Last week, I preached the good word about going paperless. I moved on to my CDs. Those little suckers have multiplied over the last many years as I'm sure they have for many. It was time to dive into them and well, kill them. So I sat down one afternoon and in less than a half hour, gathered them, did research, and figured out what to do.
It was crazy easy to deal with these CDs. I found a great service to burn them for me and sent them away as soon as I got the kit. Done. Check the folks over here: dmp3digital. For years, I kept thinking I would sit there and manually transfer the 500+ CDs I had hanging out in my Caselogic sleeves. Yup, never happened. Ever since I got my first mp3 player (10+ years ago?) coupled with the ability to easily buy music on the interwebs, those CDs have just moved all over with me. I've lived in my current apartment for two years and not once did I ever touch them. They just collected dust and took up space. Shameful.
Equipment needed: an external hard drive with enough room to hold all your music. Cost: $.69/CD.
Turnaround time: 2 weeks from the time I sent them in
Of course there are different services to use and price can vary, but in the end, it was totally worth it for me. dmp3digital did a fantastic job. The kit was perfect and easy to deal with (as soon as you order, they fedex you a kit with easy instructions), and they were in contact with me with questions and any issues. I could have done a better job of going through CDs and being real with myself about whether or not I really needed the music (um, do I really need that En Vogue CD from 8th grade?) but I easily get rid of things and I'm not the person who takes a lot of pictures so music is really my only way to remember my many other lives when I feel like taking a trip down memory lane. And, well, it's music.
Some would argue with me that I could have just bought the music again but when I did the math: 5000+ songs = $5000+. Nah, not for me. And no, I don't scour the internet looking for free music (regardless of whether or not I previously owned the song). You shouldn't either. And well, let's be honest, my hourly consulting rate should not be spent on doing such activities. And let's say it is 5 minutes per CD to burn (5 minutes per CD * 5000 CDs = 25,000 minutes or 416 hours to manually burn my CDs? Seriously. More importantly, I had great college mixes in there from the 90s and a bunch of live concert recordings from my brother's hippy days when all he and his buddies did was sneak into concerts to record live music using their funny DAT gadgets. Because I transferred everything over, I'm now rocking to a good recording of Bridge School '02 on my here computer.
So, RIP Compact Discs. You are super compact now. You've seen the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the ins and outs of Oakland, the pristine streets of Burlingame, the inside of an ashram in San Francisco, sunny days in Seattle, and some of you even traveled the world with me. Lucky little bastards.
May all of you be moving digitally forward in life. There are things that can never go digital in life, but the things that can be made as such, should be done. In this lifetime, it is all about making space (for real and in the brain) for other things in life and this space can be found in all sorts of places. Onwards.