Rebuilding My Music Collection

Having a local music collection is something I have always enjoyed. Being able to curate what music I have on hand while being able to enjoy it when not connected to the Internet is an ideal situation for me. I love to collect music as it forces me to think about my decisions.

On one hand I have a tendency to grab a lot of music, but I aim to support musicians whenever I have the chance. While a portion of my library is indeed pirated music, it's usually in situations where I don't have a way to directly support the artist through the acquisition of the music. For example, many Japanese musicians are attached to labels that don't offer a way to even purchase the music digitally outside of Japan. In these cases, I will try and find other ways to support them whether it is getting others to listen to their music or contributing towards a Patreon or something.

I would say safely 90% of my music collection is music I have paid for and either downloaded from a reputable source (Bandcamp), or have ripped directly from the disc. A lot of the music not obtained this way has still been obtained legally as many BMS events have albums made of the music for free distribution.

At one point in my life I was pretty serious about collecting music that I felt had some meaning to me. While I didn't have a lot, I preferred to listen to music via my local collection. However, one hard drive failure later and I had lost a lot of what I had managed to pull together. A lot of this music I had lost was stuff I could still get access to, but my difficulties with my mental health and substance abuse really ruined my love for music for a period of time.

One of the decisions I made going into 2023 was to reduce my reliance on digital streaming services. Instead, I am focusing on purchasing nearly all of the music I consume this year. I've since started rebuilding my music collection by downloading nearly all of my Bandcamp account while also finding some of the more obscure music I enjoy. By doing this, I have been able to amass over 100 GB of music in mostly FLAC format.

From time to time I am planning to write a little bit about the music I listen to and what it means to me as there are a few albums I have listened to a points in my life where they have had a profound impact on my life. At the same time, I'll share bits about my musical journey this year and moving onward.

One of the things that has kept me on the Spotify bandwagon was being able to access my music from seemingly anywhere, but I have focused on setting up my music in a way where it is more accessible. With a combination of using Foobar to be able to convert music into MP3 for storage on my phone and having access to the full library via Plex, there is no reason for me to use Spotify. As a result, I went ahead and cancelled my subscription since I won't really be using it for anything anymore. The value of the streaming service just isn't there for me if I am able to get my music fix elsewhere.