My Unpacked Collection

Julian Dibbell brought up a wide variety of excellent points, especially on the essence of property ownership of digital content. A lot of what he discussed directly connects with what we have previously discussed in class. For example, we’ve discussed the legality of copyright ownership. One of the points he brought up that struck me was the transformation of the music experience and how new methods of collecting have emerged as a result of digital technology. Now a days, people use digital technology or streaming services like Pandora or Spotify to listen and consolidate all their music into one place. Not only have these services replaced traditional ways of how we collect and share music, but it has changed how we relate to music and the things we hold dear to us. As music has shifted from the physical to the digital realm, Dibbell remarked that we are “living in a world with completely unpacked information”.

Some people, however, like myself, refuse to completely let go of our sense of nostalgia for physical objects. As an avid record collector myself, I can definitely relate to allure collecting music in the physical form. There is something incredibly charming about holding a piece of music, an album cover, or even a book, in your hands. Seeing my records hung up on the wall or shelf is simply incomparable to the experience you get from the digital version. As Dibbell pointed out, it’s that relationship with the physical object and the meaning it holds that keeps people like myself so fixated on collecting. I especially like Julian Dibbell’s quote on how “collecting is like a celebration of private ownership”. For me, my record collection serves as a physical reminder of my passions and musical interests over the years. It serves as a sort of timeline of how my music taste has evolved since I first began collecting, which gives me a sense of accomplishment. Dibbell said it best when he noted that a huge part of the charm of collecting is that “inability to never reach completion” that sense that you are never quite finished. Part of me is okay with that fact, because there’s something quite satisfying about never being satisfied.

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