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Decluttering is music to my ears

Precisely nine years after buying my flat with the aim of living there for three to four years (may I hereby offer my profound gratitude to the oberkommandos of the global financial markets), I am in the middle of a demented decluttering spree that, while short of transforming the property, is making the most of its character and limited space.

The aim is to pare back the gubbins accumulated over nearly a decade, much of it shared near-painlessly with my good lady, and present the flat to market - as they say - in as saleable a condition as possible.

Thus, items deemed inessential - winter boots; tents; spare brake discs and pads for a W-reg Saab 9-3 Viggen; assorted pieces of MDF; orphaned golf clubs; a spare vaccum cleaner; I could go on if the letters above didn't ramble on so much - have been relocated to corners of a studio my band rents in the east end of Glasgow. The space they have left behind is a revelation.

More gratifyingly, though, I have been forced to address the matter of four skyscrapers in the living room that strained with approximately 500 rarely played compact discs, my preference for vinyl having reached a borderline obsessive degree (a subject for another day, I should forewarn you).

Having awoken to the spectacular inappropriateness of the first word in the noun "compact disc" in the context of my fun-size flat, I took it upon myself during a bout of vague incapacity in late 2012 to begin copying said collection to an external hard drive (in Apple Lossless, for those of a technical bent), juggling a super-fast iMac and deadly slow G4 Powerbook in a twin-handed frenzy of ripping (steady on) described by an eloquent friend as Stakhanovist in intensity. Don't think any less of yourself - I had to look it up too.

Seventeen months later - though I won't pretend the copying was uninterrupted - I have the contents of every CD I've ever bought stored in a box the size of a paperback. The file quality is identical to that of the original, minus the (a) weight; (b) bulk; and (c) flimsy build quality of the CDs.

I've bought into the Future of Digital Audio™, you see: network streaming. It sounds better than CD and takes up next to no room. All you need is a streamer, a couple of hard drives (where your music collection lives), an Ethernet cable, an amplifier and loudspeakers.

As for the discs, the owners of a record shop in Glasgow have offered me good money for three-quarters of them, which I can offset against vinyl purchases. Sounds good to me.

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