Why people prefer physical CD, over high-rez digital version of same release

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Turnaround, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. ...and Michael is, IMHO, wrong and it’s the romance of vinyl that attracts him to that. Vinyl cut from analog just as CD or downloads from digital sources. Sure the CD might be a dead end format but I enjoy what I have already. I’d also point out that there are those situations where (not always) the digital download is significantly more than the CD. Is it a fetish to want own something physically? Yep but one could argue why anyone wants to own anything? Why do people buy music, movies or even books in a physical format at all? Why buy anything when you can stream a lot,of stuff as well?Because it is a physical thing. I got into a discussion online with Elvis Costello (or whomever does his Twitter) about the fact that the new boxed set for Armed Forces is either digital download or vinyl. There’s lots of bits and pieces that go with it. You could get digital scans of that but there is something tactile about ‘things’. There are some books that I may want to buy once, read and it’s ok that it’s electronic. Same with movies.

    It also depends on when and how you’re listening to your music Ian’s where and on what).

    for some people it’s only about the music and how it sounds, for others it’s about the physical product and still others it’s about a preferred format. For me, it’s a combination of the two. Some people are satisfied with the sound quality from iTunes. I don’t think it really matters. You enjoy what you enjoy. For Fremer to claim that a digitally source is going to sound great on vinyl also fails to take into account some of the limitations of vinyl. The broader question is why does anyone listen to any physical format at all.

    Why do people who eat salads like blue cheese vs. oil and vinegar? we like what we like.
  2. Mullin

    Mullin The keymaster


    And if my hard drive crashes I have a physical backup...
  3. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    south florida, usa
    It's a PHYSICAL collection of something great! Music & Art.

    78s, LPs, cassettes, CDs... rock, jazz, country, pop, international, whatever... It's a PHYSICAL connection to timeless music, bands, and musicians.

    It's a physical collection of music which is like a musical 'security blanket '! LOL. :) It's who you are, who we are, and it's there when you want it. It's Right There. Same with our stereo equipment!!

    If you want, you can even ' look through your PHYSICAL collection ' for hours, and not even play anything... and it's all big ' physical ' FUN. :agree: :righton:

    We don't play songs - we play Albums.


    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  4. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    I truly hope that one of those year long fire seasons won't reach your house and wipe out your LP and CD collection. Because then you are left with nothing and no way to recover it. I have three digital backups of my entire music collection in different places. Hard to imagine a scenario whereby I would lose all three. And even so, I still got my CDs.
    ARK likes this.
  5. Jason W

    Jason W Forum Resident

    Mill Valley, CA
    I like the ritual of manually interacting; putting on a CD, LP, 78, cassette. It's like... I can turn on the heat, but it's not the same as building a fire in a fireplace and watching it glow.
  6. VinchVolt123

    VinchVolt123 I took a look at those hands.

    Chino Hills, CA
    If I had to sum up my own motives, most of them are down to previously mentioned factors: tangible ownership, no worries about losing the content if your playback device dies or the rights lapse, the ability for physical media to last quite a while if you know what you're doing, etc. However, one other benefit I've come to notice is that listening to CDs actively encourages me to listen to albums front to back and view each song in the context of the album. With digital downloads and streaming it's easy for me to just offhandedly search up a song, listen to it, and move on (not helped by Spotify sticking ads or forcing pauses between songs in an album/playlist, and YouTube having to manually load a new page for each song you play if it's not one of those "full album in one video" uploads), but with a CD I can more easily sit down and listen to the whole album that the song's a bigger part of.

    Sure you get that same benefit with other physical formats too, though CDs tend to cost less than vinyl, and the lack of playback degradation makes it easier to listen to them over and over again straight from the disc. I have no issue with anyone who prefers vinyl, or even cassettes for that matter, I just happen to prefer CDs. :D
    Thorpy, ukrules, HorseyAnn and 3 others like this.
  7. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Oyster Cult-ist

    Syracuse, NY
    Having the packaging, the artwork and liner notes in addition to the files on a physical disc. And I've never been convinced that hi res downloads sound significantly better anyways.
  8. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Vintage Dust

    Fort Worth TX
    Because when I purchase something I want to actually own it...yeah, I know I'm archaic.
  9. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk You Are What You Listen To

    Gilbert Arizona
    My choice these days is ease of access
    HorseyAnn and MikeManaic61 like this.
  10. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    south florida, usa

    Exactly. If I want to play something, I just go & grab it... and play it!

    HorseyAnn likes this.
  11. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    exactly. Why pay a premium price for nothing?
    Saint Johnny likes this.
  12. Saint Johnny

    Saint Johnny Forum Resident

    Asbury Park
    I demand that ALL my stuff exists in a physical space, that I can touch and feel.
    serj and WHMusical like this.
  13. rock4ev

    rock4ev Forum Resident

    CA USA
    It's not logical to invest mass money in a mass music library (as many here would have if even a quarter of that library was purchased downloads) if it has no resale

    You never know when or why you might want to sell your purchases.
    Maybe that never happens, but if it did, there would be no option with download purchases.

    There are a handful of other reasons for me personally, tho those are opinions of my own and not factual as my first point made.

    On that note, any choice made is for up to the purchasing choosing.
    rockclassics likes this.
  14. geetar_await

    geetar_await This space for rent.

    As stated before, it's the sense of ownership that gets folks to buy CDs. I had a dream (nightmare) recently that all CD players had disappeared and I was stuck in the middle of a mountain of CDs that i wanted to play, but couldn't find a player.
    Vaughan likes this.
  15. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    That could easily be a Twilight Zone episode set in the early '90s

    "That's not fair. That's not fair at all. There was time now. There was, was all the time I needed --"
    wrappedinsky, ARK, Mr. Bewlay and 2 others like this.
  16. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Count me in the minority here, but these days I strongly prefer a 24 bit digital file over a CD.

    With many thousands of "albums," physical CDs are a hassle for me to store. I feel no sense of romance towards shiny plastic discs. The artwork is unsatisfying vs the large LP art. I prefer looking at covers/folders and liner notes and booklets on a big monitor vs in a dinky CD format.

    I've optimized my musical playback to deal with digital files. It is all organized in a searchable database and backed up. When I get a CD of otherwise unavailable music, the CD gets ripped and then goes into deep storage. I can't remember the last time I played a physical CD and I listen to a lot of music daily.

    I'm about the music and not which the format the digital bits reside on.

    Hi-res files for me please.

  17. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    I mean having millions of album to choose from on Qobuz (for $150 bucks a year - about the price of 6 or 7 lp’s), picking one and sitting in my sweet spot and letting the music wash over me.

    It’s no less “listening” because I am not holding anything in my hands, didn’t purchase a physical copy or download IMO.
  18. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    A lot of people (waves hand) aren't set up to play intangible files through their main audio system and would only be able to listen to them on headphones or bluetooth / computer speakers.
    Mr. Bewlay and wayneklein like this.
  19. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

    Waving Hat!:shtiphat:
  20. razerx

    razerx Who me?

    The East
    I only have limited experience buying hi-res downloads for about 10 or 15 albums, don’t remember because I stopped fairly quickly. First of all it was expensive. I don’t mind paying but then it is worth it if it actually sound better and often it didn’t. I am a headphone user with decent DAC and amp. These were rock recordings and I came to the conclusion if the album was badly recorded the wizardry and bits can only do so much.
    Jamsterdammer likes this.
  21. Reid Smith

    Reid Smith Forum Resident

    N Ky/Cincinnati
    I'm an old guy who likes looking at my CD's and LP's all around me and well as listening to them..been doing it for a very long time and enjoying it..no reason to change now :)
    I grew up in a time when music was also a social thing to share with your friends on a Saturday night and record hunting was an exciting thing to do.Back then everyday was record store day.
    Does anyone really get that thrill from downloading a song? I can look at many of my records i purchased in the 60's and 70's and remember like it was yesterday when and where i got them.It's the same with the CD's in the 80's and 90's..they each have a story.
    It's much more than just a listening experience.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  22. Kevin Davis

    Kevin Davis Forum Resident

    My older kids are 11 and 12 and they're doing this now -- scanning my CD's, asking about them. It's a cool experience for sure :thumbsup:
    The Modfather and RSteven like this.
  23. It’s called collecting.
  24. Hammer70

    Hammer70 Forum Resident

    This is a good thread because there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all subjective.

    After decades of buying vinyl, CD’s, taping off the radio, downloading bootlegs, making mix tapes and even minidiscs ... I’ve gone totally digital with my discs almost all ripped, downloads (redbook FLAC and hi-rez, DSD, etc). My system is set up to play all of my files, I have two portable hi-rez walkmans, all managed through JRiver, fully backed up. 80,000 plus files, all organised to last me for (hopefully) the thirty or so more years that I have to live. Even my BR-Audio’s are all ripped to ISO’s that I can play through my OPPO (2011 firmware). I’m still nostalgic and flip through my collection when I need to but for convenience ... digital all the way. And streaming doesn’t have MFSL’s, DCC’s, 1980’s and 90’s Japanese discs, hi-rez needle drops ... so that’s not a solution either (for me).
  25. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

    Think off all the classic Record Collector sorting exercises (see John Cussack in High Fidelity). Sort them by record label, or chronologically by release date OR by when you bought them, or who gave them to you, what label they are on etc, etc... You can do that with Cds too, but not so much fun sorting thru digital files on a computer scream. Yes, Olde School Rock Dino Hear!
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
    Jam757, JeffMo, Jagger69 and 3 others like this.

Share This Page