(Note – this article is a pseudo-excerpt from the book The Spartan RV. Learn more about living life more fully, without STUFF in that book)
Music, in the form of DVDs, Vinyl LPs, CDs, and whatever other forms you might have is a tremendous space “sucker” for an RV.
Catalogs, like LL Bean, are chock-full of DVD and CD storage racks. There isn’t a TV show or picture of a room in a decorating magazine that doesn’t have the obligatory rack after rack of CD cases artfully placed next to their CD player.
But that is very silly indeed.
Why would you take up all that space?
Lets go over how you can free up all that space, yet simultaneously, NOT give up and go without your music.
I will admit, I’m a bit of an Apple bigot so this explanation will be a somewhat Apple focused. Please forgive me, but understand that this can be applied to other types of computers as well.
First, you have to deal with the CDs that you already have in your possession. The way to eliminate these is to do something called “ripping the CD”. What this means is that you insert the CD into a CD drive or player on your Mac (you may have to buy one to plug it in) and then the Mac will “copy” the music from the CD into an excellent Apple program called iTunes. ITunes is the program, but the music is placed into a library – called the iTunes library.
After the the CD is “ripped” you can listen to it from your iTunes library. In fact, there are many things you can do with the music once it is in your iTunes library. But most importantly, you can listen to it as if you had the actual CD.
What do you do with the CD? Assuming you have a digital backup (see my chapter on essentials) of your computer, you no longer need the CD.
It would be a violation of copyright law and really a “pickpocket” of the artists pocket to resell the CD so the proper thing to do is to simply throw it in the garbage – even breaking it in half. I think most artists would be OK with the idea of providing the CD to people less fortunate. There are other things you could do with the CD, but I’m simply not going to encourage anything more here than charity or the trash!
For new music, I think you have to examine the idea of how sensible it might be to “own” music.
If you simply MUST own music, you can buy more CDs and rip them. Or you can buy the music one song at a time, on iTunes and have just the songs you want. No longer are we subject to the music labels making us buy entire albums just to get a single song we like.
There are music “library” services from Amazon, Pandora, and many others where you can get access to the library as long as you pay or as long as you subject yourself to their advertisements.
Some of you RVers are already using satellite radio which is also like a library service except you can’t select songs, just channels or genres. But that has its own fun because you get to hear new things.
So to summarize, if you’ll rip your CDs, back up the computers, then subscribe to a digital download service of some type, then you can completely eliminate the clutter of CDs from your life… and your RV.