Back when people still had to pay for music, money served to limit and define consumption. You could only afford so many records, so you bought what you could, listened to the radio or watched MTV, and ignored everything else. Those select few who did manage to hear everything—record store clerks, DJs, nerds with personal warehouses—could use this rare knowledge to terrorize their social or sexual betters, as in the pre-internet-era film High Fidelity. Napster made all of that obsolete. Today, almost every person I know has more music on his computer than he could ever know what to do with. You don’t need to care about music to end up like this—the accumulation occurs naturally and unconsciously. My iTunes library, for example, contains forty-seven days of music. According to the column that counts the number of times I’ve played each song, roughly a sixth of that music has never been listened to at all. In the 21st century, we are all record store clerks.