Monday, February 18, 2008

What's the Right Thing to Do With CDs?

I love having all my music in digital form. In the interests of encouraging it, I always start by checking eMusic.com and Amazon MP3 first whenever I want to buy something. Aside from the instant gratification and better prices, I really appreciate not having to deal with the actual CDs. Heck, just unwrapping those things is a pain, and then once I've ripped them onto my computer, I've got them just sitting around taking up space even though I never intend to use them again. But sometimes, a CD is all that's available, so I'm stuck with it.

I have a lot of my original CD collection stored in several CD binders, which sit fairly unobtrusively in a closet these days. So they at least take up less space if not none. But they're full, and I've acquired a lot of new CDs recently that are stacking up because I don't really know what to do with them. I'm disinclined to buy more binders and transfer the CDs to them, because I don't want to go to that extra work for stuff that I don't even want to keep around in the first place. I don't want to just throw away the CDs because it feels so painfully wasteful. I can't sell or even give them away, because I'm keeping a copy on my computer, and that puts you back in the illegal file sharing situation: two copies are being used where only one was paid for.

So here I am, trying to be good and support artists I like by not downloading illegal music. But I'm paying a penalty for it by adding clutter to my life. What's the right thing to do here? Anybody have any ideas? (Building a CD stack lamp is kind of cool, but probably not something I'd realistically do.)

35 comments:

Ken said...

CD mobiles. Lots and lots of CD mobiles, hanging off the light fixture in the dining room, the ceiling fan in the bedroom, one on the front porch, two on the deck, three for the stairway, and five for musical lawn ornaments.

William Wren said...

use like ancient greeks to blind incoming enemy ships

Francisco said...

Hi!..I think what its important the music in the world..cuz its like bring to another place...but there is not to forget the past of cds and casettes..sorry for my english..but Im from chile.(hablo espaƱol).only want to you know my blog..www.romanticide93toheaven.blogspot.com..the only important its the comment please...bye

Rainbow Rain said...

Well I think that that this CD's are actally a good use for you if for some reason your computer breaks down and you lose all your music at least they are there for a back up. I mean come on. Computers do break down and for one thing you will still have your music.

patrick said...

take your friends to the park, have a CD discus throw competition, whoever wins gets to have your cd collection (or however many you can part with)

Sacred Cow said...

I still like to buy real CDs. They're often cheaper than MP3s (now the music retailers are in a panic and slashing prices), even though I immediately convert them to MP3s and in some cases don't listen to the real CD. I'm not sure I'd let the legal ramifications bother you, I'm sure it won't be long before its technically legal to make copies of something you have paid for (I don't think anyone enforces that law anyway).

Think of it this way. If someone walks past your computer with a really big magnet then you've lost your music collection. CDs can stand much more abuse.

Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

Two words - one website. www.SecondSpin.com.

Sell them.

Anonymous said...

That makes me happy reading what you wrote about supporting artists and not illegally downloading.
I am an independent artist, and need all the income I can get. When you buy a CD from Amazon, they take a whopping 55% of the sale, then they charge a annual fee. So if you sell about 7 cds a year, you will not see a penny of that.
If you don't want to buy cds then Amazon, CDbaby and many others are now offering MP3's of single songs. Also, some artists have them available on their own websites. It's a lot cheaper and you don't have to deal with the actual cds. :)

RattleSnake said...

make a collage to the face of your favorite artist

Thom said...

Good for you supporting your artists. Music is for everyone so why not sell(cheap) or give them away.

Click Here To See It said...

Are you part of the revolution or part of the fraud?

Sarah said...

Ditto! I have the exact same problem and a closet full too. I even shipped 200 with me from the Uk when I immigrated!

Marty said...

You could sell your CDs on eBay and then buy the digital versions (the ones that are available) from Amazon or eMusic. You'll be out of pocket a little bit, but you'll at least have more storage space. If you're worried about losing everything if/when your computer crashes, buy a big iPod and store it all there.

Anonymous said...

stop buying and start listening to your collected CDs (one CD per day so you need around 365 (and a quarter if it is a leap year but since there is no quarter of a CD add 1 more) + 1. If still you cannot do away with the urge of buying new ones, then I think you are the problem and not those CDs. Enjoy the music...

hudd said...

so long ..

adjectiveali said...

itunes, baby.

Rachel said...

Martha Stewart discussed this problem recently. She suggested creating MP3's and donating the CD's themselves to the public library. I'm not sure about the legal ramifications, but it seems like a nice thing to do.

Bethany said...

Hanging on trees! thats so fun and it looks cool. Its also fun to stack them and than let us (kids) shoot at them. Maybe I should just be quiet.

Renee's Reading Corner said...

Hi,

Just found your blog. Just a quick thought: How about "Swap a CD" (by the same company that runs Paperback Swap):

http://www.swapacd.com/index.php?f=books

Renee'
http://rmboys2.wordpress.com/

cathy said...

I don't have that many CDs to warrant worrying about space (most of them fit in two big boxes that go under my bed)...but I do have some of my favorite CDs lined up on my wall as a display (sort of a like a mosaic poster). I used a special shelf I was given last Christmas from this Oregon company called See Deez (but I can't find them online)...

fourthbreakfast said...

I hear you about the space thing. Worst comes to worst, you can always just recycle them:
http://greencitizen.com/what_we_recycle.php

Eduardo Perdomo said...

There's one benefit in keeping your CDs. As convenient as MP3 and ACC formats are in storing more music in less space, both are compressed formats, which means less audio quality.

If you get rid of your CDs, you might regret later if you want to use some of the advance audio servers available in which you can store your music in uncompress format, just like your original CDs.

j said...

hanging mobile..carnival games..a funny mirror wall of cds..

Billie said...

Donate them to your local Public Library

Carolyn Caldwell said...

You had me at "clutter". As a professional organizer I was intriqued by your post. No question, stuff collecting unused is a problem and you have been given a huge list of fun and/or realistic alternatives. Here's a couple of additional thoughts: if you are storing - go vertical, avoid under the bed and behind the doors. Consider an annual purge of unused cd's to sell/donate/give away so that you are only storing your favourites. Good luck.

Lord Avernus said...

my suggestion is you should rip all the CDs to mp3 and store it into your external harddisk...you can rip all you CDs using windows media player..

Elly said...

I Keep All Of My Cds In A Rack, But I Separate Them Every Few & Use Them As Shelves For My Randoms.

bmbooshay said...

I actually like collecting CDs. Do you own any records? I like to collect those too. The artwork is phenomenal for both the CDs and records. I agree with the fact that one should support the music artist, but by buying the CD, so many more people get handed their paycheck rather than the website that sells the music and the whole crew that goes into making the music. Of course I use my iPod on a regular basis(I'm a college student who has to truck across the largest campus in Florida) but most of the music that enters my iPod was once home on a CD. I love art and I also love music so when these two subject come together I take advantage.

Melanie said...

Turn your new-to-you car into an art car.

Adam said...

Stick them to a wall or board as part of a display. I go to a bar that must have 500+ of the things and it looks nice.

mhr said...

Thank you very much

David Racho said...

If you can afford to buy tons of CDs, you should find a way to store them. You can keep them in your garage (if you have one.) Or rent those storage lockers or what. Even if you have the digital versions, there's still nothing like the original CD. Send them to those ripping services, keep the originals as backup.

Volunteer said...

Think how awful it would be if the original music were still on vinyl LP's! There's a reason they're called "compact" discs.

Adam Lasnik said...

Encourage your favorite indie artists to:
- Sell downloads on their web site.
- Give away downloads on the web in exchange for donations (tip jar).
- Sell downloads on iTunes or -- better yet -- amazon.com.

Or, my favorite: sell mp3 downloads via Magnatune, a site that sincerely believes in the "don't be evil" philosophy. In most (if not all) cases, artists can make low/medium quality full-length downloads available free, and encourage folks to "pay what they can / pay what the music is worth" to garner full (even uncompressed!) downloads of the music.

So many options! In my mind, you can really help by making indie artists aware of the plethora of good options out there :-)

Norma said...

Well, I only have about 15 CDs and rarely download anything, but as to your question, of course, you do the honest thing always rather than the uncluttered thing. A cluttered soul would be worse than a cluttered closet.