Yes, an 'unlistened to' pile is easy to accumulate, esp. if
- things are on special
- second hand cd's which are very cheap
I have got a few dozen cd's in my 'unlistened to' pile, and I actually culled a couple of dozen that I knew I bought without Mick Jagger's 'rule' in mind. The old rocker of 'The Rolling Stones' sang in a song something like 'you can't always get what you want, but you can get what you need.'
So that's the thing I keep in mind when I think of buying a recording - do I really need this? Do I really want to listen to this or is it something I'm telling myself I 'should' do?
Basically, if I really want to listen to it pronto, I buy it. But if I want to put it on the backburner, I don't buy it. Or it can always be bought later, no sweat.
Surprise surprise, most of the culled cd's where things I should have known I had lukewarm interest in when I bought them. It was a long shot I'd even listen to them once, let alone many times, which is what I do as a general rule with all the recordings I own.
My advice to others with this conundrum - same as it is to myself, consantly - is get rid of the 'shoulds.' Life is too short for more 'shoulds' than you need, than you are already burdened with. Don't let this whole thing become a chore, and risk maybe even killing the joy in it.
Ok after preaching I better get back to my 'unlistened to' pile and do some listening. I've got to make a list of things to get through in the next fortnight (NOT!...only joking, I'm not as methodical as that, nowhere near, alas...same goes from my 'unread' pile of books, most of them on music!).
Last edited by Sid James; Jul-21-2012 at 04:31.
Contrasts and Connections in Music
"Oh! It is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read."
- Algernon Moncrieff (in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest).
I listen to everything at least once before buying/downloading!
I usually have about 10-20 Discs in my to be listened to pile - every few months or so I will work it down to about 5 Discs but then I usually buy new stuff!
The "Unlistened to Pile" is one of the reasons I hate those complete box sets.
I have several of them piling up to be complete! And worse, even for some of the complete ones, I had only went through the whole thing of the Mozart, Brahms, Haydn once for each set. Can't remember lots of them to be honest!)
Very time consuming!
Last edited by violadude; Jul-23-2012 at 14:02.
The solution to the problem is systematic listening. List all your CDs on a spreadsheet and mark them off as you listen to them. The inflexible rule is that you cannot return to a CD before every CD in your collection is ticked off. This has many benefits, not least that it discourages incontinent buying. I know that every CD I buy 'dilutes' the others because all must receive the same attention. So if I see a boxed set of Telemann I have a powerful incentive to say No.
Except for some "99" downloads at Amazon where there's a lot of crap (e.g. second-rate versions of Mendelssohn symphonies I don't care to listen to) in with the diamonds and rarities (e.g. Mendelssohn organ music), there is almost nothing in my collection I have not listened to. I make a point not to let my acquisition of new music outpace my listening. If I am buying much more than I can listen to I am wasting money and being a collector, not a listener. When this has happened I have culled my collection by selling some of my CDs second-hand. Prices these days are so low that it is tempting to overdo it. It is important to remind myself I want to be a sensitive and appreciative listener of classical music, not an archivist. I can't take this stuff with me.
EDIT: I should add that it has been easier not to overdo it now that there's NML and Spotify. I no longer feel the need to actually buy CDs in order to explore new music/discover what I may be missing.
Last edited by Hausmusik; Jul-23-2012 at 15:07.
But for me, I can't let myself only listen to a CD once in that time, or I would cheat by buying more recordings of my favorite works, and that would defeat the purpose (assuming the purpose is help me control my purchasing).
I have nigh-on 1000 discs - as good as the system sounds the thought of entering all that lot onto a spreadsheet would probably make me lose the will to live. Unless you meant only the unheard ones???
Itunes enters the info into a database automatically as you rip.
Do you enter the symphony's full name for each movement? It varies for different iTune purchase;
Do you use the track title for each opera title, and if so, what language? Some of the entries use lots of special characters;
Do you sort composer or performer? For composer, do you enter "Bach, J. S." or "J.S. Bach"?
Believe me, cataloging classical CDs is a huge complicated stuff, and depending on your desire for cross-reference, the more information you enter, the more difficult to get a universal approach.
There used to be several attempts to do this, and the one has better success (still not ideal) is a Windows program called ClassID (?) or something? The other one currently available can be seen at here: http://www.maestromanager.com/ I have not tried it yet because i use a Mac.