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Are CDs still a worthy investment? - Page 2

post #16 of 77

Hold on a minute here, when I buy cd's off of amazon it's still at least 3 bucks extra to ship...

post #17 of 77

I still buy CDs, SACDs, DVD-As and vinyl. I usually only download if there's a lossless option, but I usually get the physical copy. If they become obsolete, sell or throw them away and you still have a lossless version on your hard drive or in the cloud. 

post #18 of 77

I like my physical media for various reasons, many already stated.

 

I still think pure digital distribution has a ways to go and many people are still bandwidth limited for blu-ray level content which will affect total digital domination.  When the majority of the population is able to DL gigs in minutes then I'll worry about physical media dying.  Even then I'd still archive in long term physical rather than rely on someone elses cloud.  ISPs and cellular are doing everything to cap users so I wouldn't write anything off yet.

post #19 of 77

I agree with the general "archival" idea of lossless files on a stable medium but 2 practical considerations:

 

1) Harddrive archives: Copying/cloning a hardrive with the lossless equivalent of hundreds or even thousands of CDs is easy: Hook up the second drive, drag & drop, go for a cuppa, done. Copying CDs or re-ripping (& tagging!!) them correctly: very time-consuming. 2, 3 or even 4 HDs still take up much less space than all those CDs. If the album is available lossless, I won't miss the physical medium for a second (*) Though there are only a few albums now BUT until the big guys get on board, the selection is still too limited, so there'll be plenty more CDs shipping my way.

 

2) More importantly, the quality of the source! From my recent experience: from a Head-Fi thread on female vocals, I came across Lana Del Rey (apparently pretty popular these days), kinda liked a couple of songs and decided to give her album a shot. Did the usual when I want a HQ version: ordered the CD & ripped it lossless. Songwise pretty blah but OK, but mastering-wise a brickwalled disaster. I don't tend to obsess over DR, but this sounded so bad, I ran DRmeter: average 5, most tracks over limit. What's the point of a technically HQ file when the content is so mangled?! I ended up transcoding to VBR MP3 to save 2/3 of wasted space, and in hindsight might have just as well downloaded it from iTunes or Amazon, and saved myself the extra money, time for shipping and effort to rip & transcode...

 

(*) For example The Ruffled Feathers are releasing their excellent first album in any format under the sun (incl. ALAC, so I don't even have to transcode the FLACs) I'll gladly pay for that and not miss the CD... (P.S.: They are giving away 2 (lossless!) tracks every couple of weeks or so: http://ruffledfeathersmusic.bandcamp.com/)

post #20 of 77

CDs have never been an investment.  An investment is some that accrues value over time.

post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

CDs have never been an investment.  An investment is some that accrues value over time.



Funny that you mentioned that. Not a CD but  and SACD story :-

 

I thought I'd try to find Michael Jackson's Thriller on SACD last weekend thinking that it's been out for 12 yrs so it should be cheap. Couldn't find it anywhere except online and that SACD now sells for $160-200 2nd hand!! I'm researching how much my SACDs are worth now - not that I'd ever sell them but just curious.

 

Edit: Yes I'm aware my example is probably an isolated case instigated by his death most likely.

post #22 of 77

I have limited experience of downloads but for me it´s CDs definitely - the album as a statement from the artist that you can hold in your hand (unless of course it´s only one track that you want). High resolution downloads can apparently sound fantastic and when there is more choice it could be fun but in 30 years time I can probably still listen to CDs - I might have to convert all my ripped/downloaded albums to something new when today´s lossless formats have become obsolete.

post #23 of 77

I buy all of my new music on CD and then rip to AIFF files at full resolution, then store the CD's away as the masters and play from the ripped files.

post #24 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

2) More importantly, the quality of the source! From my recent experience: from a Head-Fi thread on female vocals, I came across Lana Del Rey (apparently pretty popular these days), kinda liked a couple of songs and decided to give her album a shot. Did the usual when I want a HQ version: ordered the CD & ripped it lossless. Songwise pretty blah but OK, but mastering-wise a brickwalled disaster. I don't tend to obsess over DR, but this sounded so bad, I ran DRmeter: average 5, most tracks over limit. What's the point of a technically HQ file when the content is so mangled?! I ended up transcoding to VBR MP3 to save 2/3 of wasted space, and in hindsight might have just as well downloaded it from iTunes or Amazon, and saved myself the extra money, time for shipping and effort to rip & transcode...

 


Well obviously a brickwalled mastering is going to sound like crap no matter what format you have it on. But you bring up a good point, in that a lot of music today sounds like crap and isn't even worth owning in a lossless format. When you realize this, you become more picky in your taste in music. You start buying albums that you think (or hope) have a good recording and mastering and you begin to pass over the ones with bad reputations.  For this exact reason, I'm more willing to drop money on a random LP from the 70's than a random CD from the 00's. Why waste your time with bad quality music? Buying physical copies becomes a method to filter out the loud stuff.

post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post



Well obviously a brickwalled mastering is going to sound like crap no matter what format you have it on. But you bring up a good point, in that a lot of music today sounds like crap and isn't even worth owning in a lossless format. When you realize this, you become more picky in your taste in music. You start buying albums that you think (or hope) have a good recording and mastering and you begin to pass over the ones with bad reputations.  For this exact reason, I'm more willing to drop money on a random LP from the 70's than a random CD from the 00's. Why waste your time with bad quality music? Buying physical copies becomes a method to filter out the loud stuff.

Ok, this is a point of view I've seen in other audiophiles that I simply do not understand. I buy music because I like the music. That means that sometimes the only recording I can get of a performer or piece I like is poorly recorded. I'm not just talking about loudness wars CDs. There's a composition by Richard Strauss called Metamorphosen. The only recording of it I've been able to find was by the Berlin Symphony for (or off from the sound of it) the radio. The sound quality? Crap. The performance? Pretty amazing.

I think music lovers, as opposed to gear lovers, will put up with a poor recording of old and new music, if they love the music. And listen to it on more forgiving set ups.
post #26 of 77

I used to buy CDs, now I exclusively buy all my music from iTunes. I just do not have the space to store 100s of CDs. Also with iTunes in the Cloud, I can download my music to my iPhone, iPad, and iMac when I want and where I want. Buying digital also helps the environment in small ways.

post #27 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post

<snip> I think music lovers, as opposed to gear lovers, will put up with a poor recording of old and new music, if they love the music. And listen to it on more forgiving set ups.


I agree with you. My personal point was not so much about not listening to that music, as much as it was about not bothering with a CD (vs. download) since one of its major benefits is negated.

 

For instance, noise floor is something that is a major consideration for most here, but then some old recordings start with a solid shhhhhhh way louder than even a mediocre tube amp. (And speaking of vinyl, I found several times that some "amateur" vinyl rips have been done with greater care than some of the commercial releases... sad) Heck, some of my old swing/big band or blues recordings are in, gasp, mono... still great music (even though mono is one thing that is less distracting on speakers than on headphones)

 

The reverse holds true as well: I could simply not find the Hanna soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers on CD anywhere when it was first released, so I ended up getting it from the iTunes store in lower quality... but for this kind of music it's OK.

 

But generally I have to say that DR compression is probably THE most annoying of all defects (hiss, vinyl pops & clicks etc.)


Edited by TheGrumpyOldMan - 2/28/12 at 12:20pm
post #28 of 77

 

Anything containing lossless files will always have an audience will to pay. I keep lossless copies of all the music I listen to. CDs might die out but soon enough I think we'll start to see more online sales of lossless or at least higher quality music files.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post


Ok, this is a point of view I've seen in other audiophiles that I simply do not understand. I buy music because I like the music. That means that sometimes the only recording I can get of a performer or piece I like is poorly recorded. I'm not just talking about loudness wars CDs. There's a composition by Richard Strauss called Metamorphosen. The only recording of it I've been able to find was by the Berlin Symphony for (or off from the sound of it) the radio. The sound quality? Crap. The performance? Pretty amazing.
I think music lovers, as opposed to gear lovers, will put up with a poor recording of old and new music, if they love the music. And listen to it on more forgiving set ups.

 

Good point. I've found a tendency towards genres with better recordings i.e. classical and jazz but that does mean I abandon everything just because it's brickwall recorded. Bad quality recording doesn't translate into bad music.

post #29 of 77

Funny timing: rumours circulating Apple are about to introduce higher quality audio to iTunes. Maybe my CD buying days will be numbered...

post #30 of 77
CDs are great. Rip them and compress them with a lossless codec like flac - enjoy them to all eternity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

Funny timing: rumours circulating Apple are about to introduce higher quality audio to iTunes. Maybe my CD buying days will be numbered...
Yay, remastered versions compressed with aac. -_- I'd rather throw my money out of the window.
Edited by xnor - 2/28/12 at 12:48pm
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