How Do I Start a Great Music Collection?
How To 'Re' Build Your Music Library
The Internet is a music lovers dream. Not only can you listen to samples of music before you buy, you can buy just one song from an artist or their whole album. The choices are so endless its hard to know where to start.
My approach is to get all your music onto your computer and iPod or MP3 Player. If you want to keep your collection on CD only, you can still use my suggestions on sorting and adding new CDs for your music library. But you will not have the luxury of buying just one song here or one song there.The key thing is you don't want to waste money on music you end up not listening too. I come from the stone ages of vinyl records. There are wonderful memories of discovering albums that changed my life but also a looonnng stack of albums that ended up collecting dust.
Here are the steps you need to smarten up your music collection and make it sleek and usable.
- Spring Cleaning: Get your music in order, weed through your old CDs. Give away or donate the ones you never listen to anymore. Take the ones you listen to or take the one or two songs on a specific CD and add them into your iTunes or convert them through Windows Media Player. After that, give away or donate most of them as well.
- Back Up Your Library: You notice I put this second? It's CRUCIAL to do this. You can backup your song files on an external drive or in a cloud. I know on iTunes you can literally copy your music library to a backup drive. Another way is to save your song files by using a backup program like Senuti.
- Decide on a Monthly Music Budget: Three songs a month? Thirty songs a month? Thirty albums a month? You decide.
- Pick Your Genre: Choose traditional genres like rock or classical OR if you want to expand your wings and try to build a more eclectic library, chart out your MAP OF MUSICAL ADVENTURE like this:
JAN Current (ex. Gotye)
FEB Favorites (ex. FogHat)
MAR Rock/Pop/Hiphop (ex ACDC)
APR Soul/R&B/Funk (ex. Parliament Funkadelic)
MAY Country/Folk/Bluegrass (ex. Garth Brooks)
JUN Jazz/Blues (ex. Miles Davis)
JUL Gospel/Religious (ex. The Staple Singers)
AUG New Age/Film Music (ex. Titanic)
SEP World Music/International (ex. Celtic Music)
OCT Military/Marching (ex. Marine Band )
NOV Latin/Reggae (ex. Bob Marley)
DEC Classical (ex. Mozart)
Note: You can make playlist folders and fill them with your music. Of course adapt this anyway you want, it’s your Music Collection!
Using Your Media Player
Make playlist folders and fill them with your music. Of course adapt this anyway you want, it's your Music Collection!
Here is an example of a plan in action (using iTunes):
My first example is from my Favorites Category. In the 1980’s I bought a vinyl recording called “The Best of the Zombies.” Hearing a Zombies song on the TV or somewhere, reminded me of how much I liked them and I wanted to get that music back.
- I found the album on iTunes:
- I listened to the samples and found the songs I wanted to get:
- I downloaded them and voila!
My second example in the Jazz/Blues Category. Although I appreciate Jazz I don’t collect it and I’m never inclined to spend money on it. Buying one song here and there is a perfect way to round out my collection in a cost effective and easy way.
First I do a online search. I use the search words ‘best jazz recordings.’ There are many website on this, check out a few and decide on a song from one artist.
I chose “Ellington at Newport Live”
When I check the listing, I listen and then note which songs have the most downloads. I choose one. I chose “Jeep’s Blues.” Now I add this song to my Jazz Playlist folder and can listen to it at my leisure. Smooth!
Pick Your Favorite: The Zombies
Get Something New: Duke Ellington
Let me know if you have any problems or would like suggestions for a given music genre. Happy Hunting!