20 Jan 2013
I'm in the doghouse for screwing up on I-Tunes.
I've been somewhat in the naughty corner this weekend for downloading music for my cat.
I should perhaps explain that the said cat, Bemby, is pretty much stone deaf now. Aged nearly 19, he's otherwise in good health, though naturally he sleeps a lot. I've had to learn to call him by waving, using a flashlight or clapping my hands very loudly.
But he was always such a musical little beast, with a particular fondness for Bach, and for Mahler (if he heard me playing Mahler, he'd come from anywhere he was in the house, sit nearby and purr happily away). It seems tragic that he's lost his hearing.
However, I realised a few months ago that my laptop has come to the rescue. On the Macbook Pro, there's an area prone to strong vibration on the right-hand side of the keyboard, by the tracker pad. It took me a while to work out that Bemby wasn't being difficult when he kept getting onto the keyboard as I sat typing on my lap - he was listening to the music through his feet.
I'm certain of this because he sits in the exact same position every time, purring away, and during the loud passages, he pricks up his ears and knits. If I turn the music off or down, he looks very surprised, even if his eyes are shut.
This has become a daily routine and now, every morning, he heads for my lap, rests one or both paws on the metal and miaows for the music to start.
Obviously, he likes the more percussive stuff, especially piano, though he has little use now for my beloved slow movements. So anyway, I thought I'd get him the Hammerklavier Sonata. A quick search round found that it had been recorded by Brendel, whose playing I love, so I logged on to I-Tunes, found a Brendel Beethoven CD for £9.99 - a good price, I thought - and hit 'Download'.
Well I should have looked first, shouldn't I? Far from being the usual couple of sonatas and some fillers - about an hour's worth of music - that you get on theaverage CD, there were 206 (count 'em) tracks: over 19 hours' worth of music. It took hours and hours to download, and because we have two machines on the same account, just as long for the DH as for me.
My name was mud on Saturday, especially as my other half was trying to download an app from the same site and his download was at the end of my queue. Oops.
Well, it's here now and it's beautiful - just the most thoughtful playing. And the DH, ace robot-builder, is now trying to work out some sort of soundbox that Bembo can curl up in and enjoy his music by himself. Watch this space.