When I put up Gill’s last thing, I also went off on a bit of a side tangent about physical CDs and how I don’t have much use for them anymore. As often happens, one of the next things I saw completely out of the blue was a post on that very subject.
The consensus there seems to be good lord no, you’ll regret it, but that’s not much of a surprise considering the source. It’s Alan Cross’ website, and he and the people who frequent it tend to take their music and their collecting of it quite seriously. But though I’m not so much a serious collector as I am a guy with a decent amount of music kicking around, I think they’re right. As much as the thought of dragging hundreds of these damn things around if/when we move again pains me and although I rarely if ever dig one out and listen to it instead of hitting Spotify or whatever, I can’t bring myself to ditch them like I did my VHS tapes last move. Not a single day has gone by that I truly miss those, but I can’t imagine feeling the same way about all the music.
I don’t get attached to artwork or liner notes since I can’t really look at them, but there’s still a specialness (pretty sure that’s not a word) about the objects that a digital file could never quite replace. Some of those CDs have fun memories attached to them, like visits to big cities with their awesome, gigantic record stores or the joy and sense of accomplishment I felt when I finally got my hands on something I didn’t think I would ever find. Music discovery algorithms can be quite fantastic and I’m certainly not saying that there’s no joy whatsoever in finding something you didn’t know you were looking for that way, but I have yet to feel the same feelings because of Discover Weekly that I do when I flip through the CD collection and think back to rummaging through bins at one of the local secondhand shops and finding that someone had just gotten rid of something that I could now take a chance on for cheap.
So unless I have a fit of fuck it fever one day and get rid of everything before I have time to think, I guess I’m stuck with these things. That’s probably ok, at least for as long as they get to stay where they are.