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I recently signed up for the free trial of Apple Music. It’s like the old days in some ways. Less so in others.

Current music: Little Simz, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Current mood: nostalgic

Back in the 1990s, I only occasionally bought new albums at full price. I periodically joined BMG music club, which gave me a pile of CDs for almost free. I’d cancel before getting anything at full price. Wait. Repeat.

For things I wanted but couldn’t get that way, I’d typically pick it up used.

This made for two patterns.

First, I would cotton to particular artists and try to get either their whole discography. Paul Simon, They Might be Giants, and Suzanne Vega come to mind. Getting the Police box set led to me getting everything by Sting. I also had lots of Niel Young and Tom Petty, but I did not go all-in on them. My collection for all of them ends in the early 2000s, when I stopped buying music on the regular. Until then, I got to know musicians through their oeuvre rather than just the handful of songs that got big radio play.

Second, I would relisten to albums that I owned. Over and over. So I got to know some specific songs very well, just for the accidental reason that they were on an album that was on the BMG cheap-as-free list.

Having Apple Music on tap readily allows for the first pattern. I got to catch up on more recent albums by all the artists that I used to follow, and I’ve been able to do deep dives into the work of others. I had a random thought about Weezer a few days ago and subsequently listened through the whole Weezer discography. Same for Jim’s Big Ego.

Having all the music be just a click away undercuts the second pattern. I will relisten to things that stick in my head, but I won’t relisten to tunes just because they happen to be on albums that I happen to own.

It’s only been a week or two, but so far it’s been good.

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