Do you prefer your music on a physical or digital medium?

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Do you prefer your music on a physical or digital format?

Physical: cd, album, minidisc, 8 track
13
62%
Digital: mp3, FLAC, thumb drive, cloud
8
38%
 
Total votes: 21

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Russ
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Do you prefer your music on a physical or digital medium?

Postby Russ » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:31 pm

I love physical media, and fondly remember the hours I spent, as a youth, looking at the artwork and reading liner notes.

However,, the problem I've had with cds is that they're fragile (sun and scratches can do a number of them), and, more importantly, they're an incredibly inefficient use of space...


A single 128GB thumb drives, which can be picked up for $50-$60, can hold around 1,000 cds, ripped between 192kbps - 228kbps. There are lossless formats out there, but I'm not an audiophile, and primarily listen to music in the car.

I still pick up cds when a digital format is unavailable, or if there's a good deal on the digital/physical combo. But I rip 'em and set 'em aside. I remember, in the past, finding bunches and bunches of misplaced cds scattered around my car. Many were scratched, while others suffered the effects of sun exposure. Needless to say, I was more than a bit annoyed.

One night someone broke into my car, when I was a poor college student, and took my backpack full of cds. They had to be frustrated when they realized that it was a collection of operatic tenors. But it didn't matter... they were still gone.

Over the years I've been able to purchase most of the cds I'd lost that night (Wunderlicht, Bjorling, & Gigli), but there are some cds I've never been able to find (Kraus and Hislop). If they had been ripped to a digital format, I would have only lost the physical media, not what it contained.


I lost one of my 128GB thumb drives a few months ago. I had inadvertently left it in a rental car, and, of course, the attendants were unable to locate it. I was mad at myself for leaving the thumb drive in the car, but I'd only lost the thumb drive. All of the music and audio books that were on it are also stored on a backup hard drive at home, and in the cloud, which I can access anywhere. :)



I guess I lean towards the digital format.
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Judas
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Postby Judas » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:06 pm

I have 0 KB of mp's I downloaded from the web.

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Postby FrancoTAU » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:53 pm

Digital only at this point. One bedroom apartment with my wife isn't the ideal place for a huge album collection. It's bad enough with the couple hundred CDs from the 90s/early 200s that I can't part with. Plus, I listen to most things on my phone due to commuting, gym and an office job.

Plus, i really don't want to be that older, things were better back in the day guy that was annoying when I was kid. You might as well change the poll are you older than 40? ;)
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Postby devomeister » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:59 pm

I'm kind of in-between. I still like the concept of holding a disc in my hands, and having it on my shelf. And I do buy the physical disc, when applicable. But basically, I get it, rip it, and let it collect dust nowadays. So it's more of a mental crutch, really. Plus, half of what I listen to nowadays is only available digitally anyway, so I voted digital.

Frankly, it's the music that counts, not it's format. If I have to download from BandCamp to hear some bad ass musicery, then that's what I'll do.
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Postby George » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:09 pm

I voted physical. I think it's usually in line with where you do the majority of your listening. I do almost all of it at home, so the cd wins easily. The concept of being at home and listening to mp3s to fully enjoy music is pretty silly. Digital, for me, is useful for sampling new releases and putting on the portable. That's it. Never bought a single file and never would.

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Postby Stevie WOnder » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Voted physical but I tend more and more to buy digital. Reasons are fast availability, takes no space and it's the future anyway. I give 10 years tops to the physical thing unfortunately.

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Postby Clint-metalcdratings » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:30 pm

I only listen to CDs, and never plan on downloading. I like the convenience of being able to easily grab and spin CDs at home, in the car, and at work.... plus, I don't want to spend time downloading albums, transferring them to other systems (computers/hard-drives, i-pods, etc.) and then hoping that the computers/hard-drives don't crash.
Once there are no longer CDs, I won't be getting anymore new music. Like most of you, I have around 3000 CDs, so I can always listen to those. Not to mention, I don't get too excited about new releases these days... the genres I listen to (mostly power metal and female fronted stuff) were better and fresher 5 to 15 years ago.

So I voted physical. :)
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Postby Random Axe » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:54 pm

I always try to get a CD, but I understand with indie bands that isn't always a possibility, so no big deal. I sometimes purchase both. If I like the music enough after listening to the mp3's I'll grab the CD as well as a companion piece. The other issue anymore is the lack of CD booklets and having just a cheap-ass digi. Sometimes I wish I'd just saved the money and boguht digital if that was the effort being put into the packaging. Caligula's Horse is a good example. I could have purchased the music through bandcamp, but chose instead to wait for Ken to get it. Then I receive it and it's a poorly constructed digipack with no booket, lyrics or anything.

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Postby FrancoTAU » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:10 am

Clint-metalcdratings wrote:I only listen to CDs, and never plan on downloading. I like the convenience of being able to easily grab and spin CDs at home, in the car, and at work.... plus, I don't want to spend time downloading albums, transferring them to other systems (computers/hard-drives, i-pods, etc.) and then hoping that the computers/hard-drives don't crash.
Once there are no longer CDs, I won't be getting anymore new music. Like most of you, I have around 3000 CDs, so I can always listen to those. Not to mention, I don't get too excited about new releases these days... the genres I listen to (mostly power metal and female fronted stuff) were better and fresher 5 to 15 years ago.

So I voted physical. :)


I expected this rant, but c'mon... you're going to never listen/buy music again when CDs are discontinued? You know that's going to happen in the next decade or so. Every format dies or at the very least becomes a niche only version like vinyl.
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Postby George » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:06 am

FrancoTAU wrote:
I expected this rant, but c'mon... you're going to never listen/buy music again when CDs are discontinued? You know that's going to happen in the next decade or so. Every format dies or at the very least becomes a niche only version like vinyl.


And you know that one need not actually buy digital files, right? I doubt he really means he's done with new music. I'm guessing he just doesn't want to pay for compressed bits. Not hard to find them free of charge.

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Postby Clint-metalcdratings » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:37 pm

I expected this rant, but c'mon... you're going to never listen/buy music again when CDs are discontinued? You know that's going to happen in the next decade or so. Every format dies or at the very least becomes a niche only version like vinyl.


Because I have so many CDs, there are many that I haven't listened to in years, and since my favorite genres were better 5 to 15 years ago (imo), those CDs would therefore be better than new releases.
Seriously, I think there's going to be a time when I stop getting new releases. We'll see though....

And you know that one need not actually buy digital files, right? I doubt he really means he's done with new music. I'm guessing he just doesn't want to pay for compressed bits. Not hard to find them free of charge.


It really has nothing to do with money for me, and only the reasons mentioned initially.
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Postby LarryD » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:52 am

I voted physical -- and while everyone has their opinion on why they do what they do, I think it is simple in reason why most people who vote for digital do it -- convenience / travel / storage. Or at least that what it appears to be.

Those who vote physical, seem to be old schoolers like myself, who want the physical medium for usually the same reasons:

artwork
booklets
joy of having the disc in your hand when you want it
showing off a collection
history / story / photos of band
allowing of signing of same by the bands
stubborn with age


Strangely enough, we physical voters are the VERY reason why we should go digital.....

I have about 2,000 CDs on one rack, and another 500 movies on another DVD rack, I've got a bookcase for LPs, I've got a small section of cassettes I refuse to get rid of (I can thank guys like Teddy Moller, Josh Pincus, Gary Wehrkamp and many others for this), and until recently I had a section for (gasp) reel to reel tapes which I had transferred to CD (hehehe from one physicality to the other), and I have all of my "special edition CD packages (Time Machine, Queensryche, Rhapsody) displayed proudly on my racks.....

BUT - I have a media room designed for this, so this is where the twp voters differ..... lots may not have the opportunity to have this, and for limited space, digital is the way to go ......and honestly, my room is cluttered to the point where I'd love to say screw it and put everything on a gigantic ipod.......

However, my stubbornness prevails and I continue to enjoy the walk to the mailbox to find a box of CDs in it from The Lasers Edge / Amazon in it, and open them like a little kid on X-mas.

In the meantime, I do have a nice Sony MP3 player that I take with me when I travel, and I just change the selection (or not) each time I go....but as I'm listening to the music, in my head I'm picturing the CD case, the artwork, thinking I need to check out the lyric sheet when I get home (what did the narrator growl on that Joseph Magazine disc in between songs ?) or waiting to get home to whip out the CD and put it on my main system when I get home........

I'm hopelessly anti-digital upon reading my post. :cry:

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Postby Sir Exar Kun » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:59 am

Ditto to everything Larry just posted. I couldn't have said it any better myself.
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Postby Russ » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:48 am

LarryD wrote:I'm hopelessly anti-digital upon reading my post. :cry:


lol... Album artwork can be amazing. I fondly remember the sea serpent on Asia's debut, as well as most of Iron Maiden's catalog - especially Somewhere in Time - which was always superior to Judas Priest's cover work. :)

And who can forget the cover artwork to Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe's self-titled album? Wow... just... wow...

Plus...

In the days before the internet, I needed liner notes to learn the names of the bass players. Which, for some reason, I still can't remember to this day. :)
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Postby George » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:48 pm

LarryD wrote:
Those who vote physical, seem to be old schoolers like myself, who want the physical medium for usually the same reasons:

artwork
booklets

joy of having the disc in your hand when you want it
showing off a collection
history / story / photos of band
allowing of signing of same by the bands
stubborn with age



The first two, I care about. Not so much with the rest of that.

No mention of sound quality, eh? Is it really just Ken and I that can hear that mp3 is a poor substitute for a cd on your main system? Inferior and sonically exhausting. If I had to listen just to files on my phone, I think I'd sooner give up music.

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Postby LarryD » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:54 pm

The first two, I care about. Not so much with the rest of that.

No mention of sound quality, eh? Is it really just Ken and I that can hear that mp3 is a poor substitute for a cd on your main system? Inferior and sonically exhausting. If I had to listen just to files on my phone, I think I'd sooner give up music.


***No mention of sound quality on my part -- that would start the other debate about "mp3 quality vs cd sound" and I figured that would come in a separate post. Todd and others can load up on that particular post due to the hardware / software needed to make those files sound good. For the record, I stand by the sound of the CD.

And yes -- if I were left with having or wanting to listen to music off of my phone, I'd probably give up music too ......

I just don't think that the sound quality difference alone makes up that great of a percentage to cause someone to change to digital completely......I think its a combination of what I listed above ......if you want to throw in a percentage rate of what sound has to do with a decision to switch, feel free .... but be prepared to trigger the dreaded "sound issue between MP3 and CD" ........ :wink:

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Postby ToddS » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:28 pm

I started my journey into becoming a computer audiophile about 8 years ago. You could say I was forced into it really. It started out as a headphone system, and has grown into a full speaker set up. Long story short, I buy HD audio when possible. Other than that, I purchase cds and rip to FLAC. Nice to have a hard copy with art and all, but after the rip, my cds seldom get spun again.

Set up = PC, Foobar, USB out to DAC, preamp, amp, speakers. Computer audio tech has really taken off over the years. Not only can you have your entire library a click or 2 away, but when done right, there is no audio quality sacrifice either. To each their own an, but on a decent quality system there is no comparison between mp3s and less compressed or lossless audio to my ears. What ever floats your boat though.

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Postby Russ » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:33 pm

LarryD wrote:
The first two, I care about. Not so much with the rest of that.

No mention of sound quality, eh? Is it really just Ken and I that can hear that mp3 is a poor substitute for a cd on your main system? Inferior and sonically exhausting. If I had to listen just to files on my phone, I think I'd sooner give up music.


***No mention of sound quality on my part -- that would start the other debate about "mp3 quality vs cd sound" and I figured that would come in a separate post. Todd and others can load up on that particular post due to the hardware / software needed to make those files sound good. For the record, I stand by the sound of the CD.

And yes -- if I were left with having or wanting to listen to music off of my phone, I'd probably give up music too ......

I just don't think that the sound quality difference alone makes up that great of a percentage to cause someone to change to digital completely......I think its a combination of what I listed above ......if you want to throw in a percentage rate of what sound has to do with a decision to switch, feel free .... but be prepared to trigger the dreaded "sound issue between MP3 and CD" ........ :wink:



Interesting... over time, as technology evolves, sound quality improves. The issue with digital media is still one of capacity. There are lossless formats currently available, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF... but they're still limited to the source material, i.e. cds.

Once the dominance of the digital domain is realized, I'd expect to see different 'flavors' of digital offered - based upon such things as portability, video integration, etc... I would also most of them, especially the lossless flavors, to be vastly superior to cd quality.

mp3s for portable devices, lossless variations available for home systems... some with a video component, others without... This is when I'd hope there would be a resurgence in artwork and liner notes.. and not just a resurgence, but a reinvention; 2d, 3d, etc. As in the past, there will be a never-ending cycle of evolution... :)
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Postby ToddS » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:39 pm

Btw - I wasn't sure which way to vote. I buy cds 99% of the time, but listen to digital files 99% of the time. :D

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Postby LarryD » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:48 pm

ToddS wrote:Btw - I wasn't sure which way to vote. I buy cds 99% of the time, but listen to digital files 99% of the time. :D


***I was wondering how that was going to work ....... :wink:

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Postby FrancoTAU » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:20 pm

Hey guys, I can see the album cover and even the lyrices on my Galaxy 3G while i'm playing the songs. :)
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Postby Judas » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:56 am

Larry opened up the debate deeper so I'll chime in.

The main reason that I continue with cds is sound quality(and yes I love the booklet and the physical touchy kissy, lovemaking to the cd) ,
that is the reason I switched at the time from vinyl's to cds ("vinyl's sound better" is a myth (it can be solid when it's a subjective feeling statement), they can't data/electronically wise).

The sound quality standarts of the average listener in the last 10 years have deteriorated so much it is scarry.

sound quality is determined by:
1.source data.
2.electronic device that manipulates it the best it can and converts it from digital data to analoge pulses/"waves".
3.electronic device that manipulates the analog data and outputs the sound waves.
4.the physical connections between all the above.
5*.the listeners ear (no physics, electronics here :) ).

source - The digital file that stores the most data and transferres the largest date packet in the highest sample rate is a wave file - aka CD.

the electronic device that manipulates the digital data that are the current standarts - cell phone (including docking stations), mp player (including docking stations), pc and even car systems(that are better compared to others mentioned here) have low quality electronics (SNR's ,voltage resonance protections, etc) , crappy D2A's/A2D's and nearly no juice to very limitted for power in the output.

the electronic device that outputs the sound waves that is used by the previousy devices mentioned has the same limitations + non exictent build quality,not relevant building metirials and very poor quality drivers.

the connectors betweern all of them have effect but a lesser one then the 3 mentioned.

combining not an optimal (till now) source to the set mentioned for those damned sound waves reaching our ear shows how low our standarts have become.

boosting any one of those sound quality equation parameters has a tremendous effect (a measurable one and a listening one) , boosting all of them has a magnificent effect ,
but no matter how good the sound set up is if your source is crap then the output will be , in an optimal setting, the same amount of crap.


Late with my chores,

Judas
Last edited by Judas on Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby BC » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:35 am

I voted digital. For me, it's mostly convenience and financial. I'm on very limited resources, so proper storage, space, and playback equipment are unavailable to me. Then there's my damaged hearing. The format does matter there, but after a certain point I can't really tell a difference in sound quality.

Digital format does allow for the liner notes, lyrics, and artwork, but it's up to the artist/distributor to provide it. iTunes allows you to add multiple pieces of artwork to a file, as well as lyrics which pop up during playback. There's also .pdf format files that contain the entire booklet.

My honest opinion on physical vs digital is that audiophiles are holding the medium back, when they could be the very ones to make it truly extraordinary. They have the ears, they know what top standards are, and could revolutionize and evolve the format. Someone's eventually going to come up with a high quality/low memory format that replaces MP3s and audiophiles need to be a full part of that.
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Postby ToddS » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:05 am

BC wrote:My honest opinion on physical vs digital is that audiophiles are holding the medium back, when they could be the very ones to make it truly extraordinary. They have the ears, they know what top standards are, and could revolutionize and evolve the format. Someone's eventually going to come up with a high quality/low memory format that replaces MP3s and audiophiles need to be a full part of that.


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Postby George » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:18 am

I honestly don't think that higher res formats are going to ever be the standard. We're not even to the point yet where the top vendors of digital music are selling FLAC, nor are the top selling portable devices capable of handling FLAC. Most don't want to pay more for lossless files anyway. I think most people are comfortable with mp3 and it's limitations too.

I read an article a while back that cited a study that found that people are sub-consciously training themselves to prefer mp3 by listening mostly in that format. In the testing, people that heard cd samples of music familiar to them from their mp3 collection, thought that the cd samples sounded weird. They actually missed some of the things associated with compressed files, like shimmery cymbals. Crazy.

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Postby Russ » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:14 pm

George wrote:I honestly don't think that higher res formats are going to ever be the standard. We're not even to the point yet where the top vendors of digital music are selling FLAC, nor are the top selling portable devices capable of handling FLAC. Most don't want to pay more for lossless files anyway. I think most people are comfortable with mp3 and it's limitations too.

I read an article a while back that cited a study that found that people are sub-consciously training themselves to prefer mp3 by listening mostly in that format. In the testing, people that heard cd samples of music familiar to them from their mp3 collection, thought that the cd samples sounded weird. They actually missed some of the things associated with compressed files, like shimmery cymbals. Crazy.



That is crazy! Cymbal shimmer drives me nuts.

I think the higher res formats will come from the source material. CDs are pretty good, but they're still only 16bit/44.1kHz. What's currently studio quality (24bit/96kHz), will eventually become standard, and by then studio quality will be much higher...

Not too mention the integration of visual components...
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Postby devomeister » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:59 pm

It's interesting to me that so many of you are so invested in searching for the perfect sound quality in your music. Seemingly to the extent that you just skip over so much killer music.

I generally don't really care, to be honest. I listen to 90% of my music in 128kb mp3 format, mostly because I ripped the stuff years ago. I listen on tiny, shitty little desktop speakers. And I love it. I LOVE my music. I love creative songwriting, and killer playing, and emotive music. I get very excited about it. I spend my personal time looking for more as a hobby. The fact that I can't hear every single subtle cymbal strike or the type of guitar strings the guitarist uses makes zero difference to me in the same way that I can LOVE eating a great meal without being able to pick up every spice in the sauce, or in the way that I can enjoy an indie movie with crappy production values. Music is more than the sum of it's parts for me.

All this isn't even going into all of these indie albums with mediocre production that don't sound any better on a high-end system than they do on a half-way decent pair of headphones. I mean, I do lay on my couch and listen to a cd on my main system, but I don't really get any more enjoyment out of that than I do listening on my portable through headphones or on my car speakers.

I'm not really invested in the listening habits of others. But it does sometimes surprise me that my listening habits are SO different. To each his own, and really, my enjoyment isn't hampered by someone else hating a snare sound or who's enjoyment of well-written music is ruined by less-than-ideal sound quality. But it's always a bit of a drag to see so many great albums fall through the cracks because no one will bother to give it a listen since it's only available digitally, and is therefore, somehow, invalid.

Edit: This sounds a little more judgmental than I intended it. I'm generally just surprised at how picky others can be about sound fidelity when I so don't care, and I find it a bit of a bummer when some music falls through the cracks because of those tendencies of others.
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Postby Judas » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:28 pm

Russ wrote:
What's currently studio quality 24bit



You can find that too.

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Postby Sir Exar Kun » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Edit: This sounds a little more judgmental than I intended it. I'm generally just surprised at how picky others can be about sound fidelity when I so don't care, and I find it a bit of a bummer when some music falls through the cracks because of those tendencies of others.


Not at all..... I hear what you are saying. More often than not I have been surprised at some of the audio issues that have caused controversy on the boards. Most of them I can hear if I really put my ear to it, but generally (without being pointed out) I wouldn't even notice them.

Once in awhile something comes along where the mix legitimately hurts my enjoyment of an album. Brainstorm's "Memorial Roots" jumps to mind, as the writing was solid and performances tight, but when you added in the mix (the drums in particular) it just made the album tough to sit through. Put it on the speakers at work and no problem, but if I try to BLAST it in the car on the commute in or out, and the sound quality kills it almost instantly.

With so much music out there, I can certainly understand where folks might become more discriminating. There's only so many hours in the day, and if you have to budget your time, why listen to something a little subpar on some level? Personally, I'm not there yet, but I can certainly see how it can happen.

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Postby FrancoTAU » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:28 pm

I find it especially confusing when it comes to metal heads. I mean, 80s metal sound quality was shit. It was shitty for second tier bands well into the 90s. Indy records sounded like shit until the early 00s.

Today, I find the average band recording out of their mom's basement and posting up on bandcamp to better sounding than all of those periods. It's kind of like HD TV. I notice it a bit when it's side by side, but it's trivial other than a football game. I forget all the time to switch to the HD channels because the difference is so small.
-Kevin

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Postby Russ » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:41 pm

FrancoTAU wrote:I find it especially confusing when it comes to metal heads. I mean, 80s metal sound quality was shit. It was shitty for second tier bands well into the 90s. Indy records sounded like shit until the early 00s.

Today, I find the average band recording out of their mom's basement and posting up on bandcamp to better sounding than all of those periods. It's kind of like HD TV. I notice it a bit when it's side by side, but it's trivial other than a football game. I forget all the time to switch to the HD channels because the difference is so small.



True, true, true!

Part of the charm of 80s punk and thrash was the raw, in your face sound. Now, we have vertical artists with limited crossover appeal. Yet the recording technology that's out there allows them to sound better than ever before.
Unfortunately, many are falling victim to the loudness war, and have decided to compress the hell out of their music.

lol...




np: Corrosion of Conformity - Mad World...
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Postby Man Of Much Metal » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:42 am

I'm definitely in the 'physical' camp. I love having the product and go the stage further to purchase the super-duper limited edition whenever I can. I have no room for my collection which now numbers over 2000, but, like others, I can't bear to get rid of them. I want the package, as the band intended.

However, what makes things tricky for me is that most of my listening is done on the move, so everything is ripped to a hard drive and then to my phone or mp3 player. My CDs therefore sit on the shelf gathering dust for months on end.

Plus, I now get promos 90% of the time in digital format, so again, I listen to those in this manner. I will buy the ones I like, but will rarely play them.
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had to go digital

Postby Philbert » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:43 pm

This is a really interesting thread, been fun to read all the opinions. So first off, thanks for sharing.

I had about 2500 CDs on racks in my house's office. Eventually they were maxed out, and there was no more wall space for more racks. I didn't want to give up CDs, or store them in different places in the house, so I initially went through the collection and stripped out some things I knew I could live without. But my thirst for new music eventually filled them up again.

That's when I made the difficult decision to go digital. I listen to 95% of my music while working in my home office, and the stereo I had in there was not an especially good one (I needed something small and simple so it would fit.) Frankly, my computer speakers/woofer sounded better. So I ripped all my CDs to MP3 and started buying new music on MP3 because it was both more convenient and virtually always cheaper.

I understand that my MP3s aren't "CD quality", and I hate the fact that less than 10% of what I buy comes with a digital booklet that tells me booklet artwork, who is in the band, who wrote the songs, lyrics, etc. Even after going digital for anything that was available that way, I kept the CD racks up for a few years. But when my son's Lego set collection grew big enough to require some space to store them, I told my wife we could take down the CD racks and put in cabinets for the Legos.

At least a few times a week I still turn to the wall where the CDs used to be, to see the release order of a band's albums, or to grab a booklet to check writing credits or lyrics. And then I realize I have to Google that info, and if it's a more obscure release, I may be out of luck totally. The CDs went into plastic totes crammed into the very back of our crawlspace, and so far only once have I dug into them to find something.

I really, REALLY miss having them out. As Larry briefly mentioned, having a physical collection lets other people browse your collection and see what you like. Now that everything's on the computer, no one can come over and see what a weirdo you are when it comes to music.

If I had to be honest, I'm a CD guy that grudgingly buys about 2 CDs a year. I have a "main system" with surround sound, and a 7.2 surround sound in the basement I can use via the PS3, but in both cases the only times I can listen to music on those systems is when the rest of the family is asleep, and then I have to keep the volume low anyway.

CDs aren't long for this world. Someone said 10 years - I give them 5, at least when it comes to mass production of all music. Smaller genres may continue to rely primarily on CD, but at least 10-20% of what I listen to is already not available on CD, or is something that can only be purchased in the US on digital format, unless I'm willing to hunt eBay or foreign record stores for overpriced discs.

Much like streaming will bury DVD/Blu-Ray at some point, digital music is where the industry is hurtling. Maybe prog music will be available on CD for years to come, but I wouldn't count on it. I decided to stop fighting the future and go digital, no matter how antithetical it seemed to the way I'd digested music most of my life. I miss the artwork, the booklets, the row after row of my bizarro CD collection. I dearly miss swiveling in my office chair to stare at 2500 CDs, deciding what to listen to next. I could spend hours detailing everything I hate about having the CDs buried in the crawlspace, likely to rot there until I die and my son has to go in there to throw away all the crap my wife and I have put there because we weren't willing to, or couldn't, sell it.

But I'm with devomeister - the difference in sound quality between CD and MP3 isn't obvious 99% of the time I listen to music. I like a good production, but I'm no audiophile and the finer qualities of perfect music production are likely lost on me. Cymbal shimmer? What the hell is that? Good music is good music, and as long as the MP3 sounds decent, I'll listen. When inevitably some better audio file format comes along, I can decide if it's worth my time to drag my CDs out of the crawlspace and re-burn them. Until then, I'm a CD fan who's given up on CDs as a practical way to purchase music.

Phil

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Re: had to go digital

Postby LarryD » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:03 pm

Philbert wrote:This is a really interesting thread, been fun to read all the opinions. So first off, thanks for sharing.

I had about 2500 CDs on racks in my house's office. Eventually they were maxed out, and there was no more wall space for more racks. I didn't want to give up CDs, or store them in different places in the house, so I initially went through the collection and stripped out some things I knew I could live without. But my thirst for new music eventually filled them up again.

That's when I made the difficult decision to go digital. I listen to 95% of my music while working in my home office, and the stereo I had in there was not an especially good one (I needed something small and simple so it would fit.) Frankly, my computer speakers/woofer sounded better. So I ripped all my CDs to MP3 and started buying new music on MP3 because it was both more convenient and virtually always cheaper.

I understand that my MP3s aren't "CD quality", and I hate the fact that less than 10% of what I buy comes with a digital booklet that tells me booklet artwork, who is in the band, who wrote the songs, lyrics, etc. Even after going digital for anything that was available that way, I kept the CD racks up for a few years. But when my son's Lego set collection grew big enough to require some space to store them, I told my wife we could take down the CD racks and put in cabinets for the Legos.

At least a few times a week I still turn to the wall where the CDs used to be, to see the release order of a band's albums, or to grab a booklet to check writing credits or lyrics. And then I realize I have to Google that info, and if it's a more obscure release, I may be out of luck totally. The CDs went into plastic totes crammed into the very back of our crawlspace, and so far only once have I dug into them to find something.

I really, REALLY miss having them out. As Larry briefly mentioned, having a physical collection lets other people browse your collection and see what you like. Now that everything's on the computer, no one can come over and see what a weirdo you are when it comes to music.

If I had to be honest, I'm a CD guy that grudgingly buys about 2 CDs a year. I have a "main system" with surround sound, and a 7.2 surround sound in the basement I can use via the PS3, but in both cases the only times I can listen to music on those systems is when the rest of the family is asleep, and then I have to keep the volume low anyway.

CDs aren't long for this world. Someone said 10 years - I give them 5, at least when it comes to mass production of all music. Smaller genres may continue to rely primarily on CD, but at least 10-20% of what I listen to is already not available on CD, or is something that can only be purchased in the US on digital format, unless I'm willing to hunt eBay or foreign record stores for overpriced discs.

Much like streaming will bury DVD/Blu-Ray at some point, digital music is where the industry is hurtling. Maybe prog music will be available on CD for years to come, but I wouldn't count on it. I decided to stop fighting the future and go digital, no matter how antithetical it seemed to the way I'd digested music most of my life. I miss the artwork, the booklets, the row after row of my bizarro CD collection. I dearly miss swiveling in my office chair to stare at 2500 CDs, deciding what to listen to next. I could spend hours detailing everything I hate about having the CDs buried in the crawlspace, likely to rot there until I die and my son has to go in there to throw away all the crap my wife and I have put there because we weren't willing to, or couldn't, sell it.

But I'm with devomeister - the difference in sound quality between CD and MP3 isn't obvious 99% of the time I listen to music. I like a good production, but I'm no audiophile and the finer qualities of perfect music production are likely lost on me. Cymbal shimmer? What the hell is that? Good music is good music, and as long as the MP3 sounds decent, I'll listen. When inevitably some better audio file format comes along, I can decide if it's worth my time to drag my CDs out of the crawlspace and re-burn them. Until then, I'm a CD fan who's given up on CDs as a practical way to purchase music.

Phil


*** ^^^^ awesome response. I read this to my wife and she said " is that where we are heading " ? I said no way. I'll hang the CDs from the ceiling if I have to ...... :wink:

Excellent post -- one that hit home. Good seeing you around here Phil.......

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Re: had to go digital

Postby Russ » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:21 pm

LarryD wrote:
Philbert wrote:This is a really interesting thread, been fun to read all the opinions. So first off, thanks for sharing.

.... (edited for space)

But I'm with devomeister - the difference in sound quality between CD and MP3 isn't obvious 99% of the time I listen to music. I like a good production, but I'm no audiophile and the finer qualities of perfect music production are likely lost on me. Cymbal shimmer? What the hell is that? Good music is good music, and as long as the MP3 sounds decent, I'll listen. When inevitably some better audio file format comes along, I can decide if it's worth my time to drag my CDs out of the crawlspace and re-burn them. Until then, I'm a CD fan who's given up on CDs as a practical way to purchase music.

Phil


*** ^^^^ awesome response. I read this to my wife and she said " is that where we are heading " ? I said no way. I'll hang the CDs from the ceiling if I have to ...... :wink:

Excellent post -- one that hit home. Good seeing you around here Phil.......


I completely agree, Larry.... that's a great response on many levels. My cds and cassettes (yes cassettes lol) are boxed up and currently freezing in a rarely-used farm building.
Education is the science of knowing TRUTH.

Miseducation is the art of absorbing FALSITY.

TRUTH is that which is, not that which ain’t.

FALSITY is that which ain’t, not that what is.


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