Having so much music at your disposal

Hi all.

Those of you using a streaming provider or those with very large music libraries, do you find yourselves quite often restless when listening to music and flicking about from track to track, genre to genre?
For me it’s one of things that I annoy myself with. From Time to Time I can’t seem to get into the music so I get this erratic behaviour.

Any tips to try settling into the music?

:+1:t2: Popeye


I just create a list of albums from recommendations often found on here :blush: or magazines. I add to it most weeks.
I then listen to each album, if I am not enjoying it I simply move into the next. There’s so much to listen to it’s not worth dwelling on music that isn’t stirring emotions.

Yeah, a real first world problem; 28000 tracks on the iPod…so why do I keep listening to the same dozen or so?


So true, every listening session always ends up at the same select few, year in, year out.


Call me mad, but 50% of my listening time I listen to the same silly Bruckner Symphony: the 7th. For about 3 years now.

I do think that my behaviour is the result of a desire to slow things down.


My plan is to get an ndac, no streamer anymore and a usb stick which has Bruckner 7. Then listen to it every night when I’m at home.

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Play engaging music?

I Can only cite my own experience: Ihave a medium sized library, ~1200 albums, and whilst often I instantly think of a piece of music and put it on to play, sometimes I am a little lost as to what to put on, and even viewing in browse mode it can take a while to be inspired what to pick - too much choice I guess! (Interestingly, once I’ve played one album then what I choose to follow it almost invariably suggests itself.) However, there is a hard core of maybe a hundred or so albums that get by far the most frequent plays.

But once I start listening* the music engages me and it is then hard to stop. I suppose the thing is that I don’t buy music unless it is something that engages me, otherwise I regard it as not worth the money.

(* very occasionally, I might put something on and decide before the end of the first track that I’m not in the mood for that and select something else, but that is quite rare.)

Some people say that if the music is not engaging then the system (or its setup) is wrong, but I don’t get that because good music is engaging in surprisingly poor quality. Some people say music doesn’t engage if your toes don’t tap - which I guess might be true if you are a rhythm fanatic, but I don’t get that either - it’s certainly not my experience, toe tapping and engagement being quite unrelated. However, certain types of music are definitely more engaging played loud rather than soft!

So the answer could be get a new collection, change your system, adjust its setup/layout, get components tgat emphasise the rhythmic elements, or play louder!!!


Im glad I’m not the only one @popeye. I annoy myself doing the same and quite often I’ll skip tracks and move on to “recommended artists” rather than appreciating a complete album.
However I’ve recently started using playlist and have a Naim forum list (actually 2, one for Rock one for Jazz) I’ll add artist others have listened to that I think I’ll enjoy, so come quality listening time I have a narrowed down selection, if I find an artist or album I really enjoy I’ll buy their music on vinyl and add it to the (rapidly growing) collection. As the temptation to skip through tracks on vinyl has been removed my listening becomes more focussed and relaxing.

I’ve started placing recently played CDs on another shelf away from my main storage, so as to prompt me to dig in to my collection more. Similar story with my LPs. I also tried to maintain a run of most played CDs (~50) but that idea fell apart after a month or so.

Problem is that when friends visit and start searching, I’m now told off for not keeping things in alphabetical order.

This is one aspect which has pointed me away from streaming i.e. the enjoyment of looking for the physical and not simply scrolling down an iPad or whatever………albeit I have several CD cases where the CD has gone walkabout!

For me it’s about trying to listen to whole albums rather than single tracks. It can be v easy to go ‘this track sounds great on my system’ and then jump to a different album because there is another track that sounds great on hifi. But if you listen to whole album you start to remember why you love the artist and it begins to become more about the music than the hifi.


This was a problem for me when I had university-age kids living at home. And as many CDs ended up on their home-made mix tapes, there was a more insidious version of missing CD which was missing booklet.

But they grew up and started to take the whole thing case, CD and booklet! I know I have bought Tapestry on CD four times, once for myself, I replaced it twice as each of the girls in turn discovered the album and then replaced it a fourth time when my wife left the CD in her old car when we part-exchanged it for a new one.




I find it’s an issue of time available (and probable life expectancy!) versus music I’d like to hear. I enjoy all my old favourites but also love listening to new stuff - fear of missing out?
I either stream or listen to RP 95% of the time. When I do stream I nearly always listen to whole albums and very rarely skip between single tracks.
When I do play vinyl I usually play one side then play a side of a different album - my wife thinks this is strange as she always plays both sides.

I omitted to say in my post above that the only online streaming I do is to check out music new to me that I have some reason to think there is a possibility I may enjoy. That involves having a quick sample - and nine times (or more!) out of 10 rejecting after playing only a few tracks, or sometimes parts of tracks. Instant likes, or possibilities, tend to get a second play listening properly, and maybe another, deciding if I want it, in which case adding to my collection. Getting engaged with the music is a pleasant upturn when it happens, and not getting engaged is simply the music not being for me, a part of the checking out process, though sometimes I will register that there is something that I might like in a different mood, noting to come back another time.

As far as the OP’s online streaming is concerned, could it be that your original question arises from mixing up playing of music you know you like and that engages you, and either playing music that is a casual “I like it a bit” or “I like one of their tracks”, or playing things you haven’t assessed to find out if you truly like them? If this is the case then surely not getting engaged with it is simplyan occupational hazard: an indication that it is not for you, or possibly not for you in your current mood, when skipping to something else is then fully understandable?

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I often have phases where I will listen extensively to works by one composer, or a range of recordings from a particular orchestra or conductor. I have a core of favourite composers I return to more than most, particularly, in no significant order: Beethoven, Bruckner, Sibelius, Mahler, Mozart and Vivaldi. I might compare several different performances of the same work. Classical music is rather devalued though by the sheer range of choice now on offer, with huge boxed sets “the complete works of” or the complete recordings of artist A or B. We forget the time and effort a composer would put in to producing a symphony or concerto, when it often nowadays is just part of a large collection.


I usually either have a specific idea what to start with, or I might check out new releases on qobuz or recommendations on the forum. If I don’t know where to go from there, Roon Radio can usually play me something good or I can drill down into my library with Roon Discover or focus on a genre or,…
And, if I get really restless, I relinquish control to the other half :joy:

I have a few thousand tracks on my NAS drive. I quite often select songs then select the random button at the bottom of the app. That way I get to hear tracks that I’ve forgotten I had. You can always skip the next song if you don’t like the selection. I do this in the car as well from my phone.

This is an interesting thread. I’ve found that as my odd changes so does my listening habits; sometimes listening to whole albums, sometimes skipping from track to track. Like @Innocent_Bystander i return to favoured artists time and time again, but since installed Roon I’m discovering artists and composers long forgotten amongst my collection of some 2,000 albums.

I’m not a fan of Tidal or Qobuz (because of cost not quality), but recently I have valued their recommendations, both for classical and contemporary music. In the future I will subscribe for a short period so that I can explore recommendations found on this forum, or from friends, or to expand my knowledge of existing artists / composers.

The other evening I just played favourite tracks from my early days of Naim, music that held memories. I did not miss hopping up and down to change the album and queuing up a favoured track.

I find the same thing happening with the streamer. So much choice and the ease of going from track to track…

As others have said one of the great joys or vinyl is that you listen to the whole (or at least half) of an album in one go without the temptation to “flick”.

Convenient as streaming is (and the SQ can be superb) it will never “feel” quite the same to me as the analogue vinyl experience. From choosing the record in the store to playing it for the first time to knowing it will physically be with you as part of your record collection is very alluring.

Pulling music off a server (local or remote) just doesn’t feel them same although I absolutely understand and appreciate how good it can sound and how the ability to remove masses of material from shelves is very attractive particularly to those with huge physical music collections.

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I always play whole albums. I tried Tidal for a while but found it overwhelming. Even £5 for five months doesn’t tempt me. I’ve got about 3,500 albums on the nas, organised by genre. So I can look up chamber music, jazz, world, ambient or whatever to fit my mood. Asset shows recent additions so I can easily find them to avoid buying and forgetting, which still happens occasionally.

I find Radio 3 on Sunday morning to be brilliant for finding new music. I’ve had quite a few wow moments that have led to buying something completely new. It’s a bit like a Tidal playlist but it’s put together by people who know what they are doing, and it’s totally free.


That’s a very good question. I try to maintain a certain balance between new music and “old”. Since I’ve been using a PWM for about a year, I play every single record that has been cleaned. I started at the top left of the shelf and work through more then 2000 records. This is very uplifting, since some of the music has been forgotten.

For about 3 weeks now a NDS is playing and a small Unitiserve stores my (relatively small) CD collection. Do the same here. Every ripped CD is played, sometimes only briefly but often with the same amazing effect. Always amazed at what kind of music I’ve listened the past 50 years and have rediscovered a lot. That’s why I don’t need a streaming provider. In addition to vinyl, I buy music from Bandcamp.

For me, the question is not which music I choose. I am too curious about my own collection, vinyl and digital. Its like a mirror of my life.