No more two-second cavities

Sunday, 24 September 2006 — 2:14am | Music

I’ve been keeping myself rather busy over the past month, and simply haven’t found the time to write anything comprehensive in this space. A cursory summary would do little justice to the twinkles of thought, arrayed in fleeting constellations, that have lately crossed the orbit of my neighbourly worth-writing-downosphere. I’ll admit that much of it was inspired by extensive and inspirational quantities of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and leave it at that.

I’ll sheepishly confess to conceiving (but not writing) a post about the lonelygirl15 fiasco, primarily consisting of snide remarks about how I never conceived of the bookish, batty-eyed brunette – religiously forbidden, of course – as an archetype of the popular imagination (having only ever met two of the sort myself). But I think that alone says all that I have the tactlessness to say. Next topic.

So I’ll confine this post, which no doubt falls into a special category of digital life preservers designed to be carelessly tossed at flailing websites, to a note of thanks. It goes to Apple, which finally had the sense to implement gapless playback into the latest version of iTunes. I listen to a great deal of live recordings and continuous albums, often in their entirety, and the involuntary breaks between tracks have been a nuisance for a long time now.

The most significant beneficiary is my copy of The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961, the three-disc release of the Bill Evans gig that some have come to refer to as Jazz’s Perfect Afternoon. Others before me have written volumes on the bittersweet charm of the musical content (it is, after all, the canonical masterwork of the postbop piano trio format), but beyond that, I think there’s something to discover and rediscover in the gaps, in the fluid transitions from one tune to the next amidst the ambience of the understated applause. It’s nice to do that without having to pop CDs in and out of the drive, for a change.

I’m still rather irked that my fourth-generation iPod is unsupported when it comes to the gapless playback feature, as I intended to regard the unit as a long-term investment. I’m not sure what precludes introducing the feature in a firmware update to the older models, but whatever it is, it’s bothersome.

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