Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Album Art - Mitch Miller, "Yellow Rose Of Texas"

by Dick Mac

I could write about Album Cover Art ad nauseum.

There are so many amazing works of art and quirky pieces of trivia about album art.

I think it was either Brian or Brice that gave me one of my favorite tidbits of album art trivia: "Revolver," by The Beatles, was the first LP to use a drawing of a band, instead of a photograph of a band. I don't actually know if it's true, but it intrigued me, because someone somewhere told someone somewhere that this was a fact. When it comes to rock n' roll, sometimes that's all it takes to make a fact!

I generally use RealPlayer as my computerized jukebox, and it works just as I want. I have a system for rating the tens of thousands of cuts, creating mixes, and generating eighty-minute playlists to burn to CD. I have a 6-year-old car and it plays CDs. I need a regular supply of mixed CDs for driving here and there. For years and years, RealPlayer has provided the best tool.

I have also had an iTunes account since it started and liked to use it as my jukebox at work. I purchased a couple hundred songs many years ago before they inserted DRM technology which meant I was only really renting, or borrowing, the song; that the publisher, label and the distributor retained the rights to the cut AND reaped the profits.

It was 2005 when I first learned about Apple's complicity in this fleecing of the music-buying public: DRM - "Media Companies Go Too Far . . . " by Walter S. Mossberg, at Dick Mac (alive!).

The backlash against the music industry was so severe that they decided to dispose of DRM technology and simply raise the price of single cuts by 30%. In 2007, I learned that it was coming to an end: iTunes Begins to Unlock Their Files, at Dick Mac (alive!).

I am totally cool with that. Paying $1.29 for a single song is just fine with me -- perfectly reasonable. DRM technology is not reasonable.

I still felt fleeced by Apple, though, and I did not purchase music from iTunes for a couple more years.

Last year, I imported all my music into iTunes and I started making purchases, again.

One of the nifty things about iTunes is the display of Album Cover Art. After I loaded all my music, I selected the feature: Advanced | Get Album Artwork. The program searched through my music library and downloaded all the album art it could find. Was it 100% accurate and successful? No; but it did a damn good job and I am impressed.

Today I was scrolling through the "M"s in my library searching for a Michael Jackson cut that I thought might be misfiled.

I cam upon a song I don't much listen to: "Yellow Rose Of Texas" by Mitch Miller, that comes from a compilation of pop music over the decades. I smiled to think I had a Mitch Miller song, and I clicked it to listen. "Yellow Rose Of Texas" is, after all, an excellent song.

Imagine my surprise when this album art appeared in Cover Flow window:

As I said: I would never expect this technology to be 100% accurate; but I found this particular mix-up amusing enough to share with you! The famous Mitch Miller collection of Tajikistan Folk Music!

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