Remember when I lost my iTunes library when my old computer crashed? Well, I’ve been working hard at reconstructing my library. I have nearly 400 CDs and about 65 discs from various mix exchanges that I’ve participated in over the years. I’ve been ripping music like crazy and I hope my disc drive isn’t too mad at me for it. Here’s where I’m at so far:
Old library: about 4300 songs
New library (with all discs uploaded): 4563 songs (not including missing files)
Songs that were not able to be recovered by any means possible and I will have to repurchase: 1222 songs
Now you can see why I was so upset about it – that’s 1/4 of my collection! But, I’m starting to see this with a more positive attitude.
First of all, probably a full half of those missing songs are crap. As in, I just used a free download code that iTunes will put on their Facebook page and I downloaded all sorts of crap. I don’t even know what a lot of that is, and a lot of it won’t get added back into my library.
Second, it’s giving me a chance to evaluate my collection. I’ll be more careful in the future, and will likely continue to buy physical CDs when I want the entire disc. iTunes (and Amazon’s MP3 store!) is still a great resource for single song purchases.
Third, when we bought my iMac, they were having a back to school special and I got a $100 iTunes/App store gift card, so even though they couldn’t help me in a technical sense, they’re helping by absorbing some of the cost of those repurchases.
I have to admit, there were some confusing moments during all of this. Some CDs I have no idea why I don’t have them anymore (I’m very organized with my discs and keep fairly meticulous records), and others I can’t figure out why I still have them because they’re total crap. Some of that will be rectified. Other songs in my collection I have no idea where I got or why I got them. I had a lot of “What the heck was I thinking?” moments there.
I’ve also been reviewing my policy for what songs I actually keep in my collection. In the past, I was a collector. (Shut up. I know less than 5,000 songs is not a “collection” to some people, but it is to me.) Thanks to all the mix exchanges I’ve participated in, I started obtaining all sorts of songs to be included on various theme mixes. Now, I don’t think I care that much. I have a robust enough collection to choose from should I do another mix, and I’d rather have only those songs in my collection that I want to listen to. I don’t want to click on a song and rip my headphones off my head in horror as it starts playing. And while I understand that not every song is going to be one that I want to listen to at any moment in time, I’d like to enjoy listening to the song at some point.
So that’s where I’m at. All songs to be repurchased are on a spreadsheet, and I’ll begin making selections from there really soon. And soon, very soon, I hope to have my library back to where I have all the songs I really enjoy.
UPDATE 9/7/11 7:40pm: If only I knew from the beginning that the solution was this simple. You know how when iTunes can’t find a music file it puts an exclamation point next to the song in your library? Well, get this – I deleted the last remnants of the song from my library (basically, the part of it that kept it on my list even though there was no file) and ALL OF A SUDDEN, just like magic, all 709 items purchased from iTunes are available for download. I wish I had known this from Day 1, because I would have saved myself a lot of stress. Also, this frees up the gift card to re-acquire songs that were not purchased from iTunes that I would still really like to have. This totally makes my day.