Patrick cites many compelling arguments for converting to downloading, even if one doesn't ditch all the old CDs, not the least of which is storage space. But may I add another consideration that has recently come very much to the forefront of my mind, namely the cost of insuring a substantial collection of CDs.
My household insurance policy fell due for its annual renewal just before Christmas and I thought that perhaps it was time that I reappraised the insured value of my household contents. It was fairly easy to evaluate the amount of cover needed for conventional house contents but then my thoughts turned to my CD collection.
I have lost count of the number of CDs I possess but it probably exceeds the figure to which Patrick owns up in public (I'm not as brave as him!) However, a very rough calculation - and some raised eyebrows on the part of my wife - sent me scurrying off to consult my broker.
The result of a detailed discussion with my broker was his advice that if I were to insure the full replacement value the insurance companies would view what I have as a collection - in the same way they view such things as medals or stamps - and special (translation: "increased") premiums would apply to the CDs. In the end we reached a pragmatic view that in what I hope is the unlikely event I lost the lot in a house fire I'd probably only replace about 50% and I've applied for cover accordingly.
So perhaps collectors might find downloading a way of keeping their insurance premiums down as well - and you can spend the saving on more downloads!
Incidentally, my comments apply to the UK insurance market only: I have no idea what insurance arrangements apply elsewhere in the world, though I suspect they may not be dissimilar.
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