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Blog: This Is Why Other People Use Record Companies

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I got home last night with jobs to do - print out the replacement page for the booklet, re-do the album master with the gaps. It seemed an easy job, but would nearly lead to TEARS.

First of all I showed the booklet to The Words In My Story. "These aren't good enough" she said, pointing at the photographs. SHE WAS RIGHT. I'd deliberately fiddled with them to look murky and a bit unclear, like in the sort of mass printed textbook we had at school. This looked all well and good, but when printed like the sort of mass printed textbook we had at school they came out DOUBLE MURKY. ARGH! There was lengthy discussion about what to do, and i eventually realised that I was going to have to re-do the WHOLE THING to make the pictures look clear NOW so that the murk would only come in at printing time.

Sat at my desk with this all to do AND the album to do too I was overcome with DOOM. Before we go any further, YES I KNOW it is not the worst thing that's ever happened to anybody and I am fully aware it is daft, but I felt WOEBEGOTTEN. WHY of WHY does this ALWAYS seem to happen when I'm trying to do something like this? Why can't it ever be EASY? Why is it always COMPLICATED and DIFFICULT? WHY?!

Rather than saying "Don't be such a pillock, GET OVER IT" as she would be well within her rights so to do The Font Of My Letters said "Just remember, this ALWAYS happens at this point, and you ALWAYS manage to get it sorted out" and, of course, she was right. This bit DOES always happen, i DO always sit DEFEATED, GROANING and MOANING, convinced that the entire UNIVERSE is against me and resolved NEVER to do ANYTHING like this EVER again. THIS is the reason why a) after months of listening to the album concerned almost full-time I suddenly start to listen to anything BUT and b) record companies are able to exist in the first place, because no matter how vile, corrupt, corrupting and incompetent they may be, THEY do this bit, not the ARTISTE.

Anyway, I trudged on and re-did ALL the photographs in the booklet, changing contrast and brightness so it was nice and CLEAR, but still looking a BIT printed ready for today. I've just been in and got ANOTHER test version done, which does indeed look MUCH better - still a bit printed-looking and murky, but in a GOOD way. However I'm now in THAT PLACE where I am unconvinced that ANYTHING is all right, so took a sample away for further checking.

This feeling was added to by the rest of the evening when I spent HOURS trying to get my CD software to JUST BLOODY COPY WHAT'S ON THE DISC. We spent ages doing EXACTLY the right gaps between songs and Nero JUST WOULDN'T DO IT, SNIPPING off chunks of silence whenever they were at the end of tracks. ARGH! DON'T DO THAT? NERO! Did I ASK you to do that? No? SO DON'T! Good grief, this is the WAY the world is going, with computer programs just DOING stuff for you because IT THINKS IT'S BEST. I tell you this my friends, I TELL YOU THIS: it's not through government conspiracies or super-villains that we will be turned into degraded slaves of the giant computer hive mind, it is through SOFTWARE UPGRADES to make software understandable to PEOPLE WHO WILL NEVER USE IT ANYWAY.

EVENTUALLY I got the bloody thing to do what I wanted it to after HOURS of checking internet forums FULL of people having slightly different problems, and did the analysis of the files MANUALLY. IT WORKED. Or, at least, it APPEARED to work, by this point I could tell right from wrong no more and, given the opportunity, could quite possibly have KIDNAPPED AN HEIRESS or ROBBED A KWIKSAVE without a trace of guilt or regret.

It was also late - TEN TO MIDNIGHT - by the time I'd finished, pausing only to email the Gideon Coe show (which I was listening to live for a change) about the lack of Colourblind James Experience CDs - I can't find any (not for under a MILLION QUID anyway), surely SOMEONE could re-release them?

I went to bed with brain THRUMMING and got up early to sit and listen to the entire album again, just to make SURE. I THINK it's all OK but, like I say, I no longer have any way of knowing, so put it in an envelope and posted it to the manufacturers. That's it now - it's GONE. It's OFF.

Now I just have to panic about how THAT all turns out! OY! When is it time to do GIGS again and be DRUNK?

posted 18/2/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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