The Music Library Capsule Challenge

music capsule challenge

How many songs do you have in your music library? 500? 2000? Do you even know, when it comes to counting itunes, and whatever’s on your old mp3 player, and your CD collection (or cassette tape collection, or record collection), and what’s favorited on your digital music streaming services? How many songs do you have that you can’t remember ever listening to?

A new trend this fall seems to be capsule wardrobes- just pulling a handful of pieces you really love to wear for a length of time, rather than having your entire closet to sift through. The goals are to wear things you really love, find new ways to put things together, and get a better sense of quality over quantity- among other things. My closet is a mess, there’s no denying, so I can relate to wanting to impose a sense of order on my outfits and my look. Then I thought about what would happen if I applied the same principle to my music.

When I was in middle school, my music library was tiny. I had maybe 20 CDs- 6 or 7 I listened to regularly- and about 30 music videos I’d downloaded off of Youtube. If you asked me now, I could probably sing all the lyrics to every one of those tracks, even though I haven’t listened to them in almost 10 years. I remember a lot less multitasking while I listened, and I don’t remember complaining that I was tired of everything in my library (at least not very often). I enjoyed my music more. Now, with more than 2500 songs in my itunes library alone, excluding streaming services and albums I loved but didn’t redownload out of sheer forgetfulness, I get tired of what I have all the time. There are songs in my library that I have never listened to, whole albums worth.

The emphasis always seems to be on the breadth of music listening, not the depth. There’s always more to add, more to love. There are songs that are on every other playlist, that get listened to on repeat, but more than that just get lost in the shuffle. There are songs I know I could fall in love with (or at least appreciate more), and albums I could delete to make room on my phone for new releases I enjoy more.

That’s why I’m cutting my music library down to 100 songs. I’m making a playlist, filled with things I don’t listen to enough, haven’t listened to at all, or things I vaguely remember loving but never remember to listen to/am never in the right mood for, and that’s all I’m listening to for the next two weeks. I want to have a better appreciation for all my music, not just my faves, and have a more manageable collection for organizing/playlisting/tagging purposes.  I’m selecting 100 songs that I want to get to know better/can’t live without, and I’ll keep you updated on how it affects my listening habits!

I challenge you to do a music capsule with me! Cut down your library, and find out what you’re missing (or not missing…).


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