The lost art of curating a collection

Posted on 11/16/2011 in misc

When you can fit 20,000 songs on a thumb drive, and 1000 books on a Kindle, the concept of a "collection" becomes sort of meaningless. I was thinking about this recently as I scrolled through my MP3 collection, wondering where the heck some of the stuff on my server even came from. Back in the day, your music collection was constrained by the storage space you had for albums, and your bank account. Neither of those are limiting factors today.

Because of the constraints, we tended to be careful about what we purchased or obtained. If somebody offered you 500 albums for free in 1985, you probably thought carefully about what was in the collection, and whether or not you really want it. You had the space issues of course, but also your record collection said something about you. "It was free" was absolutely no excuse to own crap. If a trustworthy friend handed you a thumb drive with 500 albums on it tomorrow, would you even think twice about copying the entire thing to your music directory?

80% of my MP3 collection has not been played in the last 12 months. I'm just guessing, I have not done any sort of analysis. I can't, because I don't use a music player like iTunes that reorganizes everything into a database and tracks everything I listen to. I use Audacious, and scroll through my file system, organized by artist and album, much as it would have been if these were all physical albums, and it was still 1985.Even though my NAS server is well under 50% utilized, more and more, the mere existence there of crap I know I'll never listen to is bothering me. So I think I'm going to start deleting stuff, and turn my music server back into a music collection.

And since I referenced 1985 twice, here is Bowling For Soup.

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