This is not one of my usual posts, where I have a well formed (I hope) opinion that I try to convey by blog. Nope, this is full of whines and me asking for advice.
My parents gave me my first iThing for Christmas in 2004: an iPod. I still have it kicking around and every time I come across it, I’m amazed that my iPhone is smaller, lighter, and can do more than store and play music files.
Oh, but that isn’t my point. My point is this: remember back in the early days of iTunes when your purchased music had to be backed up on CDs, otherwise, if your computer crashed or you otherwise lost the files, you were SOL?
I remember those days well, but even if I didn’t, I was reminded of it this weekend when I came across those old CDs while sorting through my approximately 300 CDs, about 30 of which are the backups of my purchased music. Having those CD backups saved my precious files more than once because since that first song purchase from iTunes in 2004, I’ve had two computers and one external drive die on me.
Imagine my surprise when, earlier this year, I clicked a button in iTunes that had been unchecked and all those songs that I’d downloaded nearly ten years ago showed up on my phone. Another button, and all of the photos in my photostream show up in my PC. Amazing.
I know there are plenty of people who are very freaked out by this, but I love the convenience. I have just one conflict; a digital dilemma, so to speak.
The reason I was sorting through my 300 or so CDs this weekend is one of my my Black Friday purchases was a new external hard drive. First, I backed up my photos. Then I sat down to sort through my music.
Of those 300-ish CDs, I’ve probably bought about 20 in the past five or so years, but in the past year (after I upgraded to a car which lets me plug in and play music through my phone) I’ve bought exactly zero. I’ve purchased a couple records through iTunes, but mostly I use Spotify to stream music.
And allow me to make a confession: about half of those 300 CDs are truly awful music. The way I listen to music has changed, but my taste in music has, too. I’m being generous when I estimate that I’m importing about half of them on to my new hard drive. The rest I doubt I will ever listen to again.
So the digital dilemma is this: a good portion of my CD collection is going in the trash. There are probably a few that are worth selling. But what should I do with the rest? Given my track record with computers and hard drives, I’m reluctant to get rid of them, but based on how infrequently I use or even look at them, I’m not sure they’re worth holding on to. Any advice for me?