Keep the CDs?

I’m curious what people have done as they have put their music collections onto iPods or computers.  There are certain CDs I will keep no matter what, and I would want to get a backup harddrive to have second copies of everything, but I’m thinking of selling a virtually all of my CDs.  I could use the money to get another that hard drive and perhaps an iPod, too.  But I don’t really know what I could get for my CDs if I sold, say, 300 of them.  $500?  I would gladly take that kind of money for the likes of Alice In Chains’ Dirt or the Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty.  Like those, I have lots of albums I enjoy or used to enjoy and might even listen to once a year, but a digital copy is probably just fine for the family now.

I’d love to hear from people who have dealt with this.  I have always been somewhat staunch in the belief that a music collection should not be parted with no matter the circumstances, but now I have those dollar signs in my head (which translate to that external drive and iPod), and I am suddenly taken with the idea of going completely digital and parting ways with a large number of CDs.

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11 Responses to Keep the CDs?

  1. kelly says:

    Well, I came to the digital conversion revolution after I got a hard drive and Ipod, but I’ve been eyeing some new speakers so maybe I should reconsider. Someday people will want to spin the old CD’s and the 18Bit sampling rate makes them sound so old school, and they need to spin the lowfi. Plus, for me it was like a hobby (that Im trying to keep), and so way too much time invested in the acquisition and coveting of the physical thing.

  2. pipelineblog says:

    I have the same reservations about the tangible item. A great many of these CDs carry a story that transcend the music on them. It is, of course, mostly about the music in the first place, but I remember where I bought many of the CDs I have, or who I was with, or where I first listened to them. It means something to me that the Slanted and Enchanted CD I have is the same one I bought in California in 1992.

    But the thing is, I wouldn’t sell Slanted and Enchanted. Brighten the Corners, yes, but not Slanted and Enchanted.

  3. I put all my CDs in those CD books (sleeves) and put my jewel cases in a box (and put that box in the garage).

    If you have ripped your CDs to MP3 or AAC (and I almost guarantee you have) you have “lossy compression” — one day you might want to get back to full CD-quality fidelity to rip to a new format. In any case, be sure to rip to very high sampling rates in case you go back to a “real stereo”.

  4. Jim says:

    Our CDs are going into storage once we move here. Silly to move four heavy-ass boxes around the world. But my situation is different than yours, self-evidently.

  5. Hmm…I was just loading them, didn’t pay any attention to sampling rates. Duly noted.

  6. Sean says:

    I agree with Nate about keeping the CDs as backup for when you want to re-rip them at a higher sampling rate. Plus, you might not even get a buck per disc these days – everyone else is converting to mp3 now too, so there may not be much demand for fixed media unless it’s particularly rare. Hell, last time I talked to Gus Ramsey he told me that even he was experimenting with moving some of his stuff to a hard drive, which explains the gaping hole in the sky and the constant rain of frogs.

    Before we moved to Austin I bought a 200-gig external hard drive, ripped every disc we owned, put the discs and the booklets in sleeves, and threw away the jewel boxes. It’s actually kind of appalling to look at several hundred empty jewel boxes and realize how much space they took up compared to what’s needed for the discs themselves.

  7. kelly says:

    One quick note on sampling rates. Hard drive space is relatively cheap these days. I went cheap on the ipod and bought one with low storage 2G which enabled me to apply the cash toward a bigger hardrive. 1000G (which I paid 650 for). You can get a 500G hard drive for 250 these days. I burnt everything Lossless and Lossy. Lossless for the high fi in the living room and lossy for the iPod. Filled about 250 Gig that way, leaving room for all the movies I steal too.

    Its a bit harder to maintain 2 file compression rates, but I’ll never have to go back unless the hard drive is goes down (which is why I bought one that supports RAID). If I had a blog, I’d write about my digital storage strategy.

  8. Kelly, I smell a guest blog appearance to show off your pimped out digital hub…

  9. jenna Harrison says:

    My friend Janet got rid of all of her CD’s by giving them away to her friends. She made a list of all of her CD’s and them asked if anyone wanted them. It was a giant list of music. We were thrilled to get free music. She even burned some CD’s and gave them away. I thought it was really generous. I don’t think she regrets getting rid of them.

  10. pipelineblog says:

    That…is a fantastic idea.

  11. MrFares says:

    When it was time to get rid of the cassette tapes I found that I was too late to market and they were unsaleable at Cheapo. It was costing me money to even keep them in the house. I ended up pitching them after extracting valuable calories they had absorbed from the household by using them to thaw a pack of chicken thighs.
    I recently lost a CD carry case including some original CDs. Fortunately most (not all) were already ripped (lossy). Meanwhile, I am faced with a re-image of the home computer and am feeling vulnerable.
    My new direction is to 1. get an external HD with plenty of space for all the collection 2. Create disposable copies for the car 3. back up the all mp3 files to cd or DVD and put them in a lockbox for future needs making a careful note of where we put the key for the lockbox and putting the key and the note in sepearate safe locations.
    Then I can think about the used CD market. Likely the CDs go to the basement with the LPs. Maybe at the end of this I’ll finally get around to hooking up a turntable to rip the vinyl rarities.

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