Organizing Your Audio & Video Media.

When I was in my twenties, I think I bought every CD that came out. By the time I hit 30, I had amassed hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of CD’s…and displayed them proudly in several gigantic bookcase racks, in alphabetical order. They looked kind of like this:

At the time I thought they looked cool…until one day I thought it was way more clutter than I wanted in my life and decided to do something about it. (It might have been after a move, when the boxes full of CD’s filled up half the moving truck) So I went out and bought a bunch of those zippered cases that each hold a few hundred CD’s, and began the process of cleaning up my media clutter. I took each CD out of its plastic jewel case, along with the liner booklet, and tucked them into the sleeves of the new cases. This took days and days to do! I even had to make runs back to the store to buy more of the booklets, as I had way more music than I even thought possible. Once I was finished putting all of them away, I was left with a Mt. Rushmore-sized pile of plastic CD jewel cases. I struggled to find what to do with them, but eventually I got rid of them all. And all I was left with was a series of black CD books that fit in a regular bookcase…nice, neat, and organized. Over the years, I have pared down that collection even further, either by getting rid of the music I no longer listened to and/or by digitizing them into iTunes and discarding the physical CD. This is what I am left with now:

I have not bought a physical CD in about 5 years. I buy all my music online in digital format so there is no plastic waste or CD’s to store. Eventually, I want to have all my music on my computer, and I will get to it eventually!

As for video, well, I have never been a believer in buying movies so that hasn’t been an issue. Other than maybe Star Wars, there aren’t many movies I can watch enough times to warrant actually owning it – I can always just rent it again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some videos at the house that need organizing…they just happen to be home videos from when I was a kid. The 8mm film was transferred to VHS years ago and the rest were shot directly to VHS, and there are hours upon hours of footage that needs to be looked at. VHS tape tends to degrade over time, so I have taken it upon myself to digitize all of my family’s home videos onto DVD. Every time I visit my mom’s house, I return a few VHS tapes and take a few more back home with me to convert. It’s a slow process, but it is getting done. Eventually the tapes won’t work anymore and we can get rid of them, and by then I will have DVD copies for the family and digital copies stored on my computer.

What I want is to basically have everything stored digitally and to rid myself of physical media. I am well on my way to this goal, but getting all those CD’s ripped to the computer is going to take a lot of work. What about you? Do you keep your physical media proudly on display? Have you gone the zippered book route? The digital-only route? Let us know in the comments!

  1. May 15, 2009
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  12. August 29, 2010
  13. November 18, 2012

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