This story started while I was preparing my blog post about piracy. The idea was to make it clear that I am all for supporting artists with my money, while arguing that in some cases using piracy might be justified.

I hadn’t even completed two sentences of the post before my brain decided to sabotage me with a seemingly innocent suggestion: “Hey, you should totally calculate the value of your Bandcamp collection, I bet it would make your position stronger!” Ok, mister brain, challenge accepted, or whatever. I have 1,303 albums, average album price is $10, so my collection is worth roughly $13,030. Can we move on now? “Oh, but that’s just the estimate—why don’t you calculate the exact value?”

The challenge was too fun to resist, and that’s how we ended up here. In this post, I will teach you how to properly avoid doing the important work by turning a 10-second job into a weeklong odyssey.

Purchases page

Bandcamp conveniently lists all your purchases on a single page (well, in my case only after scrolling down 130 times). You can save that page to a file and then parse the HTML content to extract the prices. That’s exactly what I planned to do, but my brain interfered again. “Come on, are you really going to scrape the HTML? You call yourself a master hacker, you should be ashamed of yourself!” I couldn’t argue against this impeccable logic—I was indeed ashamed and beaten into submission once more.

Using the Bandcamp API

I fired up the developer tools and immediately found the order history API. It was super easy to use, and I was only a few lines of code away from finding out the exact value of my collection. But before doing that, I brilliantly decided that now was the best time to catch up with all fancy new .NET features that I’ve been ignoring for years, such as Async Streams and high-performance JSON processing using the System.Text.Json library. After putting it all to (questionable) use, I ran out of excuses and finally ran the code:

   64.45 AUD
  271.35 CAD
   31.20 CHF
   50.00 DKK
 2582.63 EUR
  475.30 GBP
16056.00 JPY
  350.65 NOK
    5.00 NZD
  641.60 PLN
  599.13 SEK
   12.10 SGD
 9004.38 USD

God damn it, what was I supposed to do with 13 different currencies? I was now in an even worse position than at the beginning: even though these numbers were correct, it was impossible to put all of them in a sentence. Can you see where this is all going? Yes, it was currency conversion time!

Currency conversion

The first idea that came to my mind was to use the current exchange rates, but that would have been ridiculous. Today’s rates are irrelevant for purchases made many years ago—I needed historical exchange rates instead. Searching for free currency exchange rate APIs reminded me how much I hate the internet today. All I could find were generic, sponsored, contentless articles with names like “25 best free currency APIs in 2022”, where meaningless statements such as “bank-grade 256-bit SSL encryption” easily earn you the top spot in the list. In this endless sea of adverts for websites falsely claiming to be free, I somehow managed to stumble upon, a hidden little gem that offers a free currency conversion API, but for real. It was so refreshing to find a great, free product made with love in the age where almost everything is just a hustle to make some money. Kudos to you, my unknown neighbor from Slovakia! Anyway, I quickly figured out how to use this API, but as it happens in every good procrastination story, this was not the end.

European Central Bank

Home page of the says that “currency data delivered are sourced from financial data providers and banks, including the European Central Bank”. Wait, if they are getting the data from the European Central Bank, what’s preventing me from doing the same? Nothing, other than the fact that it would be completely unnecessary, because I already had a free API I knew how to use. Logical thinking didn’t stop me, though, so I searched for “European Central Bank exchange rates” and found this:

Euro foreign exchange reference rates

Latest reference rates, historical time series—everything was there, in PDF, CSV, and XML! I don’t remember why, but I chose to go with the XML format. Trying to figure out how to correctly parse the unnecessarily complicated XML schema made me feel dumb for a while, but I ultimately succeeded and correctly concluded that XML namespaces are dumb, not me (but Jesus, Nemanja, what the hell were you thinking: why didn’t you just parse the simple CSV file instead of wasting your time with XML?). Anyway, the final ingredient was in my hands!


It’s not enough to just come close to the finish line. You still need to cross it, and that’s sometimes surprisingly difficult. In every side quest you can find an even more useless side quest hidden inside. Here is what caused my final detour (note that at this time I already had all the info I needed to finish the quest I had embarked on):

public string ItemTitle { get; set; }

public decimal UnitPrice { get; set; }

public string PaymentDate { get; set; }

These are the properties of the class I used for deserializing Bandcamp API responses. You can see that I had to manually annotate them with names of underlying JSON fields. I was annoyed with that, especially because I knew it was possible to automatically convert the names during deserialization, at least for PascalCase and camelCase. But I didn’t know the name of this letter case with underscores, so I used my crazy Google skills to search for—wait for it—”case with underscores”. I learned that this case is named snake_case, but I also discovered that SCREAMING_SNAKE_CASE and kebab-case are a thing, too. All of this had led me nowhere, though, because I soon discovered that snake case is not supported in .NET 7. It was finally the time to let go, which I did, but not before I read the whole GitHub thread about the plans to add snake_case support for System.Text.Json.


After seven days of pointless work, my mission was finally accomplished—I found out the exact value of my Bandcamp collection! Remember how my initial guess was $13,030? Brace yourself before your hear the exact value: it’s $13,260. That’s… pretty much the same number. Was it worth it the effort? Absolutely not, but it was at least fun.

Leaving Bandcamp calculator behind me, I had no other option but to focus and write the piracy post.

Huge thanks to Milica Miljkov for editing this post. Special thanks to Steven Pressfield for teaching me about the Resistance.