The Song of Soda

10 April, 2005 at 11:52 pm (music)

Here’s how I’ve been frittering away my time recently: the X.3 version of the Macintosh OS supports a version of iTunes that allows one to display the cover art of the album in conjunction with the song playing. The Jaguar version didn’t do that, and so I find myself with a staggering 1150 songs — mostly acquired in 1999 during the heady days of AudioGalaxy… sorry, Copyright Cops — with only the barest handful linking to an image file. And there doesn’t seem to be any way of sorting the tracks by available cover artwork, so it’s difficult to mount a planned mission to fill my remaining slivers of hard drive space with 200 by 200 pixel JPEGs.

The Clutter application logoSo if I find myself with an idle moment or — heaven forfend! — doing some reading for my Adolescence class, I turn on Clutter and keep my fingers resting near the keyboard. Clutter searches for album cover artwork through, which one can paste into the system easier than if one was trying to drag and drop the data from the otherwise impeccable Firefox. Useful little toy. Because Clutter associates the artwork with the album file instead of the individual track, it’s difficult to know how many songs I have artwork for. Still and all, I’ve acquired 133 folders of artwork for 443 folders of musical artists. Not bad.

Speaking of iTunes, a very attractive married woman comes up to me yesterday and hands me a bottle cap, and I take it from her, wondering briefly if this is some variation on the old grade school pull-tab code, and how she’s going to take it when I remind her, gently, that she’s married. However, the cap’s got some sort of PepsiCo iTunes code under the cap that allows me to download a tune for free. I’m reminded of the album and a half of varied songs languishing in my virtual shopping cart and am well pleased. More pleased, perhaps, than if she’d handed me a pull-tab.

Anyway, I must say, it made me go out and buy a Pepsi-brand soda in attempts to get another free download. Hard to argue with the fiscal logic: spend 34¢ for twenty ounces of sugar water and buy a song I was going to buy anyway. Or, alternatively, spend a mere 84¢ for a soda and get half off the cost of a song. iTunes wins, the record labels win, PepsiCo cleans up, and I’m happy; everyone is happy, in fact, except for the communists. Good thing the offer ends tomorrow, or I could see this behavioral pattern getting well-entrenched into my buying habits.

And speaking of downloadable music, the other vernal song that frequently occupies my mouth and mind during this time of year is Tom Lehrer‘s blissful “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” from the Another Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer album. Sublime stuff.


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