On the digital media front

Report from the home front on digital media: CDs and DVDs. I fervently hope that I have now unearthed all of the discs. The CDs have mostly all gone away (but see below), but not until I copied them onto iTunes. (As a result, just in the category iTunes labels Classical Music, I have 14,376 tracks, or 43.4 days’ worth. I have gone back to playing these files during the night, instead of getting classical music from WQXR-FM in NYC.)

For the DVDs, I have given away two big boxes of them (judging them to be things I’m unlikely to want to watch again) and might get rid of some more, but for the moment what I’ve done (with Kim Darnell’s help) is to sort the bulk of them (gay porn discs are still to come) into categories that I can use to find them — a complex exercise in categorization and labeling that definitely stretches the mind.

CD offers. Only three CD offers are still live: two from the 2nd (posting with details here), one from the 3rd (posting with details here):

#17 songs, lieder

#18 large-scale vocal music

#19 instrumental music, mostly large-scale (symphony- or concerto-sized)

This is a last call; if I haven’t gotten requests by Bastille Day (Thursday the 14th) — send requests to arnold.zwicky@gmail.com, you pay only mailing — the albums will go to local agencies.

DVDs are a different kettle of fish. They aren’t easy to copy for storage (the way CDs are), and they’re enormously greedy of space, so I’d need external storage to keep any copies. My computer advisers are working on this, but the main solution is probably going to be just keeping the discs (not the boxes) in carefully labeled binders.

In any case, I’ve now pretty much finished a process that started long ago, when I realized that just keeping a gigantic collection of DVDs in alphabetical order wouldn’t do: I’d never be able to find anything. I first pulled out lgbt-interest DVDs, under the general heading GAY. Interesting categorization questions ensued: any number of films and videos were made specifically for an lgbt audience, but there are also a lot of them made for a general audience, but with special interest for lgbt viewers: Capote, The Bircage, Transamerica, The History Boys, and so on. My decision was that for my purposes — and all of this is for my purposes, after all — GAY trumps GENERAL. (This is all about storing physical objects, and they can go in only one place.) So then, by a general override principle, GENERAL encompasses DVDs other than GAY ones.

But then there’s the question of which categories. Again, the question is what’s useful to me, so I pulled out some people — actors and directors — to make their own categories (HUMPHREY BOGART and WOODY ALLEN, for instance). And some topical categories that are important to me, but might not resonate with others: FOOD MOVIES, taking in Big Night, Tampopo, and Ratatouille, among others); FILM NOIR; CARTOON(ISH) HEROES; BAD BOYS (Rebel Without a Cause, gang films like The Wanderers and The Outsiders); SWASHBUCKLING; SITCOMS; SKETCH/STANDUP; ROMCOMS (romantic comedies, including screwball comedies); and more.

The current taxonomy (with category descriptions, rather than all-caps category names):

– gay documentaries
– gay tv
– gay: general (drama)
– gay porn


– actors
– – Humphrey Bogart
– – Alec Guinness
– – Marx Brothers
– – Peter Sellers

– directora
– – Woody Allen
– – Mel Brooks
– – Alfred Hitchcock

– topical categories

– – documentaries
– – musicals
– – food movies
– – children’s movies (mostly animated)

– – drama / action / adventure
– – – cartoon(ish) heroes
– – – scifi / fantasy
– – – swashbuckling
– – – Westerns
– – – bad boys (James Dean, gangs, etc.)
– – – film noir
– – – Sherlock Holmes
– – – (other) mystery / detective / thriller movies/tv
– – – dromedy (drama combined with romance and/or comedy: mostly “relationshipmovies”)
– – – drama: general

– – comedy
– – – sketch and standup comedy
– – – sitcoms
– – – romcoms (romantic comedies, including screwball comedy)
– – – pomocoms (comedies, some of them romantic, with a postmodern, ironic twist, like Dazed and Confused or Clueless))
– – – comedy: general

– – performances
– – – plays
– – – opera, operetta, oratorio
– – – other classical music
– – – eccentric: other performances

Yes, decisions are often difficult.

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