Merry Christmas/Birthday to me

One of the drawbacks of being a music fiend is storage. Periodically, I have to cull my CDs to get rid of the chaff so that they can all fit in the Ikea cabinet where they now reside. The discarded CDs go into temporary storage in a box, until I have enough to take them to a used CD store that might buy them.

With our move, I had a ton of CDs, probably about 75, and no idea where to take them. I finally found Love Music in Redmond, which bought about a third of the CDs on Tuesday for a decent sum. (The rest will go to family members who want them or to the library.)

With the money from the sale of the CDs in hand, plus some birthday swag and a rebate gift card, I went to Best Buy to pick up what Lisa happily calls my “new toy,” the Sony RM-AV3000 universal remote. The purchasing experience was a little unnerving. After the clerk went to the back to pick one out, he apologetically said, “They told me I have to walk this to the front with you.” Apparently the little beggars have been flying off the shelves in more ways than one.

I got it home, and within fifteen minutes had all our components programmed into the device. I’ve since figured out how to do “punchthrough” for the volume keys (since all our gear is run through the amplifier, I don’t want the DVD, VCR, or TV remote signal sending volume commands to the TV, which is actually silent). Next step: programming macros.

The impetus for this remote, and the need for macros, was the set of steps required to switch from watching cable to watching a DVD:

  1. Turn on the DVD player (DVD remote).
  2. Change the TV to the component video inputs (TV remote).
  3. Change the amplifier to use DVD inputs and outputs (amplifier remote).
  4. Navigate the menu and play the DVD (DVD remote).
  5. Do any in-movie volume adjustments (amplifier remote).

Five tasks, three remotes. Needless to say, it’s comparably painful switching back to cable, programming the VCR, or playing CDs or LPs. The macro capability of the RM-AV3000 promises to help me automate some of these tasks (reduce number of button clicks) as well as reduce the number of remote controls involved. Just the thing to keep me occupied over the winter holiday!