A Look At My Music Collection on Discogs (Part 1)


I recently finished adding all my physical music media (vinyl, CDs, etc…) to the Discogs online database. There are currently 2195 items in my collection, which you can see here.

The data in Discogs is a bit of a mess, seeing how the data and its structure are the result of ongoing arguments between random unpaid record nerds with wildly varying levels of OCD. But it does serve the basic purposes I have for it:

  1. Since I can access my collection via the Discogs app on my phone, I can use it while crate-digging to keep me from accidentally buying something I already own
  2. In the event of fire or some other incident, I’ll have a list of my collection to give the insurance company
  3. I can export a subset of the data to Excel for me to play with (thus this post)

Discogs, in addition to being a database, is a community of collectors and a marketplace where music can be bought and sold. Discogs tracks those sales and uses the data to assign a value to many, if not most, of the items in the database. If available, they list the median price for a release, along with the lowest and highest recorded sales.

The most expensive item ever sold on Discogs is a copy of The Black Album by Prince, which went for $27,500. None of my records have sold for anywhere near that. The highest price listed for any item in my collection is $500, for a vinyl copy of Suicide. But take that with a grain of salt. Supposedly the second most valuable item in my collection is a mono copy of Pet Sounds, valued at $250. But unless you enjoy crackle and hiss, it’s probably worth much closer to the $1 I paid for it after finding it in a bin in Ipswich.

1922 of the items in my collection have values assigned, for a total median value of $14,552.48 and a maximum of $30.885.91. After estimating the value of the remaining 273 items using the average value for each type of media, those numbers rise to $15,783.48 and $33,347.91. If something should happen (ghod forbid), I know which number I’d give the insurance company.

One of the issues with Discogs is that they mix media type and content descriptios in a “Format” field, so things aren’t easily sorted, but here’s a fairly good estimate of how many I have of each type of media:

Cassette22
CD1032
DVD6
EP56
LP886
Single193

Another issue is that the “Date” for each item is not supposed to be the date the content was originally released, but the date that particular version was stamped/pressed/whatever. Obviously, these should be two different fields. Instead, dates are entered inconsistently and over 200 of my items have no date at all. Anyhow, here’s a chart showing the number of albums I have from each year.

(Lots of digital-only in the last decade not included)

Here are all the artists with 10 or more items (albums, singles, etc…) in my collection:

Neil Young38
R.E.M.35
The Kinks30
Talking Heads25
Gang Of Four24
The Beatles23
The Who20
Neil Young & Crazy Horse19
The Doors17
Lucinda Williams16
Lou Reed14
The Rolling Stones14
David Byrne13
Wings (2)13
The Beach Boys12
The Residents12
Barry Manilow11
Pink Floyd11
The Clash11
Bob Dylan10
Devo10
Jethro Tull10
Traffic10

I could do more if you’re not bored yet. Let me know in the comments.

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