Monday, March 24, 2008

CD Pile-ups

Have you stopped buying CDs? I suppose if I were 20 years old and broke, I would have by now. But both my husband and I are still attracted by the object itself, and our eclectic tastes combined with online one-stop-shopping for used CDs means our collection is burgeoning.

Today I decided to reorganize them all: the horror, the horror. Our CD storage space is overflowing and piles of CDs are strewn about different rooms of the house. The worst part of the process is discovering empty cases or homeless discs.

Then there is the classification system itself. Pop, rock and jazz CDs don't cause that much trouble: artist by alphabetical order, then title by alphabetical order. But the classical department (we have our CDs in those two basic categories: classical and the rest) proves to be more of a challenge.

The titles are in German, French or English. So for example, within Mozart, I end up having to alphabetize "Concerto pour piano," "Piano concerto," and "Klavierkonzerte." I decide it should all go under "Concerto, piano," which will precede "Concerto, violin." But somehow nothing looks right.

And what to do about opera? I decided to give it a section of its own. But do I file "Mozart Portraits" by Cecila Bartoli under Mozart or Bartoli? It's pure Mozart, but I bought it because it was by Bartoli. And now for that matter, it's only two-thirds opera -- so does it really belong in the opera section? And what about all of those classical CDs that feature works by several different composers?

All this thought and I know it will only stay in place a few months at best...


Tinsie said...

Most of my music comes via iTunes these days, but I still buy the occasional CD. Hubby buys CDs only. We've got a very simple sorting system for the CDs that we have: Greek - Not Greek, and we try to keep similarly themed CDs together, for example classical music or Christmas music. Anything more elaborate than that would probably drive us crazy.

You are clearly braver than us.

Randal Graves said...

I still buy CDs as I like all the packaging and artwork that goes along with them. As for classical, I group them by composer unless it's a mix of various ones (I'm thinking of a CD I have of works by Bach's kids) and/or anonymous - all that damn pre-troubadour stuff, then I'll put them within the alphabetical order by group; then broken down by a sort of half-assed alphabetical order by type and size: solo works, then chamber (Cello sonatas, Piano trios, Violin sonatas) then symphonic works, which is where I toss the operas/ballets in.

Probably not the most perfectly thought out system, but it works.

As for the example you gave, since it's only Mozart, I'd put it in with the operas.

Betty C. said...

Thanks, Randall, I knew someone would feel my pain.

Solo, chamber, opera, symphony -- I rather like that. I may have to go back.

We unfortunately have a lot of CDs with mixes of different composer that my husband picks up for cheap. They're not necessarily bad quality, but their mere existence kind of annoys me.

katiez said...

Did you happen to see the Mozart collection at the big media store - last year, I think. 100 cd's for 90 euro? We bought it and it's wonderful - all the recording are really top quality! (Although almost half were duplicates of what we already have...)
I do understand your problem, though.

Betty C. said...

Yeah, Katie, we've seen several collections like that and they are tempting. But so far we haven't indulged. That's interesting to know you were pleased with the quality, though.