Archive for the ‘Music’ Category


Final vinyl, at last!

June 7, 2011

Like many millions of people around the world the arrival of iPods or similar music players led to us utilising iTunes (or similar) to rip our CD collection into our chosen computers. The convenience made it well worth while, and ripping CDs was easy and quick, we did most of ours before we retired to Cyprus.  However, the elephant in the room in Cyprus was our legacy of music still on vinyl.

Ian had little in the way of vinyl, but Mands had a significant number of LPs and EPs and a small collection of limited releases all linked to loads of growing up memories.  Three years ago we decided to attack this problem, aided by the timely offer of an old but perfectly useable stacking stereo system complete with record deck.  There have been numerous interruptions to the process including moving house and the like but finally it is done!

It’s not a straightforward or a quick process; albums must be played at normal speed and the sound collected in digital form into the mac.  Then some form of audio software (Wire Tap Studio worked for us) is used to chop the continuous sound file into the individual tracks.  Then the metadata, including song titles and album art, were added.  Then into iTunes and onto an iPod near you.  All told it worked out at about 2-3 hours per album, all of which needed to be monitored.

So, it’s taken time but we are finally there.  The final count is: 58 albums, 645 tracks, 2.4 gigabytes of nostalgia.

As Ian has learned the hard way some of this music is very significant.  Playing The Levellers leads to Mands demanding cider and much more volume and the Stones Sympathy with the Devil leads to dancing on the furniture, perhaps best not to ask to much more.  Of course there’s been some real one hit wonders, particularly on the hits of yestayear compilations.  Who remembers Boxerbeat by the Joboxers  from 1983?  Sadly its burnt into the brain here and we may never, ever forget it.

For his sins Ian had to listen to all of this as it was recorded.  Fortunately the really good stuff seriously outweighed all the not-so-classic so he is not scarred for life.

To ensure that he left a true classic to finish on.  Meet the Beatles,  12 tracks from 1964 recorded in Stereo the album notes proudly announce.  Readers under the age of 35 or so will need to find an older music-lover to explain why this was a big deal!  On that note there was just one album in mono: a very early, and subsequently withdrawn, Rolling Stones album.  That caused a storm when it was first released and eventually Decca gave into pressure and withdrew the original and re-released it.  And the language that caused such controversy?

If you don’t have the bread, see that blind man knock him on the head, steel his wallet and low and behold you have loot, if you put in the boot, good, another one sold!

For those of a curious mind the images that top and tail this piece are artwork from our current iTunes library.  It includes the vinyl that’s been ripped, assorted CDs and logos from podcasts that we subscribe to.   


Ripping vinyl

April 7, 2008

Before we moved out here we spent time decluttering and thinning our possessions. There’s nothing quite like the thought of paying hundreds of pounds to ship things a few thousand miles to focus the mind!

One of the things we decided to ship was our combined vinyl collection. Most of our music collection is on CD and we’re slowly but steadily moving to digitising things and storing the entire collection on one of the macs. However, the vinyl presented a problem … long ago we threw away our last remaining record deck when we got a new stereo system. Rather than make any difficult decisions about the old vinyl collection we simply gathered it together, put it in a box and ignored it. And when it came to packing time we pointed the packers at the box, told them it was fragile and left them to it.

Now, almost two years later, we have a solution. Someone has lent us a record player and it is hooked up to one of the macs. A tweak or two with a handy piece of recording software and we finally have a way of hearing music that’s been stashed away for at least five years.

The house (and possibly the garden and maybe even the street) has been rocking to a wider range of music to usual.

What must the locals of Aradippou make of us? And is the village really ready for early Rolling Stones (so early it’s in mono!) a hefty helping of the Levellers and a smattering of Howard Jones?

They haven’t asked us to leave yet …


Weird Rumour of the Day

January 24, 2008

Pink Floyd to play in Cyprus?  In the middle of the UN buffer zone??
The Cyprus Mail are reporting this as a real possibility.  
“Although no definite confirmation can be made, it is now looking more than likely that the group will be arriving to give a concert in the Nicosia buffer zone on May 9.  As one of the most successful rock bands of all time, the London boys achieved worldwide success in the 1970s with the progressive psychedelic rock of The Dark Side of the Moon, followed by the albums Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall.
The organisers of the upcoming event are trying to make sure that details are finalised before they make any official statements. They do, however, confirm that negotiations are currently underway, and that the band should hopefully be playing on the Green Line in a show similar to the one given in Berlin in 1990, less than a year after the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Played to a live audience of 250,000 and a television audience of 500 million in 52 countries across the globe, the show took on historic proportions.”

Isn’t Technology Scary?

January 5, 2007

Tom, Ian’s 15 year old son, is in a band. Last month they played London’s 12 Bar Club and a clip of one of their set is on YouTube.


Tom, all in black, is the guitarist on the right. The video, for those who’s eardrums need a clean-out, is here. This is probably not suitable for an open plan office with your speakers turned up!