I fired up iTunes today and flipped through to find a Sting album which I thought was one of my favourites. I then scrolled across to see the “Last Played” date on each track was in October 2007.
Two thousand and seven.
Where on earth has that last seven-and-a-half years gone?
It seems strange to note the passing of a fairly large chunk of time by studying your iTunes collection, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Of course I have been listening to music in a variety of different ways in that time, as well as creating and ‘performing’ it. That said, it’s bizarre that an album I considered to be one of my best, had laid digitally dormant for that long.
iTunes could be lying to me of course. I’ve managed to work my way through several computers in that time, though thankfully always with a decent enough backup to keep going without loss of service, or (musically, at least) archived information.
Before iTunes and digital music players, it would be hard to know exactly when a record or track was last played. Perhaps you’d find a CD or cassette stowed away with some other items and that would jog the memory. If you weren’t organised (read, anal) enough to file CDs alphabetically, you might know roughly by the pile next to the hi-fi.
Now most things come with a time stamp.
Timestamps aren’t infallible, of course. They can be manipulated or erased. Yet they do provide useful clues.
Music, photos, videos, documents… anything ending up on a computer or some other electronic device probably has a number of times and dates associated with it, even if you can’t always see them all.
In reality, it’s more interesting to think of the significant things which have happened in the past seven-or-so years, rather than dwelling on a single album which randomly sparked the thought process.
We’ve moved countries (in the UK), have two beautiful children, are doing quite different jobs (with varying levels of success), have stepped out of some activities and are waiting on others, and are living in quite a different way — yet somehow familiar because of who we are — from 2007.
You know what? I think iTunes is lying to me. At least, it has selective amnesia. There are a number of music tracks listed which have no ‘Last Played’ date at all, suggesting I’ve never played them. Yet I know I have.
The song I apparently played longest ago was from 2nd January 2006 — “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles — yet there are 1,403 tracks with no information at all. That’s weird.
Oh well. I suppose it’s best not to trust iTunes too much. It was fun thinking back through the years though.