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Thread: CDs ...love 'em...not so much??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bill SAS 513's Avatar
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    CDs ...love 'em...not so much??

    Ok, so I found a used music store down near College Park in a Maryland and was thrilled to find a bunch of out of print CDs (...cutting into my CE22 fund.) CDepot at routes 1 and 193 . I came home and mentioned it and almost everyone here is loading there IPods. I love the convenience of the pocket size jams, but there is something about a row of older John McLaughlin discs that gets my blood pumping, and reading the booklets ...I used to have a large vinyl collection, too. Imagine that...lol. This store also has tons of vinyl, for those interested. My wife says that's why I didn't have many friends as a kid, too busy reading album jackets, but she loves having me on her trivia team on music night. Anyone else still doing CDs...?? I know there are tons of vinyl purists out there...

  2. #2
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Still doing CDs and will until they won't sell them to me anymore. I totally get the download thing, and I love that Amazon will give you an instant MP3 version while you wait for the package to arrive. And I totally love the artists who sell CDs and a download with a lossless option for while you wait for the package. But it's only in rare circumstances that I'll do a download-only release. I want that package. I want the liner notes (even if I need a magnifying glass). I want the full-frequency sound. I want to own that physical product. Even if I do most of my listening with an iPod, even in the cars.

    And I still do vinyl - I finally took my turntable in for repairs last year, so I've been spinning stuff on there. I'm not buying much new, but I will whip out the old stuff, and occasionally buy some used. Album art in CD form isn't as cool as on vinyl - last year, I picked up the new Dethklok on vinyl and was talking to the guys after the show, and they hadn't seen it yet. Mike Keneally looked at the image on the cover and summed up the difference between CD and vinyl artwork in one simple sentence - "Oh, so that's what that is!" And I did pick up the Vintage Trouble album on vinyl.

    When it comes to this stuff, I'm firmly in the Olivia Newton-John camp:

    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  3. #3
    I'm kind of like Alan. I do buy CDs and listen to vinyl often. For me, mp3s and even m4As with most codecs have been literally unlistenable. I just don't enjoy the music and can only listen for a short time. Or so I thought -- more on this in a moment.

    However, I like the convenience of having music on hard disk and the cataloging features in iTunes.

    I found something of a solution to the download conundrum that might be worth exploring for others, because it works for me. Well, actually, it's a combination of things that work for me.

    First, I discovered HDTracks, a site where you can buy and download high-resolution music at significantly higher bandwidth and sample rates than CDs. Granted, the catalog is still relatively small, but there's enough there to make the site worthwhile from a lot of labels. For those into jazz, world, acoustic and classical music, it's almost a godsend, but even the rock and Americana stuff they have plays back with higher resolution than a CD, and you can run it in iTunes or other players.

    HD Tracks automatically downloads the full album cover and liner notes along with the music, and you open it as a PDF and can not only read it, you can enlarge it. For an old guy like me, that's pretty nice, since CD liner notes are impossibly small for older eyes.

    Second, I discovered playback software that uses different audio algorithms to play back both compressed and uncompressed formats. At first reading about them, I was skeptical, and didn't even want to bother. However, when I got into HDTracks, I found a few that were free trial downloads, so I decided WTF and tried several out.

    Some of them sounded a little better than iTunes in terms of clarity, but also sounded a little phasey and weird. But I found one based on the Izotope audio engine that was created for mastering digital audio in the studio (and that I have used in the studio where it sounds damn good). It's called Amarra. The difference in sound quality with hi-res audio is easy to hear on good speakers, and it runs in conjunction with iTunes. So you can have all the iTunes features for cataloging and the store, and at the same time have a significantly higher quality listening experience.

    Obviously, if you don't have good playback equipment, it's not worth bothering, but if you do, this is a good start at high end computer audio.

    Amarra is Mac only, but there are equally good options for the PC that also are free test downloads (according to my creative partner, who uses PC). This stuff comes in a variety of price points. Amarra is under $200, and is absolutely worth it to me. Amarra's main competitor offers a solution for around $50, but I don't think it offers the same fidelity.

    Finally, the best part is that for those of us who do find it necessary to download compressed audio for music we can't find elsewhere, mp3s played back on Amarra are actually listenable. They sound like cassettes in comparison to LPs, but I can listen to them for long periods now without having the urge to turn off the music. That's pretty nice.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-22-2014 at 12:44 PM.
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    A Top (and Heart) of Gold Goldtop's Avatar
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    I'm a CD guy, and I never stopped buying albums. I had to make do with used ones for a while because that was all that could be found, but I've always had and used a turntable. I don't own an iPod or iPad or whatever they are. I've never downloaded any music. I imagine the day will come when I'll have to go that route, but so far so good. I'm glad to see vinyl albums making a bit of a comeback, but I think the prices on some of them are ridiculous.

    Lloyd
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    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Yes im all CD and vinyl.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Therinx's Avatar
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    I have about 500 albums and 300 CD's, but i went totally digital a few years ago and am trying to unload all this stuff cluttering my house now.

    Anyone want to buy an original Metallica - Kill Em All initial release on Megaforce vinyl?

  7. #7
    Classic Rocker
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    I'm of the opinion older is better when it comes to all things music - except PRS (ironically!) Their guitars now are the best they've done IMO. But I'm an analog man stuck in a digital world (to quote my idol Joe Walsh) and I can't stand the overprocessed digital stuff these days. I prefer the sound of vinyl, and CD for portability. I like physical media. But even though it's digital - a CD still sounds better to me than downloaded music. But for me I'm about OLD music, old analog based effects, old amps, old guitars, you name it. I was born in the wrong generation. Let alone the autotune and other debates.
    Last edited by prsrocker1988; 02-25-2014 at 11:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Therinx View Post
    I have about 500 albums and 300 CD's, but i went totally digital a few years ago and am trying to unload all this stuff cluttering my house now.

    Anyone want to buy an original Metallica - Kill Em All initial release on Megaforce vinyl?
    I'm almost to that point. I have a 1000 CD rack that's nearly full. I can't help but think it would be nice to have that four feet of wall space back. But it took so many years to build that collection, I can't quite bear to tear it apart.

    I personally am loving the transition away from physical media. I can't hear a difference between a high bit rate mp3 and a CD. I stream most of my stuff now, and it sounds fine to me when it's set to high quality. But I don't have high-end audio equipment, nor do I want it. I do agree that vinyl still sounds best, but I just don't want to futz around with it.
    --Garrett--

  9. #9
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    I will not pay for a download-only anything whether it be music, computer software or a magazine subscription. Too much can go wrong with digital media, including your back-ups. A moment's inattention can get you a trojan loaded virus like "Howdecrypt" that scrambles all your user files in a few milliseconds. I also want the artwork and liner notes that come with vinyl albums and CDs. And, I do not care what anyone says, at the current state of the art, IMO vinyl sounds better than anything digital.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bill SAS 513's Avatar
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    Garrett...I'm with you...I've spent years collecting CDs...BTW...I frequent good wills, pawn shops, and used disc stores, not many new CDs purchased, (except every new Rush and fusiony jazz stuff !!) only problem now is storage space. Using cd racks and a couple clothes dressers...love showing the collection off to visitors.

  11. #11
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    I am a cd guy, I notice the difference in my high end sound system in my FJ. I still buy the physical media and like the idea of listening to a cd as a whole with of songs in order. Could you imagine if Dark Side of the moon was released track by track.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bill SAS 513's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clcwarlock View Post
    I am a cd guy, I notice the difference in my high end sound system in my FJ. I still buy the physical media and like the idea of listening to a cd as a whole with of songs in order. Could you imagine if Dark Side of the moon was released track by track.
    uh, no way...Dorothy wouldn't even get back to the house before the tornado...!!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    I like CDs but I'm really out of room for storage. I'm in the 1000's and lost count. I still have nostalgia of walking into stores and browsing thru CDs. Most of the good stores are gone anyhow. I remember midnight releases, standing outside with my friends, waiting for a favorite band's new album. I'll still buy a cd if I REALLY LIKE the artist a lot. I like album art and liner notes - I wish more bands would do the digital PDF covers for iTunes.

    I love the portability of digital. I can take all 1000some albums with me and that's awesome. I'm sitting in my chair streaming Dave Grissom from my iPhone to my sound bar, Dave Weiner acoustic album before that...and that's pretty awesome. If I only had a scantily clad servant girl to refill my coffee for me....

  14. #14
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vchizzle View Post
    If I only had a scantily clad servant girl to refill my coffee for me....
    So let it be written.


    So let it be done.









    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  15. #15
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Sweet mother of baby Jesus, Alan...you just had to go there. Servant GIRL!

  16. #16
    I used to have a nice big collection of records and CDs - then I sold them all for a guitar. My CD collection has come back a bit, but nothing like it was before and all the rare titles are gone. Aside from convenience I definitely prefer the CD to the itunes download.
    Even if you dont want the disc Its actually usually cheaper AND better quality to buy the CD, rip it in lossless, scan the artwork, and sell or trade-in the disc at a used CD store.


    Speaking of better quality - for anyone that hasn't had the opportunity to hear a DVD audio disc yet - you owe it to yourself to check one out on a good listening system. The sound quality is AMAZING!!!!

  17. #17
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vchizzle View Post
    Sweet mother of baby Jesus, Alan...you just had to go there. Servant GIRL!
    Thanks for noticing the difference!
    Thbbbt...
    Gork what your need to gork.
    Lexicon

  18. #18
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    So let it be written.


    So let it be done.
    Bastid!!
    Thbbbt...
    Gork what your need to gork.
    Lexicon

  19. #19
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    I still do CDs as well. I love liner noted and holding something tangible. But, I do load them into an iPod.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Bill SAS 513's Avatar
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    Yup...still like reading the liner notes...."something tangible"...good word choices!!!

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