As a rather serious music collector, I know that I can’t be the only one with this problem, but it’s something that has bugged me a little bit each of the past time I’ve put CDs onto my shelf and into my collection.

I often wonder when I’ll simply have the chance to listen to not only a particular piece of music again, but the CD by it, and the CD by that, and the crate of records sitting on the floor by them all. Compact discs have now been in the commercial marketplace for over two decades now, and even many modest collectors I know have aquired five hundred or more CDs in their collection. On the more serious side of things, I also know people with between 5,000 and 10,000 CDs in their collection.

Although my collection falls far, far below the 5,000 mark, I still cannot comprehend when I’ll have a chance to actually sit down and listen to a good portion of my actual collection. I have a lot of music in my iTunes library and my 20 GB iPod is almost full, but shuffle is the best way to sample the collection and even then it’s only a sampling. Sometimes I simply get a bit bummed out looking at things in my collection that have been neglected, trying to give face time where I can by grabbing something when I’m running out the door to drive the car somewhere.

Not only that, but in addition to what I already own, I’m listening to new music weekly (probably 5-10 new albums minimum), so my actual time to devote to older albums is dimished as well. I know lots of people who download at least as much music and have external hard-drives full of 25,000 songs or more. Listening to a collection that large would take non-stop play (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) for well over three months (assuming 10 songs per album) just to hear every song, and once again, that doesn’t include anything new added to that collection in that time span.

Am I going to have to wait until retirement to hear some of my collection again? Will I even like some of it by then? Do I need to take a break from new music for awhile? Help me out here people…