Organized Chaos

As one might gather from the fact that I have a music blog like this that I keep up with regularly, I am incredibly devoted in my love of music, and it manifests itself in many different ways. One of those is my dedication to constantly broadening my horizons while also looking to consume and learn as much as I can about music and artists that I already love, but it also converges with my love of organization (which sounds a lot nerdier written out than it did in my head).

Of course, with over 14,000 songs, a physical CD collection that probably numbers somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 at this point, and a smaller-but-growing collection of albums on vinyl, it amounts more to organized chaos than true order. Nonetheless, I’m committed to alphabetizing my physical collection and building on the meticulous organizational system for my digital library that’s been building for over a decade now.

Though the agony of shuffling hundreds of CDs around every time I get something by an artist whose name is in the first half of the alphabet is frustrating, my digital library is a more significant onus because of how much I enjoy seeing accurate data about a myriad of aspects of my music. For example, I try my best to maintain accurate play counts for my songs, always putting on sleep timers if I’m going to fall asleep to music and going as far as to manually fix play counts if I fail to do so, and manually updating them to reflect when I listen to songs and albums on CD or vinyl. I also have more playlists than I care to try and count; this is partially because of the “personal music charts” I’ve kept up with for the better part of the past seven years, reflecting what I’m listening to on a weekly basis (with varying degrees of detail), and partially because I create playlists for a variety of different moods and often end up creating new ones for the same moods down the road because I like to preserve the original playlist as it is so I can see what I listened to at X point in my life.

Despite the time required to maintain it, or worse the stress involved when technology causes an issue and I have to try and fix it, it’s absolutely worth it to me to be able to see my listening trends play out and my favorite songs clearly come out in the lead insofar as plays are concerned (although I don’t think play count is a strict, linear indicator of enjoyment), even if it has inherent limits, like an underrepresentation of arguably some of my most beloved music that I listened to for years solely on cassettes and CDs, before the days of MP3s.

But I find myself particularly interested in how others interact with their music and how meticulous (or not) others are compared to me; do you have a similar interest in seeing clear portrayals of your musical trends? Does your passion manifest itself in different ways? Are you more carefree about it, just listening to music and not concerned about the rest? Let me know in the comments!

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