Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
26 June 2005

If like me you have a CD collection and a computer with a very large hard disk, do what I am doing and ‘rip’ large parts of your collection to your hard disk then give the CDs away to charity – Oxfam in my case. I have a laptop so I can plug my computer directly into my stereo (and I can’t tell the difference in sound quality between MP3s and my CDs). If you don’t have a laptop though you can get an inexpensive MP3 player (I see they cost as little as £15/$25 these days) and just plug that into your stereo when you want music.

That way you have convenient access to music, you rediscover discs you have probably forgotten about, you have cleared clutter out of your life, and you get to help people lift themselves out of poverty (or whatever charity you prefer). A real win win act!

P.S. If you are worried about how much storage space this would take on your hard disk, I currently have 2730 songs – 7.6 straight days worth of music – in 10Gb of disk space (and you may not need to store every track on every disc – there are probably plenty of tracks you find you don’t want on each one). An external 80Gb drive costs from around £50/$90 these days and would be very useful for backing up as well as music storage (you are backing up regularly, right?)


  1. You do realize that what you are doing is illegal, or at least violates copyright, right? Fair use only covers ripping if you own the CD’s. Once you sell them or give them away, you no longer have a “right” to the music. You’re supposed to delete all copies you’v made or some such.

    Not that anyone does this, but I just thought I’d point it out. 🙂

    Comment by Reid — 27 June 2005 @ 2:26 am

  2. Hmmm. I must admit I hadn’t thought of that! To be honest I would have a problem with doing this if what you did was buy CDs, rip them and sell them on commercially but in this case the morality of giving money to charity trumps the needs of the poor starving record companies IMHO.

    Comment by David Brake — 27 June 2005 @ 9:05 am

  3. Gash CDs are also good for scaring geese and other birds off your vegetable patch.
    Nail them on to a stick along with a washer larger than the centre hole. Leave a gap of about an inch between the stick and the CD and plant strategically around the area you wish to protect. Angle into the wind for maximum effect and the sharp flashes of shimmering light is enough to scare off even the hungriest of feathered fiends.

    Comment by onlinewords — 1 July 2005 @ 11:01 am

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