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Time to Trash CDs? [Opinion]

Posted by j.ly on August 1, 2010


Brendan Mulligan’s blog entry — which was re-posted on hypebot — reveals how the ArtistData founder struggles with owning music. But his desire to remove clutter from his life has extended beyond getting rid of an entertainment center’s worth of CDs. He now wants to purge his computer of MP3s!

That’s a shocking consideration and something I could never fathom doing. But I do have my own personal battle currently raging in my tiny Queens, N.Y. apartment: I’m trying to figure out where to place five 200-plus-capacity books holding all of the CDs I’ve bought purchased and those that I’ve burned from friends, iTunes purchases and my stint working at a skating rink.

Like Mulligan, I love my music collection and I’ve uploaded a majority of it to an external hard drive. Once that’s connected, any song I want is searchable and playable through my computer’s iTunes. If I want music from a certain decade, for a specific mood or for a certain activity, there’s a good chance I have a nicely organized playlist waiting to serve me.

That said, my CDs rarely get touched anymore. Sure, I’ve taken a few of them to work with me to download some noise for the days where Internet streaming is more difficult or forbidden, but rarely do I rely on hard-copy discs to satiate my musical cravings. In fact, rarely do I listen to an album in its entirety or in its sequenced order after the initial purchase.

Naturally, I’ve recognized this and have begun to question why I keep the CDs I own. It would be an easy enough task to copy all of the MP3 files to another hard drive to back up my music. And while I respect the artistic value of packaging, I find myself looking at the artwork less, reading the lyrics online and not paying much attention to the liner notes.

So why do I still have all of my CDs? My guess is fear. I’m convinced that the minute I get rid of the books of CDs, something will happen and I’ll be forced to re-buy every disc I’ve purchased. Even though I could simply back up my files.

In case it isn’t evident, fear is blocking logic in this situation — and the pathway to my couch.

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