Digital Crave

What to do with those old CDs and DVDs

Digital Crave

View photo



It's a decidedly modern dilemma: With music and movies becoming increasingly available online and on-demand — that jumble of iTunes and Hulus and Netflix and clouds — what do you do with those stacks of old CDs and DVDs cluttering up your shelves?

The dream, as always, is to be able to access all of your movies and music without the shelves of shiny discs and plastic cases. The issue has been percolating for a decade or so now with music, and there are roughly one million methods for ripping your old CDs to digital to keep the music you already have. But that takes time, and you still have the old disc and jewel case to try to sell, recycle or trash.

The good news is that a marketplace is emerging to do it all for you in a green and potentially profitable manner. The Wisconsin-based start-up Murfie has an intriguing system. You mail in your used CDs and cases — Murfie provides the shipping kit — and the company converts the music into digital format for later downloading in the digital format of your choice.

If you don't want the music anymore (certain 1980s heavy metal records come to mind), you can sell the albums to other Murfie users, essentially transferring ownership of the digital files. In either case, Murfie recycles the plastic jewel cases and any other insert material.

Moving your movies...

With movies, it's a little more complex. If you're an unreformed movie geek like me, DVD and Blu-ray versions of favorite films are much harder to let go of than music on CD. I don't mind watching classic documentaries on Netflix, or catching back episodes of 30 Rock on Hulu. But I'm not letting go of my Criterion Blu-ray reissue of Diabolique for anyone.

You can certainly rip movies to digital in similar fashion as music, but its more complicated and requires a lot more storage space. For new DVD purchases, many high-profile releases now come packaged with a digital copy for porting to your iPad or iPhone or iWhatever.

That still leaves the issue of old DVDs on the shelf. As of now, there are some limited marketplace solutions to converting your old DVDs. Walmart's new Disc to Digital service, that launched April 16, lets you bring in old DVDs to the retail store, where they're "converted" into digital copies on VUDU, the online video service Walmart gobbled up a couple years back.

Details on the service are still a little cloudy (heh). Conversion runs $2-$5 per title, only certain studio titles are supported, and it appears that you keep your original disc regardless. Not ideal, clearly, but you can expect similar competing systems to emerge soon.

The Old-School Approach...

In either case, music or movies, you can always fall back on the analog method and try to resell your CDs and DVDs. You can usually find an independent store in town that still buys used movies and music, but they're an endangered species indeed, you won't make much money, and those guys are always cranky for some reason.

You're much better off selling online, vie eBay or its ancillary service, which specializes in reselling movies, music, book and video games. They've got a nice system there, and once you learn the ropes of selling and shipping, you can get a decent return selling old CDs and DVDs — especially anything new or unopened.

Finally, there's always the charitable option — tax-deductible and good for padding your karma account. Over the years, our local Salvation Army has taken enough off my shelves to launch a half-dozen film and music festivals.

Note: This was written by Glenn McDonald, a Digital Crave contributor.

Check out what's hot and buzzing in tech at Digital Crave

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • 4 Reasons Why a Man Breaks Up With His Partner

      Wondering why a man breaks up with his partner? Here's why.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Is Losing Its Showrunner

      It can be hard to pinpoint what makes a late-night show work so well with audiences, but The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon seems to have cracked the code. Over the last few years, the series has become one of the most popular late-night offerings, consistently dominating in the ratings season after season. While much of this has to do with the charisma of the man in front of the camera, it's important to remember those behind the scenes as well. With that in mind, it now seems The Tonight Show has suffered a major loss, as showrunner Josh Lieb has officially left the series. After serving as the late-night series' showrunner for several years, Josh Lieb has decided to step down from The

    • Donald Trump just got some of his best polling news in weeks

      A CNN poll released on Monday showed Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by five points...

      Business Insider
    • 13 Ultra-Comforting Potato Casseroles (14 photos)

      These hearty recipes need to be in your fall casserole rotation. From Delish

    • NFL morning after: The decline of Colin Kaepernick

      Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most significant player off the field, a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society. That has been the subject of thousands of commentaries. But it’s…

      NBC Sports: ProFootballTalk q
    • Doctors thought he just had jock itch. Then it spread.

      Late Friday afternoon on Dec. 4, 2014, Stephen Schroeder was waiting to board his packed flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas for a much anticipated long weekend with his son when his cellphone rang. On the line was an unexpected caller: his doctor, reporting test results sooner than Schroeder had expected. Listening intently, Schroeder was flooded with disbelief as he struggled to comprehend what he was hearing. Using the lip of a trash can as a writing surface, he scribbled notes on the back of his boarding pass, making the doctor spell out each unfamiliar word. Then he sent a terse text to his wife, who was at their home in the Philadelphia suburbs, and got on the plane. Onboard, Schroeder,

      Washington Post q
    • Olivia Wilde Makes a Point With This Breastfeeding Photo

      Wouldn't you know, the newest member of Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis' family is already the life of the party. "My drinking buddy," Wilde captioned a photo of herself breastfeeding 2-week-old Daisy Josephine Sudeikis, the infant intent on nourishment while her smiling mom sports a T-shirt with the words "never underestimate the power of a woman" stitched onto it. Wilde gave birth to Daisy, her second child, on Oct. 11, proudly informing fans a few days later that her daughter arrived on "International Day of the Girl."

      E! Online q
    • Dancing With the Stars Week 7 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

      We’ve reached Week 7 of Dancing With the Stars‘ 23rd season, and you know what that means: It’s become very clear which contestants stand a chance at the Mirrorball… and which ones, well, don’t. As the remaining couples performed iconic styles from different eras in history, a handful of duos proved exactly why they should be […]
    • Ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle sues company

      The ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is suing the restaurant chain for damages, saying the company received at least three reports indicating his sexual interest in children but failed to ...

      Associated Press
    • Dear Abby: Should I report a baby with bruises?

      DEAR ABBY: I’m a 20-year-old college student and have had a job at the same retail store for two years. A few weeks ago, a mother walked in holding a baby that appeared to be about 6 months old. The first thing I noticed was that he had numerous bruises. There were pronounced bruises under both eyes, another large one on his temple, and several more visible on his arms and legs. I have heard horror stories about parents whose infants have a medical condition that causes them to bruise easily, but the parents are accused of child abuse. This mother seemed attentive to her baby, and I saw nothing in her behavior to make me think her child was in any danger. I didn’t say anything, but I keep wondering

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • NCIS: LA: Eric Christian Olsen Reveals What's Next for Kensi and Deeks

      [Warning: This article contains major spoilers about Sunday's episode of NCIS: LA. Read at your own risk!] Densi fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief. At the end of Sunday's episode of NCIS: LA , Kensi (Daniela Ruah) finally woke up from her coma, with Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) by her side. ... Read More > Other Links From NCIS: Los Angeles Eric Christian Olsen Daniela Ruah This article, NCIS: LA : Eric Christian Olsen Reveals What's Next for Kensi and Deeks, originally appeared on

      TV Guide q
    • Donald Trump rejects polls as inaccurate: ‘All the fair polls have us winning’

      Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who once boasted about his robust poll numbers, has turned to criticizing them as ineffective and “rigged” now that most show his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, with a commanding lead. Trump made the dubious claim in a morning tweet –– the latest example of his pattern of messages of mistrust and skepticism aimed at all things that portray his campaign efforts in a negative light. Monday morning on “The Chad Adams Show,” a conservative radio program in North Carolina, Trump said that pollsters focused on Democrats when asking about which candidate won the second and third debates.

      Yahoo News
    • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says replay decision was the ‘worst call he’s ever seen’

      Jim Harbaugh has been known for using a bit of hyperbole from time to time but it sounds as though he was really, really, really upset at a call in the final few minutes of No. 2 Michigan’s 41-8 win over Illinois on Saturday. Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn had completed a third-and-nine pass to Drake Harris that officials […]

      NBC Sports: CollegeFootballTalk q
    • Pregnant Mila Kunis Goes Grocery Shopping With Ashton Kutcher Weeks Before Her Due Date: Pics!

      The couple looked laidback ahead of welcoming their second child.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • A Royal rift as Princes Charles and Andrew row over Beatrice and Eugenie's taxpayer-funded duties

      The Queen is said to be at the centre of an extraordinary row within the Royal Family as her two eldest sons have come to blows over the futures of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie as taxpayer-funded working royals.

      International Business Times UK q
    • It looks like Brock Osweiler made a mistake leaving the Broncos this offseason

      Brock Osweiler talked on Monday night about how much he loved the Denver Broncos, and it felt sincere. The Denver fans don’t love him anymore, not after he left them as a free agent for a big payday with the Houston Texans. “They meant a lot to me,” Osweiler said.

      Shutdown Corner
    • Nurse who survived Ebola settles with Texas hospital system

      DALLAS (AP) — A nurse who contracted Ebola two years ago while caring for the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S. with the deadly disease settled a lawsuit Monday against the parent company of the Dallas hospital where she worked.

      Associated Press
    • Now Galaxy S7 Edge Is Reportedly Catching Fire (Update: Samsung Responds)

      Samsung's troubles have apparently just spread from the Note 7 to another flagship phone. According to Android Headlines, a Canadian man says his Galaxy S7 Edge caught fire while he was driving home from work. Separately, Phone Arena reports that an employee of one of the big U.S. wireless carriers told the site that one of its customers' Galaxy S7 Edge devices had exploded while it was charging overnight using the included charger.

      Tech Media Network (Tom's Guide)
    • Here are the most popular Halloween costumes in each state — is your costume one of them?

      Halloween is right around the corner, and the holiday countdown has many procrastinators scrambling to find the best last-minute costume options. Even…

      Hello Giggles