sorry for the stark bitterness of my last post. today’s been one of the first days since i’ve been sick that i’ve felt well enough to put a coherent thought together. i owe any and all recovery i’ve had and may have to my man andy who has been diligently taking care of me. (hi, andy.)

i’ve had some things i’ve been meaning to post for a while, but the one that i’m thinking about right now is windows CD players. a couple of months ago or so new versions of windows media player and real one player came out, and itunes came out on windows for the first time. first off, itunes looked like it would have some interesting features, like organizing playlists and being able to burn CDs, but it really didn’t work for either my windows 2000 machines at home or at work. it starts up a secondary process to help it run on windows which seems like a hack to me, but regardless of the setup there was this ridiculously long delay everytime i wanted to try to do anything w/ itunes. also, i seem to remember it taking up an unusually large amount of disk space. if they ever fix these problems i may give it another go, but there didn’t seem to be anything particularly phenomenal about it esp. since i’m really unlikely to ever want to buy a single track from their digital music store.

windows media player’s new version was an improvement mostly in that it finally accesses the cddb database to bring up the tracklisting info for pretty much any cd you put in. among my gripes is that i hate the box they put for visualizations that i think are incredibly pointless but my biggest gripe is that every time you use the slide bar to skip to a different part of the track the player has a big delay. this definitely is not a limitation of the hardware b/c itunes and real player let you skip around w/out any delay.

which brings me to the winner of this round, the new real one player. i’d never really used real one player but i checked it out b/c of the new version and right now it’s my windows CD player of choice by far. you can put it into various compact modes, it’s really reliable in bringing up the correct CD info, and you can instantaneously skip to different tracks or to diff. spots in a track (the downside of that, though, is that the CD will continue spinning for a couple of minutes after the CD has finished playing to anticipate you accessing the CD again). another big plus for me is that if you change the volume using windows’ system volume control, real player respects the system’s volume setting, which windows media player doesn’t do. in other words, if i adjust the system’s CD volume while WMP is running, WMP resets the system’s CD volume back to what it was in WMP when the next track starts, completely ignoring the change in volume you had just made. real player does reset the system’s CD volume if you change it w/in real player which makes sense. what makes less sense and which is rather annoying is that it also resets the system’s wave volume if you change the CD volume in real player. this is prob. due to the fact that real player plays other audio types, but it’s the only downside and if like me you just use the window’s system volume controls and steer clear of real player’s everything works quite well.

to wrap up this long post, i’ve finally gotten around to listening to belle and sebastian’s new album. one word: boring. was that harsh? i mean, when was the last time they did something “original”? “the loneliness of a middle distance runner” (from the jonathan david EP)? … that was june 2000. their last three albums (inc. this one and storytelling) didn’t interest me nearly as much as their first three (with their related EPs). won’t be getting their next album. oh well.


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