Thanks, Spotify, for Making Music Christmas Gifts Totally Impossible

Categories: It's 2013

4. Services Because I am a blogger and my fiancée is a former East Asian Studies major, we swear most years to spend exactly zero dollars on our Christmas gifts for each other. I know how this sounds, but rest assured: We are exactly cheap enough not to chicken out and do the O. Henry thing at the last minute.

Last year, I attempted to do the impossible: Tag, organize, and find album art for her enormous iTunes library, which is partially East Asian in origin. I'm just getting started, and there are probably 500 Unknown Albums with three unnamed J-Pop songs in them still to go. If you don't have a lot of money, but you do have a prescription for Ritalin and something like 30 hours on your hands, this is not a bad idea.

5. Memorabilia s a perennial winner, and it's the best one I've settled on. My brother is one of a few die-hard Blind Melon fans born after 1990, so last Christmas I found an old record store display for one of their albums and jumped on it. Most of the inventory in that Sam Goody where you shopped in 1994 is worthless, but all of the ephemera -- the posters, the end caps, the VHS promos with two sullen hosts talking about the new Candlebox album -- has become valuable. Thanks, internet.

The weird thing: As people have moved their music collections (and shopping) onto computers, albums themselves have become memorabilia, divorced from the music that's on them. Which brings me to my real point: If you settle on a mint-condition vinyl copy of Wings at the Speed of Sound when you're shopping for me, this year, don't worry. I'll love it -- it was so thoughtful of you to remember I already owned Back to the Egg -- I'm just not sure I'll ever actually listen to it.

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I disagree.  I gave my dad a Spotify membership for his birthday this year and he LOVES IT.  He would have never found it otherwise and it's almost all he listens to now.  It's a gift that I've been giving him for 6 months now and will continue to just pay for for as long as he uses it, and I've received several thank yous for it because he's enjoyed it so much. 

Gifts are a pretty personal thing, so while you may not want to give Spotify as a gift because you think it's important that you give someone something specific that you already know they like, I gave my dad the gift of discovering artists that he didn't know existed, and now likes.  I'd say that's a pretty amazing gift.

Leroy Laroche
Leroy Laroche

Not for vinyl collectors and people who actually still buy music physically. I still go out and buy records.

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