Do you have a problem with clutter?

Do you have the urge to purge LPs or CDs, but not books and magazines?

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Are people more obsessed with reducing clutter now than they were in times past? A mastering and recording engineer friend recently told me he was selling off all of his CDs and LPs, and from now on Spotify would be his only music source. I was taken aback by that remark; this man has spent his entire working life making the best-sounding music he could, but from now on he'll be streaming tunes. So I asked if he heard something new on Spotify he really liked, would he buy it? He just smiled and said, "Why?" So it seems that for some industry pros, supporting musicians by buying their tunes has stopped making sense.

I get it; he wanted to take back some living space in his NYC apartment, so eliminating CDs and LPs would be a big clutter reduction. I also live in NYC in an apartment, but the urge to purge an entire music collection mystifies me. I own around 5,000 LPs and 3,500 CDs, and buy five or six new albums a month, but every few months I give away or sell piles of CDs and LPs I'll never play again. In fact, every time I play an old CD or LP that I haven't listened to in ages, one of two things happens: I'm either thrilled to discover a forgotten gem, or I think, "This really sucks, it's got to go."

Yes, I could rip all of my CDs and LPs, but I like handling physical discs and playing them. That's especially true with LPs, but some CDs have wonderful art and liner notes, and I don't want to give them up. Lots of the LPs I bought as a teenager are still valuable to me, for the music and the memories. I admit clutter doesn't bother me, quite the contrary, neat and orderly homes turn me off. They feel more like hotel rooms, the lack of stuff makes for a sterile environment. It's as if no one actually lives there.

Where do you stand on the clutter front? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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