Less stuff, less music

When I got my first iPod years ago, I got caught up in the burning frenzy. Every CD I had got burned into iTunes. Many CD's I gave away long ago still live on in my computer and creating playlists of music I actually wanted to listen to had been overwhelming for a long time until I took having to replace my hard drive as an excuse to clean it all up.

A great CD I own that I would definitely keep if I decided to start reducing my physical music collection.

I started that clean up by dumping my backed up music into a folder separated from the music folder on my laptop. I reinstalled iTunes and it was happily 100% empty. Years of purchases, some good and many dumb, nowhere to be found.

Then came the tough part - rebuilding my library with songs I wanted to end up on my iPod. For a while I did nothing because I thought this meant looking through everything, song by song, and dragging what I wanted over from the old folder to my nice, empty new iTunes folder. The task was way too daunting. There is way too much music for that.

Yesterday, while scooping dog poop, the idea hit me. I would take my current iPod playlists (that were about 60% decent) and go through them to find what I really wanted. I took screenshots of certain great songs that came up and finally sat at the laptop this morning, iPod in hand, scrolling down the playlist and importing artists and albums that I wanted on my brand new playlist - a playlist filled with music that won't drag me down. Also, a much smaller playlist than I'm used to. Between my yacht/soft rock/pop playlist (obviously called The Jason Mix) and my jazz playlist (obviously called The Jazz Mix), I chose just 424 songs, a mere fraction of all of the stuff that has made it into my collection since I first started burning CD's and buying music online.

At this point in my life, less is more. I've applied that to things I own and stuff I keep and now to the music on my devices. There is a tinge of guilt that runs through me when I think about having things I don't use, things sitting around collecting dust, just in the name of having things. And, since I am listening to most music streaming or on HD radio these days, I don't need to own more music, physically or digitally. Never mind the shelf of vinyl I have that sadly hardly gets listened to. Don't get me started on the big binder of DVD's I have that I never watch.