How many songs is enough?

My recent purge/re-org of photos was productive and satisfying. So I decided to tackle my iTunes music library next. I collected a lot of music in the 60s and 70s. LPs, reel-to-reel, cassettes. After I left radio (no longer “on the air” playing music for others to listen to) I pretty much lost interest in music until the iPod came along in 2001. But I never amassed a giant collection of songs.

As I turned my attention to my iTunes library I discovered I had 800+ titles. Scanning and sampling, it quickly became apparent that I hadn’t listened to some of these songs in years… and probably wouldn’t listen to many of them ever again. The result of ripping and entire LP that included only two or three songs that I liked. Or purchasing an entire “CD” from iTunes. But you don’t delete songs, right? You might listen to them someday. So, just tuck them away in a folder or playlist for that day.

In some manner I can’t explain, keeping those never-gonna-listen-to-them again songs were preventing me from listening to the stuff I liked. So I purged. Down to about 650 songs.

I’m still organizing. Creating playlists, adding ratings, etc. This morning I picked my 100 “favorite” songs (from the 650). Much harder than I expected and certainly a moving target. I’ll keep refining that. The goal will be, I think, to reach a point where any song that comes up in shuffle will prompt me to think/says, “Ooh. I love that song!”

I know what you’re thinking (as does The Amazing Kreskin): Why not subscribe to Spotify or Beats or one of the other streaming services and enjoy ALL the songs. See, that’t the problem for me. I can’t enjoy all the songs. Too many choices. I’m glad those services exist and hope there are more and better ones coming, but I’m gonna concentrate on really listening to and enjoying the music I have.