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CD Love

These aren't my CDs, but they could be. The Beck, anyway. Source: frumbert hide caption

toggle caption Source: frumbert

I'm having the hardest time breaking up with my CD collection. Every time I move, packing up the CDs in perfect stacks so that when I unload them they stay in order is one of my major tasks, and the unload's even trickier — do I remember my master plan, and pull the discs out correctly? The placement of the towered shelving is always one of my first decisions, and I'm not even some crazy audiophile with thousands of albums. As everyone switched to MP3s, though, I found myself clinging to the artifact. And as much as CD sleeves pale next to gatefold LP covers, they still mean something to me. I know exactly the texture of the paper used for Perfect From Now On. I know how some sleeves — Whip-Smart comes to mind — smell waxy. And I feel acutely disappointed every time I open a CD that has a simple page, printed only on one side, inserted in the cover. Even though I have to constantly cull my collection to make room for new music (for whatever reason, I refuse to buy more shelving), I keep buying the actual hard copies of albums. I'm trying to get on-board with downloading music, though. It's less expensive, more environmentally sound, and less space-consuming, true. I had a long conversation Friday with one of NPR's music geniuses, and after our conversation about music I just had to hear, I told him, "I'll download the Bon Iver in the morning, I promise, but I also know I'll forget every other record we've talked about so you'll have to remind me." It was my way of forcing myself into pressing "Buy" instead of standing in line at Best Buy. Sure enough, I did it. But I don't feel good about it. I don't feel like I really own the music, even though it's sitting on my iPod, and I can even see the cover art. Plus, I have an old-school fear of my computer freaking out and losing all my music — what then? Have you switched to buying MP3s instead of 7-inches and CDs? Have you struggled with it? If so, what convinced you to do it?

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