Music acquisition over time

Birthdays tend to be a time of introspection for me. I find that I use my birthday in place of the normal New Year’s inward glance. That time of year is just to hectic to adequately ponder anything. And those eggnog hangovers are a serious impediment to clear thought anyways.

This year I was thinking about how people’s awareness and interest in new music wanes as they age. There seems to be some point at which musical preferences become “set”. To me, this is incredibly depressing. Can we not enjoy the discovery of new things past a certain age?

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who likes to hear and learn about new music. To gauge if that is really true, I plotted the number of albums in my collection against the release date of the album. The raw data is displayed at the bottom of this blog.

As you can see, the number of albums for the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is pretty static – I have about 50 from each year. Still, that’s pretty good considering that I was born in 1970. 1983 is clearly the year that I started to become more musically aware; my sights have largely been set on acquiring music from the post 1983 era. The number of albums in the collection for each year throughout the 80s gradually grows, reflecting the birth of the Indie scene. The late 90s are heavily represented in my collection.


A troubling decline …
However, 2000, 2001, 2002 exhibit a disturbing trend. I have a declining number of albums in each of those years! What is happening? Am I losing interest in new music? Perhaps. The generic crap that the music industry is foistin\g on us (Spice Girls, Brittney, N’Sync(?)) holds no interest for me. It’s disposable music that, for god knows whatever reason, some people actually like. Of course none of these people are actually musicians or actually have any talent. And when they perform, where are their bands? Just a whole bunch of choreographed dancing?

Unfortunately, I don’t have data that shows when these albums were acquired, which would be an interesting gauge of either my lack of material wealth or musical interest over time. Then I could also plot the acquisition of diiferent musical genres as a function of time! Yeah! That would be so cool!

Raw Data: Todd’s music collection by album release date

Fluorescent Multilayer Disc (FMD): Technology Vaporware?

Technology Vaporware, Part 1: FMD is here!

Today: a special sneak peek at high capacity Fluorescent Multilayer Discs.

If you are a geek like me, you actively pursue the bleeding edge of new technology, salivating over technological breakthroughs, anxiously awaiting for them to hit market. Of course, most of these technologies never make it to market, or if they do, they fail to live up to their promise.

Fluorescent Multilayer Disc (or FMD for short) is one of the most exciting new technologies that I have heard about in the past few years, brought to us by the good folks at C-3D. C-3D claims that FMDs will eventually store up to a terabyte on a single CD sized disc. I’ve included an image here (directly linked to C-3D’s site, so the image link may be broken).


This image is displayed directly from C-3D.

The initial product rollout was supposed to include a write once, read many (WORM) type drive (like a CD burner) capable of storing 10-20 GBs of data, and smaller form factor modules for use in personal digital devices. Furthermore, C3D claimed that only small modifications would be required in the exisintg CD manufacturing process to make FMDs. Finally, the sweetest thing about all the promises of FMD was that the technology wasn’t so radical as to be unbelievable. It was the Next Logical Step. It must be right around the bend, right?

Well, ah, no.

The once-steady stream of FMD press releases and news blurbs has dried up. I no longer recieve announcements from the C3D mailing list (but those were corporate in nature and spotty at best). And of course, I STILL DON’T HAVE AN FMD RECORDER IN MY HOUSE!

This leads me to believe one of two things. Either that 1) FMD is dead in the water, or 2) that it was a hoax all along (I mean, C-3D’s website is a dot net – how suspicious is that?

I’m happy to report today that both of those assessments are wrong. FMD is very much alive, and thanks to inside sources, I’ve gotten my hands on some! I don’t have time right now to conduct a complete review, but I’d like to leave you with some brief observations and a few photos to whet your appetite.

First, the FMD form factor is *extremely* cool. It almost looks like a CD. As the photos clearly show, FMDs are transparent, enabling the multilayering pf data, in turn enabling their enormous capacity.


A brand new FMD.

Writing to an FMD is a breeze in the MacOS. I just popped it in the drive, DiscBurner displayed the standard dialogue asking if I wanted to prepare the disc for burning. After preparation, the FMD mounted on the desktop. I dragged a 10GB Volume onto the FMD. After ejecting, burning commenced. One of the more staggering things about the FMD is its burn rate. It took a little over 10 minutes to burn 9.5 GB of data!

Much like CDs after burning (where you can see where the dye has been altered), so too do FMDs change. The change is more subtle, and I’ve tried to take a few pictures of a burned FMD to show you. Burned FMDs become ever-so-slightly more opaque…

That’s about all the information I have for now. Stay tuned for more. FMDs should be hitting your local Best Buy soon!

First Mirror Project Entry

I just had my first picture accepted to The Mirror Project.  Cool!

I took this while driving from utah to colorado a few years ago.

Rawlins, Wyoming

Escape from Zion

Summer. Heat. I must escape the stifling political climate of Utah. Must find rivers. The ritual pilgrimage begins. My car begrudgingly crawls out of the Salt Lake valley, past Park City and its Olympic blight, up onto the high wind swept plateaus of Wyoming. The thread of I-80 connects me to my salvation – the rivers and cheap beer of Colorado! The miles roll by: Evanston, Green River, Rock Springs. By Rawlins, my dogs are barkin’ and my trusty steed is in need of a waterin’. 5, 10 minutes tops, 32 oz of mountain dew, some fritos, and one photo, and we’re back on the road to Fort Collins.