Monday, February 13, 2012

freecycle jackpot!

I hit the Freecycle jackpot, Saturday. Someone gave us boxes and boxes of CDs and DVDs. We're talking well over a thousand CDs and over 250 DVDs.

In terms of musical style, this load is all over the map. There are old pop standards like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. There are pop singers from the rock era such as Neil Sedaka and Neil Diamond. There's rap. There's heavy metal. There's country. There's classical. There are a bunch of Chinese and Japanese CDs. There's lots of Jewish music, lots of Christmas albums, and I've noticed one album of "Arabic Exotica." There are soundtracks, and compilations. There are albums of big name stars -- Madonna, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. There are local artists who produced their own CDs.

And, as if to complete the joke, there is an album of Gregorian chants.

I've started going through these, first separating the ones I know I'm not keeping -- duplicates, albums I already have, etc. After that, I'll be listening to the discs to decide what to keep and what to pass on. Then I'll be enterring the ones I keep into my database. Yes, I am anal-retentive enough to keep a database of my CDs. That may or may not be the subject of future posts.

There are occasional Freecycle posts where people are giving away CDs. But they generally get snapped up pretty quickly. You pretty much have to be lucky enough to see the post right after it goes up. In this case, we got lucky that my wife saw the adds just as they were posted.

I've gotten CDs through Freecycle before. There's a guy on Long Island who works in the music business (I'm not sure in what capacity), who occasionally gives away CDs. What was interesting about this guy is that he wanted responders to tell him what styles they liked, and he would then give them bags of CDs (maybe a dozen or so) that were specifically picked for them. I got CDs from him a couple times and I remember picking up and seeing lots of bags on his porch, each labelled with the name of an intended recipient.

I also remember one woman who posted that whe was giving away 500 CDs. She gave me several boxes that had many, many copies of about 5 different CDs. I ended up giving away a lot of the discs to a friend at work who was working on a sculpure and needed multiple copies of a CD. It didn't matter what CD, as long as they were all the same.

And there was one guy from Flushing who was moving in with his girlfriend and needed to get rid of a huge collection of CDs, DVDs, records, tapes, comic books, and other media. I suspect his girlfriend made it clear that, while he could move in with her, his stuff couldn't. He didn't want to bother making personalized packages, and he didn't want to have an endless stream of people coming in and picking through a slowly-dwindling collection. He wanted it all gone at once.

This giveaway was like that last one. A woman had boxes of stuff that she wanted out. On the way over I was guessing that this was a matter of divorce, or a death. Or maybe her son moved out and left stuff behind. But no. She explained that she had been running an eBay business, but was quitting it and this was her remaining inventory.

So maybe what I have to thank is the ongoing cultural shift away from physical CDs and toward digital downloads. I assume that cultural shift makes CDs less attractive to eBay buyers. I, of course, am a dinosaur -- I'm not really comfortable with having music without the CD. I can listen to things on a iPod, and I use iTunes to listen to songs that I have ripped from my CDs. But I gotta have that CD or it doesn't feel right.

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