It’s been a wonderful month of house-culling. We’ve thrown out a veritable mountain of shite and regularly overfill our bins with just culls of crap. It’s amazing how easy it becomes to clear stuff when you learn to distinguish actually useful things from the pseudo-useful things you think “Oh, that might come in useful” when it really never has and really never will.
So, what do I do with my vinyl records? I’ve had a USB turntable for four years and ripped zero records. This suggests I never, ever will. Even when I have a vinyl record I want to pull out and play, I seek out and download someone else’s rip.
They divide into various categories:
- Australian indie records where the master tapes are long lost and this music literally exists only on five hundred or a thousand pieces of vinyl. This is material of cultural significance that needs preservation. I have vague ideas of sorting these out and sending them to an Australian state library (the Western Australian one was enormously happy to get my fanzine collection, for example). At my expense, of course.
- Other rare material that isn’t widely available. Rip and sell?
- Stuff that is currently available on CD. That vinyl is superfluous and can just fuck off.
- Stuff that has previously been available on CD. That vinyl is probably not useful to anyone. There are exceptions, e.g., quite a lot of popular stuff on Mushroom or Festival is not available on CD because Warner, who own most of the catalogue, are fuckwits and won’t reissue it.
- Music that is or has been available but the vinyl item is a collectible to some degree. There used to be a slight market for this stuff. Some money for it would be nice, but it was hard enough work selling this stuff ten or twenty years ago and I know nothing about the field in the present day.
So the big win is culling the readily available — is there even a market for this? — and the big unknown is the market for the theoretically saleable.
Suggestions are welcome for how to dispose of this shite in a manner that preserves culture where it’s worth the effort, doesn’t throw away stuff worth money and — the absolutely key requirement — is not a major pain in the arse to implement.