Another Obsessive Look at My LPs

A 2-minute video of my record collection, in its current organizational scheme (doubles included):

Most of you know that I have an obsession with visualizing/organizing/understanding my record collection. I probably spend more time thinking about these things than I do actually playing the records (except for the ones by Squeeze [who are apparently reuniting!] and Pylon).

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to weed my collection to make some space in our tiny apartment. In order to know what I could lose, I needed to organize things first. As they were, my LPs were not intentionally organized. Mostly they were just in chunks based on my use of them or how they came in boxes back to Brooklyn in August. The last intentional organization of my records took place when we moved to Austin in 2002, when I packed them up according to color and arranged them that way upon arrival.

I managed to weed out a few hundred discs– many of them unplayable, total crap (even by my standards), or just uninteresting (even by my standards). Now the whole collection is down to under 2000. (If anyone’s interested, the weeded LPs are still hanging around the apartment.) After I got everything roughly organized by blurry genres (with many exceptions), I decided a stop motion video of each LP could serve several purposes:

So, I set up shop in our breakfast nook with my iSight camera, two reading lamps and piles and piles of records. I learned a lot about the collection through the process, and found many, many problems with my current organizational scheme. You can see all of that in the video.

I wasn’t shooting for high production values, and figure I can make things nicer when I get access to a Final Cut Pro Station. To make the video, I used Frame Thief and MPEG StreamClip (take that Quicktime Pro!). Sorry the discs drift around a little, but it was definitely a quantity-over-quality issue. Managing the glare was difficult, but I wasn’t interested in removing each LP from its plastic sleeve– that would have doubled the man-hours at least.

The good news is, now I have photos of each of the records in my collection. Watching all of the strange rhythms and effects of seeing them all at 15-frames-per-second got me thinking about subsets of records to string together like this. Perhaps future Record Jumbles could be based on this.

Once I add metadata to them, though, then the real fun starts. I only wish I had 1) an automated means for doing that (I do have lots of the info in a spreadsheet, but it’s incomplete and old) and 2) a way to integrate it all with my digital/CD music collection.

So, the game. I realize the fact that you can download the video and watch it frame-by-frame makes this easier that it could be, but, some questions about the collection/trivia:

    Quiz Questions:

  • Name four LPs of which I have 2 copies, but the second instance of which appear upside-down.
  • How many die-cut LP sleeves are in my collection, and what albums are they (not counting center-hole cut outs).
  • One album cover contains a picture of Lawrence Fishburne. Which is it?
  • Which two LPs have the promotional 45rpms that accompanied them stuffed in the front of the plastic sleeve?
  • Discussion Questions:

  • What is the worst record I have? The best?
  • What are the strangest juxtapositions of genre/artist/album?
  • What artists am I way too interested in?

I hope someone else is willing to do this… I could watch these all day long.

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5 thoughts on “Another Obsessive Look at My LPs

  1. Actually, it’s like 9 copies of 3 or 4 Sugar Hill 12″ singles. I love how, in that part of the video, the sleeve stays stationary, but the disc in the middle seems to spin.

  2. Got a slower version? I’m gonna look again and at least take a stab at guessing your top-level genres.

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