First of all, I want to say that I hope I am not violating board policy by promoting something that I recently discovered. I'll understand if this gets deleted... but I'm pretty excited about something that I just wanted to share.
Over the past several years I have become more and more aware that, while my CD collection does not change, neither does my interest in a wide variety of music. The days in which we USED to live have changed. I remember, back in 'the day', I would hear songs on the radio and (if I liked it) I would consider going out and purchasing the CD. Sometimes there would be only one or, hopefully, a few songs that I really liked. Then came the time where everybody seemed to have a CD burner and sharing and downloading became more popular. With this, one still ended up with a physical object (CD) to carry around in a folio of some kind.
Now, with the rise of portable music devices (MP3 players & iPods), the need for the physical object containing music is fading. Let me get to the point... I recently discovered a service available on line where you can legally download individual songs or entire albums legally and cheaply. It's called URGE. URGE has three levels of service: FREE, All Access, and All Access To Go. With the FREE service, you can explore and download (for a fee) all the music in their vast library and listen to 20 on line radio stations. If you decide you'd like to pay for the service, the world just opens up for you. For $9.95 per month (less than the cost of ONE CD) you can play and or download millions of songs onto your computer, create playlists, listen to 130 different radio stations, receive recommendations... Everything is as temporary as you want it to be. If you decide you don't really like something, just delete it from your library and find something else. For $14.95 per month (All Access To Go) you can transfer music to your portable device and take it with you and play in the car, at the gym, in the park, well... you get the idea.
has a two-week free trial of All Access on their site. If you like music, but you're not sure how to best explore various styles or artists, it is really cool. I know once I tried it I HAD to have it.