I didn't post on Tuesday -- I apologize. Now that I'm finished revising my hard sci-fi, I will be getting back to the hard fantasy and posting about world-building (and trying to define hard fantasy, too).
I've heard it said that you should not use crutches to help yourself write because someday the crutches may not be there. It's a valid point. I think I can now say that my assortment of crutches (music -- via online radio -- alcohol, mindless games) has helped get me through this lack of music, but it has still been rather miserable.
The good news is, I recovered the iTunes library itself -- which includes all of the star ratings and playlists. It was on the main drive, not the external. You can find yours by searching for the extension ".itl". Back up that puppy, if nothing else.
I am slowly rebuilding my cache of mp3s from various scattered (and ancient) sources. I'm kinda sore about the music I bought from Amazon and can't re-download -- I bought it before their cloud storage system came online. This would seem to be, to me, a good argument for still buying stuff on CD. It's kind of a hassle to re-rip it all, but at least it won't cost me more money.
My habit of scrounging for music online is both a blessing and a problem in situations like this. I can track down a number of albums that I lost and re-download them from the sites I found them on. Looking for free music?
I prowl these sites mainly for ambient and other flavors of electronica. Clinical Archives also carries some extremely-alternative-rock-type stuff.
However, a pile of ancient mp3s that I randomly found on Napster (remember them?) or CNET (now last.fm and more of a slog to find free tracks) long ago will be unreplaceable.
Life goes on. At least I got my Saints of War playlist (52 tracks and still growing) back, because I am starting to work on Part II.
Anybody else suffering from computer-related drama?