It must be about a year since I finally jumped from Spotify’s free tier to paying for the premium version. It was mainly driven by wanting to use Spotify on the go on my phone and the fact that a 3 month 99p trial turned up. I took the trial and never looked back. I’ve never been short of something to listen to and I’ve probably listened to more new music than any other time since my teenage years. It’s left me questioning my listening and buying habits and inevitably I’ve bought fewer CDs since getting Spotify, the only one I’ve acquired in the past 6 months was a Christmas present (Ben Folds new album).
I’ve recently taken some time to clear out some old stuff, books, DVDs and I’ve looked around and there is no shortage of CD’s about. To add to the ones sitting around this house I still have loads in my old room at my parents house, there are even drawers of cassette tapes there as well and some random vinyl. I don’t play any of the CDs, they occasionally get used in the car and that’s about it. In fact we don’t even own a standalone CD player in our house, we have an iPod dock in the kitchen that plays most of the music around here. So to listen to a CD I have to pop it into my laptop or the DVD player.
I’m not sure why I’m hanging on to all of these CDs, yet I’m not sure I’m ready to throw them all out.
I know it’s partly because I’m a bit of hoarder but, as I grew up, a music collection was what you had, you stuck your CDs in a rack and they were something to display. The bigger the rack you needed the better. But now with the rise of streaming services it’s feels like people don’t collect records anymore, they curate playlists instead. A record collection is a bit old fashioned, unless it’s a retro vinyl one.
People don’t collect records anymore, they curate playlists instead.
There are obvious advantages to CDs over streaming, you’re not at the whim of an artists falling out with a streaming service and pulling all their stuff. Streaming services are also not forever as Rdio’s demise has proven as well. But you can still forgo CD’s and just use download music services so you still keep the files (at least for your lifetime http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/who-owns-your-downloaded-music-after-you-die/)
You can live your music life entirely digitally, even without a streaming service, in fact I do live it digitally – I rip a CD and then it goes into a rack. So it leaves me surrounded by useless plastic some of which I’ll never ever play. I honestly can’t tell you why I cling on to it or give any practical reason but I’m still not ready to let it go. As useless and ornamental a collection as they are it just doesn’t feel right without them yet.