I love music. My husband collects CDs like I collect books. We also have a large collection of LPs and of MP3s on our computer. I won’t even go into our magnetic tape collection. Literally, I won’t go into it. Its size frightens me. We have no plans of slowing down the growth of our collections. Unfortunately, a remarkable portion of the funds we put into our musical enjoyment (not including the funds for audio gear) goes to …..(drum roll please)….replacement.
One. Jewel cases break on a regular basis. Once the jewel case is broken, the CD is likely to get scratched. Especially if the part that gets broken is that little circular tab in the center that holds the CD.
Two. CDs travel. They go in the car, get lent out, some have quite lively social lives. Some never come back. I do miss them.
Three. CDs break. Someone stepped on that one. I think the kids slip them under my pillows before I tuck them into bed. Sometimes they return from their travels a bit chipped, or at least that’s what they’d have you believe.
Besides the cost of replacement, moving CDs en masse is becoming quite a chore. Always out of order, always in the wrong cases, always heavy. Storing them is not a picnic either. We have a great shelf we made, better than any other shelf we’ve encountered built for the purpose. It takes up a reasonable amount of space, fits comfortably along our wall, and holds mine and my husband’s collection. My daughters’ has moved out to another location, so we still have room for another year, maybe. If we take it easy. And, we’ve built a second shelf. But, both shelves weigh a ton. The old one is getting old and abused, and since its made of wood, it splinters.
I am not going to buy those little books with millions of little plastic pockets. You can’t clean them, and one drop of jelly can ruin pages, rendering them useless. They are also easily stolen, and then replacement becomes a matter of “What the heck did I have?” I am not going to buy an MP3 player. Granted, they’re cheap, portable, and I have MP3s, but in reality, I want something to run through my $1000 amplifier and come out my $8000 speakers. I bought those because they have excellent sound. MP3s do not have excellent sound.
When I buy myself a Jukebox, it will have all the allure of a piece of furniture, a piece of history, and a piece of fun. I can run it through my amp and speakers and have all the quality of sound I expect from my CDs. It will be easy to use not just by myself, but by any of my guests, even the kids. It will house my the inserts from my CDs as well as my CDs and they will be safely cared for by a machine. They will not be lendable.
The largest capacity jukebox I could find holds only 120 CDs. I’m not kidding when I say my CD collection is huge, and that’s not going to hold it all. Fortunately, we’re a family with phases. I think only 80 CDs see action in any given 6 month period. If I had immediate access to 120, that would be plenty. Every 6 months or so I’m refiling all the CDs onto the shelf, stacks all around me, alphabetizing, tossing broken cases, matching case to disk…so maybe every 6 months instead I’m changing out a portion of the jukebox. Storage for the rest of my CDs? Those slim cases are a pain in the rear when you’re trying to read the spines, but they’ll be fine for storage. They’ll also hold the inserts. It’ll be lovely.
Why not just a multi-changer? Well, it’s not nearly as cool. When I buy a Jukebox, I’m buying a piece of furniture as well as a machine. And, if I’m feeling ornery, I’ll make people pay to use it at parties and the like. A multi-changer has no home for inserts. I’ve had one before, and suddenly, instead of cover art, the association to a particular artist or disk or song is reduced to a number. I didn’t go to a huge state college because I didn’t want to be reduced to a number, and neither should a professional recording artist.
A new jukebox will cost me in the neighborhood of $10,000. Ebay or Craigslist might make that number lower. Either way, it’s reasonable considering the cost of my collection, my equipment, and the value I place on music. I’ll have to make room for it in my house (of course, I had to make room for the piano and the organ, too). It’s also a dream, and there are others in my household I have to make a case to as well. But I bet all 10 of those thousands of dollars that my kids and grandkids will be fighting over it when I die.
Image courtesy of APalici