How much and how often


that’s in part exactly what I was talking about:

My music collection is in the region of 500 discs or so, a lot of which I’m not that bothered about currently and I’m always searching out new music to refresh my minuscule collection

Not only you call a 500 discs collection ‘minuscule’, but you admit that ‘a lot of which you’re not that bothered about’.

The music I have actually transported from my less than minuscule collection (3/400 or so) to the SSD is slowly reaching 100 titles. I have realized that much of my Cds could be happily imported as AAC 256 on the other Mac - the one I use for work - to be synced to my iPhone 6 for commuting/relaxing listening. The music I really care to listen to is not much. The issue I raised at the beginning - can we consider to admit suffering perhaps of a form of hardware-induced software-bulimia? is still without a honest and open answer, but yours comes close to truth. Thanks.


regarding your last sentence, I hope you won’t find my reply opinionated or superficial, but I have been dealing with all kind of music for about 55 years now, professionally since 1982, and I could turn your remark into ’ so many books to read, so little time’ or ‘so many visual art to watch and so little time’: if you see it that way, you may be assuming, perhaps subconsciously, that any music is worth a listen as any book or picture is worth a glimpse; I don’t think so, there’s tons of crap around which we can avoid serenely: only, we don’t know which is which so we’re induced to believe that much as we consume art, we don’t consume enough. It’s a by-product of the state of things that Andy Warhol predicted when he announced the beginning of reproduced art as, likely, the end of unicity.

And, BTW, even though no-one of us is aware of it, time is so little the moment we are born. You don’t need aging.


I thought I’d answered quite clearly. I love music, I listen to a lot of it, I do not consider the joy I take in music to be a disorder which causes me to vomit. Indeed as I said before I find that listening to music gives me pleasure and helps me feel more centred. So no, to ensure that you see my answer as open (you may still choose to consider it dishonest), I do not believe that my joy in music and the fact that I take pleasure in listening to a lot of music a form of hardware-induced software bulimia.

I must admit, since lockdown any real listening has dropped somewhat.
Like G.I Joe back from the wars to his sweet lady Jane. He only has one thing on his mind.
Much like before, being out in the wild with its noise and distractions. The home hifi was like a refuge. With its own narrative and demands.
Although that refuge is now a common centre point of the days monotonous time feed.
Does take a different discipline to let go and enjoy, I have found.


Well, I was comparing my collection to those of other members here which often as not extend to thousands of discs. I’ve never actually sold or passed on any of my discs although some have mysteriously gone astray, so my collection spans thirty years or so and my musical tastes have morphed along the way, hence some of my earlier purchases don’t get played now. The discs I’ve been buying over the last few years, the majority of which are Spotify induced do get played fairly often, with obviously favourites getting still more listening time but at no point have I ever thought, yeah that’s enough now, I’ll just listen to what I have. There’s always something new to explore, roads untraveled and that’s the reason I’m still listening to artists I’ve never heard or even heard of before and my musical tastes are broadening all the time, albeit quite slowly. I’ll keep on listening and buying discs for as long as I enjoy music.



no need to take it personally: I didn’t use the word bulimia in the sense that you stuff yourself to music to the point of having to vomit to make space for more; I too love music - go figure - but I’d have taken your reply as more valuable (while certainly honest) if you had, for instance, told me how many CD (LPs, files, you name it) you have, how many you consider necessary and if there is a quote of them that you have bought out of some urge that was not the plain wish to have that piece of music performed by that performer.
That said, I am sincerely happy for you and your balanced condition of music lover with a large need for the object of your love and the ability to satisfy it.


I consider this a reliable sign of sanity.

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Approximately 1,000 vinyl albums, slightly over 2,000 digital albums, and Tidal and Qobuz. I’m not sure how many I would consider essential, I listen to a large number of them and take pleasure in finding old loves I haven’t heard for many years, and discovering new music via recommendations from friends, here and elsewhere.

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Working from home has given me lots more time to listen to music. I have 20,000 tracks in my own library, but I’ve discovered that my own collection, which I thought I’d carefully built over the years, doesn’t really reflect my taste in music. Now I have Qobuz, I’m listening to that at least as much as my own library. I reckon I could probably lose 50% of my own library without missing it much at all.
I suppose a lot of my old CDs were bought before it was possible to preview everything via internet or streaming platforms. In addition, my tastes have changed. Anyway, listening to more music than ever at the moment and loving it. So all’s well that ends well?

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A fascinating topic to think abput, thank you!

I have given up my 1000+ CD collection two years ago. I repurchased the most important stuff on vinyl, that are 70 LPs. The most played are intimate jazz LPs. The rest I stream and if I really love it, I buy it on vinyl, also to support the artist. The first choice system is in competition with my family‘s TV bulimia, so I recently got a Muso for the kitchen, that’s where I wash the dishes meanwhile and listen, mainly to new things.

The bulimia for me comes from the huge offer and (still) the lack of good selection in a missing time scenario, and so much new stuff which in fact is so often just more of the same, even from great artists. I don’t blame them, for them it’s harder then ever to make a living of it and perhaps three brilliant ideas in lifetime make an Oeuvre but no living.

But coming back to the system, my motto is: never give up trying to get more detail and beauty from the music you really love, a great system doesn’t need to pay off by hours, but by moments…

< others collect several editions of the same piece of classical music, as if they actually were different things>

Well of course they’re different! The idea that there is only one single right way of playing a Beethoven sonata is…well sorry, but nonsense. I have five different complete cycles of the Beethoven piano conertos, plus many individual performances, four of the symphonies, again plus many individual accounts. Three complete Bruckner cycles… you get the picture…

I think I have about 15 different versions of The Rite of Spring.

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@MassimoBertola happy to read you back, found you incidentally by the Naim email about popular posts in the forum. Having lost your contacts, if you like so, just be so back in touch. Ciao, Maurizio

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Max, I do not find your replay opinionated or superficial.

I do not think that all music is worth listening to or every book needs to be read or every piece of art needs to be viewed.

I do enjoy the journey and the exploration and have found many a gem that I may have missed if I limited my listening to a few albums, or only reading X number of books, or art pieces in rotation. I’m going to keep on packing a lot into my time on earth and as careful and selective as I try to be, somehow occasionally something I listen to, read, or view is just going to be, as you mentioned above, CRAP!

So as I age, and as gracefully as I possibly can, I am going to keep on exploring looking for one more nugget and hopefully it will not just be a lump of coal.

I wish you health and happiness and stay safe out there…



you too.


No, but perhaps there is only one way to play a given piece on a give night, in given acoustics, with a given orchestra or piano, with a given performer and his mood and health and concentration, the degree with which he made the score his… Which makes each performance a first and last one. Celibidache used to say ‘Es gibt nicht zwei Erste Brahms’. It took me more than 35 years to catch its meaning, and now I think he was right.
What you have is a big picture album with many many postcards from different events. It’s comparing them - in their total impossibility of having anything that can be correlated - which is nonsense. This is, at least, my opinion.

I’m ageing more and more disgracefully - things I would have put up with in my younger years I no longer put up with so patiently.

One of the only areas of exception is music, where I still try battering my head on certain doors, hoping I’ll gain entry and understanding (failed (so far): jazz pre In A Silent Way, success (this year): Mahler).

Oh, and I extend extra forgiveness to everyone who buys Norah Jones albums :slight_smile:

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I will start with an analogy: my life riding motorcycles. When I was young, I had a so-so series of bikes, I spent all my money on them, and I did very little else but ride them (no money left for anything else). Thanks to my love of such machines I go to see bits of the country that I would not have ordinarily come across. Now, as I retire, I have a lovely state of the art bike, that I ride infrequently. I still love it, but there are other demands on my time. I keep a bike because it is part of who I am.

I got into HiFi after I started work. Again I was constrained by money but I liked the kit, and bought the best I could, and thanks to the gear, I got to listen to fantastic music that I would never have come across otherwise. But there were other demands on my time, and again, my use of my HiFi dwindled away. But again it’s part of me, and I have over the last 5 years gone back to buying gear, and there is a pleasure in that.

The two stories end differently though. I ride my bike about once a week, tops, but the HiFi has become a big part of my life over the last couple of years. What changed was Roon. Thanks to roon and a tidal subscription I can surf the world’s music, and am finding loads of new and exciting stuff. I wast time surfing the web, now I waste even more time surfing music. Also Roon has tempted my partner into getting interested in music. She can use her phone to listen to music off my NAS, but increasingly she is off in Tidal, listening to stuff on a MU-SO. As we have both rediscovered music, a thing for us both is to sit and listen to the Hifi, sometimes together-but-apart reading, but often chatting, and exploring Roon.

So to answer your question: in winter we listen to music about 2-3 hours a day, 2 to 3 days a week. In summer this might drop to once a week.

My wife complains about the permanent dent in the sofa :sweat_smile: despite me flipping the cushions around


Listening to music for me has three functions.

  1. Music helps me concentrate and enhances my memory. For example, if I hear The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, I remember the details of the books I was reading in 1968. If I was sitting an exam, I could play the music in my head and recall what I had studied in the days leading up to the exam.
    In this case, repetition is very helpful.
  2. There are some pieces, especially vocal, where I like to hear the same music played differently. Different rendering evoke different emotions and reactions which I find pleasurable. So, I have different recordings of Bach and Beethoven mainly as the variations are, to me, meaningful.
  3. There are times I want to simply sit and listen as if the performers were in the room. That is in part, a sonic experience only; a meditation similar to the scene in the movie ‘Immortal Beloved’ where young Beethoven is running away to escape a beating from his drunken father. He finds a lake and floats looking at the universe with the 4th movement of the 9th symphony playing. To me, that scene encapsulates the pure pleasure of listening.

This, this, this. So many albums that are etched into moments (and smells, in the case of joss sticks!) in time.

I remember my first Piper - I knew and loved the singles, and we rushed round to a friend’s house when he bought the album. But how strange - no singles! And how dark and threatening much of the album sounded, even the “poppy” Syd bits - yet how exciting, and I just wanted to hear it again even if I was hiding behind a virtual sofa.

That’s a magic few things share (seeing my future wife of 48 years for the first time, for example), and are so hard to put into adequate words. But music has it.