I'm listening to every single classic trance track ever made to write a book about them [Update #4 - Tier List sneak peek]

Ar7

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I say this with the best of intentions, but this is a colossal waste of time. Even back in day, 20 years ago, when trance was the top genre and I was listening to new releases every week as they came out (oh youth and its free time) the honest truth was that most of them were crap.

You don’t need to re-listen to everything to come to the same conclusion. In fact this is true of most content put out by humanity: books, music, scientific articles, movies etc.

In an age of finite time and exponentially expanding, essentially limitless information, the most crucial skill is the ability to focus on quality over quantity. You’re not an AI neural network learning based on data, but a human with a brain ingrained with a different set of skills. Use them wisely.

PS Kill off perfectionism in your life, your life is too short for it to be useful.
 
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Aquarium

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Now that I read your post dude I can see you are doing this through enjoyment and through passion. Your goal is to create something you find meaningful and to share it with others. Doesn’t have to been a scholarly approach. Good to have passion projects, they are key to having a healthy and satisfying life.

Those calculations done above showing the many days you’ll spend is worth taking heed man. Skip the ones you don’t click with and try and reduce the time so you can spend more time articulating your thoughts and what you’ve found. Good luck!
 
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Nerio

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If it is your passion i do not find nothing wrong here, there are people here that give 11930 hours (1 and a quarter year)
gameplay into path of exile. Time stamp 18:27

And i agree with your opinion about the early stage of trance music it really starts forming around 1995.

I once try to make the same thing (in 2015), i was able to listen almost every day 11 months without bigger break from project. After that my brain was overloaded and i must take break, but i still try find great trance songs only now i was not listening 2-4 hours a day but 30min-1hour max.
I ended project in 2017 with the fact that I found most of the most famous trance songs, here and there i still find something even today.
You won't do it in one go, you'll have to take breaks, and if you endure i will say 2-4 years until you make it,
 

No Return

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I listened to all the releases from the hit label discography’s when I was young. Eye Q, Plaitpus, HOOJ, A State of Trance. Really took me a long time, especially as I organized and selected favorites. It was satisfying have to admit. I think you can uncover many lost wonders and b-sides this way. Hope it goes good for you.
 
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When I first read you post @TheTranceHistorian I felt like others here, and that it feels to subjective, and that its too much time for something already covered in other books, interviews and docs. However continued reading and it became more clear that this is a personal project in which you want to express your love for the music. I can completely relate.

I don't think you should be offended by intial the pushback from other memebers. The lesson is one of communication, something you must consider a lot when going for crowd funded projects and for when you want to share the fully completed object. You must communicate the purpose, the vision or goal of what and why you do things very clearly and in as few words of possible. This will help the audience understand. As you can see your initial post did not do that for some members. I also agree you dont have to listen to every track to achieve your goals. Too many years. Good luck and good health to you.
 
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I decided to come back to the site after being contacted on Reddit by trancefix.nl's admin. I also completely rewritten my post to:
  • Reflect my intentions with the book / the purpose of the book much better
  • Make progress reports and updates easier to follow (by using spoiler tags as chapter names)
  • Provide more information (about myself, my thought process, progress with my project, etc.)
Due to character limitations, I edited the first comment under my post, in which you'll be able to read my progress reports.
 
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Avitronic

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70,000 tracks * 5 minutes/track (conservative estimate) = 350,000 minutes
350,000 minutes * 1 hour / 60 minutes = 5,833.33 hours
5,833 hours * 1 day / 24 hours = 243 days
Add to the equation the sleep hours per day (and maybe work/job hours too)
If in one day (24 hrs) you spend 8 hrs sleeping and around 6 hours of work, then that means that you only have available 24-14 = 10 hours/day to be spent in this project (5/12 of a day) so adding the restant 7/12 would be:
If 5/12 is to 243, then 7/12 would be = 340.2
So 243 days of listening to Trance music + 340.2 days of sleeping/working = 583.2 days o_O
 
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Add to the equation the sleep hours per day (and maybe work/job hours too)
If in one day (24 hrs) you spend 8 hrs sleeping and around 6 hours of work, then that means that you only have available 24-14 = 10 hours/day to be spent in this project (5/12 of a day) so adding the restant 7/12 would be:
If 5/12 is to 243, then 7/12 would be = 340.2
So 243 days of listening to Trance music + 340.2 days of sleeping/working = 583.2 days o_O

In practice, the situation is much better than what pure math suggests for the following four points.

1. Many of the tracks on these records are not trance tracks. This can happen for three reasons.
  • The vinyl is simply mislabeled on Discogs, and it doesn't feature any trance tracks.
  • The vinyl features tracks that have trance elements in them (hence it earns the 'Trance' tag on Discogs), but trance is only a supplementary part to these tracks that are otherwise mainly rooted in other genres (e.g., New Beat, Techno, IDM, etc.).
  • The vinyl features a track that is indeed trance, but all the other tracks on it are from other genres (e.g., Techno, Acid, etc.).

2. The actual quality of the track is not up to certain quality standards (so it's bad, or at least mediocre, bland, and forgettable).

3. The album/track in question is extremely obscure (and/or has few/bad ratings on Discogs) and is not available anywhere online, which heavily suggests it's not worthwhile / not worth listening to. Based on my currently processed data, I think around 10% of tracks pre-1993 fall into this category. And, of course, even if I would want to listen to these really obscure and potentially quite bad/forgettable tracks/albums, I don't have the desire or money to pay for all of them.

4. Some tracks are just cut-down versions/radio edits of tracks I've already listened to in full or just duplicate releases. I made this point 'strikethrough' because I already somewhat calculated this into the equation to learn how many tracks I'll need to go through (without duplicates and radio edits). It's probably around 200-250K.



These are especially common with pre-1993 records/tracks (in the proto-trance era). Now obviously, if someone knows the defining elements and boundaries of a given genre (in this case, trance), it's pretty easy to recognize even after just skipping to random points of a given track and listening to only a few seconds of it, whether it is trance or not. And if not, there's no point in listening to it. The same methodology applies to tracks that are not up to certain quality standards. There's no point in listening to a track from the start all the way to the end to realize it's bad because if you have enough knowledge/experience in the genre and/or if you just have an appropriate level of taste, you'll realize it soon anyway.

Basically, this way of listening ensures that I can go through 100 tracks comfortably a day (although if the custom script I need gets completed, I'll be able to go through 200 tracks or more easily because I no longer have to spend time comparing and writing tons of music-related data). Of course, there's a counterpoint to all of these (something that I talked about in the FAQ section of my post).

"If I have a track that manages to pique my interest, I try to acquire it as soon as possible in lossless quality to ensure that I give it ideal listening conditions. After that, I give it a few spins in order to decide whether it’s worthy of being among the best of the genre and being part of my personal collection or not. Sometimes making this decision only take a few listens, sometimes it takes ten, and sometimes it takes multiple weeks, as understanding and truly appreciating the given tune may require a lot of effort, like establishing a certain level of intellectual and emotional connection between it and the listener."



Of course, I could brute force my way through all of these tracks, but I think there's definitely a smarter and more efficient way to do this.



Edit: maybe that 200-250K assumption from myself is overly pessimistic since Discogs lists 824 12" releases between 1988 and 1991, yet there are only 677 individual (supposedly trance) tracks on those records in total, based on my database (I already went through all of them, since I'm finished with 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991).

Although this is still a small sample, if there are 70,000 12" records in total between 1988 and 2009 on Discogs (realistically more, maybe around 90,000 with the inclusion of other trance filters, like Hard Trance, Tech Trance, and Progressive Trance), maybe I shouldn't expect 200,000 to 250,000 tracks. Only 80,000. :D
 
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TRANCEBLASTER

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@TheTranceHistorian

I see and understand your point of view, but sincerely a back look on genre is truly a tricky thing..

'Rhythm Is Rhythm - Strings Of Life' is considered 'Detroit Techno' classic, today everybody would say its a 'House' tune, same with 'Phuture - Acid Tracks' is considered 'Acid House' classic, now it would fit more into the 'Techno' category..)

I think there are many similar issues with many old 'Trance' records, beware!
 
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@TheTranceHistorian

I see and understand your point of view, but sincerely a back look on genre is truly a tricky thing..

'Rhythm Is Rhythm - Strings Of Life' is considered 'Detroit Techno' classic, today everybody would say its a 'House' tune, same with 'Phuture - Acid Tracks' is considered 'Acid House' classic, now it would fit more into the 'Techno' category..)

I think there are many similar issues with many old 'Trance' records, beware!

There's no success without struggle.
 
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UPDATE #4

At the bottom of the first post, under the chapter OTHER, you can now find a sub-chapter called Tier List sneak peek. Click on it to see an image preview from my Trance music tier list.

This spreadsheet will be used to compile every single worthwhile trance track (4.0+ stars, with a few exceptions where notes are included). Album names and artist names will redirect users to their corresponding Discogs page. Clicking on a track name will open a link to its most popular upload on YouTube. Release year and track length are color-coded to show in which trance era the given track came out and in which length category it falls. Clicking on a year switches to its corresponding tab in the spreadsheet (e.g., if you click on 1993, you will see a separate tab where you’ll be able to see all trance releases from that year). The ratings are based on my personal opinion and experience. The Web Purchase column shows the following options: Beatport, Juno Download, Apple Music, and Amazon Music (with hyperlinks if the given track is available to buy somewhere). Sometimes notes are included (e.g., if the track is available to buy but only in a shorter/mixed-over form). CD/WEB shows whether the track has seen a digital release or if it's a vinyl-only release. I may share the spreadsheet sometime in the future.
 
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