Blog 373: Card Readers & Mix-Tapes

My hi-fi has an sD card reader in it.

I never cared about this when I bought it; I was more concerned about it having the ability to switch itself on in the morning, and the ability to switch on at the same volume I last disabled it with (my last hi-fi had neither of these abilities; I had to race to the volume control to damp it down from a horrifying 14 before the digital radio managed to tune in every time I switched it on).

So I didn’t care much for the fact of a card reader’s existence; the rest of the hi-fi satisfied my criteria. But recently, I have found its presence… Rather liberating.

It all started when I got my new phone, which has a “micro sD” card in it. Because the only other ways to get data to and from my computer were Bluetooth (eats battery) and USB (eats battery), I decided to investigate other options. Now, my fancy-pants super-computer has a “19-in-1 Media Card Reader”; unfortunately, none of those 19 were micro sD. So I trundled down to the shops to get me an adapter — an sD card you put a micro sD card into the back of (hurr hurr) to make it function in a usable manner.

The adapter came with another micro sD card and I didn’t much care about that either.

At some point in the past I also discovered the joys of MP3 CDs; most notably, to listen to OCRemix’s Project Chaos — their renditions of the soundtrack to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Let’s face it, it would be quite wasteful to render those MP3s down into raw audio again to fill three discs when I could put all two hours in one massive lump onto one disc (I’m environmentally conscious, or something like that… Nothing at all to do with the fact that the hi-fi, the last time I tried, refused to recognise the existence of a burned real audio CD). So, an MP3 CD and blah blah.

I first considered the card reader when I was wanting to listen to the soundtrack to Sonic Adventure DX. For those unaware of this fact, the game’s music is provided in WMA format — that’s Windows Media Audio, one of the formats my MP3 player handles directly. A quick burst through Switch Audio Converter made them MP3s that could go into the hi-fi… But why burn a CD when you can quickly and quietly deny that you’re actually listening to a game’s soundtrack by keeping them on volatile media that can be wiped in an eye-blink?

Recently, I have found the memory card somewhat liberating. I think older readers might be familiar with the concept of a “mix-tape”…?

My first rearrangement was Ultravox’s greatest hits. The compilation that got me hooked on them all those years ago includes several B-sides and is missing such classics as All Stood Still, The Thin Wall and even One Small Day. Needless to say, I have all the material to rectify this (and in definitive remaster form, except for the stuff from that fifth Urevox album that never existed because Warren Cann quit and this made them a bit poo).

Then I did OMD’s greatest hits — I don’t actually own any OMD compilation (except Navigation: the OMD B-sides), only all their albums (except Liberator… Grumble, I’ve never seen it in the shops in my life before). So I pulled off all the singles (yes, including Genetic Engineering and Telegraph you pansies), lined them up, and bang!

And finally, as it’s the festive season now, I had to assemble a crimbo suite. Naturally, I don’t own any crimbo compilations, but the household does so it’s all above board. The problem with the house-hold crimbo albums is that each one doesn’t contain all the tunes. We have a “60 Festive Hits” compo and only about fifteen of them are actually good crimbo tunes (too many of them are songs that were just number one at crimbo, like Gary Jules and that other guy’s depressing but briliant version of Tears for Fears’ Mad World, or Westlife or East 17); and that doesn’t even include Wizzard or Slade or Chris de Burgh’s incredible A Spaceman Came Travelling (fuck you, I’m serious — that song sends shivers down my spine). The other one we’ve got includes awful, awful ones like the Beach Boys and that creepy Hey Mr. Christmas (I don’t know who it’s by and I really don’t want to).

The sD card swoops to the rescue and I manage to combine all the real tunes onto one thunderous suite. Cue an afternoon of festive Unreal Tournament.

We’re going to Aberfoyle tomorrow to buy our sustainable environmentally-friendly crimbo tree (which we will then transport back home in our environmentally-unfriendly car), so shit is about to get seriously festive. As I hope you can see, my festive avatar is up and it’s all go. I don’t care that I’m not allowed a holiday because of fourth-year projects, I’m going to be fucking festive and you party poopers can all go and get coal from Santa. Make the effort kids, life sucks.

Merry Christmas!

3 thoughts on “Blog 373: Card Readers & Mix-Tapes”

  1. What’s wrong with me? I haven’t been reading your blog lately.. I only even skimmed this one .. couldn’t tell you why …

    Anyway, OCRemix! I believe Shael Riley Started that.. he’s awesome..


  2. i always carry 14Gb with me on several microSD cards…

    one microSDHC with 8Gb on mobile phone, 4Gb on a microSDHC card reader/pen drive/keychain and a 2Gb microSD card on a micro-to-miniSD adapter that on a mini-standard SD adapter (w00t!) that happens to contain Puppy Linux as a rescue for computers with problems… XD …

    CD’s and DVD’s will die as a place to carry data from one place to another ;p

    Oh… If you’re thinking in buying an micro/mini/SD card… be careful and check for SDHC support on your devices (from 4Gb to 16/32Gb) since most devices that don’t say anything just support SD and not SDHC 😦


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