Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

The Joy of Dead Air

Rant of the day: "hidden" tracks on CDs. You know, where the last song ends, then there is a very long pause, and then there's another song stuck on the end of the same track?

Okay, yes -- IIRC, the first time I came across one of these, I thought it was nifty-keen. Here was a special song, just for those of us who cared enough about the album to sit and savor those last few notes for a couple of minutes, only to find that our patience was rewarded by more great music. It was kind of like the Boston folk tradition of "just keep clapping, and eventually they'll do an encore".

But folks, give it a rest. Once was fun, twice was still amusing, but the gag has run its course. And they really are a pain in the tuchus -- when I'm trying to rip the album for my iPod, having to split the track into three separate pieces (song, silence-to-throw-away, song) is a nuisance. And it's all the worse when the hidden track wasn't worth the effort in the first place. (I'm sorry, but a badly-done acoustic cover of a mediocre 70's song is just jarring at the end of an album of period and periodish tavern music.)

And look, it's not as if you're fooling anyone any more. When people did this on vinyl, there was a chance that someone would be fooled, but my car stereo plays CDs on repeat. That means that, if I get to the end of the album and it doesn't immediately loop back to the start, I know that something's up. Specifically, I think, "Oh, rah -- another stupid hidden track".

I think I'm going to have to adopt a policy of down-rating albums that do this, just to do my little tiny part to discourage the practice...

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