Is anyone else getting rid of their physical media altogether?

Now that I’ve purchased my first home, it seems a great time to shed some dead weight from my material possessions. My top 3000 LPs will stay – I’ve got them neatly shelved and organized in my office. I enjoy the ritual of interacting with the medium and nothing beats gatefold artwork. But everything else – cassettes, VHS, CDs, and DVDs, all seemed pointless to keep anymore.

Today I boxed up hundreds of CDs and traded them at a local Disc Exchange for 25 cents each. The cash I made was well worth the space it freed up on my bookshelves for music literature. (Most of the reference texts I enjoy I much prefer to read in a physical format than as an ebook.)

Of my ~750 CDs I kept only a handful from artists who really shaped my listening in the 90s. I kept several 20-bit remasters of classic jazz LPs and several debut singles like Reznor’s HALO 1 Down in It, Manson’s Get Your Gunn single and the Live at the Snakepit bootleg, and the 1989 Caroline Records debut single by White Zombie, Make Them Die Slowly. But other than a handful of cassette and CD promos, it really seemed time to let the rest go.

Honestly they will function more as interesting artifacts and conversation pieces rather than as a medium for audio/video playback.

I also spotted a large box of my fiance’s home-taped VHS tapes today. I offered to have her top 5 tapes converted to AVI and the rest we can dump.

Still, I confess – I’m keeping bargain bin VHS copies of cult classics including Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, YOG: Monster From Space, and the Pee-Wee Christmas Special… this is the shit I’m going to force my grandkids to watch someday.

So what about the rest of you digitally-savvy ladies and gents? Do you still hold onto physical media?

Published in: on October 10, 2015 at 9:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. I have considered doing this, myself! I run into the same thought, though, that I have with books… ‘What if I want to lend this to someone but I got rid of it?’ Until it is less obnoxious to do digitally, CDs are handy for sharing, especially with previous generations and the less-savvy of ours. I think all my ‘classical’ genre CDs would stay, it would be popular artists whose albums I could be content with the files only. A small part of me is still proud to have physical albums from the bygone era when the artists didn’t benefit if all you had were digita files. Why do I need evidence of my integrity? I’m not sure, perhaps it’s worth examining.

  2. Yes, I’m hanging on to my CDs. Whilst I’ve sold some that I’m no longer into, the remainder represent the high quality backup for a large chunk of my on-disk library (obviously I’ve traditional disk backups as well). I’ve not got the room to store all the albums as 16/44 WAVs, and FLAC is still compression; at the limit any additional step in the audio pathway adds coloration.


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