanks to the not-so-bright decision to keep my library on the same drive as my backups and having the whole disc corrupt on me and need to be wiped clean and reformatted) and I’m almost rethinking my position on digital downloads. I did just download the two audio+visual They Might Be Giants kids albums to give the baby something to watch that wasn’t mind-numbing and repetitive when he insists on having the phone. It’s kind of nice just having everything download automatically in the background and be available on my new phone without even having to download. Well, the videos work that way. Not entirely sure about the songs yet. But those go through GooglePlay Music which has a better queueing feature anyway. Plus, a lot of albums (well, singles and EPs, at least) are beginning to be offered in digital only format.

So, I’m not sure. Should I keep buying CDs (even though they are increasingly difficult to find), or should I switch to buying an iTunes card when I see an album I want and downloading it instead? Now that iTunes lets you back up purchases to re-download later if something happens to the library, would it just be simpler to download everything and then make copies on CD if I need one? How do you get your music?

We Really Do Complain Too Much

So I posted this on Twitter a few months ago:

Kinda funny, right? I mean, the brown box itself might have actually been less obvious than the doormat thrown over the top. I thought it was a silly picture to share. A few hours later there was a response:

It’s official, we have way overused Tweet-shaming. I didn’t even put @UPS in my tweet, so apparently they have some lowly intern who is required to sit at the computer and monitor tweets for any negative mention of UPS.

Really, is that what it has come to? Companies have to constantly patrol the Internet for irate (or even slightly amused) customers? Seems like a waste of resources when there are so many other ways to express dissatisfaction with a company, like those automated phone surveys that call five minutes after you pick up your car from an oil change or off-shore phone centers you can call to berate the underpaid employees who have no connection to your problem whatsoever.

Organized Reading

Like a lot of people who use gMail and read blogs, I’ve had my reading list all set up in Google Reader for a while now. Just like some of those other people, I got a little antsy at finding out Google reader is shutting down in June. What was that going to mean for my poor, unorganized reading list? Was it going to return to a giant file of bookmarks clogging up my internet browsers?

In stepped Feedly, thanks to many different opinions I found searching about this whole thing. Long story short, I love it. I have everything in categories set up in the order I like to read them. I can jump to any category, or read straight through the day’s posts.

I’m even making use of the “save” feature to mark posts I want to comment. My apologies to the people whose blogs I read, I’ll probably be commenting posts after you’ve posted again. Commenting on my tablet gets a little frustrating. I much prefer typing on the computer if it is any longer than a tweet. I spent all that time learning touch typing, I’m not going to be reduced to one finger typing just because the device fits in my hand.

Anywho, all this to say I’m tossing my hat into the “You should move your Google Reader feeds into Feedly” ring. Seriously, do it now. Especially if you have giant reading lists and like to keep that all organized.

An Internet Vacation

No, not one of those virtual vacations where you look up the place you wish you had the money to visit on Google Maps. I’m talking about the vacation I took away from the Internet over the last week and a half.

I was house-sitting for the family I usually babysit for while they took a trip. It was just me and the two giant dogs in an empty house. Considering this took the place of my normal work week, I had a lot of free time. Usually, I would spend said free time messing around on the Internet or playing games on my iPod over the internet. This time, though, I didn’t have an Internet connection.

It was actually wonderful. I still used my computer a lot, but I got things done on it. I learned how to use Flash, I wrote almost 5,000 words on a story I’ve been trying to get started for a long time, and I did a lot of reading. Finished three books in a week. Then there was the just plain creative time I had. I knit two pairs of gloves (which you will see on Thursday), drew my first fashion illustration in a while (coming next week), and spent a lot of time singing and practicing on my guitar.

It got me thinking about all the things I could get accomplished in the afternoons when I do work  if I were to limit the time my Internet connection was running. So, for at least the next two weeks (because then I am supposed to be without Internet again for a week), I am going to try turning off the Wi-Fi connection on my computer until 4pm*. That’s when I usually sit down and start watching TV for the evening, so my productivity is beginning to wane at that point anyway. That way I will hopefully be able to get more things done.

Who’s with me? Does anybody else sit down at the computer to “check something quickly” and then look up to see that three hours have flown by?

*Except when I actually have something to do, like post this. But that is still being productive since it’s something I can mark off my to-do list for the day.