“I started something I couldn’t finish” – The Smiths

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

5 Sep 2002

It has happened to many of us in the past. Those of us with cars, certainly. Those who tend to ride in other people’s cars too, though probably not as often. All of us who are music lovers, who deplore the state of most radio stations, those who find the size of our little country insufficient for proper commuting.

Yes, yes. I’m talking about the Short Drive Syndrome. Get into the car, switch on the ignition and put a CD in the deck (or the other way around, depending on your priorities), and hit the road. The stereo is blasting your music, you’re feeling good. The miles whoosh by your window, and… your’re there. You’ve reached your destination. You’ve arrived.
Arrived?
I couldn’t have arrived. I’m only on track 5! I haven’t even got to that good bit in track 7 with the thing they do with the guitars, not to mention the bonus track! What’s going on?

See? The Short Drive Syndrome has struck again.

In our little country, it is rare to commute too much. True, there are many who do – the southern Sharon regions, around Ra’anana and Kfar-Saba, are usually horrendously jammed most mornings. Yes, the Ayalon freeway can get bogged down. All true, but still – most people commute less than an hour a day to work, and those are the really LONG drives they take. If you need to pop over to the supermarket? 10 minutes. Over to your grandparents for lunch? 20 minutes. A road-trip on a Saturday? 30 minutes and you’ve covered most of the civilized parts of the country.
Ordinarily, that could be a good thing. Less aggravation, less traffic, less accidents. The result of this, however, can be quite disastrous – music-wise. Driving is prime time for listening to music. Good sound conditions, relatively little distractions and limitations on volume set by the hardware alone. The problem is that most CDs these days clock over the average drive time. Even old LPs converted to CDs usually span about 45 minutes, and newer CDs and compilations easily pass the 60-minute mark. What we have here is a bunch of good music – damn good music, since it’s music YOU like – that’s relegated to the oubliette of music listening. Many wonderful songs almost never get heard for the sole hard luck of being, say, track 17, or (as if common in many of my CDs) track 5 of a 5-track album. With those, you’re lucky to get past the second song.

There are several remedies for the problem, each with their advantages and drawbacks:

1) Shuffle/Random playing.
Pros: You get access to ALL songs on the CD, regardless of track, color or creed. Equal chances, equal opportunities.
Cons: Most albums aren’t just random piles of songs. The order is relevant and in many cases crucial, and I’m not even talking about concept albums without clear-cut pauses between songs.

2) Manual programming.
Pros: You choose manually what you want to hear, skipping back and forth with full control of what you hear. No more dictatorship of single-digit tracks! Let the Bonus Tracks find their place!
Cons: Song order is important, as previously mentioned. Moreover, there’s a lot of work involved – one hand on the radio every few minutes. This is no life for a driver just out for some good time!

3) Buy shorter CDs.
Pros: None.
Cons: Give me a break.

4) Cycling
Pros: You just leave the CD in the deck, and every time you get into the car you just pick up where you left off last time. By the time you get back to track 1, a few days might pass and you’ll be ready to hear it again. Also useful for those whole-album-tracks that prog bands are so fond of.
Cons: Context! I need context! Can’t suddenly jump into the middle of the album!
You also might not be in the mood for the same music you were the last time you took a drive. Also, in areas fraught with property crimes, leaving a CD in the car might be imprudent.

5) Drive Longer
Pros: You get to hear the whole album, as God intended. Start to finish. Yeah!
Cons: Gasoline spendings may increase dramatically. Also, your boss might yell at you.

In short, there’s no one right way. Mix’n’match, Pick’n’Choose, do whatever, but keep that music blasting!

2 תגובות על
“I started something I couldn’t finish” – The Smiths

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lukkke

6 בSeptember, 2002 בשעה 02:11

והשיטה שלי:

No music at all!

(טוב, התקלקל לי הרדיו והטייפ הלך מזמן)

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passacaglio

6 בSeptember, 2002 בשעה 07:04

ושלי

להקשיב לרשת ב’. במיוחד ביום שישי מאוחר בלילה, לתוכנית מרתקת בה זקנות מספרות על ילדותן בעכו הצלבנית (הן מנסות ליצור קשר עם חברותיהן ממקדש דגון).

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