Archive for January 15th, 2010

Breakdown of my iTunes library

Tonight I reached 7500 tracks in my iTunes library. A far cry from my husband’s 15,600 tracks (he’s got more CDs and Creative Commons tracks than I do), but that’s still 20.5 days of non-stop listening. For years we were only buying CDs, but 2009 was the year where we went mostly digital after iTunes went DRM-free. For us, that was the key to move to digital. I started collecting free promo mp3s sporadically back in 2006, but it was in 2009 when their numbers exploded in my iTunes library. In fact, I’ve noticed that especially after 2007, there’s a stream of freeware promo mp3s out there that gets bigger and bigger every year. Some indie artists give 1/3 of their album for free these days (e.g. Cold Cave)! Anyways, here’s the breakdown:

7500 tracks, 44.5 GB on disk, 20.5 days

2000 were bought from iTunes in 2009-2010 (we spent a fortune!)
300 were bought from Amazon in 2010
3700 are freeware, legal promotional mp3s or Creative Commons
1500 tracks were ripped from some of our bought CDs

2430 tracks were released in 2009
4000 were released in 2008-2009

5150 are tagged as “Alternative”
1180 are tagged as “Rock”

Only about 20%-30% of the tracks are from artists signed to major labels.

4150 tracks are starred so far:
660 tracks have 5 stars
1300 tracks have 4 stars
1635 tracks have 3 stars

Most played tracks:
1. “The Keys” by Dolorata
2. “Gold for Bread” by Blitzen Trapper
3. “The Tornado Lessons” by Cloud Cult
4. “Heads will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
5. “Sci-Fi Kid” by Blitzen Trapper

Most tracks by the same artist:
1. Madonna (190)
2. Depeche Mode (113)
3. Blitzen Trapper (68)
4. Portugal. The Man (62)
5. Coldplay (53)

Oldest track added in iTunes library:
New Years” by Asobi Seksu: 10/17/2006 11:08 PM
Newest track added:
Vapor Trail” by The West Exit: 1/15/2010 12:43 AM

Shortest track:
“Foreword” by Linkin Park: 14 seconds
Longest track:
“Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” by Iron Maiden: 13:35 minutes

Lowest Bitrate:
Induction” by Broken Spindles: 32 kbps
Highest Bitrate:
Various at 320 kbps (mp3)

I was reading an article at OSNews and tried to answer the “is there profit in a world of file sharing” question (in my case legal promo mp3s, since I don’t pirate media). So I went back to my “Purchased” section of iTunes, and checked it out. I found that from the ~2000 iTunes tracks I bought:

1. 900 tracks were bought (just in 2009) because I discovered these bands via their promo mp3s in the last TWO years of collecting legal promo mp3s.

2. 350 tracks were bought after discovering the bands due to word of mouth (e.g. from friends on Twitter or IM).

3. 750 tracks were bought from bands I got to know by traditional media, e.g. TV/radio, over my LIFETIME. However, about 300 of these tracks are purchases made FOR my husband, and are not the kind of music I’d normally buy (while the numbers above are all for music bought for my own music taste). So this leaves the “traditional PR” artists with just 400 bought tracks.

So within a single year of starting buying digital music, I bought 900 tracks from bands I discovered just in the last 2 years. And only 400 tracks were bought for bands that I’ve known for many years via traditional means. I’d say that promotional, viral, mp3s work best for heavy internet users, way more than radio/TV promotion.