Thursday, July 1, 2010

itunes 9.2 and the song which was

It has been unusually humid. Late last night, I wallowed naked on the sofa and emptied out my pores. An oil slick on the upholstery.

Granted, we have slipped into July on a tide of televised soccer, but it takes me by surprise every year. The widget reads 17°C as I type, yet the windows are flung open to the late morning drizzle.

The sounds pour in until our apartment resembles a small factory. Hammers rising and raining down. Bald rubber tyres throwing up a surf.

And the trains. Always the trains. Harassing late into the night. The bastard son of Ernest Borgnine, rattling chains.

By whatever trick of physics, every tortured creak is amplified. Floating up to the 22nd floor like a noxious gas. At 2:00 AM we might catch every second word of a whispered conversation at street level, an altercation three blocks away.

That anomaly has made me its bitch.

The canvas blind comes undone and flaps wildly until I get up and rescue it. Really, there is no need for it at all. Nobody can see me padding back and forth. In undershorts. Scowling. I tie it down because I can't stand the way it gets plucked out the window to dance like a flag. A surrender from the projects. It takes me two or three attempts to properly secure it. Knocking the cigarette across my face. In the end I am tempted to set it alight.

I have not slept properly for weeks. I fall into it fitfully. When I succeed in snatching a few minutes of slack jawed death, a gale of snoring rouses my wife.

"ib!" she gurgles. "You're snoring again, you bastard. I can't take much more of this."

Not so much a gurgle as a snap, if I am honest. A ginger snap. A sentry with elbows as sharp as any bayonet.

The blind has worked itself loose again. A wind is working up from south, rushing in from the kitchen and forcing me away from the keyboard. Reminding me that I punctuate my afternoons with squandered words.

I can't remember why I began this post. I think it was my intention to warn one and all not to update software. To the tune of 9.2, specifically. A terrible build.

In architectural terms, it is every bit as awful as a high rise apartment block. Full of holes and crippling corners.

I suspect this might be of little interest to you. Well. Upgrade at your peril. It might not screw your metadata, but it may just metaphysically f@ck with your head. Still. It's not all bad. Macintosh might not be the open source pugilist of old, but at least it is not Microsoft. I may lean out my window, like Dylan's distant neighbour, but that does not necessarily labour the fan.

When I sat down originally what I wanted to say was this. Don't be seduced by what everyone else is wearing. You just might wake up to find yourself stopping traffic in Hirohito's burned robes.

Another fat ass dribbling cellulite on the hard shoulder. The slow lane at best.

And. The circular saw has started up at last.

Of course. I am in no position to dole out advice. Next time your train idles on those last few hundred yards of rail, paused brokenly on the approach to Glasgow Central, lift your chin off your chest and sneak a glance at that high rise jutting south east of the river. Grey and black like a rotten incisor.

If you see a torn curtain flagging there, you will know I've given up.


Brushback said...

Yeah, thanks for the warning, my son already had his iTouch wiped out yesterday and then had to spend hours re-setting the thing.

Freaking Microsoft. I gave up using my own iPod a long time ago because of constant mishaps.

Your driver said...

I got all panicky and opened iTunes to see what version I am running. Sure enuff it's 9.2. I'm a faithful consumer. So far so good. I'm listening to Uncle Bunt Stephens playing "Sail Away Ladies". I'm only doing it to sound obscure. I really want to be listening to classic rock. Aahh Commander Cody! Maybe next up will be Led Zep or The Eagles!
Oh fuck never mind about that shit. Next is seeing how the synch with the other electro devices turns out.
As to sleep, I've been dreaming, night after night, that I am lying in bed wide awake. I've been (happily) busy lately so I've had to set an alarm. I'm always surprised when the alarm sounds and I find out I was asleep all night.
Next up was Bird Bath by The Trashmen followed by Ivan Meets GI Joe by The Clashes.
Nice writing by way Bro' Ib.

Your driver said...

Oooh! Obscure soul! Next up was Dedicated To The One I Love by The Temprees. Unfortunately, sometimes there's no obscurity like well deserved obscurity.

ib said...

The nice thing about this comment is knowing that you read to the end of a scrambled post.

The 9.2 update seems to wreak all kinds of carnage, not all of it obvious at first. I upgraded a few days before I noticed all the paths to my media had gotten arbitrarily rewritten. After tinkering with it unsuccessfully, I settled on deleting it and reimporting from scratch.

Fastforward several hours, and it had just gotten around to "processing gapless playback". More hours of endless cycling. And it does not appear to be fond of LAME VBR. An absolute bitch.

The worst of it was yet to come. After manually importing a thousand or so missing files, I stumbled into the sucker punch. A major issue with album art.

The upgrade seemingly addresses a flaw with seamless cover flow, but there is a major trade-off in that. To do with how the Finder accesses metadata from with iTunes. Used to be I could drag an image from the well in iTunes direct to dektop. A simple clipping file, admittedly, but it was a cinch to drag it into any open Photoshop document and regain original resolution; a useful trick for posting, since it precluded having to sift through poorly catalogued folders for source material.

Well, no more.

I was tempted to downgrade to 9.1 or earlier, but on looking around I see that a few others have already wandered down that route already. To no effect.

iTunes appears to have rewritten how the metadata is handled.

Well. Thank god I don't own an iPhone or other synchronized devices. At first I put down this ill fortune to the fact my machine is kind of elderly and its OS several generations older than is fashionable. Still PPC. Running on a good old Motorola Chip.

That doesn't seem to be the case.

ib said...

Hey Jon!

Weird thing, just this moment. I was replying to Brushback when Google spat back at me with a "comment too long to process" message. First time I'd ever seen such a thing.

We must have both hit 'publish' at the same time. Thankfully, it all came good in the crossfire.

Strange indeed that you have been dreaming of lying there with eyes wide to the world. I've been intermittedly dreaming of problem solving. Frutrated shit, mostly, which has me inputting data or pulling on bells and whistles. I thrash from corner to corner with my mouth full of ashes.

My conscience can not run clear.

I have no issue whatsoever with your not so secret yearning to be listening to classic AOR. Led Zeppelin. Even the Eagles. When I was writing this post earlier I was locked into a twenty minute recital of 'Cortez the Killer' by Built to Spill. I toyed with the idea of including this and that, but pulled it shortly after I banged it out.

Nothing wanted to stick.

Good, at least, that you have run into no trouble with iTunes upgrade. On the fy, too. That is living by the seat of your pants.

Wish I could say the same.

It's playing all right, I suppose. My quibbles are just that.


Sleeping lately I've been having nightmares...have to be some where & have no socks that match.

I never update. If it works good now, all further improvements will make it worse.

ib said...

Dispense with the socks.

I don't know why I've been dreaming the jigsaw puzzle factory dream, but I can guess. It's getting very monotonous. A second life of seemingly pointless toil. I wake up and it all makes sense for five seconds or so.

Some kind of primordial work ethic.

One of these mornings they will kick down the door drag me away. Give me a full frontal citizen upgrade.

@eloh said...

Finally caught up with your blog.

I read this post back when you published it and it made me "think" for days.

It's been bothering me that I didn't have the energy to comment and tell you so.

ib said...

I often do the same thing.

Read something somewhere that gives me pause; make a mental note to revisit at some future point and leave a comment. Of course, it seldom works out as intended.

The last month or so has been curious. I have been self-contained, seldom venturing over the 'front door' of this blog. Even at that, my own posting habits have degenerated to a murmur.

I'm glad you did step back to leave a comment.