I love my digital music collection, but going through it is like going through a closet that’s over-stuffed, looking for the perfect thing but just winding up feeling frustrated about all the possibilities, none of them quite working out long enough without having to try on something else.
It wasn’t always like this, thinking back. There was actually a time when it was really special to dub something for someone, and hand write the songs on a folded paper insert. This left opportunities for personalization in small details that have all but vanished now, or been replaced by more “dynamic” options, online. But it feels less intimate to me, is the problem.
I really fell in love with my records. Maybe it’s because I was like 16, and tripping out in general, hormonally-speaking, but I would go through the lyrics as if they were some secret transcript, taking it apart and matching it to the voice behind the words, then comparing it back to the photos. The music came alive to me.
Going through my iTunes library feels like going through a Rolodex, but more cumbersome. This is my own fault, for being such a crack ho about free music, and slathering on more and more free files, passed on through thumb-drives and DVDs. Now, this excess is preventing me from connecting with anything; most of my records I haven’t even listened to. And they’re not records anymore, they’re files.
There are ways to upload “mixes” for others to pull down on blogs, and probably Facebook. I am tempted to figure out how to do this because I miss making mix tapes, but it really isn’t the same. That should be okay, life goes on. Things don’t need to be (and shouldn’t stay) “the same.” I miss the loss of intimacy, though, and my kids will never know what I’m talking about.