Best place to buy digital music?

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Digital Man
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Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Digital Man » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:40 pm

This weekend I'll be installing a modern stereo in my truck. To get ready, I took all the CDs I had stashed in the console and carried them inside, only to realize I don't have anywhere to put them. This is forcing me to decide if I continue to buy CDs and rip them to MP3, or go full digital when possible. I honestly don't know what I want to do since I love physical CDs, but I may force myself to try out digital only for a while.

Anyway, for those of you that have gone digital only or mostly digital, where is the best place to buy digital music? I use Bandcamp a lot and love it, but they don't tend to have the more mainstream releases. What's the best place(s) to buy DRM free MP3's?

Or since you're buying only digital, do you buy FLAC? Where is it available besides Bandcamp?

Thanks,
Guy
Güy

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Chris R
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Chris R » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:11 pm

Mainly I tunes
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Guillaume
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Guillaume » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:25 pm


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LASERCD
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby LASERCD » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:29 pm

Question: What will you do when Apple and Amazon stop offering downloads and move to a 100% streaming service?

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Digital Man
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Digital Man » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:37 am

LASERCD wrote:Question: What will you do when Apple and Amazon stop offering downloads and move to a 100% streaming service?


That's a good question. I hope it never happens, but who knows.The only thing I use streaming for (Spotify) is to check out new bands or releases, then if I like it I prefer to own it. I want to be able to listen to my music anywhere, such as on a plane, and don't want to use all my cellular data to constantly re-download stuff every time I want to listen to it. I think if I couldn't buy the digital music and own it, I would stick to CDs until they are no longer available.
Güy

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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby GaetanL » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:50 pm

Digital Man wrote:The only thing I use streaming for (Spotify) is to check out new bands or releases, then if I like it I prefer to own it.

Yeah, as you said, it's better to own it. Spotify so far is a financial pit. They have never made a profit so far... This situation cannot last forever. I don't know the future and maybe one day they will make a profit but they can also disappear. Better buy the CD when it's still in print and affordable than rely on Spotify and having to buy it 10 years later when out of print and expansive. For whatever reason it's also possible that an album disappear on Spotify (for example, licensing issues).
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby LASERCD » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:50 pm

Digital Man wrote:
LASERCD wrote:Question: What will you do when Apple and Amazon stop offering downloads and move to a 100% streaming service?


That's a good question. I hope it never happens, but who knows.The only thing I use streaming for (Spotify) is to check out new bands or releases, then if I like it I prefer to own it. I want to be able to listen to my music anywhere, such as on a plane, and don't want to use all my cellular data to constantly re-download stuff every time I want to listen to it. I think if I couldn't buy the digital music and own it, I would stick to CDs until they are no longer available.


Its happening and much sooner than you think.

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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby BC » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:47 am

Digital Man: if you’re going digital, one of the biggest questions is going to be what is your source for playback? A dedicated music player or an iPhone or Android phone? Most aftermarket stereos offer bluetooth, AUX input, and USB input, but more and more are offering CarPlay/Android Auto. I recently upgraded the stereo in my Pilot and am in love with CarPlay! It’s a direct connect to my iPhone with a lightning cable and I can control the most important functions directly from the radio. My stereo doesn’t have a physical CD player, but a similar model does.

LaserCD: in my case, if Apple drops music sales and goes fully streaming, I’ll up my iCloud subscription and rip CDs to my Mac. iCloud syncs the tracks with my phone automatically and Apple Music let’s me download music for offline playback.
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Mardoch » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:40 am

LASERCD wrote:
Digital Man wrote:
LASERCD wrote:Question: What will you do when Apple and Amazon stop offering downloads and move to a 100% streaming service?


That's a good question. I hope it never happens, but who knows.The only thing I use streaming for (Spotify) is to check out new bands or releases, then if I like it I prefer to own it. I want to be able to listen to my music anywhere, such as on a plane, and don't want to use all my cellular data to constantly re-download stuff every time I want to listen to it. I think if I couldn't buy the digital music and own it, I would stick to CDs until they are no longer available.


Its happening and much sooner than you think.

Huzzah anti-consumer behaviours! Streaming only is so damned wasteful. I don't want to waste bandwidth streaming music at work all day when I need that pipe for actual important things that make money. No one's throughput is infinite. I'll always seek ownership, because it fits my needs in a way that streams do not.

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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Sparky » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:26 am

I'm an Amazon guy all the way, but then again, I'm not in the Apple ecosystem. Otherwise, Bandcamp.

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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby ToddS » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:15 am

The streaming is coming as Ken said. For me, I could care less what Apple does. I believe the only music I ever purchase from them was the Headspace EP, after not being able to find it anywhere else.

Other than a situation like that, I don’t buy mp3s/lossy files.

I do buy digital flac/lossless, HD files. Selection is limited on digital though. Still buy CDs and rip them to FLAC.

Bandcamp if the first place I look.
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Digital Man » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:26 pm

BC wrote:Digital Man: if you’re going digital, one of the biggest questions is going to be what is your source for playback? A dedicated music player or an iPhone or Android phone? Most aftermarket stereos offer bluetooth, AUX input, and USB input, but more and more are offering CarPlay/Android Auto. I recently upgraded the stereo in my Pilot and am in love with CarPlay! It’s a direct connect to my iPhone with a lightning cable and I can control the most important functions directly from the radio. My stereo doesn’t have a physical CD player, but a similar model does.



I ordered the Kenwood Excelon DNX694S (https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113DNX694 ... X694S.html) and it has everything. It has a single CD player so I can still play one CD at a time. I plan to play MP3s stored on my iPhone, but also attach a big USB flash drive with lots more music. It has Carplay so I can play music off my phone in Carplay mode or if i don't want to use Carplay it has an iPod mode. It has Bluetooth as well.
Güy

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Digital Man
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Digital Man » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:56 pm

One disappointment I just noticed about iTunes and Amazon is that their MP3s are only at around 256kbps. I honestly doubt I could hear the difference, but I always rip at 320bps. I did find 7digital (https://us.7digital.com/) where you can get 320kbps or FLAC. Google Play has 320kbps MP3s.

The next release I plan to buy is The Sea Within, so I did a comparison of all the sites I've found so far:

7digital:
320kbps MP3: $10.49
FLAC: $13.99

Amazon:
CD: $13.98
256kbps MP3: $9.99

iTunes:
256kbps AAC: $9.99 though I hate that there isn't a website and I have to use the crappy Windows (or iPhone) app to buy.

The Laser's Edge:
CD: $12.00

Google Play:
320kbps MP3: $9.49

Bandcamp:
Not available

CDBaby:
Not available

Bandcamp is clearly the best if it is available there, which many things are not, because for the same purchase price you get FLAC or MP3.

Now I guess I need to decide if I want to spend my money buying lossy MP3s or if I want to buy a lossless digital format or just stick with CDs.
Güy

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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby GaetanL » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:58 pm

For me the best is to buy CDs and rip them in flac.
At least go flac all the way and convert the flac files to the format you want and the bitrate you want when needed. If you change your mind about the format or the bitrate, simply repeat the process, no problem, your source is perfect (flac files)
mp3 is the worst format of all. I currently use it because the unit in my car only support mp3. I'm looking for a unit like the one you ordered that support flac to get rid of mp3.
I currently convert my flac files (I ripped from my CDs) to mp3 for my car and to ogg vorbis for my portable unit (Sansa Fuze+). The best is flac files when space is not an issue and ogg vorbis (lossy format like mp3 but much better) when space is limited like with a small portable device.
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Digital Man
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Re: Best place to buy digital music?

Postby Digital Man » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:44 pm

For anyone else considering this, this is a good comparison:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compariso ... sic_stores
Güy


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