Renovating Your Music Collection
Wednesday, 06 February 2008 07:24
Written by Chris Brown
Let’s assume the answer to all of the above is yes. How do you get all these collections to play (pun intended) well together? What do you keep and what gets trucked down to Into the Music to become someone else’s problem? What format should you save all this stuff on, or should you get all Zen and purge it all?
Sorting & Purging
Let’s look at getting rid of the dreck first. Go through your various collections and put them into three piles: The “What Was I Thinking?” pile, the “One Great Song” stack and the “I CAN’T Live Without It” collection. A fourth one might be the “What Must I Keep to Retain My Street Cred, But I Will Probably Never Listen to Again” group. Yes, I realize it’s sad; such is the life of a music critic.
I also realize that one person’s wine is another’s poison and I strongly suggest you don’t chuck your girlfriend’s James Blunt CD unless you like sleeping in your car…in February...in Winterpeg—keep anything that has a strong positive memory attached and check out the many lists online of TOP 100 Albums to find out what is essential to any collection.
Storing & Burning
Once you’ve separated that Jimmy Buffett record you bought while drunk in Miami from the original Stones Beggars Banquet LP, it becomes time to think about getting these tracks of gold onto the same format.
The sad truth is that CDs, LPs and even DVDs are doomed. Music is and will continue to be consumed digitally. You need to accept this and move on. If you have a recent computer and a copy of iTunes it’s pretty easy. As you surf the net, keep a stack of CDs beside you and keep feeding them into your computer’s drive. If you only want a song or two then uncheck all the other boxes beside the tracks you don’t want before you import the CD. iTunes will look after keeping everything alphabetical and organized. Getting LPs into iTunes requires that you buy a little digital converter with an LP Preamp that has phono jack inputs and a USB output. Download a free version of Audacity or some other LP recording software and you’re ready to get those beloved LPs into your computer.
Once everything is in and working fine, upload it to your iPod and burn a copy of the collection onto a pile of DVDs, buy a back-up hard drive and get familiar with Apple’s “Time Machine” or schedule a regular PC backup. You need to do this…you know you do.
Now it’s time to purge. Take all those shiny discs and jet black LPs that you don’t think will ensure a comfortable retirement when sold on eBay and get rid of them. Give your brother back what you stole from him in 1986 (good karma) and send those CDs out into the world for others to discover. Buy a kick-ass set of monitors and a subwoofer (KRK Rokit’s are cool), turn on the Cover Flow option in iTunes, select “Party Shuffle,” pour yourself a scotch and forgetaboutit.
Do I practice what I preach? Yeah right! I have 5,114 songs in iTunes, 900 dusty LPs, 1,200 CDs, 100 DVDs, 60 crappy cassettes, and three ancient eight-tracks. My brother voluntarily organized my LP collection last summer and my wife just looks the other way. I know I need to seek help.