Years ago we took all our hundreds of CDs out of their jewel cases and put them in vinyl sleeves. This saved an enormous amount of space and weight when we were moving – what took tens of shelves to store now fit in a couple small boxes. And as we were doing that, we ripped a lot of those CDs to MP3, but not all.
And, for six years, music has been sitting in the closet, out of sight. Not out of mind. Wouldn’t that bother you? It bothered me, from time to time anyway. What am I missing? I never ripped that Buddy Miller CD? There was a persistent and bothersome hole in my digital collection exactly the same shape as that first full-length Sonic Youth record (which I can’t stand, but dammit, I know I have it) !
It bothered Mrs, too. A few months back, she went through the boxes of CDs, pulled out all of her stuff, ripped what she wanted and then threw them out. I cringed at the last step.
But this week I finally went through the remainder and ripped all the CDs that hadn’t been ripped already.
There were a lot fewer than I had imagined: 78 in all. I was expecting twice that. What wasn’t surprising was that there were very very few that I think I will ever listen to. The only thing really interesting thing to me was a Peel Session CD from The Cure that I bought at a dingy little basement record store in Aachen Germany, December ’88. Then there were the dozen classical CDs that my father must have dumped on me. There were several CDs of bands we saw once, while on vacation somewhere. CD singles from the early 90s. Junk from junk bands. Least-favorite records from favorite bands. Friends’ bands. CDs from bands I’d heard good things about then realized I’d been mislead.
But I ripped them all, because it would be wrong to have those 780 songs sitting in the closet, never even having a chance of being scrolled past in the Sonos app. Now I can see them and remember where and why I got them, even if I never want to hear them. Satisfaction abounds.
I can’t bring myself to throw the actual CDs out though. That feels like a sin.