Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Kill Yr CD: Intro

I'm thinking about getting rid of all my compact discs.

It should be simple enough. I have about eight or nine hundred of them, and I almost literally never listen to any of them anymore. There are a few scattered around the kitchen and in our cars, but those are the only places we even have a CD player anymore. I ripped everything to iTunes years ago, and the whole collection is safely digitized and backed up on multiple hard drives.

They're really not worth much. There are a few places that will give you pennies on the dollar, or some shiny trinkets. I don't mind the poor exchange rate.

It would clear out some space in the house. We have a big shelf in the computer room stuffed full of CDs, plus a few hundred laying hither and yon.

It all makes good sense. But I can't pull the trigger on it.

I am old enough to have once had a sizable collection of vinyl. I cashed it all in years ago, except for a few collector's items and stuff that can't be easily replaced. I didn't hesitate; I just sold it all for credit, and bought more CDs.

I think I am in the sweet spot of the compact disc market. They came out just about when I started college, and when I moved to Philadelphia, there were a lot of good places to buy rare and beautiful things. I spent mucho time and money doing so.

I stand second to no one in my love of the iPod and iTunes. I bought my first iPod about six or seven years ago, and I still have it, along with a few others. I have one playing probably ten or twelve hours a day. I am listening to one now.

As much as the iPod is an objet d'art, the compact disc is too, in its own way. A long time ago, the standard issue CD came in a cardboard sleeve that unfolded like a gatefold LP. Then the industry ditched that model and started jamming them into those familiar little clear plastic cases. Perfection! Square, solid, substantial, big enough to hold, but small enough to fit in your pocket. Just like an iPod. I love how it has edges, and how they feel pressed against your fingers.

But it is time to get rid of them. If I am really going to do it, I am going to have to hold a wake for a few dozen that mean the most to me. Even with that, I know there will be a few I just can't get rid of. Unknown Pleasures. Psychocandy. Loveless. Plus all the live bootlegs, remixes and CD singles I've accumulated -- real fanboy stuff. But the ordinary, run of the mill digital versions of albums have got to go. Starting now. I'm going to say goodbye to a few first, though.


D.B. Echo said...


Seriously. That coner is a work of art, suished down into a few inches square.

Ditto on Achtung Baby.

D.B. Echo said...

I keep on tripping over two of the last CDs I purchased: Chocolate and Cheese and The Mollusk, both by Ween. Purchases inspired by a post by one of my favorite bloggers, one of the best, funniest, and most talented bloggers I have ever read, who has, sadly, not blogged for many months.