Friday, December 11, 2009


12-11-09 Boundaries

I am considering superimposing “boundaries” on my collection. I do not want it to ever get any bigger than 25,000 titles. Already, I can not remember everything of what I have. I have been using a Palm Pilot list for about a decade – and sometimes the batteries run out. Last weekend, I made $18 worth of “mistakes” by buying stuff I already had, because I couldn’t “check my Palm”. I thought they were good titles, and I didn’t want to “leave them there” – so I bought ‘em, got home and found that they are already in my big list.

I suppose I could pull the 7” list out of my big “A-Z”, and that would give me a little more play, but – do I include 12” singles in that, too? Uh, doesn’t bear thinking about it. I like my lists complete. I do break them apart in the Palm, CD’s together, vinyl together…

It just sort of galled me (a small bit) that I bought 6 cool singles for $3 each…and I already had ‘em. I can probably find good homes for these 45’s, I must say (or I could try to upgrade my existing copies?)

But I really don’t want to get too many titles. I like to try to remember everything. 25,000 is a good number of titles to say, “I think have completed my collection”. I’m 51 now – so how much longer I am going to be in the game is in question. I do want to try to listen to everything before I shuffle off. My hearing is a real consideration, too. I want to try to listen to everything before my hearing gets too much worse. Why is my hearing bad? All those John Cale concerts, I’m afraid. Those were so loud. I am only beginning to understand just how loud those shows actually were.

I’m in the high 23,000’s at present. I can add 1,000+ more titles to my collection before hitting 25,000. I can say it wouldn’t be to hard to eliminate some titles from my collection in order to obtain more titles. I have seriously over-collected for decades – many artists have the dictum “Every title, every variant” (Frank Zappa, Split Enz etc.)

So, winter of 2009 – I am already seeing a conclusion to my collecting mania. As Steven Wright says “You can’t have everything – where would you put it?” The ultimate taboo had always been classical music. I suppose it could occur – se3lling rock records in order to make room to buy classical records. But – so far I’ve stuck to 20th century composers – Glass, Reich, Riley etc.

45’s is the area where I have the most to learn. Tons of singles never on LP’s / CD’s. Tons I never knew about. I could easily see the next 1,000 titles to my list could be 45’s. It always feels like something snaps into place when I get a particularly good 45 that seems to answer some sort of cultural / musical question that is stuck in my memory.

So, plenty more to write about – though that’s not always obvious. I am considering make 2010 be a “70’s” year – as the 40th anniversary of 1970 is upon us. Perhaps not strictly, but…as a starting point. Also, must see what Strange Days magazine does – I just loved their “Time Machine: 1969” lists!

- Ron


Anonymous said...

I see you use a PDA to keep your collection "in hand." You were right to rebuy rather than passing on records. Tis a far, far better thing to have 2 copies of a cherished record than none at all.

Lately, I have been contemplating a handheld database. This is what I am considering:

Handheld unit: iPod Touch
An iPod Touch is delightful not only because it would give me a usable, visually rich database to refer to, but it also has wi-fi internet. That would allow me to check prices and availability in hotspots while out. A major factor in helping me to decide to buy any music on the spot.

Software: Bento for Mac/iPod Touch
Filemaker make a personal Database program called Bento which is just what the doctor ordered:

They also make Bento for the Touch/iPhone and the portable database can synch wirelessly with your computer's files. Bento will allow for nice full color artwork, since I may want to buy an alternate cover design. And isn't part of the pleasure in holding your virtual collection in your hand also seeing the cover in full color? Conceivably, the Touch could also carry tunes from the releases if you wanted it to import files in a multimedia field in Bento.

Populating the Bento database can be done through a few thousand clicks on When you see a release in your collection while logged in, just clicking a link will add this to your collection database. I can then download a CSV file from them with insanely detailed listings. This is importable into Bento along with cover graphics (also provided by So this methodology will see me having a handheld, detailed database of my collection with minimal data input from me.

The iPod Touch is desirable also as a portable computer with amazing extensibility and wi-fi internet access. I would NEVER have an iPhone but the Touch is very desirable to me, even though I'd never use it as an iPod.

Ron Kane said...

Would definitely consider an Apple Product for my hand-held needs, but could I synch it to info derived from my PC Excel files?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. As far as I know, iPhone/Touch Bento can only synch with Bento for Mac. Desktop Bento has no problems with a PC Excel spreadsheet exported as CSV file. But desktop Bento is Mac only. Having a Mac with Bento is still necessary to get your current file into a handheld Bento solution.

Or, you could always send the PC spreadsheet to me, I could convert it to a Bento database and then... Well, you'd have to send me your Apple handheld. It only synchs wirelessly. If Bento could synch from an e-mailable file it would be no problem, but the makers have not pursued that path.

Damn! This is a sticky wicket! Charles - Any ideas here?

There also exist price comparison apps for the Touch which sounds amazing, Save Benjis. You're looking at a bin of merch and see a title. Enter the title and the app looks up at whatever online stores you enter to search. You'll know if you're looking at a deal or not. Further, if you have an iPhone, it uses the phone camera as a bar code scanner! Snap the barcode and it does the rest. Insane, but I'll never have an iPhone.

Ron Kane said...

Also considering a Palm Pixi or Palm Pre - I believe I already have the necessary software, if I went with Palm OS.

I will never own an iPhone (or anything else that friggin' expensive). Palm Pixi is around $100, but you have to buy a 2-yr contract. Ugh! My current cell phone is a "pay-as-you-go" phone; I put in the cash, and if I don't use, it rolls over for a year.