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.
My 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?