In which I am not up to speed with modern methods of music consumption

Right after I got a new laptop, They Might Be Giants released their new album, The Else, on iTunes, a few weeks in advance of the physical CD rollout. Well, this is what folks do these days, thought I, so I bought it. And I listened to it all the way through once, but then it fell into the big pile of songs on my iTunes, which I always play on shuffle, and as far as I know I haven’t heard a song from this album since. I have no strong impression of what it sounds like.

Whereas when I buy a new physical CD, I usually play it on the CD player 5 or 10 times, and then I more or less learn what’s on it and whether I want to keep hearing it.

Now the CD is out, and it comes with a bonus disc with 23 songs, which I don’t have, because I bought it on iTunes.

So am I just doing this wrong? When you buy an album on iTunes, how do you ensure that you actually listen to it? And is it normal for physical CDs to contain music that the downloadable release does not?

Since I don’t have anything to say about The Else, I’ll remark instead that nothing TMBG has recorded this decade is as good as the criminally underheard John Linnell solo album, State Songs. So underheard that I’m having trouble finding any good way to link to any of it. But here’s a little cartoon set to an instrumental from that record, “Illinois,” via YouTube:

One thought on “In which I am not up to speed with modern methods of music consumption

  1. Dirty Davey says:

    Actually, what’s really criminal is when it’s the other way around: when there’s a track that’s on iTunes but not on the CD–and the bonus track is designated “album only” on iTunes. So you decide you’d like something tangible and are willing to pay a little more for it… and you end up screwed!

    One trick is to have specific iPod/iTunes playlists for “recent albums”, either by adding specific names (a smart list where “Album = X or Album = Y or Album = Z”) or by using a date (a smart list where “Year is greater than 2005”). The former gives you better control over the specific albums; the latter doesn’t require updating when you want to add a new album to the mix.

    Then all you have to do is listen to that “new music” playlist instead of the other ones you’ve been using.

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