I’ve Joined the Digital Music Revolution
Ok, the entry title isn't entirely true. From about 1996-1998 I hunted down lots of bootlegs of live and rare MP3s on the Internet. At that time I also actively looked for new music, and I listened to it constantly. However, since then I've only sporadically listened to any of my CD collection (usually just the radio, and only for short times), nor have I looked for any new music.
Fast forward to September, 2003. I decided to listen to some CDs I haven't touched in all these years. Much to my surprise (and dismay) a significant portion of my CD collection was in poor condition; specifically, discs were delaminating! So, I decided it was time to rip the collection to MP3 format. After a bit of research and some recommendations I downloaded Exact Audio Copy to rip the discs, and used LAME to encode the MP3s (at 256kbp/s VBR, if you're interested). I've been ripping the CDs whenever I'm working at the desktop computer and am about 3/4 of the way through the collection.
While ripping, I listened to some of that music. I forgot what a good collection I have! Stuff like Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes: Live at the Greek, Poe: Hello, and Rusted Root: When I Woke. The computer is hooked up to the stereo and I've been listening to the MP3s through that, using Apple iTunes for the PC.
In order to further enjoy the music, I recently bought a 40GB Apple iPod (despite my fear of iPod users). The iPod is the coolest and most useful toy I've gotten since ReplayTV. I listen to music in the car with a cassette adaptor, at home on the stereo and home theater system, and at work on my stereo. I expect to get about 5,500 songs on it (though I currently only have 4,255), which is about 18 days of continuous, non-repeating music. The CD rack is about 6 foot tall, 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep; its entire contents fit on a 4.1 × 2.4 × 0.73 inch iPod. That just amazes me.