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

The Heart of the Prog/Power Movement

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

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

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Digital Man
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Postby Digital Man » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:32 pm

I voted physical, but the large majority of my listening time is now digital. I love having the physical CD. If I don't own the physical CD, it doesn't feel like I own the music to me. To me, MP3s are for sampling new bands and releases and for portable listening to things I own on CD. I prefer to buy the physical CD and then rip it to MP3. Amazon sometimes gives you the MP3s for a CD immediately when you buy the physical CD, which is cool.

I listen to the physical CDs in the car where I have a 6 disk changer that does not have an Aux in, Bluetooth, iPod connect, USB or anything. I listen to MP3s when I'm sitting in front of my PC at work and home as well as when I travel or take a walk. I spend a lot of time cycling but never listen to music on the bike. I need to be able to hear my surroundings for safety.

I know Larry, Todd & others are going to ask about listening in my home theater so I'll address that. I really never listen to music in the home theater. I do go down there to watch concert videos, but never just listen to music. I think I have a hard time just sitting and doing nothing but listening to music. I do have a tablet now which is nice because I can surf while sitting in the home theater. Another reason is that after I spend all day away from home at work, I just don't feel like abandoning the family and disappearing for a few hours. When I'm home we try to do things we enjoy together.

I know that things are moving quickly in a digital direction, and I'm mostly OK with that. However, while I can still buy the physical CD I'll do it.

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Postby MeTuLHeD » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:58 pm

I voted physical. But ONLY because I hate the idea of having no cover art or liner notes to read. To me, that will always be an integral part of the overall experience. However, I can see the writing on the wall. My students (tenth and eleventh grade) listen exclusively to digital media and do not miss having art and notes because they never had it to begin with. Can't miss what ya don't have.

However, here is where my post takes a sudden and radical turn. My listening habits are actually the polar opposite of my buying preferences. I rip every CD I own to Apple Lossless format and listen to that exclusively. I am an unashamed uber geek who streams music via my network at home. My main living room system has a home theater PC as the centerpiece and I play lossless rips on it exclusively. In fact, the only time physical media comes into play is when we put a blu-ray in to watch a movie. And even that has diminished as I find my rips of my blu-rays look great played back from my media PC. Upstairs in the man cave, I have a mini system wired to a DAC streaming from my main server. So it's lossless rips there. And elsewhere, we stream lossless to all portable devices - laptops, iPad, Nexus. In fact, even from my office at work I use Tonido to remotely stream via my browser to my work desktop. I can even stream remotely to my iPad when I'm on the go.

And, because it's lossless, the CD versus mp3 quality-of-sound debate is rendered moot. With the sheer enormity of storage these days (multi-terabyte drives for ridiculous prices) I find I can store lossless easily. I even have synch software backing it up every couple of days to another drive, in case of drive failure.

I remember when media servers first appeared and I thought "that's a cool idea". Today, it is an indispensable part of my life.

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Postby Mardoch » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:26 pm

Much like Todd I buy physical (where available) and listen digital. I've got too much hearing damage from guns, motorcycles, and loud music to be an audiophile, so having a pretty good 2.1 setup or set of headphones is more than good for me. I've become a pretty serious Bandcamp purchaser too. In no small part because I've grown a serious love of djent, and a lot of that stuff goes straight there. However, Bandcamp offers FLAC on their stuff. I just don't have the spare monies for huge TB setups for FLAC everything.

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