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Let's try this again

Yesterday.
Two days in a row I didn't leave the house except to unplug the car and get the mail. And there was some time on the porch looking at the garden and not cutting back the roses, which really need it.

I spent all day at the computer, playing audio sleuth. One of Mom's many pre-babies jobs was working for a juke box company. They played 78s. As hits reached their play limit or became less popular, she was able to take them home. The parental units put together a fine collection of 78s, and played them often.

In college I was a radio/tv production major, and had access to professional radio studios. I put all their music onto cassette tapes for them, and later (probably when I worked for Roxio) transferred all those tapes to .wav files. I also put together an Excel spreadsheet with title/artist/tape #/side/track#.

But I had never named the wav files.

With the help of the spreadsheet, my good ear, and sometimes Youtube, all the English language vocals and some of the instrumentals are now tagged.  Roughly 200 tracks.  There are still a bunch of Yiddish vocals to be done (I got tired around dinner time and watched TV instead). And Dad's collection of Hungarian music needs tagging.

There was one stumper. Most of the time, if I know Side A, Side B will be the next or previous item on the spreadsheet. I got to a tune which I know is a Russian marching song, it's in the movie The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! but this version was in English, and had lyrics like "Forward to arms, comrades" which the web didn't return any hits for. Adjacent to it in the wav file folder was Fred Waring's orchestra playing Hora Staccato,  but the sound was very different. And the only other Fred Waring tune on the spreadsheet was something called "Meadowland" which did not strike me as the right name for a Russian march.

But Youtube came to the rescue, and found it. The English name is Meadowland, and in Russian it's Polyuschko Polye (Полюшко поле). Here's a bunch of Russians performing it :
~~ embed here ~~



After dinner I got a brainstorm, pulled the original records out of the guest room rack and hooked up my turntable, which can play 33/45/78 rpm, and tried recording to the PC. FAIL. Tried hooking it up directly to the PC speakers. FAIL. Audio 101 - phonographs put out almost no signal, they need an amp. I have an amp, but it's a big heavy surround-sound unit in the livingroom. Logistically incorrect. I figure it is about time I got a USB turntable, but last time I looked they were in the $300 range. Amazon had a Jensen on sale for <$50, it has an amp and speakers built in, as well as USB. So I have parked the records on a chair in the office, and will use the new turntable when it arrives.

DVR included PTI, Below Deck (in which the flaming chef has been scripted to take the lesbian chief stewardess's advice and get romantically involved with the tiny, mousy, British 3rd Stewardess) and a new thing called People Of Earth.

That last one is based on the story of a NYC journalist going to a small upstate town to do a story on their abducted by aliens support group. The makeup is superb. So is the photography, audio and lighting. There is some pretty decent acting too. But the script could use some work, and they need to retire a couple of flashback clips. I'm guessing it will get better, now that 2 episodes in they have established the characters and hinted that the paranoia is justified.

Plan for tomorrow was:

Plan A - AT&T Park, take pix a at the annual science fair
Plan B - 10 am community birthday party, 2 pm something at the library
 

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