Friday, October 27, 2006

Trying to define "too much" ...

I'm a big fan of the new technology, like digitized music and the Long Tail economic model that enables the inexpensive distribute of it. And lots more music gets distributed these days!

But maybe, as the writer of this article seems to think, there are limits ...

"Nine thousand songs?" ... "Who the hell has 9,000 songs?"

[He] shot me a withering look. "Ninety-thousand songs. I said 90,000 songs. And, I do."

... I know my jaw dropped as the words "ninety thousand" fell from his lips.

Translated into time, that's about nine months' worth of music. ... That's nuts. ... You could have a full-term baby without ever playing the same song twice.

And besides, where do you find the time? Or the money?

... My own paltry
iTunes library runs just shy of 500 songs -- a little over a day and a half of music -- and that includes every selection from Pipes of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Now, I spend a lot of time listening to music, but like most people I tend to play my favorites a lot. Even at 500 songs, there is music I've played exactly once since downloading them to iTunes. Ninety thousand songs? I wouldn't begin to remember even a tenth of the titles.

So what's the point?

I dunno. I understand the writer's point of view. However, I also suspect he hasn't been on the block long enough to recognize a library when he sees one. And besides, who's to judge the motivation of collectors?

Back in the dark ages when vinyl ruled, my husband amassed a collection of 1000 or so LPs, of just about every genre imaginable (he left the Ukrainian section to me). That's maybe closer to 9,000 songs than 90k. But still. Vinyl is old technology.

Then he discovered CDs, quite early in the game, so we probably have at least as many CDs as LPs. But at least they don't take up as much room. Anyway, now he is converting all his (well, ok... our) favourite tunes to MP3s, a format in which he will probably, in short order, be acquiring new releases.

As for me, naturally I collect Ukrainian music. I produce a Ukrainian radio program after all.

But I am also a writer, so of course I collect books ... all kinds of books. Some (not by any means all) of them are stored on what my hubby calls "the stacks." As in library stacks. I admit, it's kind of crazy. I've promised him I would cull them by getting rid of one book in the stacks for every new one I buy. But I'm not very diligent about it. There are some I just can't part with!

And yes, many of them I haven't opened in years, maybe decades. Kind of reminds me of the guy with the 90k songs ...

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