Five Hundred Words on iPodMeister

Pack rat is too strong a term for my predisposition to hang onto physical stuff, but I can’t think of any better way of describing someone who lets objects hold such sway over him. Sentimental fool? Well, if pack rat is too strong, then sentimental fool is too weak.

Here’s a prime example of what I’m talking about: It’s been years since I’ve listened to music on CD. My car didn’t have a working CD player and my home entertainment set-up is powered by iTunes. The same goes for DVDs. For years, we’ve been ripping everything we buy to digital, just in case the kids destroy the discs. And yet, despite having access to everything digitally, we’ve been keeping the physical media around.

Why? It was probably in the vague hope that someday we’d have a sprawling home in which to display all of our stuff. But it’s become more and more obvious in recent years that the sprawling home we built for ourselves in our imaginations is not something that will ever become a reality. And, really, even if it does, we’ve started to wonder what the point of filling that dream house with dusty old trinkets would be.

The real value in the CDs and DVDs had already been extracted and placed elsewhere. We had no need for packaging. It was just taking up space. So, we decided to do something about it.

I forget where I first heard about iPodMeister, but it was on my radar for a good, long while before I decided to give their service a try. Why? Well, I had my suspicions that they weren’t exactly on the up-and-up. Their Website is decidedly last-decade in its design, their name elicits a raised eyebrow whenever I tell someone about them, and their deal just seems too good to be true. Turn in my worthless crap and get a cool new gadget in exchange? I think you can understand my trepidation.

But my experience working with them was everything that their testimonials and press promised. From the moment I packed up my stuff—they paid for the shipping—all the way through to getting the iPad for Stephanie, the process was painless. Now people in developing countries where the CD is still the pinnacle of technology are going to get to have fun with all my old stuff and my wife is finally, for the first time in her life, going to have a computer/gadget that is primarily her own. It’s win-win, baby.

One summer, years ago, I spent some time with my mother cleaning out an old family house of all the stuff that had accumulated in there. I only got a small taste of what she spent years doing, but it was enough to leave a mark. I’m trying now, when I’m young enough to break bad habits, to de-clutter my life so that my children don’t have to spend my afterlife doing it for me.