Why I’m Listening To All My Old Music

Why I’m Listening To All My Old Music

In 2000, I took the opportunity to organize my CD collection.  I took them all out of their plastic jewel cases, and moved them all to binders, each that held around 100 CDs.  After I did this, I decided that I wanted to listen to each and every one of the CDs, so I embarked on a quest where I methodically went through each CD and listened to it.

mb-201309cdsMy approach then was simple, I went from front to back, hitting all three binders simultaneously.  That way, I spread out the music so that I wasn’t listening to 22 Billy Joel CDs in a row (yes, I probably have that many).

The whole process was pretty cool, though it drove the girl that I was dating at the time absolutely nuts, as it sort of led to a lot of random music being played, a lot of which was ‘old’ by that point.  ‘Old’ meaning 5-8 years old, as I amassed a majority of my CD collection during college as I suppose is probably the case for most people.  That have CDs.

I can’t remember how long the process took, but probably a few months.  It was pretty cool and I’ve decided to go through the process again.  With some changes.  Here’s why I’m going through a listen of all of my music:

  • I listen to some pretty cool music – There’s a lot of stuff that I haven’t listened to in a long time that, once I listen to it again, I get a new appreciation for.  Elton John signing “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” gives me a new appreciation for his music every time I listen to it.
  • I am reminded that taste is fleeting – Some of the stuff I bought in the 1990’s had to seem like a good idea at the time, but I can’t help but laugh and wonder what I was thinking when I hit some of those CDs.  Yes, I’m talking to you Gin Blossoms and Soul Asylum.
  • I’m reminded that things change – A lot of music associates with me at various points in my life.  A lot of the CDs I listened to in college bring back some good (and not so good) memories of college.  Even if they’re not all good memories, they bring me back to the experience.  A good portion of who you are ties back to your past.  Don’t forget that.
  • I’m reminded that some things never change – OK, how is it that the Goo Goo Dolls have put out the same single over and over again for about 20 years now?  As I listen to the stuff from the 1990’s, it sounds exactly like the stuff they still release.

The process is a little different these days.  A few years ago I took my CD collection and converted it to MP3, simply popping in a CD every time I sat down at the computer.  So, now it’s all digital.  I’ve added stuff since then, through CDs bought, purchased, or otherwise.

I also don’t listen to it in order.  So I’ll probably miss stuff.  Essentially what I do is copy a few artists at a time from my home storage system to a thumb drive, which I pop in and listen to at work.  When I’m done with an album, I delete it off the thumb drive, and once I run out of music, it’s time to reload at home.

Readers, do you still have a music collection?  When was the last time you give it a (mostly) top to bottom listening to?

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14 thoughts on “Why I’m Listening To All My Old Music

  1. This is asking a lot…but you know what would be extremely cool would be if you could publish a list of your 87 gerjillion all-time favorites.

    It’s hard to find good new music these days, with radio stations essentially robotized and playlists little more than top 40s in whatever genre the station’s management claims to follow. Especially here in the flyover states, the radio station market can be…well, limiting.

    I have a huge collection of CDs that I’d like to load into iTunes. But it just seems too darned time-consuming, and besides: another something to make me have to fight with a computer — urk! So I never listen to any of them anymore.
    Funny about Money recently posted..Is a Business Lunch with a Friend Deductible?My Profile

    • Interesting. I did a post a couple of years back with some random music that I liked. I’ll have to see if I can put something together maybe at the end or as part of random updates.

      As far as being time consuming, I found that ripping CDs was extremely easy since you can pop the disc in, have it rip automatically, and eject the drive. You can be working on other stuff and just pop in a disc every now and then while you work. That was with Windows Media Player, but I’m assuming iTunes would have to let you do the same.

  2. I have a fairly extensive hard rock / heavy metal collection from my high school and college days. I still buy individual songs via itunes, but I cannot remember the last time I bought a whole album or CD. I like this idea, and want to do it in some way – the idea really appeals to me since I work out almost every day, and the songs on my ipod get old fast. I guess I’d find out pretty quick how my musical tastes have changed, huh?
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    • Very true, though as I’ve found that my appreciation for current music has waned over the years (strictly from getting older, as I think most people end up in this state of mind at some point during their life), I often prefer my older music anyways.

  3. I do still have a fairly large music collection (most of it has long since been digitized and lives on my computer/iPhone though I do have a big box of CDs in the closet) but I mostly listen to Pandora nowadays.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that my oldest (high school age) loves digging through the old CDs and discovering “new” (to him) music that I haven’t yet gotten around to ripping.
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  4. I have all music CDs ripped and living on my Linux server. I use Logitech’s free Media Server (used to be called squeezeboxserver) to stream the music to several squeezebox players around the house. They are connected to stereo systems or at the very least, amplified speakers. You can use a web interface to choose the music to play, or you can use remote controls with the squeezebox players. You can also listen on computers through audio player software like WinAmp or iTunes. Media Server runs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS. Sorry that this sounded so much like a commercial. I am not affiliated in any way with Logitech or their software. I just like being able to stream all of my music to most anyplace in the house. I am listening to some Jim Croce as I type this. I am not sure I have ever listened to everything I own. According to Media Player, I have 13,731 songs by 1,513 different artists in my collection.
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  5. I have all my old mp3s on an external hard drive as well as my beast Zune mp3 player. I still rock out the the Zune every few weeks, but find myself usually listening to the same artists over and over again. Going through all the songs would be cool, but would probably take me a longgggg time.

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