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back to article Music on plastic discs still popular, apparently

Every year the story's the same – but every year it is stranger to report. People continue to buy pre-packaged plastic music discs – most containing as little as one album – despite the rise in digital album sales, the cheaper option of listening on demand, and the risk-free option of downloading entire discographies in one go. …

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I like CD's

I have yet to buy any music online. Why? Well I prefer to have something I can touch, see and if the need arises, sell!

I have in the past used unauthorised sources to download music, once I have 'auditioned' the music I either delete it or buy the CD. This method works great for me, as it means I don't end up with hundreds of those 'one hit wonder' CD's such as Reef's album.

I will continue to use this method, my CD collection is sitting around a healthy 400-500 albums and is increasing year on year, whilst it still can.

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Anonymous Coward

Re "I have in the past used unauthorised sources to download music"

You, Sir/Madam, are a criminal and need to be locked away!

(Anon for my own download activities)

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Happy

@AC 10:27

Needs to be locked up for his own sanity...even bothering to give Reef the time of day!

( Allowing Sony to use one of their tracks in an advert for Minidiscs of all things, they can't have been right in the head to start with! )

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crusing the music blogozone

an Anonymous Coward sez on 06.28.11 @09:57gmt:

"I have in the past used unauthorised sources to download music, once I have 'auditioned' the music I either delete it or buy the CD..."

Bravo. A very sensible policy. Myself, I've bought most of my CDs as replacements for my worn-out vinyl copies of the same albums -- Blonde On Blonde, Sgt. Pepper, Are You Experienced, Dark Side, Quadrophenia, Slayed?, etc. -- and have never had much need to listen before I buy.

I also spend a lot of time in the music collectors' blogozone, although my interests lie mostly in "bootleg" live footage -- I was a proud member of the Deadhead "tapers' underground" back in my tour-following days -- or in obscure old stuff that's been out of print for decades, and often exists only on vinyl, having never been reissued on CD. A lot of my favorite old early/mid '60s surf punk and "garage" rock'n'roll falls into this category. A large part of my music collection these days comes in the form of stuff ripped from old '45s and LPs, courtesy of collector/bloggers who hit used record shops, estate sales, garage sales and junk shops in search of really cool old "garage" tracks recorded by long-forgotten bands on small regional labels long gone out of business -- the kind of funky old shit I couldn't find on iTunes in a million years.

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Advantages of plastic discs

They're better quality than an MP3 download and I'm more confident that I'll be able to play it in the distant future. They also *don't* cost any more than the download option, but that's probably just a reflection of my taste in music.

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Re: Advantages of Plastic discs

I wouldn't count on being able to play CDs in the distant future.

I currently have 1 CD drive in the house in my laptop and 1 in the car.

I have 0 cassette tape players.

Providing you store your digital music in a non proprietary format it will continue to be supported for years to come.

Most mp3 downloads these days are either top rate variable or 320k constant. These days I'm about 50/50 between buying mp3s and buying CDs which are immediately ripped to mp3. If I cared about the virtually non-existent difference between mp3 and CD I would buy CDs and rip them to flac.

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Happy

Better

That sort-of nails it in the head. CDs ARE better quality than virtually all (if not actually all) downloads (the legal ones, anyway). It is a tired old argument but WHY would I want to pay the same amount for a cruddy quality, DRMed download when I can buy a CD. And the CD won't go "poof" and vanish when my computer crashes and wipes out all those DRM licenses.

Having said this, I wandered into HMV the other day to try and find a CD and was amazed at how few they actually stocked now. I felt a bit like Griff Rhys Jones in that classic "Not The Nine O'Clock News" sketch - "I'd like to buy a gramophone..."

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Anonymous Coward

CDs in the distant future.

"I wouldn't count on being able to play CDs in the distant future."

That will be the future where blu-rays will also be phased out, because right now, I have not seen a single device that can play blu-rays and will refuse to play (*redbook) CDs, or DVDs for that matter, because they were deemed incompatible.

*redbook being the standard for CD-Audio that every manufacturer should abide to. It was actually covered in red, and an actual paper-solid book. Brochure at least, memory fails.

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Boffin

@Fuzz

"I currently have 1 CD drive in the house in my laptop and 1 in the car"

Fortunately CD players are disguised in DVD/BD players, game consoles, etc. I think an optical drive will exist to some degree for quite some time. Bear in mind you can still buy a cassette or record player today if you want.

CD *is* a non-proprietary format, well certainly the Red Book standard is and is a perfect way to keep your music. It may be owned and licensed by Philips, but in much the same way that mp3 is subject to a number of patents and licensing - primarily the Fraunhofer Society.

Besides, you're comparing format and medium. To compare CD directly to mp3 is incorrect - comparing 16-bit Liner PCM with mp3 is correct. Comparing CD to whatever medium your mp3s are stored on is correct also and whatever you're storing them on has the same potential futureproofing issues as CDs.

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yup

It's really just as simple as the first for me. As long as no-one's offering a sensibly interoperable (no thanks, iTunes) store which sells music in a standard lossless format, I'll stick with the CDs, thanks.

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Spot on

I don't listen to the CDs - I play them once to rip them in a lossless format (WMA if you must know, lol) then stream them via my Touch. I grew up with records and one of the touted benefits of CDs was supposed to be the improvement in quality. Then along comes MP3 and its ilk.

If someone would sell me lossless compressed mainstream music then I'd buy it. I refuse to put anything MP3 through my hifi. I can tolerate maximum variable bit rate WMA but really it has to be lossless for home listening.

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Pint

exactly the problem with downloads

I have NEVER once bought a download, cause I have not seen anything uncompressed.

Certainly I wouldn't buy an MP3 album for the same price as a CD, that's just obviously getting ripped off.

I wouldn't even buy them if they were cheaper than CD's, cause you can easily hear the difference over good speakers.

Far better to buy CD's and then convert to the format of your preference.

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MJI
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Plastic disc players

Just bought a burner recently it does everything from BD to CD

Quick survey

3 BD

7 DVD including a DVD burner with broken CD laser

5 CD

And we have 3 MD, 2 turntables, and a few cassette decks*.

* No working Dolby C ones though

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Headmaster

"I'd like to buy a gramophone..."

was said by Mel Smith, not GRJ.

GRJ was the sarcastic shop assistant.

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hmmm

the thing is that if you look around you can often find the CD for the same price as an MP3 download. so im im not in a rush for the music i buy the CD. i can then rip it lossless if i want and i have a physical copy, that is worth some money.

downloads need to be much cheaper than physical as you dont own anything with value. its like the games on ps3 network are the same price as if you buy the game from a shop. physical media is actually worth something!

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Megaphone

Buy Used

I wait until they have been out for 6 months or so and then snag a used CD usually for 2-5 bucks . Way cheaper than the download...and you own the sucker with no DRM

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Pirate

Quality

As I'm sure many other people will comment, it's about the quality. I download a lot of stuff in FLAC, and for those occasions where I am unable to find a FLAC version, I will buy the cd. Funnily enough, that means buying obscure French and German acts, which I think is great, because I support small-time acts. U2 otoh can suck it.

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Devil

Can we use U2 Tax Avoidance

As a justification for downloading their music for free?

They steal from us when they avoid tax, they cost people their jobs and livelihoods. So Quid pro quo

And don't quote that global tax complaint $hit. They moved so they could pay less tax. Greedy bastards and they were $hite at Glasto as well

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Erm?

Just what tax are they avoiding?

If I move to Monaco or some other tax haven then why should I pay taxes to the UK? your place of birth is not really important if you aren't living there. You're not obliged to pay taxes to the country where you are born.

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Happy

I prefer CDs over downloads...

...in the same way as I prefer books to an electronic copy on a book reader.

Also, once I've ripped it to my digital devices, it can sit on the shelf as the ultimate backup copy!

Pity I can't rip or burn books. Oh, wait...

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Ogi
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I prefer CD's

They have the following abilities:

* Lossless copy, so I can always transcode it to any new improved format that comes out, without having to rebuy it on "mp5" or whatever comes next.

* I can format shift to my hearts content without anyone stopping me, or with loss of quality that comes from lossy->lossy transcoding.

* DRM Free: I can rip it and store it losslessly, with no problems, no major hoops to jump through, etc...

* Does not rely on the net. Some DRM requires activation etc... that requires the internet. I don't always have the internet on me.

* Works just about everywhere. Just about everything has a CD player, my car, portable ones, hifi decks, friends places.

* No hassle. Put the CD in, hit "play" and you're done. No need to install, activate stuff, confirm who you are, etc...

* OS agnostic. I am 100% Linux at home, and have been since 1999, A lot of DRM schemes don't work on Linux. I don't want to have a windows box kicking round just for listening to music.

* I get a physical backup, usually with cover art etc... that seems to hold well with age. I have some of my parents CD's, that are almost 30 years old, and still play perfectly (interesting to see how solidly the old disks were built, they actually feel heavier than modern CD's) .

As it stands, I intend to keep buying CD's until they refuse to stock them anymore. Don't know what I'd do then, hopefully someone will over a lossless online store.

Saying that, a lot of people I know buy CD's, just that nobody actually goes to the high street to do it. I buy almost all my CD's second hand. Either at the charity shop, a small local music store, or on Amazon, where the 1-click buy and low prices (£1.50) result in me buying CD's impulsively.

The only annoyance is that they take up space, and I have to move them when I move house as well, but I consider that a small price to pay for the benefits and freedom it brings.

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Anonymous Coward

title goes here

By having the physical media you have control. You can use it with any device and are not locked to one vendor.

As to highstreet stores. They never have stock and are more expensive that an onlnie outlet.

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Stop

I used to think lots of people also thought like this

But then I look at Kindle sales and see that consumers really are braindead idiots.

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Excellent work trashing Kindle users on a CD article.

Of course, you could be talking bollocks.

Nothing wrong with the Kindle. I have more books than I know what to do with, and have legally not paid a penny.

Who's braindead now?

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Not taking into account...

...the many books that aren't available on paper of course.

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Linux

An inconvenient truth...

Of course there is something wrong with the Kindle.

The content is encumbered with DRM. It is tied to the device. An durable open standard that has endured for centuries is reduced to a fleeting single vendor standard.

It's the same problem as any content from iTunes that isn't music.

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Anonymous Coward

well, encumbered-ish

stripping the DRM from Kindle files isn't exactly complicated. or difficult to find the instructions for...

or, er, so I've heard. ahem.

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The other thing wrong with the Kindle

is that Amazon can reach into it and delete content you've paid for without your knowledge or consent. Which to my way of thinking is theft, but nothing was ever really done about it. Remember the 1984 fiasco a few years ago? I haven't forgotten, and I will still never buy a Kindle because of it.

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Nothing barmy about it

Some of us prefer a physical product we can touch and do with as we please, often available for less than the cost of iTunes tie-ins if you look around the various online retailers.

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Indeed..

Some of us love to be able to grop a large black 12" plastic disk and watch it spin around at 33/45 or whatever speed you prefer...

Especially when you discover you own a limited pressing of a one off remix.... and the smell of a new Technics 1210 mk2.. You dont get that with a 192kb mp3!

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CDs have many advantages

If your backup goes tits up they make a handy coaster/mobile/lethal frisbee.

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Coffee/keyboard

@ P Saunders

You, sir, owe me a new keyboard.

Lethal Frisbee - I think that's my new forum name from here on......

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FAIL

People like to OWN things.

tangible things...

Seems some idiots can't fathom this....

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Well...

I don't care if it's tangible or not, but I do want to own it and I don't want to pay the same for a lower-quality product.

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Ru
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Facepalm

I don't like low quality, DRM-filled inconvenient digital formats.

CDs are universally supported and trivially redistributable. I can rip them into any format I see fit, and then store them safely as an archive copy for a fair few years.

I buy lossless audio files whenever they're available, but that's all too infrequently. There are more places offering WAV, FLAC and the slightly more inconvenient ALAC formats than there used to be, but legal lossless downloads are a tiny proportion of online media. When the industry start catering to me, I'll gladly give up on the plastic discs. Hell, I'm happy to pay a *premium*, but they won't sell things that they can trivially create and already have the infrastructure to distribute!

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Anonymous Coward

Strange

Every year the story's the same – but every year it is stranger to report. Register reporters continue to misunderstand people's preference for CDs over downloads, and trot out the same story year after year.

If I buy a downloaded album, I'm generally limited to 320 bitrate mp3, I have to make sure I have multiple copies (to avoid the random failures of digital storage media), and I can't just shove the CD in my car stereo without first burning it to a CD.

Like earlier commenters, I'd rather own something physical - not only can I rip it to whatever format I prefer, but I have something tangible - it's reassuring to know that if my ripped copies get corrupted somehow, I can just re-rip. Or I can put the disk in my home stereo and listen to it how it was intended, without any missing frequencies; or I can chuck it in my car stereo.

People continue to buy vinyl records too (and their popularity is rising). Is this strange too? No - people like tangible things, and they like the sound quality.

And whilst the writer laments people clinging on to an apparently old fashioned medium, he fails to recognise that many people don't shop on the high street any more. Heard of play.com or amazon?

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Anonymous Coward

"barmy"

not really.

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The only people

who are surprised by the continued sale of CDs are IT hacks who clearly know very little about the music industry or the music consumer.

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buying cds

Met a mate up the town the other day, went for a pint and discovered he was at the shops to buy a CD. For £15!! I was astounded and asked him if he realised it was 2011.

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Zot
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16 bit uncompressed, and good D to A hardware to read them.

But people don't care about sound quality any more. Perhaps it's all those cars out there with CD players in them that keep the sales going.

The concept of a disc to play music is certainly the easiest thing to understand, and not everybody has the ability with all that fiddling about with 'puters and such! : )

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Cars

Buy CD's, rip at high quaity, save as Mp3, bung in Car player -- 7 hours - 1 disc.

Always check quality of sound system in car - usually needs better speakers.

DubStep ruins 'normal' car speakers.

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Mushroom

"DubStep ruins 'normal' car speakers."

Dubstep ruins everything.

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Trollface

DubStep ruins 'normal' car speakers.

Nope not the speakers, it's the shit you play through them...

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Linux

Get orf my lawn, grandad....

Some dubstep is shite, some is great. A small fraction is amazing.

Like with everything. For example, whatever you listen to. Which I may also like as well!

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Well said

I've never liked 'music snobs'. If someone likes listening to it then it's good music.

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FAIL

On-Demand UFP (Unique Failure Point)

It might be true that On-Demand listening might be cheaper prodived that:-

1) You are 'connected'

2) You are 'connected' in your home country

listening to On-demand music while abroad on holiday can be frighteningly expensive. Data Roaming charges are just silly.

Sorry this fails miserably.

CD's only for me I'm afraid. I can listen anywhere, anyhow, anytime. (with due reference to The Who's lyrics.) I want to.

Yeah I know this is not what the Music Industry Mafia wants but frankly most of the music they promote these days can hardly be called music in the first place.

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Pint

re: On-Demand UFP

Steve Davies 3 sez on 06.28.11 @10:40gmt:

"CD's only for me I'm afraid. I can listen anywhere, anyhow, anytime. (with due reference to The Who's lyrics.) I want to."

Like, even when you're Goin' Mobile?

Pint of ale, for a fellow old Who Yoof.

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Megaphone

I like shiny things....

But really, CDs are real, just like my old LP collection.

MP3s are only good for listening to on the commute.

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never mind CDs

I still like to buy records, never mind just CDs.

I much prefer browsing shelves in my house full of CDs and records to decide what to listen to than looking at a screen with a folder of file names in it on a computer.

Other reasons I still buy CDs are:

- album art

- the feeling of actually getting "something" tangible rather than just a load of 0s and 1s on my computer hard drive

- better quality than most download music at the moment

But as for buying on the high street, I very rarely do this any more. I buy the vast majority of my music online, it's just I order CDs and/or records online, not mp3 downloads.

It will be a very sad day for me if buying music on physical media stops. Hopefully there are enough other people in the world who agree to mean this will never really happen.

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Facepalm

CDs are so superior to downloads, there's no contest

Uncompressed, no DRM, harder to lose in a HDD crash or PC upgrade, cover art, no chance of a dodgy rip (the prize for this being some mp3s on Amazon that were so badly ripped from VINYL that you could hear the end of the previous track, as well as all the crackles).

Plus CDs are dirt cheap on fleaBay if you don't even want to pay one of the Jersey-located warehouses.

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