8/23/08

Everyone Loves Music - Just Not Yours

Now that we can carry our music collections wherever we go, and you can fit some *40,000* songs on a device about the size of a deck of cards, (Seriously, I hadn't realized they made iPods so capacious these days - The 160GB model could theoretically take you through an entire summer without playing the same song twice!) a lot of us are trying to rid ourselves of old CDs. And there aren't too many takers.

Between Penny and I we had maybe a thousand discs, mostly purchased during our high-school and college days, pre-MP3 era. A lot of the content reflects that time period. A small chunk of our discs, which once seemed so slim and light compared to the LPs and tapes they replaced, actually came from my friend Val, who wisely offloaded much of her own collection years back and found her old pal Col more than willing to add them to his pile.

So here I sat, years later, dutifully digitizing as much of it as I could. Weighing the likelihood of ever wanting to hear a song again against the (almost negligible) cost of storing it. Some discs I just did as "Import All" into the computer, while some I just grabbed the highlights. Others I just chucked into a box directly, face down, embarrassed at myself for having hung on to this dreck so long already. (The cd-single of Rufus Blaq's "Out of Sight (Yo)"? Must have been on clearance.)

And every few weeks I dutifully trudged over to Manifest Records, the 160GB iPod classic of South Carolina record stores, to see if they'd buy any of my old CDs. They'd haul the bags up onto the counter and sift through while I browsed the aisles, promising to call me when my estimate was ready. Manifest usually took about a twentieth of whatever I brought over, maybe a tenth on a good day. And I'd leave with twenty or so bucks, feeling mildly regretful, but overall lighter in spirit. Once I blew all the proceeds at Harbor Freight Tools, unwittingly confirming my gradual but steady shift in values since becoming a homeowner -- trading thirty cds for a handful of tools would have been the acme of insanity during my college years.

Still, this left me with hundreds more to offload. I'd intended to drop them off at the Richland County Library, which had provided Penny and me with so much entertainment and enlightenment over the past two years. I never seemed to get around to it, though, and always worried that I'd have to fill out forms or something.

I brought them into the office where I worked, setting up three sizable piles on the conference table and sending out a company-wide email: "Free CDs on the table. Help yourself." Throughout the afternoon, I watched from my desk as people ambled over, thumbed through the offerings, furrowed their brows and moved on. I think my buddy Ryon took two discs, actually, but mainly just to be nice. And the following day he actually brought one back! "It wasn't what I was thinking" he said. "And besides, I already digitized it." I brought two more grocery bags of clacking plastic cases back to the house. Penny said, "I thought you were going to sell those."

One day I had what I was sure was a fantastic idea: Britt! Penny's little sister, cash-strapped music enthusiast, college freshman and authority on all things cool. *She'll* take some of my discs, no doubt...

No chance. I made the shopping experience as easy for her as I could, photographing the spines and emailing her the image, so it was almost like browsing the racks at CD Warehouse or Disc-Go-Round back when I was her age, during the Pleistocene Era.

I'll admit, though, there are a lot of clunkers in there too. That's why I don't want 'em!

Finally I hit on something that works: The Red Door.

My stepmom Jan runs a "thrift boutique" in Camden, South Carolina, and Champion Jan (or Janakin Skywalker as I like to call her) said she'd see if my discs would sell there. I was a little skeptical that the residents of Camden would go for, say, an hour-long recording of an interview with Chuck D, but why not try? I loaded a few grocery bags of discs into her little red car and basically forgot about it.

Then, just this week, lo and behold! Janakin came through. A green envelope came in the mail with a receipt enclosed and forty-six dollars included. I've never felt richer. The patrons of The Red Door liked 23 of my discs, enough to pay two bucks each for them.

Now, we'll see if the people next door in the house we'll be sharing are as fond of my music.

6 comments:

Kimberly said...

Money money money! Money!


Just in care you didn't.... you have to sing that.

Fo sho!

Gotta love it. Jan rocks!

Man I have some doosies. You have inspired me and this could be and interesting post. Hmmmmm! I really don't have the time now. I am writing a paper on the differences between Obama's and McCain's healthcare plans. Then I have to pick which one, from ahealthcare worker perspective,I like more and you know where that goes. Take a stance, have a backbone and hope that I don't have a professor who lights me up in front of my classmates. Bring it on! Cause I am scrappy-doo!

I think I will take a walk down memory lane one of these days and post them. I am sure I will need a lighthearted moment by then. I will let you know what I find. Just as long as you promise to giggle behind my back!That is the only way to do it! HA!

Give the wife a hug!

Magnoliawhispers said...

Next time I'll send the dough in a red envelope. You sold 5 more today. Don't know which ones. Well I think one of them was a pipe classical or something. -Janakin

Anonymous said...

I guess I beat you to it.
vz

{ ry | no } said...

I think you need to reinvest your 46 dollars in an up and coming technology I just heard about: MiniDisc. They're way smaller than CDs so you can take them anywhere you want. They hold like, one hundred songs, and you can totally record and re-record on them.

laurowens said...

anything i would like?
Gianna love's music and we've listened to all of our c.d.'s twenty billion times.
even stole some from mom...

Colin said...

Ryan, I don't even want to talk about how many minidiscs I've still got in storage. The embarrassment of having jumped on that bandwagon (one of the few things I did embrace early, which taught me a lesson) is only made more exquisite by seeing my beloved MDs used as a punchline on *my own webpage.*

Oh, and Lauren, you and Gianna can have anything you want. I'll send you the same inventory pics I sent Britt. I made a disc of lullabyes for a friend awhile back... did I ever make a copy for you?