We’re hopeless collectors of eclectic music, having far more than a thousand CDs scattered around the house. They’re out of control, and I’ve been putting up music we never listen to on half.com this week. As I post the music, our CDs fall into three categories:

The unlistable: music so bizarre that the UPCs and/or titles don’t even show up on half.com or amazon. These are early CDs, imports, local pressings, strange demo albums, etc. They’re hard to sell, because you can’t just add yours to a pack of similar offerings, you have to actually describe the CD, link to the artist’s discographies, maybe upload a scan of the album.

The collectible: music easily sold on half or amazon, worth at least a couple of dollars, and there’s a market, a copy gets bought at least every few days.

The almost worthless: There are hundreds of new or like new copies being offered for less than two dollars, many for 75 cents, which is the minimum price half.com allows. You can bid for the stuff on ebay for pennies.

The pricing patterns are interesting. Often the marketplace seems quite discerning, Of course N sync and Boyz II men are going to sell for almost nothing, their music was ephemeral from the day it was released, in vast quantities to an easily controlled market. It’s as disposable as yesterday’s NY Post.

Others are more puzzling, Astro Lounge didn’t get a huge marketing effort, how many of these were printed? Arrested Development’s music seemed relevant enough to become collectible, maybe there were just so many copies printed after the Grammies, that the market remains saturated.

And I have to wonder, are particular genres favored by the technically sophisticated? Those who are Ripping and Reselling, or getting a lot of their music via the peer-sharing nets? Enough to depress the market for their favorite music? Of course, I can’t seem to scrape up much sympathy for the Music Industry, I think there’s a great deal of justice to be seen when a heavily marketed, completely commercial, completely contrived CD is selling for 75 cents. I’m rooting for the artists, I kinda hope the recording dynasties join the dinosaurs.

One genre that defies all understanding is the Movie/TV soundtrack CD, Most of these seem to completely saturate their markets, you can buy almost any soundtrack for almost nothing. Perhaps there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse for soundtrack CDs, they just don’t satisfy past a few playings.

The most collectible genre I’ve noticed so far is jazz. I think that’s because most jazz releases are small pressings, aimed at a discriminating audience. Of course there are a few exceptions, though many jazz fans would just roll their eyes and wander out of the room if you played these.

I haven’t put up much classical music yet, I suspect those will be like jazz, they’ll have some value to collectors.