Confessions of a Music Collector

One of my favorite hobbies is collecting music. I keep an ongoing list of albums I want to buy. When I learn about an album or an artist that I might like, I usually listen to samples online. iTunes and Amazon are good resources for this. I also like both for their recommendation features. The technology has gotten quite sophisticated, and there is an unbelievable amount of raw data available from all of the people who purchase music online. I love how an interest in one artist can open the door to a bunch of others.

Once my list has grown reasonably long, I will print it out and take it with me to my favorite record store. It is a rare case that everything I am looking for is in stock at the same time. I can usually place a special order at the record store, but I find it is cheaper and more convenient to purchase the out-of-stock items through Amazon.

Now, you might be wondering why I don't just purchase all of my music online. The argument is valid: I wouldn't have to drive anywhere; I wouldn't have to take the time to search for the albums on my list; and I wouldn't be faced with the uncertainty of the items being out of stock. Despite the conveniences of purchasing online, it leaves me somewhat unfulfilled. I actually enjoy the process. There is something very rewarding about finding the album I am looking for, paying for it, and being able to listen to it immediately.

But wait! "Why don't you just pay to download the album?" It just isn't the same for me... I need something tangible. Plus, I like having the artwork and liner notes. Granted, I rip almost all of my CD's to the computer so I can listen to them at work. But I still have that shiny piece of plastic and the cool digipak it came in!

When Radiohead released In Rainbows online, I wanted to hear it right away, so I named my own price of ~$8US to download it. Of course, when the CD became available a few months later, I bought that too. The same thing happened with the latest Beirut album, The Flying Club Cup. For some reason, it was available a few weeks early through iTunes. So, I paid to download it right away, and then bought the CD from my local store a few weeks later. Obviously these are special cases, because they are both artists that I really like, and both albums were good enough to justify a second purchase.

Now, if someone would just offer a service where I could download the album immediately, and then they would ship me the CD - I would be in Heaven.


plastic said...

i paid $0 for In Rainbows, you got worked. Not that it isnt good...

dan said...

Actually, WalMart paid for my CD copy of In Rainbows. They sent me a $10 online gift card as a consolation for reneging on the $20 Smash Brothers pre-order. It was either In Rainbows or this.


i paid $0 for inrainbows, because i just had to hear it NOW! then i convinced someone to buy me the record, which was very expensive.
i agree with blogpost.yes/

human said...

in the end, it's like anything else in contemporary life : there is a wonderful process to every conclusion which, when removed from the equation, seriously detracts from the experience.
I've ordered fresh direct before, and the convenience factor wore off in about ten minutes... i like hand-picking my fruits and vegetables and cheese at my local farmer's market, it has become one of my fav weekend pastimes. and i feel good about throwing some capital at the farmers. i mean literally balling up hamiltons and pitching a curve ball that sinks into farmer joe's beard.
makes him grin.