Cataloging Hell

I don’t know how many times I have attempted to catalog my sizable collection, especially for dementia-related reasons. It has just happened too many times that I was confronted with a fabulous offer in some (usually real-world) shop and simply couldn’t remember there and then if I had that particular release already. With the time pressure involved, I usually bought the edition in question … and kicked myself in the head a few hours later.

I have tried just about every cataloging solution on the planet, including my own web-based one (not feasible because of the insane amount of time involved), but I keep returning to Discogs, simply because it seems to be the most future-proof one.

Still, whenever I woefully return (I don’t know how many times I started over these past years), I am still confronted with the same issues which usually make me lose momentum within a few days:

  1. Whereas most (still a somewhat relative term as I haven’t really started yet) of my pop, rock, blues and fusion music is available on Discogs, a lot (!) of the jazz and classical releases I own are not. Currently I have a minute part of my collection cataloged there, close to 500 CDs or so, but while I was adding items, I also had to keep an ever-growing list of editions that simply aren’t in their database.
  2. In my schizophrenic world, I always have to decide if I should add an edition I don’t have but which is practically identical, just so I know that I have the music already, or if I should invest the time to add my edition to their database. So far I have opted for the former strategy although that means keeping track of the editions I added that aren’t identical to what I have.
  3. Their submission policy seems to be rather convoluted and I haven’t fully understood it yet. Still, I think instead of opting for an insular solution (my own), I thought in the long run it might simply be more reasonable to help add to Discogs myself, hoping that others can profit from the CDs I will have to add in the future.

When an Android app rolled around that is actually quite useful when it comes to adding to and searching one’s own collection, I gave it another go … and I’m still at it. So far, that’s the longest I’ve ever managed to stay without any serious bodily harm.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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