Jump to content
avalanche

CNET: Are you finished with physical media?

Recommended Posts

CNET asks, "Are you finished with physical media?"

I always imagine I'll have a CD collection of some sort. It's been that way for 20 years now, and I don't think that will change. Even though I've ripped all the discs into both FLAC and MP3 for "on-the-go" listening, I still listen to the physical CDs, almost every day at home.

However, I have made the switch from physical books to the Kindle. For some reason, this device has just clicked with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be a physical media person for as long as I exist and as long as CDs are being produced by our beloved labels. I like having the physical CD.

All though on the go I do use an iPod so that way I can leave my CDs at home, safe and untouched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Physical all the way, especially for CDs. I do use iTunes when I'm only interested in buying one track. But I rarely buy an entire album from iTunes.

I hate buying from iTunes. Either my password becomes invalid or something else annoying happens and I cant listen to the track I downloaded even though I still have the file on my computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a guy who spends much - perhaps most - of his free time at a computer, and who listens to music almost exclusively through digital means, I will never stop using physical media. CDs offer a convenient backup, lossless audio, the potential for liner notes, and that intangible physical-ness that digital files lack by nature. The CDs themselves may spend much of their time just sitting on a shelf or in boxes while I listen to high-quality rips of their contents on my computer or iPod, but that doesn't mean I don't care about those CDs. I dread the day when they go the way of the dodo.

And as for books, I have a REALLY hard time seeing myself getting into things like the Kindle. I have no problem with others using them, but there's something very special about the feel of a real book in your hands. And the fact that they're cheap (or free, in the case of library books) is a big deal for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digital media are in many ways more handy, but they lack the gratification of ownership a physical product has.

Well, now we have a firm grasp of the obvious.

I am a generation ahead of most people here, in that I feel no sorrow in owning absolutely no CDs -- what rarities I gathered in the 1990s and the 2000's rests now in my mother's basement, while I keep the files in my computer in a mostly shelf-less apartment. I keep DVDs because no better alternative has been created as of yet.

Now, books is something I'm too old to give up. I use eBooks all the time for work, when I have to read a specific essay in a few hours' notice and I can't wait for the publishing house to send me a copy for review. But I can't, as of yet, extract any pleasure from staring at words in a screen. Well that's unfair. Maybe I can. I just don't want to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get more security from knowing I have music in lossless than I do that it's on a disc.

But I always buy important stuff on CD (and no... being John Williams does not automatically mean it's important - it has to be personally significant in some way).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a generation ahead of most people here, in that I feel no sorrow in owning absolutely no CDs -- what rarities I gathered in the 1990s and the 2000's rests now in my mother's basement, while I keep the files in my computer in a mostly shelf-less apartment. I keep DVDs because no better alternative has been created as of yet.

I wouldn't be so quick, then to say that you own absolutely no CDs. That's a stretch. You freely admit that what CDs you may have "used to own" are still in your mother's basement -- they're still in the family. And you have made digital copies of all other CDs that you used to own, before getting rid of them. Sell, donate, destroy, whatever. Your choice.

The point is that your music is still the logical byproduct of CDs. You bought a CD, you ripped it to keep the digital file. That's what any other person here that uses a portable digital media player does to avoid carrying hundreds of audio CDs or data CD-Rs around to listen.

The difference is that most people choose to keep their CDs as a physical and legal reminder of ownership, in case the FCC ever comes knocking on doors. It's easier to point to a wall of CDs than dig for Amazon and iTunes invoices. Anyone who sells a CD but doesn't keep a digital copy is probably lying.

Now had you denounced ever owning CDs in the first place, destroyed all of their ripped descendants, and purchased the music digitally in the first place....that's the intent of where the industry is heading. Digital first, CD never. And it is a frightening prospect indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I don't buy CDs anymore. 100% of my music is either bought online or stumbled upon Spotify.

I disagree with you in that the music industry wants us to deny ever owning CDs and destroyed what music we bought from in the past decades when CDs were the only option. I don't think keeping CDs in the basement is any different from keeping your vinyl collection there in the 1990's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I don't buy CDs anymore. 100% of my music is either bought online or stumbled upon Spotify.

So you didn't buy La-La Land's Home Alone or 1941, FSM's Nightwatch or NWMYYDV2, or Varese's Midway? You won't buy an expanded Hook, Dracula, Jaws 2, etc? You wouldn't buy a Star Wars/Indiana Jones/Harry Potter box set if they came out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, sorry. You got me. I thought we were talking about the way we generally obtain new music. I listen to a lot of new releases from other genres so film music re-releases are the exception in my system. It's gotten to a point where if a certain album is not for sale online, I don't bother buying it.

It happens with these re-releases. I do tend to pass on most of them. I'm not a collector, so out of the ones you mentioned I only bought 1941, which was promptly taken to the basement after being ripped. It felt kinda momentous, buying a CD. Prior to that I think the last ones I bought were Family Plot, the Indy box set and the Blue Box. (Hook would go in a heartbeat, and as of Dracula, I'd have to think about it -- I'm way satisfied with the original CD I bought in the late 1990s. Same for Indy, Potter and Star Wars. Again, I'm not a completist.)

Strangely, I can't bring myself to illegally download soundtracks. There's an emotional component in the way I perceive these re-releases and it'd feel like giving those labels the finger. For everything else (mostly classical), I tend to use Spotify.

And it's a surprisingly satisfying thing. I could have gone crazy and then bankrupt trying to locate and then purchase Mahler's symphonies by Rattler -- on Spotify all it takes is three clicks. Sorry to sound like a salesman. I'm just a very happy customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the scores and books I want in their *best* physical volumes.

Everything else I'm digital on. I'm not gonna collect some cardboard box with an ugly image on it just because it's something physical.

The quality of most physical media is just not what it used to be. Most things are mass produced garbage these days. It's a rare thing that I open a box or packaging and am blown away and find myself feeling the pages of a book or booklet for its fantastic quality.

Yeaaaah I can be anal about lossless vs. 256kbps or 320kbps, but most of the listening I do are in environments and situations where it's as good as makes no difference. That and if iTunes has shown anything, I can always upgrade to the latest available bit rate as it becomes available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with you in that the music industry wants us to deny ever owning CDs and destroyed what music we bought from in the past decades when CDs were the only option.

Perhaps not. That day will come when new CDs are no longer sold, at which point they will be available in second-hand shops and third-party transactions just like people still sell (and buy) cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and LPs. The cheap digital-only downloads of stuff we already have on CD is aimed at people who either a) don't have it and are just getting familiar with the music or b) people who are too stupid to figure out how to rip their CDs to their iPods. These people do, however, have jobs, drive, and vote.

I don't think keeping CDs in the basement is any different from keeping your vinyl collection there in the 1990's.

Alas, the music industry would like you to forget all about your LPs (and tapes), or else they would not go through the trouble of continually re-issuing LP-era albums on CD. These issues replace the now-lousy quality releases sold in the late 80s/early 90s, and now offer things like digital remastering, LP-like packaging, bonus tracks, B-sides and alternates, live versions, etc. Yes, you can buy USB turntables or connect your still functional machine to your computer to make digital files -- and if the quality or huge waste of time doesn't bug you, the money you save is worth it -- but that's a niche thing. And most people who buy the latest NEW album on LP don't aim to turn it into MP3s anyways.

I just spent a huge amount of money at Family Dollar stores to buy cheap VS soundtrack CDs for $4 apiece. If they had been digital only, I would have had no problem buying them from Amazon or iTunes or anyone else who would provide them in 320 kbps, because that's what I have been brainwashed into thinking that I want, and because then I wouldn't have close to 30 albums taking up space. For non-limited releases, Varese usually only puts liner notes into Michael G albums or special compilations, so these weren't the kind of limited edition discs with extensive liner notes that really scream out "put me onto your shelf and worship me."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, eReaders are the one piece of technology that I feel make the physical counterpart completely obsolete. I will never buy a paper book again, there's absolutely no need to. With movies and music, the compression and discrepancies in quality make the physical media superior, but not with books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't you hate it when your books run out of battery power?

When there are 10 pages left to read... and the battery is 2 %.

Can someone start the Mission Impossible theme please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus in the new world order, e-readers let a nosy government know which controversial titles are in your library more easily, to tag you for suspicious or seditious activities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll never be done with physical media I guess. I still buy my blu's, and watch them. I still buy my cd's and listen to them.

And when I buy stuff digitally, most of the time I burn it to a CD-R anyway, and make covers.

The one thing I'll run out of is storing space if I keep this up.

But life is too short to waste time pondering about that... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm absolutely not done with video in physical form - with the internet speed I have, streaming video can't even hold a candle to DVDs, much less Blu-Rays. As for music, I use iTunes and Amazon a lot, but for things I really love, I'll still buy the original CD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...