Saturday, January 01, 2005

CD Storage Secrets Revealed

My dad has so many CDs, it would take 150 years to listen to them, not counting bathroom and sleep breaks. He's a gigantic classical enthusiast and a true expert and sincere help with many technical questions. Here's his opinion of those CD binders:

Aesthetics aside, also the CDs aren't well protected. Both the shiny surface and the label surface need to be treated with care. Jewel cases are really best for whenever a CD isn't in the player. It bugs me that many CDs now come in paper envelopes only. Sometimes the envelope dimensions don't allow the CD to emerge without being scratched; when I get such an envelope I slit it at least partway along one side.

He goes on to tell me about what he and my mom do about CDs in their car:

We have a 10-CD changer in the car. We bring the liner notes out to the car, leaving the jewel case at home, and keep a baggie containing the liner notes in the bin that is between us, behind the shift lever and hand brake, where we also keep eyeglasses and the cell phone. The liner notes are supposed to be kept in the order that the CDs are in the changer, so we can tell what CD # 6 is without sampling it. For classical music particularly, you want the liner notes available, or at least the movement tempo markings, keys, etc. even if you are very familiar with the work. It's the co-pilot's job to read from them when needed. For multi-week trips where we want more than 10 CDs we take along the jewel cases. Your mother doesn't like this CD changer arrangement too much because it's a pain in the neck to change CDs (the thing is under her seat and it involves sliding the seat all the way forward to access it, which means she has to get out of that seat first), and if the back seat area is full of stuff it means that that has to be re-shuffled before I can get to the changer, and then again afterwards.

Sounds like I'm pretty much doing the best there is except in cases of extreme heat:

High temperature and high light intensity are both no-nos for home-recorded discs (they do the commercial ones no good too, but both light and temperature are even tougher on home-recorded ones), and surface care is just as important for them as with commercial ones. Leaving a store-bought CD in a hot car in the summer is a bad idea, and leaving a home-made one in a hot car in the summer is a worse idea. Rapid temperature change is a bad idea for any CDs or DVDs; if you bring them indoors from the cold, or if you get into your car on a cold day, wait a while for them to warm up before running the CD player. (This may not be as serious a consideration here on the coast as elsewhere.)

So from now on in the summer I'll bring my little crate inside the house, and just pack a couple of discs out to the car whenever I leave.

Thanks Dad!

Now I just have to figure out a more easily portable system for my stereo face-plate. Because I don't carry a purse, the hard case that came with it is a nuisance - just one more thing to pack in my hands, and a bit to clunky even for my winter coat pocket. I'm thinking of sewing a little fabric case with a handle into which I can slip the faceplate in its case, thus freeing up a couple of fingers anyway.

Question: In the grand scheme of things, are these not luxurious and irrelevant problems?

mompoet - lucky, lucky, lucky

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