Compact Discs

I like CD's.

I like that they encourage you to listen to a whole album at once. I like looking at the artwork and liner notes. I like listening to them on our dedicated CD player in the basement and enjoying the crisp sound quality.

I especially like CD's for travelling. Our van is all fancy and has an aux input but we almost always pop in a disc when we're headed down the road.

I'm a firm believer that giving yourself a few good choices is often superior to giving yourself all the choices, and as such I don't have a giant 1998-esque CD binder stuffed under the seat in our van. I have a small zippered case that holds 24 CD's. Enough to afford some variety but small enough to quickly flip through.

When a new album joins the family it is usually ripped to my computer immediately and put on the CD shelf for playing at home. If there's an album we want to have in the van, I'll burn a copy so the original doesn't get scratched up. It's a pretty good system, but over time our van's center console still became a little overloaded with CD's. Not just the little packet of albums as planned, but all sorts of discs - mainly thrift store finds or albums I didn't have time to burn but wanted to bring along on a trip.


This weekend seemed as good a time as any to make a new spreadsheet (yay spreadsheets) containing the contents of our CD case and thin down the selections available in the van.

All the non-burned CD's were removed from the van, and all the CD's in the 24-disc case were entered into the spreadsheet - artist, album name, year, and active (y/n). Non-active discs are ones that are unscratched but not currently in rotation; mostly Christmas music at the moment. Then, I used the "Sort Range" feature in Google Sheets to arrange the albums. Active albums went at the top, inactive at the bottom, then it was sorted by Artist, then by Year.

cd list.PNG

Now I have an easy way to keep track of what's in the van and an easy way to logically order the albums! Unexpected bonus: I can see which artists are favored and adjust for more variety if needed. At the moment, Jonathan Jones reigns pretty handily over the collection, due in part to the large number of projects he has been a part of - his solo work, his band We Shot The Moon, his duet group Old Daisy are all represented here and we didn't even have room for Waking Ashland, Bird Passengers, or any of his many other projects. David Crowder and his band(s) are also represented strongly, with albums not just by David Crowder*Band, but his solo work (Crowder) and his former band's new band (The Digital Age). U2 comes in third with a solid showing of three albums.

It's also worth noting that not all of our favorite albums necessarily made the list. Some because we already had plenty of music from that artist or in that style, some because they don't lend themselves to listening in a noisy vehicle, and some because not everyone in the family is willing to listen to it while strapped into a seat :P Lastly, of course, with only 24 slots available, there's just not room for everything worth listening to.

Then again, that's kind of the point.