A way to listen to a large collection

I’ve discovered a great way to deal with an intimidatingly large collection of CDs and records.
 It would take much longer time than I have on this earth to go through them all, so I’ve found a way to really enjoy the variety.
What I do is, without looking, just reach blindly for a disc on the wall and, no matter what it is, play it through in its entirety.
 It’s amazing how enjoyable this is.  Things which I would not ordinarily choose become currently viable.  After all, I bought them for a reason. There’s no reason I shouldn’t like them!
I found that when I conciously pick a selection, I’m very choosy, considering the sound quality far too often.  This way, it’s like getting a new present all the time.
Re-discovering wonderful performances I’d forgotten about (and, coincidentally, enjoying the sound quality for what it is, more than I would have if I had been searching for good sonics.)
I highly recommend this procedure!
I also have a collection so large rendering me incapable of enjoying within my remaining days, so occasionally I will do as you recommend.  Pull out an lp, some I may have listened to once, or not at all; kick back, forego the audio analytics, and enjoy an unexplored performance. Paraphrasing your statement, something compelled me to buy the lp or cd.

That is EXACTLY the method I have been using for CD and vinyl for a while now although all of my CD are stored in my Vault2 as well.
Of course when streaming I still have to think unless I just hit a playlist and let it rip
rvpiano, an interesting approach. Somewhat similar to mine, but a tad more arbitrary I think.

 I too have a huge collection accumulated out of curiosity which has only rarely been purged of anything other than musical trash. (I don't own a recording of Wellington's victory, even on Telarc :-).

 I have 3 types of music: 1) Music that demands attention (where you have to sit and ' listen'!);  2) Music that is known and generally familiar, but not examined in detail, and where recording quality is important so it does not become a distraction and performance not so much. Excellent for reading which I do a lot; and, 3) plain old wallpaper music, such as movie themes, lots of easy listening jazz, pop vocals, etc.

So I let my activities and my mood determine my music.   Probably 80% of my listening  is to category 2.  10% to 'great' classical and 10% to less challenging stuff. I'm retired so I have more than enough time for critical listening, even to 'audio'. :-)

This is an enjoyable and worthwhile practice when I want to listen but just don't have a craving for any piece of music or musicans in particular.

I have for the most part abandoned my CD's.
Spotify, and to a lesser extent, Tidal (mostly due to their abysmal cataloging system), has exposed me to more composers I never knew of.
The 'Discover' tab usually offers something I would never have clicked on. 
Truly wonderful idea!!!  I listen a lot to classical and jazz on my tuner just because I don't feel like taking the time to look thru my collection to pick something out.  My cd collection is in books instead of jewel cases to cut down on room; now I'll just pick out a page and give a listen.  Thanks! 
The OP's basic method works well for me. Two or three times a week I will pull an LP or CD that I "forgot" I had and give it a play.  Very enjoyable.
Completely agree. Since I have my LPs in alphabetical order, I have a general sense of what I am picking but I have never been let down. I bought them for a reason. The reason is I love the progressive rock era. I find a new purpose every time I put a new one on. Might have listened to it before. Maybe not. In the end, the music is beautiful.
For vinyl, I tend to pick arbitrarily within an artist I want to listen to. For digital, I have a few thousand ripped cd’s/purchased dsd/hires and tidal with MQA. With Roon, I pick an artist and shuffle thru all the albums/songs. Roon allows you to add songs/albums from tidal to your library, no download, just adds metadata. Roon does a great job at shuffling thru ripped and online music.
Have many clients with very large collections - some have a heavy rotation stack - one couple whom owns a stupendous Stereo system and about 10k Classical Albums all sorted out by label are listening to them by label. I have known this couple for 15 plus years, they are about done with the first go around and looking forward to the next turnover. 

Absolutely lovely people, listen together every evening, something to aspire to. 

Good Listening 

You don’t need a “large cillection” to exercise as much curiosity as this tech age allows you: just get Tidal. Your “dart shots” will have a far wider target. Your curiosity will be better assuaged.
Funny you should post this now.
 I just,within the last hour, downloaded Tidal.

there is however something very special about pulling out an album, cueing it and listening to it - something completely lost to most folks streaming or listening via “computer” my experience with this is that most don’t even listen to a complete song let alone a complete album.

With out any exceptions all my LP clients listen to complete albums - most but not all computer based ones do highlights.

Please folks - comment on this phenomenon

Good Listening

As I just remarked on another thread, the SQ, at least on my set, is slightly better with the CD than with Tidal. Perhaps more musical ( I know that’s an amorphous term.)  
 I agree, also, that there is something “very special about pulling out an album.”
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I rip all cds and convert my records to digital and stream tracks or whole releases randomly. I spend most of my listening time that way. It’s like having your own personally programmed  radio station plus no commercials.
I started a simple  Excel spreadsheet years ago.  Title, Artist, genre etc. That I keep on a $99 pad near my collection. 
I also have my vinyl and CD's separated by genre.  So for instance if I want to listen to Jazz, I  can scroll down the list until I see Miles Davis and see what's there, reach to Kind of Blue and play it.

Happy Listening 


What do you use to stream your collection? I'm wanting to do the same thing. 


The late J. Gordon Holt said that "nothing" puts a recording higher on one’s list than to listen to a new recording 15 times (or more) in a row! His philosophy was to listen to any recording no more than twice a month. He said this takes a lot of personal discipline, but keeps you coming back to all the music you like. I would think you could apply this to a large collection.... I think.
In my main system I use Squeezebox Touch to external mhdt Constantine Dac or Squeezepad or Plex app on Ipad to Chord Mojo DAC. 

I my second smaller system I use Plex app on Amazon Fire TV box to Bel Canto c5i digital integrated amp.

I see a critical word in my above post must have been eliminated by the Moderators. I should have said, "high on one's crap list."  Sorry to the moderators, BUT I was using a direct quote from the late J. Gordon Holt himself.....

I primarily listen to vinyl, and as you mentioned virtually always listen to entire LPs.  I actually think much has been lost in the digital age, artist often put albums together with songs of s similar theme or "feel" or just an overall expression of where they were in their life/art at the moment.  Much of that is lost when listening to individual songs and skipping around. Often by about the third song of an album my enjoyment has increased dramatically because I've had a chance to really begin feeling what the artist is expressing through their album. It may sound a bit esoteric, but it's how I enjoy music the most. 
redchaser, I agree with listening to the entire album. There is a story, or a message, or a feeling there. The artist and producer spent a lot of time constructing that album. It's fun to get in their minds.
Also, individual sides may sound like clinkers, taken individually, but usually fit in the album nicely. 
It's also nice, in today's whirlwind world, to set aside the time to listen to the full album. I wish I could do it more. This thread has reminded me....
I try to pick something unusual or that I haven’t listened to in a while. Then, next album should have a connection, and I look for new ones. 

For example, start with Tedeschi Trucks. Derek Trucks played with Allman Brothers. Next up, Allman Bros.  And so on. It can lead to interesting music.