The Beauty of the 6-CD Changer – Lessons in Refinement, Self-Discovery, and a Happier Life


I’ve always been the type that tries to efficiently tackle problems, but I’ve had even more focus on optimization in 2017 while at work as well as in finances. One of my latest optimization efforts was an update on something that’s been going on for as long as I’ve been driving: recompiling the music setlist for my car’s 6-CD changer.

What’s a CD again?

For readers who might not be aware: a Compact Disc (CD) is a round plastic object with fine micro-grooves etched onto one side. A CD player rotates this disc in a tray while it optically reads and interprets the micro-grooves peaks and valleys as data, and an attached speaker system plays back this data as music to listen to.

The major difference between a CD and more modern DVD’s and Blu-Rays, is the amount of data that can be stored on any one plastic saucer. And to add to this picture, many CD players require music to be stored as an “audio CD” instead of an ordinary “data CD”.

What this all boils down to is that each CD can store roughly 80 minutes of music. My car’s 6-CD changer can play back 480 minutes of music. If we assume on average each song is 4 minutes long, that’s a cap of 120 songs to listen to every 8 hours of driving.

I’m a music glut. I would estimate my entire music collection is closer to a magnitude of 12,000 songs instead of 120 songs. Many of you readers probably have my number beat another 100-fold.

Could you cut down your music collection to 1% or 480 minutes and listen to that on repeat for your (driving) lifetime?

This was the question I’ve been asking and answering myself for many years now. And every year I think I’ve tried and answered this question, I’ve always seen this answer change the next year. And the next year. And maybe after discovering something new or going to a new concert, my answer changes yet again. Did my mood or outlook on life change? Well then that’s another (usually cyclical) change in my answer.

Some songs and music artists have stuck around through the ebbs and flows of my auditory desires. Some have come and gone, from once being single-song-repeat-worthy to never-again-heard.

Some people have recommended that I just change out my 6-CD changer to something that can play data discs or an MP3 player which could store all of my music collection plus more. Sure, cutting down to 480 minutes of music is a tough task for a music glut like myself. Sure, my music sometimes skips for a few seconds when I drive over an especially deep pothole. Sure, the process of burning 6 read-only CD’s each year usually means I have to discard my previous 6-pack.

But my answer each and every time, to everyone that have asked and may ask in the future, is still a big NO THANK YOU.

Some people see limitations; I see refinement.

Some people think that I am missing out; I know that I have been granted something beautiful.

The 6-CD changer is an opportunity for self-discovery.

There is a saying in the culinary world along the lines like: “Show me what you eat and I’ll show you what you are.” As representative as food can be, I think music can be even more defining. While food satisfies physical hunger, music the spirit sate. People can live without music, sure, but are they really Living?

The process of cutting down to 6-CD’s-worth of music is like cutting out extraneous niceties in your life and instead refocusing on what makes you most happy. We can have anything we want, we just can’t have everything we want. What’s true in economic terms seems also true in musical terms.

Along with the final products, the value gained through this optimization process are at least six-fold:

  1. Project and time management skills when making sure you meet the constraints of your stakeholders: yourself, the CD’s, and the CD player.
  2. A discerning auditory palate when selecting live performances based on how they’re executed at different venues on different dates on different tours during different periods of a musical artist’s career.
  3. Exposure to and experience of the hard work put in by artists who have exerted themselves while perfecting their craft, especially as they sing their hearts out at their Last Live.
  4. Technical computer skills in trimming down file durations while adding non-obtrusive fades to intros and outros of clips, all with an attention to detail when timestamping songs in long concert files so that you can extract “just enough” song.
  5. An overall appreciation of humanity’s control over locomotion by rotating a plastic disc at between 200-500 rpm while rotating your vehicle’s tires at up to 1100-1200 rpm.
  6. And an improved ability to drive smoothly, as if you couldn’t let water spill out of a cup in your cup holder, so that you don’t cause your CD player to skip and stutter while you sing along to the chorus of your favorite anthems.

Oh how beautiful you are, my 6-CD changer!

So let’s make more space and time to focus on what makes us most happy. That is my goal, in this Single Player Life, in all aspects of life to optimize. So please don’t try to take away my 6-CD changer. These 6 CD’s are disc images of who I am (as of May 2017, and somewhat tailored to “drivable” music). Each CD could be the soundtrack to an arc of my Audial Novel life. Listen to them, and you will have a window into Six Degrees From My Soul.

I’ll show you mine; will you show me yours?

My 6-CD Changer (2017)
Six Degrees From My Soul
CD Music Artists Thema
1 FAKE?, Supercar A Journey into Sound
2 capsule, REOL Flash Back to Back
3 Perfume Perfume World
4 Otsuka Ai What Comes After And
5 μ’s Music Forever
6 Hiroyuki Sawano Unlimited Vocal Works

(Following links are as close as I could quickly find available in public. Maybe I’ll upload my actual files and share sometime.)

(CD1) A Journey into Sound
Selection of live performances from two of my favorite J-Rock bands: FAKE? and Supercar.
Artist Song Title Concert Song Duration
FAKE? Classic Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:04:17
FAKE? Everglow Final Zepp Tokyo Live 0:04:13
FAKE? Further Away Final Zepp Tokyo Live 0:03:09
FAKE? Snow Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:05:27
FAKE? Here We Go Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:05:41
FAKE? Praise Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:05:53
FAKE? Dreamcatcher Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:03:56
FAKE? Someday Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:03:29
FAKE? Taste Maximum Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:04:10
Supercar White Surf style 5. Last Live 0:04:04
Supercar FAIR WAY Last Live 0:04:22
Supercar YUMEGIWA LAST BOY Last Live 0:05:00
Supercar cream soda Last Live 0:03:24
Supercar Hello Last Live 0:03:32
Supercar Free Your Soul Last Live 0:04:30
Supercar STORYWRITER Last Live 0:03:34
Supercar Karma Last Live 0:10:52

(CD2) Flash Back to Back
Selection of songs from my favorite electronic composer Yasutaka Nakata and his music through capsule, as well as a more recent addition to my electronic palate in REOL.
Artist Song Title Album / Single Song Duration
capsule Flash Back FLASH BACK 0:04:40
capsule World of Fantasy WORLD OF FANTASY 0:06:11
capsule Starry Sky Sugarless Girl 0:05:40
capsule Lounge Designers Killer Capsule Remix 0:04:08
capsule swing 54321 phony phonic 0:03:57
capsule edit More! More! More! 0:06:00
capsule Player Player 0:07:30
capsule All The Way STEREO WORXXX 0:05:14
capsule White as Snow WAVE RUNNER 0:04:11
capsule Control CAPS LOCK 0:04:36
REOL Hibikase No title- 0:04:11
REOL Assymmetry No title- 0:04:16
REOL Give Me a Break Stop Now SIGMA 0:03:42
REOL Yoyoi Konkon SIGMA 0:04:18
REOL Chiru Chiru SIGMA 0:03:18
REOL Okochama Sensou Gokusaishoku ~Koku Hen~ 0:03:33
REOL Flash Back Gokusaishoku ~Irodori Hen~ 0:04:19

(CD3) Perfume World
Selection of songs from my favorite electro-pop dancing trio and music group of all: Perfume.
Artist Song Title Album / Single Song Duration
Perfume Enter the Sphere LEVEL3 0:03:36
Perfume Party Maker LEVEL3 0:07:21
Perfume Spending All My Time LEVEL3 0:04:02
Perfume computer city Perfume Complete Best 0:04:45
Perfume electroworld Perfume Complete Best 0:04:20
Perfume Polyrhythm Polyrhythm 0:03:40
Perfume GAME GAME 0:05:06
Perfume Take off Triangle 0:00:49
Perfume Dream Fighter Triangle 0:04:53
Perfume edge Triangle 0:08:43
Perfume GLITTER JPN 0:05:41
Perfume FAKE IT Nee 0:04:10
Perfume Navigate COSMIC EXPLORER 0:01:19
Perfume Cosmic Explorer COSMIC EXPLORER 0:05:22

(CD4) What Comes After And
Selection of live performances from my favorite solo vocalist and songstress: Otsuka Ai.
Artist Song Title Concert Song Duration
Otsuka Ai I’m Lonely Love Tricky Tour 0:06:35
Otsuka Ai Yumekui Love Tricky Tour 0:04:52
Otsuka Ai Laugh Love Tricky Tour 0:04:37
Otsuka Ai Affair Love Tricky Tour 0:03:49
Otsuka Ai Haneari Tamago Love Tricky Tour 0:05:16
Otsuka Ai Is Love Tricky Tour 0:05:37
Otsuka Ai 5:09am Love Tricky Tour 0:04:15
Otsuka Ai Sakuranbo Love Tricky Tour 0:03:18
Otsuka Ai Mirai taxi Love Tricky Tour 0:04:20
Otsuka Ai Time machine Love Tricky Tour 0:05:15
Otsuka Ai End and and ~10000~hearts Love Tricky Tour 0:09:00
Otsuka Ai Kumuriuta Love is Born 2015 0:05:23
Otsuka Ai Daisuki da yo Love is Born 2006 0:04:37
Otsuka Ai Renai Shashin Love is Born 2006 0:04:55
Otsuka Ai I Love xxx Love is Born 2010 0:07:57

(CD5) Music Forever
Selection of live performances from my favorite 9-member school-idol / voice actress group: μ’s.
Artist Song Title Concert Song Duration
μ’s Bokura wa Ima no Naka de μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:05:37
μ’s Bokura no Live kimi to no Life μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:05:22
μ’s Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki μ’s – 5th Love Live, Day 1 0:04:10
HonoKotoUmi Susume Tomorrow μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 1 0:02:06
HonoKotoUmi Start: Dash! μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:03:03
KotoPana Suki desu ga Suki desu ka μ’s – 5th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:47
NicoRinPana After School Navigators μ’s – 2nd Love Live 0:04:51
NicoRinPana Listen to My Heart μ’s – 2nd Love Live 0:04:34
BiBi Psychic Fire μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:03:39
μ’s Wonderful Rush μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:04:34
μ’s Natsuiro egao de 1,2 jump μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:04:28
μ’s Loneliest Baby μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 1 0:05:09
μ’s Kaguya no Shiro de Odoritai μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 1 0:04:46
μ’s Mermaid Festa Vol 1 μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 2 0:03:57
μ’s No Brand Girls μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:57
μ’s Snow Halation μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:18
μ’s Donna Toki mo Zutto μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:36
μ’s Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:52

(CD6) Unlimited Vocal Works
Selection of songs from one my favorite composers for original soundtracks: Hiroyuki Sawano.
Artist Song Title Source Soundtrack For: Song Duration
Hiroyuki Sawano (egoist) Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 0:01:31
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimer) Through My Blood <AM> Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 0:04:04
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimer) ninelie <cry-v> Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 0:05:06
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kalafina) heavenly blue ~TV size~ Aldnoah Zero 0:01:31
Hiroyuki Sawano (mizuki) A/Z Aldnoah Zero 0:05:17
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Keep on keeping on Aldnoah Zero 0:03:51
Hiroyuki Sawano (mizuki) aLIEz Aldnoah Zero 0:04:28
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) BRE@TH//LESS Aldnoah Zero 0:04:01
Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (TV Size) Aldnoah Zero 0:01:33
Hiroyuki Sawano (Amamiya Sora) Harmonious -Short Ver.- Aldnoah Zero 0:01:31
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimer) Song of .. Aldnoah Zero 0:04:19
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Grey to Blue Mare 0:04:13
Hiroyuki Sawano (mpi) The Reluctant Heroes Shingeki no Kyojin 0:04:25
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimee Blackschleger) No differences Aldnoah Zero 0:04:37
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimee Blackschleger) DOA Shingeki no Kyojin 0:03:26
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Bauklotze Shingeki no Kyojin 0:03:56
Hiroyuki Sawano (mpi & CASG) Call your name Shingeki no Kyojin 0:04:28
Hiroyuki Sawano (gemie) X.U. (TV size) Owari no Seraph 0:01:32
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) ThreeFiveNineFourε 3594ε 0:04:04
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Before my body is dry Kill la Kill 0:04:06
Hiroyuki Sawano (Cyua) Blumenkranz Kill la Kill 0:04:18
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) BIOS-D Guilty Crown 0:02:35