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How Do I Start a Great Music Collection?

Updated on December 3, 2014

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.

The Plan

Here are the steps you need to smarten up your music collection and make it sleek and usable.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Decide on a Monthly Music Budget: Three songs a month? Thirty songs a month? Thirty albums a month? You decide.
  4. 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!

Find a Genre and Get a Groove On!

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    • profile image

      Aadam Smith 3 years ago

      Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 3 years ago

      @londonclearance: I like having all different types of music. Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      londonclearance 3 years ago

      I like all collection

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @goldenrulecomics: You're so welcome!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @SimonJay: A lot of what I do others are doing too, but my husband, who works in digital archiving hears how people are afraid to or forget to save their stuff. Especially old home movies, old non digital photos. I wrote the lens as a reminder for people. Thanks for stopping by.

    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 4 years ago

      Great tips i use some of them myself especially taking the one or 2 songs from a CD that i really don't listen to much because of that very reason in the first place.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @urbanhomefarm: Thank you. Good luck to you on Squidoo!

    • profile image

      urbanhomefarm 4 years ago

      I really like how you expose your lens. I need to be more organize!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Thank you for your post, I'm really happy to contribute and like to hear how music fits in your life personally. Your lens and FB page on music is fun to look through and discover things. I'm very excited to be part of this community!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      I live with two musicians and we listen to a wide variety of music genres. We have everything from vinyl classics to my husband's own compositions. I like your suggestions for organization. We can always use help there!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @Klaartje Loose: As you can see by my title photo, my husband and I still have OUR CDS, lol. We've gotten rid of a lot and transferred most of what we listen to to the computer and iPhone, but when we moved we just moved the CDS left from the living room area to the basement. We'll probably get rid of most of them.I like keeping the unusual ones like the CD of digeridoo music.Someday we'll follow my good advice! :)

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great lens!

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      Still in shock about your suggestion to get rid of my CD's. It makes sense though... And it would certainly give u some space here in our apartment...

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @ConvenientCalendar: Thank you!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @nifwlseirff: Great idea! Picking an instrument like harp you can search for 'best Classical harp recordings' or even by era like 'best Renaissance string ensemble performances.'

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @mrdata: So glad if it gives you some ideas! Thank you very much.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Cool lens! Thanks for sharing your ideas and I will add some to my music collection!

    • profile image

      nifwlseirff 4 years ago

      The classical genre is really huge - I'd pick a favourite instrument (rather than a composer) to focus on -- more variety, but with sounds you love!