How Many Raspberry Pis is Too Many???

January 12, 2021 1:50am
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Tonight I setup the new Raspberry Pi 4b that I picked up last week, namely because it has two outputs and I saw an opportunity to further consolidate some of the crap taking up space on my desk, and overall I was really impressed with how easy this one was to use!

Like, it seriously took me longer to pull the new HDMI cables underneath my desk than it did to get the OS installed, mostly thanks to actually buying a kit with a pre-loaded SD card this time, but even configuring the dual monitors ended up being super easy because apparently it’s a function built into the OS these days. One of the two monitors that I wanted to connect this to is vertical, and yet it only took a second to rearrange the displays and then correct the orientation for the second monitor.

A couple of URLs later, I was driving two DAKboards from one Raspberry Pi… 🙂

I think the only other thing they could do to make it even easier would be to let you choose which software you do and don’t want during the install because it takes a while to remove all of the games and programming tools and LibreOffice afterwards. One of these days I need to just make a list of them and write my own script to streamline it for the future, seeing as mostly I just need a browser installed (Chromium) to pull up my DAKboards, which as you can see above is the reason for this particular box.

…in fact, if they ever happen to make a version with three HDMI ports, well, let’s just say that I’ve already got the use case sitting in front of me because in total my desk is currently surrounded by three DAKboard displays … a to-do list that pulls in my daily tasks from Todoist with a few other things, my newest board showing my goals and habits I’m trying to work towards this year, and lastly my digital calendar which was actually the first one that I put together over two years ago at this point!

Ultimately I do think that eventually I want to check out DAKboard’s retail version of a display + CPU because I can see when we build our next house much more heavily incorporating digital displays throughout the rooms between smart home controls and calendar/temp/clock displays and even simply more interactive digital photo frames. It’s super hard for me to pick what photos are worthy of framing to go on the wall because we’re constantly getting new ones to share, but having a gallery of connected displays throughout the house to all rotate through family photos seems like it would be a neat application.

And not having to buy a separate Raspberry Pi to drive every last one of them would be a nice perk… 😉

Number Portability, Revisited

January 6, 2021 11:58am
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Aside from maybe my email address, my home phone number has probably been the most consistent in my adult life.

Back when I first moved to Florida in 2003, I got a landline from Verizon because I figured that’s what you do when you’re an adult! Over the years, obviously, I used it less and less, to the point where eventually I ported it from Verizon to a VoIP provider to significantly reduce the cost and now for many years I haven’t even had a phone plugged into it and instead only used it as a voicemail number!

My reasoning has always been that I like having a phone number to give out to people and companies that isn’t my cell phone so if they spam it with sales calls, I don’t really care.

Plus, when I swapped my cell # over to a Florida number after moving, they were cool enough to let me pick the number so it matches with my home phone (e.g. 813-555-1234 and 813-666-1234), which I just think is kind of neat! 🙂

Still, it’s admittedly silly to pay for something that you hardly ever use, so a while back I decided that it made the most sense to eventually port my number over to Google Voice where it could live for free as a voicemail number and I’d stop getting sales emails from my provider every few months begging for me to “add two years of service for only $180” because they perpetually feel like they’re almost about to go out of business…

The trouble is, Google won’t port in landline numbers, but thankfully there’s a known workaround these days where you can first port your landline over to a prepaid cell phone and then Google will take it from there like it’s no big deal!

So that’s what I did just before the new year – I went into Walmart and asked for the cheapest prepaid phone that they had. which is apparently “Walmart Family Mobile” aka TracFone. I submitted my port request via their website the next day and got a response surprisingly fast. The first request got rejected for an “invalid account number” because their form forced me to populate one that I didn’t have, so I just entered my phone number again instead. After confirming with my old provider that I didn’t have one, I asked TracFone to resubmit it without one and it got confirmed right away.

Fun Fact – For my first couple of years in Florida, I worked support for the number portability process and it was much clunkier than it is today! Wireless to wireless ports were fairly seamless, but porting from a landline could literally take weeks … some carriers wouldn’t even talk to us until they’d had a request for upwards of a week, only to then reject it back for something mundane! Thankfully, it seems that now most of the wireline process is automated as well…

The only real hiccup that I ran into was my TracFone didn’t fully provision after the port-in completed, so it would only intermittently receive calls and/or text messages. This was a problem because Google Voice makes a test call to confirm ownership of the number before you can port it, so I ended up spending about an hour on the phone with a poor girl from tech support trying to figure out what was wrong. I’m still not entirely convinced that she actually did anything because she was just as surprised as I was when it magically started working, but half an hour later I submitted my second port request through Google and a day after that!

I’m still working on fine tuning the settings – voicemails are coming to my email as expected, but I’d love to have it ignore messages that are only a second or two long because they were clearly hang-ups. And I need to build up a new list of spam numbers because I didn’t bother trying to carry that over from my old provider.

I did think it was funny when I canceled my old VoIP service that their portal said that my number had been active with them for 3,732 days, or a little over 10 years!

Should be interesting to see if that thing is still hanging around another ten years from now… 😉

Smart Home Talk, 2020 Edition

December 23, 2020 4:04pm
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I spent a good part of yesterday mulling about this and I think my efforts toward creating “a smart home” are coming along better than I would’ve expected.

There are still plenty of challenges – a lot of this stuff is expensive, and much of it exists in closed ecosystems that don’t like to integrate well with others, but we’re slowly getting there! 😉

Smart Lighting
I still can’t deny that Hue lighting is stupid expensive – frankly, if it weren’t for the cost, I’d have finished this part a long time ago, but I love the flexibility and the quality of their bulbs so I’ve been gradually changing over a room in our house at a time, going from boring, old CFLs to these full-color, albeit $50-a-bulb equivalents.

They work great in the kids’ rooms because they get to pick whatever colors they want and then we keep them on all night long as nightlights.

Earlier this year, I also replaced the sconces on our garage and our porch light, so it’s fun to be able to light those up with different colors for whatever holiday we’re celebrating at the moment!

After first toying around with these about two years ago, I’ve now switched over about 4 rooms in the house with a couple more to go, in addition to some outdoor lighting around the pool out back that I’m pretty excited about.

Smart Displays
Next to Hue, DAKboard is one of my favorite digital toys around the house. I think I’ve got a total of four boards running right now – the original calendar I setup in my office, a second one to display my to-do list and some other stuff, a daily calendar in our kitchen that helps us to keep track of school and therapy schedules for the kids (and displays family photos!), and fourth – another calendar at my desk at work where I haven’t been in like nine months now!

Side note – over the summer I even started tinkering with using DAKboard to create a dashboard for tracking COVID so I could have the stats handy that I think are the most important, however I got frustrated because the API block – while neat – isn’t quite there yet.

Still, I love these things and next year I want to try to work on upgrading the old hand me down monitors I’m using to some proper IPS displays that are a little better suited for casual viewing from any angle.

I can seriously see our home having a lot of these things between picture frames and other stuff by the time I’m done…

Digital Media
So apparently it’s been almost six years since I first started dabbling with Plex, and I’m happy to say that the whole household is definitely converted to digital now. I think the only place we still use physical DVDs is in our van because despite having the option to play media off a USB drive, the UI sucks! 

But other than that, all of our movies and TV shows are there and easily accessible from pretty much any device, and unlike Netflix and Disney+ and all of the rest, we don’t have to worry about our favorite movies or shows suddenly disappearing because a service didn’t feel like renewing their license for it.

One improvement I’d like to see here is now that 4K media is becoming more commonplace, we need newer TVs to handle the content because ours can’t natively decode X265/HEVC and it’s just way to cumbersome for Plex to transcode.

In the next couple of months, I also want to add a video card to the server for transcoding because Plex now supports hardware transcoding for Linux, as well as an NVME drive to speed up access to the rather large collection of metadata that supports our ever-growing Plex libraries! Admittedly these upgrades are mostly for other people because we also share our media out to a few friends and family, almost all of who transcode via Roku boxes, but it would be nice to not have to worry about a 5th or 6th stream maxing out the box.

Home Assistant
And last but not least, I’m giving Home Assistant another try at tying all of my smart home toys together after admittedly not getting very far with it last year because it felt clunky and not nearly as polished as the Hue app, for example, that I was falling in love with at the time!

I also had issues getting it installed in its own VM, however that was solved this time around by just using the virtual appliance image that they offer to skip fighting with Python and everything else OS-oriented.

So far, it looks like the UI has improved. I’m still going to have to get comfortable with most of it being code-driven instead of having a pretty UI, but frankly that’s also why I’m giving it another try because what I want to do now is apparently more complicated!

For starters, getting different ecosystems to work with one another and controlling them all in one place.

Also, I’ll soon be approaching the 50-device limit for a single Hue hub, and although I can still expand and add more hubs, from what I’ve read they don’t play nice with the app and we’d have to switch between hubs to control the lights associated with each one, which is dumb. Another option would be controlling them through Homekit, but I think that’s kind of ugly and already some of the smart plugs that I use aren’t compatible, whereas HA will see everything.

The Next Steps…
I think now that I’m starting to get a good base with a few of these systems, I’d like to move towards having them work together via Home Assistant and DAKboard or whatever else makes sense.

Part of this will be simply moving the handful of lighting schedules that I currently have setup on my Hue bridge over to HA to be ready for eventually adding a second bridge.

As I explore HA, I’d also like to add more sensors to track things like open doors and room temperatures. Already I’ve found that apparently my Hue Motion Sensor also captures temp and can confirm that my office gets as much as 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house!

On this note, I’m already looking forward to adding a control to the thermostat to automatically switch over from air to heat when the outdoor temp falls below a certain threshold – an otherwise manual task that’s always been a pet peeve of mine since I moved to Florida!

I also want to build on my outdoor lightning scene by incorporating the pool lights into the mix – something that I think I finally figured out how to do by swapping the switch that they’re on out for one that’s controllable via wifi. It won’t give me the ability to change colors, but for only $14 it’s a start.

And one of the new features that I’m most excited about exploring is this support for interactive pictures to control the devices around your home – my favorite being a floor plan of the entire house with clickable icons representing lights and cameras and other devices that can all be controlled right from the picture!

I feel like one of the biggest challenges with creating a truly “smart home” is having all of these different devices be easily accessible to people who aren’t geeks. A lot of enthusiasts talk about having “wife approval” for these types of home improvements, but I also find myself faced with the “kid friction” that stems from things like light switches that are remote controls and end up getting lost because tiny hands don’t leave them on the wall where they belong!

Still, it’s a fun challenge to face and I’m happy to see the technology slowly improving – maybe not out of the box, but at least to make a handful of my newest ideas a reality. 😉

Tracking Me

August 27, 2020 9:28pm
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I just finished a really fantastic book called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

There were so many useful bits about productivity and behaviors and getting stuff done and creating better goals – too many to list, really – and I’m super excited about implementing many of the ideas he talked about in various places throughout my life, but right now I want to talk about tracking and statistics.

I’ve always been kind of fascinated with numbers. My personal word count for writing is something that’s very important to me, and yet aside from staring at the numbers and hoping they’ll go up (or down, in the case of weight loss), I’ve never really had a great approach for actually influencing those huge numbers in a consistently positive way.

If I look at my word count, for example, it’s clear to me that this massive number was built over time, but I wish I could say that I had a better system in place to ensure that it continued to grow on a regular basis. Case in point – with each post averaging barely 300 words, that’s really a minuscule amount of blogging each day. I could knock that out in 15 minutes a day. Yet in the twenty months since I hit that 1 million word milestone, I’ve only added another 34,000 words to my total.

Even if I only blogged 5 days a week, one post a day, at my given average I could’ve added another 120,000 words in the last year and a half!

So I’ve decided to do a little experiment to combine my love of stat tracking with my newfound I’m 40 and It’s Time to Improve My Life-mentality by taking the next four months to track a handful of “key stats” that I’ve identified for myself across three areas:

  • Creative Output – Number of Things Published
  • Health – Amount of Sleep Per Night
  • Health – Number of Days with Exercise
  • Family – Number of Family Photos Shared

1. Creative Output – Number of Things Published
I know I talked about word count above, but for this iteration I want to take a step back and basically just count any time that I hit a Publish button – be it for a blog post, a humor column, an ebook or some other written thing. Tracking should be pretty easy between WordPress stats and the other platforms that I regularly publish stuff through. My goal here is really just to improve my overall output – we’ll talk about bigger goals influenced by this task at a later date!

2. Health – Amount of Sleep Per Night
This has really been a horrible one for me, not just in the last week although school starting and having me up at 7:30am certainly ain’t helping! I know that good sleep is linked to so many other aspects of health, and I actually think I might like the routine that I started developing for my mornings this week, so I really want to try to use this stat to drive going to bed earlier and getting a more consistent amount of sleep. Tracking will be through my Fitbit, where I’m hoping to see some scores that are a little better than “poor”…

3. Health – Number of Days with Exercise
There were a few different parts of Atomic Habits that talked about making progress in tiny increments, whether it was improving a process merely by 1% or creating better habits by starting with just a minute or two at a time … Do two minutes of yoga/meditation/exercise/whatever per day, and as you build into your mind the drive to hit that simple task of only two minutes, naturally you’ll likely try to push yourself to do more because you’ve already started. Earlier this summer, I lugged our elliptical back into my office from the garage in hopes of actually starting to use it again, so I want to try employing this technique to start building it into a daily routine.

Tracking, again, will be via my Fitbit … which might I add I think that it’s really cool that this thing somehow is able to identify not only when I do exercise but also say, “Nice job with that 10 minutes on the elliptical!” without me ever telling it what I was doing?!

4. Family – Number of Family Photos Shared
Admittedly this is kind of a silly one – I wanted something around family to be my last stat, but it’s not like I can track days at an amusement park with COVID and all. Still, I thought this could be kind of fun because a couple years ago I started working on a family photo album website and I stopped due to some technical reasons, but we take so many great photos that I don’t always want to flood Instagram and Facebook with that I’d still really like to revisit the whole effort.

Plus, now that we’ve got several DAKboards displaying photos around the house, it’d be neat to tie them in somehow to pull photos from a more current source than just whenever I add a few to the OneDrive folder that DAKboard uses.

So the idea is pretty simple – revisit that idea, refresh it, and start adding in newer photos. I don’t expect to finish the whole thing in four months … I think that’s probably another thing that derailed the project in the past because I just got too far behind with pictures that it was just a ridiculous task to try and get caught up! But if I can spend an hour or two on it once a month, I can probably get to where at least 2020 will be represented, and that would be a nice start! Tracking here will also be via WordPress stats.

Anyways, I’m sure I’ll write more about this later, but the idea here is really to hone in on something very specific, but also very manageable that I can focus on day after day to collectively lead to bigger results. More creative output -> more pageviews, subscriptions, sales; more sleep and exercise -> more energy and lower weight; more family photos -> a more meaningful record of our growth together as a family.

Not sure if I’ll share results along the way or wait until January, but I definitely want to write about some more points from Atomic Habits that I fell in love with, so stay tuned for that! 🙂

P.S. I started folding on one of my servers today!

I know that a lot of people are really frustrated with the statistics that we’ve seen coming out of the COVID-19 crisis. Some people flat out think they’re bullshit and feel that they’re too flawed to be worth paying any attention to.

Being a guy whose career involves understanding data … I don’t agree.

I wish the data was better, but at least it’s something and when we’re trying to measure the impact of a worldwide phenomenon, something is better than nothing.

Sure, in a perfect world, testing would be readily available to anyone who showed the slightest symptoms, and hospitals would all follow the exact same procedures for dealing with the virus, and people would go to the doctor when they’re supposed to, and health departments wouldn’t sometimes fudge their numbers, and so on and so forth!

Of course, in a perfect world one might argue that we wouldn’t be dealing with a global pandemic in the first place, so there’s that…

So the data is what it is – we just have to quantify it and keep those exceptions in mind, which I get can be frustrating when we’re being told not to leave the house and we feel like we’re making all of these sacrifices by maintaining our distance and the total # of deaths seem small compared to things like the flu and other common causes.

Regardless, what I’ve found is most insightful for me over the last week is to really only focus on a couple of metrics:

  • Daily New Cases, specifically in the United States <— this is my main focus
  • Total # of Deaths, both in the US and here in Florida <— this is my reminder that we’re talking about human lives at stake

The data I look at each day is found here – https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

In particular, I look at this chart to see how the rate of the spread is growing here in our country…

Now for clarity, yes – the numbers are growing because we’re testing more people than we were two weeks ago. That’s ok! What we’re really looking for is merely the curve to help judge when the spread has reached its maximum growth rate to ultimately help indicate when things might start getting back to normal.

Compare our graph above to China’s latest…

That’s what we’re waiting for ours to look like – the same gradual growth that we’re seeing now as the Chinese came to terms with the virus, a few anomalies along the way, followed by a gradual decrease to where they’re seeing a fraction of the new cases each day and it’s safe to assume that they’re volumes that their healthcare system can once again support.

I mean, I guess there are some people who are just never going to trust the data no matter what it says, and there’s so much commentary and anecdotal evidence and sheer panic going around that maybe it’s easy for some to cast doubt in what they’re seeing on the page.

I personally think it’s safe to look at these numbers as a barometer – we’re not solely relying on them to make major, guiding decisions in our lives during this crisis. They’re simply a guide to help us understand how things are going and if the shore is in sight on the other side of this thing yet.

Unfortunately, I think we’ve still got a ways to go, which is a whole nother ball of problems in the chaos that it creates as we push through this. I know that we’ll get there eventually, but there will definitely be casualties along the way – literally, economically, you name it.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to carry a light as we make our way through this.

That’s all the data serves as – no more, no less.

FINALLY! An Actual Use for QR Codes!!!

February 17, 2020 11:04pm
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There’s no sense in holding back now – I’ve honestly always thought that QR codes were kind of dumb.

BUT…

I just stumbled across a pretty cool idea for them at home that I wanted to share!

You see, I just bought a new wifi access point, so I’m doing some spring cleaning on my home network and I ended up renaming the SSID that my guest network uses.

This is notable because I’m one of those weird people who believes in long, simple passwords instead of complicated strings that are hard to remember and thus I’ve grown accustomed to many an eye-roll when people ask what my wifi password is at home … often times resulting in guests just handing over their devices and asking me to type it in for them…

But no more!

So I found this blog post talking about an office posting a QR code that visitors could use to easily login to their guest wifi and I figured, why not try that at my house, too?!

I took it a step further by using this free website that let’s you generate your own QR code in about 30 seconds…

And the end result, after a couple of quick tests to watch the magic work, was this simple Word doc that I could print out and stick to the fridge for easy access anytime someone visits:

For the most part, I still think that these things are dumb – maybe because they just never got the penetration here in the States to justify companies pasting them all over everything instead of using their URLs – but if it saves me from being tasked with typing my 46-character wifi password into the phones of every friend and family member who comes to my house, then I will take one for the team and admit … this particular use case is kind of neat. 😉

Evolution of a Media Collection

November 23, 2019 3:00pm
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I wish I had kept better records of this over time – I’m basically just going by when I added new drives, but it’s still crazy to see how this collection has grown over only five years time…

Consider this – when I first got interested in collecting media back in my early twenties, I started with three 80 GB hard drives … one was fully dedicated to music, another animated TV (mostly The Simpsons, Futurama, and Duckman), and the third was live TV. These disks were filled first with a 56k modem that incessantly redialed all night long, and then later by a 1 Mbps cable modem.

Now here in 2019, I just finished building out a 106 TB NAS, with a 500 Mbps fiber line to fill it.

It kind of makes me wonder just how long the remaining 35 TB left on my new NAS are going to last me, especially when the data somewhat shows how I tend to go through a bit of a spike in downloads whenever I have new disk space available to me. 😉

To Migrate 70 Terabytes…

November 23, 2019 2:44pm
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It’s true.

The project that I started almost two months ago to migrate all of my home server data from rapidly aging desktop hardware to a rackmount NAS is finally completed.

What was previously around 60 TB spread across 9 hard drives of varying shapes, sizes, and ages has now been moved to a dozen 10-12 TB drives all born within the last year, including the addition of two parity drives for redundancy in a new-to-me server that will be dedicated to nothing but storing files, thus finally separating out Plex and the various apps that I use to download media to their own hardware where disk conflicts should officially be a thing of the past!

Of course, it didn’t take that full two months solely to move the data from one set of drives to the other … even though at times it certainly felt like it…

A good chunk of time was spent waiting for Unraid to clear and format new drives – a little over a day for 12 TB drives. 😯

I also had to limit when I could migrate data so as to not impact Plex, considering both that copying at full tilt ate up a lot of CPU on my old server AND I found that copying at full tilt into the new server would make it difficult to stream media from the affected drive at the same time.

I ended up counteracting the latter by adding a 1 TB SSD cache drive to Unraid, which unfortunately limited me to moving about 1 TB at a time because the mover process that moves data from the cache to the array (normally at night) is equally intensive.

That said, most of the speeds I got from the old server weren’t enough to matter anyways. For drives attached directly to the motherboard, I could average speeds of 60 MBps, however a good chunk of my media was living on external USB drives which meant that it was more likely for my transfers to crawl along at 30 MBps instead…

Comical when the SSD can do upwards of 90-100 MBps and even higher read speeds, but hey – I knew that speed wasn’t one of the selling points of going with Unraid, anyways.

Those two months also included a disk recovery … truth be told, I actually lost two disks that prompted me finally putting all of this into motion! One was a lost cause and I just made a list and re-downloaded everything over time, but the second I left alone until everything else was done and then was able to recover using this great free app that I found called testdisk. It turns out that basically the partition table had gotten corrupted somehow – a problem that actually already affected me once before that I previously had been able to repair, but this time once I realized that testdisk would allow me to copy the contents over to another disk that I now had to spare, I opted to just do that instead and about 12 hours later roughly 490 movies were sitting on a fresh disk and ready to migrate over to the new array!

So anyways, as of yesterday now everything is living on the new server and I’m basically ready to power down old faithful and prepare it for its afterlife. I think I decided that once I get the cables I’m waiting on to move the new NAS into my rack in thcloset, I’m going to bring that old server down to my office and disassemble it, give it a good cleaning and actually remove the dead drives that are still installed, and then I’m going to wipe the thing and turn it into a sandbox of sorts for a few random things that don’t really have a place on my other servers…

  • Plex media local backup – Until I can build out a proper backup NAS, I’m going to take a couple of leftover 8 TB drives and backup the most essential 16 TB of media in my collection for an additional backup on top of the 1 TB that I’m now backing up to the cloud.
  • Torrent seeding – I found this great docker for Transmission that incorporates OpenVPN for a seamless experience, which makes me feel a little more comfortable having it running full time to help seed some of the more difficult to find files that I had to hunt for after not being able to get them from usenet.
  • DVD ripping station – Right now the only computers left in this house that still have CD drives are one rackmount server and a very old laptop that I first trialed Plex on before moving it to my desktop hardware. I actually bought an internal bluray drive shortly after I started getting into Plex because I thought that I’d end up ripping all of my media instead of just downloading it, so it’s been buried underneath my desk for about four years now. Nonetheless, I want to install it in this version of the computer to have something a little more accessible for the random DVDs that I have to rip myself.

Not sure how much else will end up there simply because the CPU inside is pretty weak at this point, but I’m really trying to keep my main environments a little cleaner and not just install any old random thing that I come across, so this will be a good place for that because it won’t really matter if there are disruptions.

Looking forward to writing up a separate post outlining all of the reasons why I love Unraid now that I’ve been using it for a couple of months, and of course, I’m already working on expansion plans to move beyond the 106 TB limit that I currently have installed in my already very full, new NAS today! 😉

Rediscovering Music, Digitally

September 24, 2019 2:48pm
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Recently I decided to revisit the seemingly gargantuan task of reorganizing my digital music collection.

It’s something that I’ve been putting off even longer than updating my backup plan because I honestly don’t listen to music much except for maybe when I’m in the car, even though it seems silly to only have access to about 20 albums on my phone when I’ve got upwards of 100 GB of music sitting on the server at home.

But really, therein lies the problem – I’ve found that while Plex has been my loving savior for roughly 99.5% of my digital media woes, the one area where it seems to fall short is in organizing my music because of how it identifies songs … or at least tries to, anyways.

It turns out that despite going through the steps many, many moons ago to convert all of my mountains of CDs that I acquired through the likes of BMG and Columbia House to MP3s, apparently the tags that got embedded in the files are inconsistent as all crap. It never really bothered me because I had the files themselves organized by genre, artist, and album, and I’d play everything with Windows Media Player (or WinAmp if we really want to whip the llama’s ass…).

#geeknostalgia

Anyways, it turns out that when you tell Plex to use a file’s tags, it takes that directive very seriously, even when to my regular, human eyes some of them are absolute garbage! Completely ignoring directory structure, it would mix tracks among different albums and sometimes even classify music under several different artists if their names were spelled incorrectly across the various tracks!

It sucks, which is why I’ve put the project off for so long, however lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the data I hoard and how it makes all of the sense in the world to store it in a format that’s actually useful for its consumption, so it was time to finally start addressing the problem…

…which in my case means importing one or two artists at a time and refreshing my Plex library, then reviewing the results and making any manual changes to group songs together correctly, list multi-disk sets correctly, and so forth.

After several hours of work, Plex tells me that so far I’ve added a whopping 19 artists to my library, so I’ve clearly got a long ways to go, but the plus side of all of this is that I’ve been stumbling back across all of these great songs that I used to love at various times over the years.

So I thought it might be fun to share a few here – most are from my college days, though Led Zeppelin I listened to pretty much religiously back in high school! It’s amazing how beautiful some of those guitar tracks are that I’ve completely forgotten about…

Maybe as I come across others, I’ll write a little something about select favorites and what they mean to me … seeing as that was actually the original intention of this blog post when I first started writing. 😉

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