this is a recent post with a similar concern:
How do you pick your next music?
To play, or to buy?
To play, it is all a mood oriented thing. Or its an effort to change or lift up a mood, by playing upbeat tunes. Working around the house etc. Company, background, dinner, etc.
Nominally its all done by hand picked playlists all in genre oriented form, or Auto generated Playlists from the SMART list function of the media player I use.
That said, Ive also of late been hanging out online at Pandora and Slacker, two streaming sites for music..
Picking the next music that I will buy often comes from listening to portions of it in advance. Previewing has its merits. Listening to the whole song is best so Ive gone over to Youtube for some of those which really interest me or I merely cherry pick a few tunes 2 or 3 and download them from somewhere. If I find 4 songs or more on some released disc, CD, BR, DVDA, or SACD I simply go buy the thing outright.
If only one or two tracks are attractive Ill just keep on cherry picking downloads and refrain from buying the whole album.
AS for any HD tracks from online sources, Im yet to be a frequent flyer there but have bought a few albums so far. Im not keen on re-buying time and again, the same album in a different jacket. Its gotta be quite special for me to shoot still more $$$$ into the exact same song/track. In fact all the HD cuts/albums Ive bought so far are ones I did not own previously.
Neither am I enough of a groupie to rush out and buy whatever eclectic arcane oldie moldie that had languished in the forgotten fold of public domain and has been brought back to life by some entrepreneurial gambling winds.
Lastly, simple boredom, and curiosity propel me into new music genres. New artists, and new groups. Recommendations from friends, and the recommendations you see if choosing online in the people who bought this yada yada also bought these section have proven a path to further musical enlightenment for me, as it/they have opened many many enjoyable musical doors.
Of course, if your mind is open to new music genres youll enjoy the seeking and searching out process a lot more and not refrain from it as a droll task in a tedious effort.
The only exception I find to this last phrase is the classical genre. 50 versions of the exact same opera, symphony, concerto, etc, gives me great pause in delving deeper into this genre than I have so far. Beethovens 9th by whom? Which conductor? Which orchestra? Where? London Philharmonic? Pittsburgh Pops? Calcuttas Backstreet Chamber group? Sheeeesssshhh.
Blindjim: yeah, it was tough when i had a huge classical collection. I had to move, and cut my enttire collection by 50%. Turned out over 4,000 of the 6,000Lp culled were classical albums.
I didn't lose a single work, just variations of performances. I had too be really strick and tell myself for exampl, four Beethoven Fifth sym. were ENOUGH!
I, like Ahendler, have my music disorganized, so when searching for something I find others that will get playtime that normally would never have been looked at. But I find I have bought multiple copies because I'm not sure I have a copy or not. Better to be safe and buy a copy and have two, or three....