Are you downloading the 1000 free songs from the unofficial SXSW torrents? Have you downloaded from past years?
Despite the crazy clutter the 2009 download caused me (1,200 songs to listen to and decide on), I actually managed to weed through all of them a couple of weeks ago and find about 250 songs that I “liked or strongly liked” which was a nice outcome. I find that the songs offer some off-the-beaten-path sounds, subject matter and avenues for lyrical expression that are all a refreshing change from the slicker productions we normally gravitate towards. Once I figured out how to figure out whether I liked or disliked a song, the process went much quicker. I figured out, too, that I far preferred stuff in the torrents to tunes found on the NPR or iTunes samplers.
I also found that my first mistake was opening everything in iTunes with the idea that I’d just delete stuff as I went along. It’s almost impossible to pay attention enough to stop what you’re doing and delete songs. What worked much better was (in Mac OS X) previewing the songs in the Finder and deciding then whether to keep or delete. After going through an entire folder, I opened whatever was left into iTunes knowing it was decent.
So, I’m back at it again tonight with the 2010 torrents. This time it’s only 1,000 songs (unless they add more late additions, I guess). I imagine that I’ll find 200 more songs worth keeping.
Is this something you’ve done? Has it been worth the time for you?