Last week I became a Discogs user. Why? I have been browsing the site for years to find information on albums. Recently I also needed a solution to create an easy to access database of my CD/DVD collection. Right now I am not interested in the marketplace function of Discogs, but that might change in the long term :-)
For many years when I searched for an album, the first few hits were from YouTube and Wikipedia. Nowadays the first few results are often from Discogs. While Wikipedia sometimes provides some interesting background information about the creation of an album, Discogs has more structured and uniform information about albums. It also lists the many variants of the same album. Even for artists where I thought that I have all albums in my collection (like Mike Oldfield), I can find albums I have never heard about before. It is also easy to see who a given artist was working with and using TIDAL I can instantly listen to some really interesting (or awful…) music right away.
I only have a few hundred CDs, but that is already more than I can remember. When I am in a CD shop, I happily buy new CDs from artists I have never heard about before, as I can be sure that I do not already have that disc. However, when it comes to Solaris, Mike Oldfield or Vangelis, I can never be sure if I already have an album. Of course I tried some DIY methods, but it was difficult to maintain the lists and they were never at hand when I really needed them.
Discogs provides an easy to use mobile application to scan bar codes on the back of CDs. This can speed up adding new items to my collection tremendously. Of course not all bar codes are in available in Discogs, but until now there was only one CD that I could not find at all. The more difficult part is when it lists dozens of disks for the same bar code: various (re)prints of the the same album from around the World. I must admit that I am lazy here and just take an educated guess… I can use the same mobile app to check my collection when away from home.
A few weeks ago I realized that I have a duplicate album, and while entering my collection into Discogs, I discovered another one. I have no plans for selling them, I already know which of my friends would be happy to receive them. But in the long term it could be interesting to buy a few CDs which are otherwise impossible to buy here in Hungary.
Discogs also gives a price estimate for most CDs. It was a kind of surprising: some of my most expensive disks are not worth too much anymore, as they were printed in large numbers. On the other hand I have a large collection of Hungarian progrock music, and the price of those is much higher than I paid for them originally.