How do you listen to your huge collection – page 7 m gasol

If you have a huge collection, say more than three or four thousand LPs, CDs or the equivalent, how do you ensure that you get to hear all of the music that you own?Behold the future and the past in my collection with Vinyl, Open-Reel tape, Pre-recorded cassette and CD on display to the right. I could have added a 45rpm single/MiniDisc/DAT/DCC/HDCD/SACD/DVD-A or BR-A as I’ve samples of all of these in my collection also (along with 10" tape rather than the 7" displayed) BUT am mainly a vinyl/CD person who used open-reel and cassette for archiving and/or broadcast recording etc prior to the advent of consumer-recordable CD (after which I used, and use, a dedicated standalone Pioneer copier attached to my music room’s CD player [via optical link] and amplifier [via decent coax links]). I only ever toyed with DCC/DAT and MiniDisc (knowing that consumer-recordable CD was just months behind these coming to market when in the trade) and have far less pre-recorded music on HDCD/SACD/DVD-A/BR-A than on straightforward CD.

My 17” Toshiba laptop, with Harmon-Kardon audio onboard, is displaying this site and my avatar to avoid any doubt that I am perhaps a fraudulent ‘mouthy’ Luddite rather than simply someone who ‘genuinely knows the difference’ and ‘what he prefers from his own perspective’. What I have is what enables me to say why I prefer to listen the way I do and with valid creedence for such (at least imho).

Behind my laptop is my self-built i7-3960x processor-based server in a good and solid Dell enclosure (best ever access I’ve had in an enclosure via an ‘easy-open’ full-side panel) with 16 Gb RAM, 2Tb and 1Tb HDs onboard, Creative Blaster X-Fi Titanium (for sound) and GeForce GTX 760 OC 2Gb (for video) plus Pioneer Blu-Ray re-writer and Samsung DVD re-writer drives (for +/- DL and RAM formats) along with a 3.5” floppy one (though I’ve also an ancient 5.25” floppy for a spare drive bay in case I ever encounter any archive material in that format). Additionally, you’ll notice a card reader for CF/IBM Microdrive (one of which is inserted), Sony Memorystick Pro Duo, SD[HC] and XD[H] (all of which are inserted and in use). In front of the server are my 3 NAS Network drives (2 Tb, 3 Tb and 4Tb from Hitachi and Iomega) with a WD or Seagate 4Tb expected at Christmas. Hence, my server has 12Tb of storage (so far) which is Networked and controllable from my iPhone (as well as being accessible by me anywhere in the world subject to isp ‘roaming’ being available wherever I am) whilst server, laptop. iPhone and iPod can Bluetooth connect to one another (as well as to the other household members’ laptops and vice versa) and wi-fi connect to the plasma and LED TVs we use in our home (and associated a/v systems) if so desired. I don’t have a projector (unless you include a Leica 35mm slide one) BUT do have a large ZT plasma that probably displays bigger than the screen I use for slide projection (albeit, sadly, only occasionally these days) and yes I do use a digital SLR nowadays so am not a Luddite or technophobe here either. You can’t see what’s in the server box so will have to trust me on that (as opening the cramped enclosure wouldn’t help unless I pulled all the bits out which’d be silly and prove nowt more really) BUT you can see the Network drives etc and assume the rest is reasonable based on that.

I am not afraid of technology or of learning new stuff (and regularly add to my server which I’m about to upgrade to w8.1 whilst flattenning my 1Tb controlling HD as I do every 6-9 months). Sure, I am an oldish dog having passed ’50 not out’ as per the displayed badge my daughter got me last time around BUT don’t ‘write me off’ just because I’m old.

How do I listen … as I choose, and as often as I can, BUT my preferred method, by a huge margin, is using my music room’s turntable or CD player. Unfortunately my record and CD collection plus the various stereo systems currently in use throughout my home and my penchant for computer technology shows a wee bit of conspicuous consumption but I’ll steer clear of the 24/7 route and keep exercising those arm and leg muscles at play-time until unable … personal choice, and each to their own, BUT based on what you can see rather than merely what I say. If this all looks like show, or ego, if it’s a show of anything it’s probably one of excess I’m not really proud of as too much of anything is never a good thing so I’d say ‘Buy less and enjoy more … deeply and thoughtfully BUT never with casual circumspection unless that is the only way possible’.

PS. The headset on show within my study picture is one I used to use for conference-calling (via another ‘docking-stationed’ laptop I no longer have) rather than for anything even vaguely hi-fi but is redundant now since I’m retired though it’s still usable via the server in my study for Skyping since I use teensy buds with my iPod and iPhone as this set’d be way too indiscrete.