Over To You: How Can I Avoid Buying The Same Song Twice?

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music library management music library tips
Last updated 16 November, 2017

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How do you prevent yourself accidentally buying the same tune twice?

Digital DJ Tips reader Mr Lobow writes: “I’m a digital DJ since 2004 and like most people I suppose, at first I never worried about accidentally getting more than one copy of the same tune, because (I admit it) I downloaded freely from internet. But two years ago I saw the error of my ways and decided to only buy songs, as I started playing publicly and not just with friends and at private parties. However, when buying from Juno and Beatport, I have an annoying habit of buying tracks more than once! I find it easy to do this because tunes are often catalogued in different styles. Can you give me any advice on how to avoid this?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

This isn’t as crazy a question as it first sounds. Back in the days when I used to DJ from vinyl, I often did this, where it ended up costing me a lot more than when you do it digitally. What can happen is a song is released, you buy it, it sits unplayed, then six months later, it is re-released (different label, part of a package, whatever), and you buy it again! It doesn’t help that in dance music, titles, even artists can change, as a white label or unsigned tune is picked up and comes out later on under a totally different guise.

I’ve done it digitally, too. Like you, I only buy music, and I find my music mainly on Spotify nowadays, where I have a shortlist folder. Then, the day before a gig, I’ll listen through the shortlist, and quickly buy anything I am sure I want. Trouble is, I may have (equally quickly) scanned the same folder the week before, neglected to remove the “bought” tunes, and in a rush to get out of the door with a few new tunes in my virtual crate, I have been known to buy a tune or two for a second time.

How to stop this happening

So there’s a couple of obvious ways of avoiding this. Firstly, buy less music! You shouldn’t have to buy stacks of music every week; half a dozen new tunes should be more than enough for any DJ. Secondly, and obviously, make sure you check the artist/title agains your current playlists just to be sure you don’t buy something you’ve already got.

Other than that, I like to tell myself that if I accidentally buy a tune twice, it must be because it really is an amazing song, so I’ve double-rewarded the artist, and I should make doubly sure to play it at every gig – if only to get my money’s-worth out of it!

Have you ever bought music more than once by mistake, either vinyl or digital? Do you buy more music that you can listen to, and so end up with piles of stuff you really don’t know that well? Or are you really careful whenever you add anything to your collection, and therefore never have this issue? I’d love to hear your experiences and advice in the comments.

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