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

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

  1. Pentior

    Pentior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    I was expecially thankful that you explained that there's not that much to worry about :D
    Your additional in-depth-description of clusters is interesting as well, but it might stress the hard-drive-opponents. Now they have to get into these details too! And what cluster size will sound best?
     
    Vaughan likes this.
  2. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Cluster One ;)

    EG.
     
    Pentior and Vaughan like this.
  3. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Unfortunately for me my computer plays the files fine but ads glitches which make it unlistenable to! So CD's and CD players were designed to play music and computers are a Swiss army knife that does everything, just not as well.
     
  4. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Actually, defragmenting a hard disc will reduce stress to the drive. Effectively, it will speed up file retrieval, and cause less physical stress on the moving parts due to usage.

    None of this has any effect on the sound. I suppose technically it could if the drive is heavily fragmented, because you'd get the noise from the drive, but I wouldn't worry about that.

    The ballpark for physical hard disks is to always leave 20% free space for optimal usage. But for huge drives that just feels wasteful, and I suspect not many people do it these days.

    Also keep in mind - the average life of a hard disk is only three to five years. I'm using one right now that's more than 10 years old though. Still, the averages are the averages. As I stated earlier, it's not "if" a drive will fail, it's "when".
     
    Pentior likes this.
  5. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    See - commonly this would be caused by a heavily fragmented drive. Do you ever run a defrag tool? Also, how much free space is available on that drive?
     
  6. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I haven't defragged, I have about 2 terabits of free space though, now that I've managed to shut of my One Drive which was always full and asking for money to give me more space. Do these glitches not happen to everyone?

    Yes I'm computer ignorant and would like it if they just made it simple... One purchase and off you go but that seems to be further and further away from reality and hence CD's are far better for me!
     
  7. Hammer70

    Hammer70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Your pedantry aside (he said “unknown tune”, I said “humming”), the question still stands about finding songs QUCKLY within a 5000 disc collection. But you may want to just sit this one out because it would never be an issue for you anyway because way up on your high horse, you LISTEN TO ALBUMS ALL THE WAY THROUGH. ALWAYS. BECAUSE NO ALBUM EVER HAS ANY RUBBISH SONGS ON IT. NEVER. EVER. And apparently you have all the time in the world to find these unknown songs, when you happen to be not listening to every quality song all the way through. Because days in Essex apparently have 50 hours in them, I’m guessing. While us mere mortals have to settle with just 24.

    Let’s just agree to disagree. You’re always looking for a fight and I’m not interested. Sheesh indeed.
     
  8. Pentior

    Pentior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    What kind of glitches and how often are they? I have been using an older external soundcard until lately, for about one year; on that, every 15min or so the sound would pause for half a second. Apart from that, music from my computers has played flawlessly for the last 10 years, at least. Including playback with different music player software, different formats and different additional hardware. Sometimes there are issues with unknown file formats or codecs, but this is very very rare (mostly MAC-PC-issues).
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  9. Pentior

    Pentior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Oh, I got your gist about defrag. I referred to the hard-drive-opponents, who may come into the discussion again explaining how they never had to defrag a CD.
     
  10. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I must have other issues going on as it’s often to the point I can’t even think about listening to it! It’s only just over a year old Dell pc so it’s disappointing to say the least! I will defrag and try it again but I really do feel that my cds have been working glitch free for 30 years so why bother changing to a technology that it more…. Fragile?
     
    Hammer70 likes this.
  11. Hammer70

    Hammer70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    As much as I enjoy the convenience of my digital (hard drive) library, there's absolutely no doubt that the potential failure rate of a (taken care of) CD is many, many, many times lower than using a hard drive (though SSD's help bridge this gap, they still don't have the size or low enough price to accommodate larger libraries - unless you're using several). But perhaps when to get that size, it's well worth the extra investment. Something I'll consider in the future.
     
  12. Pentior

    Pentior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Strange... A modern PC shouldn't have problems playing back audio, it's a very easy task (unless you're doing 1859kHz/420Bit, of course ^^). Are the glitches present regardless of where the file is? Try running it from a different drive, e.g. a different hard-drive or a USB. What player, what file format are you using?

    Of course, there can be several kinds of problems with drivers etc... Can be quite exotic.
    I agree that CD players are quite stable (until the laser weakens ^^).
     
  13. 1) Provenance. The physical medium doesn't present nearly the risk of data corruption, compared to computer files, or Cloud storage. Four decades ago, I read predictions that CDs would eventually suffer from that problem as a result of oxidation of the aluminum layer that preserves the data of the recording, but those forecasts have not come to pass. To the extent that such a problem exists- if at all- it's rare enough to be considered a defect of faulty manufacture- a bug and not a feature, and an exceedingly rare one at that. And if that degradation hasn't shown up yet, it's doubtful that it will, given the sealant properties of molded plastic, and polycarbonate being the durable material that it is (a good thing, when the intent is durability instead of disposability.)

    Whereas, who knows what might happen in the course of a digital download, or what fate might befall the information bits of an archive stored on the cloud, or in some mainframe somewhere, in the long run?

    2) The extent of the labor required to play a CD: buy it, put it in the drawer, punch "play." Hit buttons for forward/reverse/random/repeat. Listen.

    To someone as defiantly nonlinear as myself, the problems related to choosing which music to play by scrolling through a menu and programming my choices are even worse than the labor demands of downloading. That process is simply slower and more cumbersome as far as fulfilling my whimsies: if I'm in the middle of a Richard Thompson CD and feel like hearing Los Lobos' Kiko next, I just pull the CD off the rack. No (mis)typing, no searching, no scrolling, no mucking about with a playlist...no squinting. (The market for reading glasses is so going to take off in about 5-10 years, children...that demand is probably increasing measurably as we speak.)

    And as a matter of fact: no, I don't want to foster a dependence on algorithms that program me with their guesses about what I feel like listening to, as a way of obviating that process.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  14. DaveShakey

    DaveShakey Active Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Anecdotally I have about 5 CDs that have become unplayable since purchase 20+ years ago (and not due to abuse or overplay) out of 2,700. That's just the ones I know about (I rarely use them after initial rip to FLAC).
    That's more problems than I've had with 40,000 files moving across 10+ drives in the same time
     
    Hammer70 likes this.
  15. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Look after your CDs and they really will last. I’ve been buying them since 1985 and they all still play fine.

    As far as I know anyway!
     
  16. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Yes the PDOs from the late 80s and early 90s have been my only problems. And a few Polygram pressings. The most recent one, in terms of release, was a 1995 Elton John compilation, but the PDOs are nearly all bronzing or worse (Republic by New Order - 1993 - went very nasty).

    EG.
     
  17. Hammer70

    Hammer70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    That's some good empirical context. Thanks!
     
  18. I don’t think over playing a CD would damage it unless it got badly scratched, damaged. I have one-the first disc from the Echo and The Bunnymen boxed set from Rhino; the first disc has what sounds like distortion all over the tracks that wasn’t there before. No visible damage, no changing of color or anything on the disc indicating it has a problem. Except when I play it. I have had occasi0nal files that have become corrupted or gone back. Have you listened to those 40,000 files lately? That’s the only t(me I discover the bad ones.
     
  19. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Oh dear. Your tantrum will be over soon, and perhaps we can have an actual discussion. Until then - I'll leave you in your pram, especially now all the dolls have been thrown on the floor. ;)
     
    22 ziggies and Hammer70 like this.
  20. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Well, as a top line point - no, you should not be having these issues.

    More generally - it's worth keeping in mind that people talk about "I just stream" as though it's a simple choice and is just down to a couple clicks on a screen. The reality is, when it comes to complexity of delivery, streaming is far far more complex. I won't go into it because it bore most people, but suffice to say there are hundreds if not thousands of things that can simply go wrong or be misconfigured with streaming. For most people, this complexity is hidden behind a nice interface, but if it goes wrong, you need a modicum of technical expertise.

    As to your problem, there are many possibilities of why you might have this problem. It could be that the computer needs a defrag. That's a simple thing to do, so start there. But it could be other things too. For instance, you have a Dell, and Dell's ship with a lot of Bloatware (defined as pre-installed software you don't really need). The operation of this software - which may well be invisible to you - could cause your issue. Anti-virus software can cause the issue too. In both cases, it's down to utilization of your computer. If you're computer starts doing something in the background that takes 100% of the CPU, then you'll get glitches like you're experiencing. The fix is to figure out what process is doing that in the background, and putting it right.

    Are you on a Mac, or Windows? On Windows there's a free app called "CCleaner". Download it, and run it. It's an essential tool, and helps with a lot of issues.

    As for your hard disc space - you say you have 2Tb of space. Is that a single drive with 2Tb of space, or larger? Here's another fun tip for all - the operating system in Windows does a lot in the background. For optimal performance, you would never place files (such as music files) on the same physical disc as the operating system. Ideally, you'd have a relatively small physical disc for the Operating System (250Gb, or 500Gb). Then you would have a second, third, or fourth drive for your files. I could go into why, but it would bore you.

    One final thing - because we'll get warning signs about going OFF TOPIC - there is an Off-Topic forum where people post their computer questions every now and then. There's no shame in asking for help in there, and it keeps any technical talk out the music threads. I'm convinced you shouldn't be having these problems, so don't give up!

    Me? I play CD's. :D
     
    Giobacco, billnunan and Audiowannabee like this.
  21. keefer1970

    keefer1970 Metal, Movies, Beer!

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Because I've been buying and listening to CDs since 1990 and I'm too old and set in my ways to change now.

    You can have my CDs when you pry them from my cold dead fingers. :D
     
  22. Duophonic

    Duophonic Bread was an American soft rock band

    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Slapped a 2 gb hard drive, non SSD, on my secondary comp which is a 2008 MacBook, back in 2012 and the drive still works! It has a ton of music. I love my computer!
     
    Tim Lookingbill and Vaughan like this.
  23. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    Files on a computer...meh.
    A product on the shelves.:thumbsup:
     
    Giobacco likes this.
  24. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    My former go-to desktop PC for music inexplicably started sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I played any hi-res files. What had happened was that, over time, I added one too many devices to the PCI bus, which previously only had one subscriber (my sound card). I moved the sound card to a newer system built with one and exactly one "old school" PCI slot, so the sound card was the only device on the PCI (pre-PCIx) bus. Not a problem since. YMMV. On a laptop, none of this is going to apply. (You're welcome.) But, if you're relying on an external USB DAC, you're going to have a different data-path problem if your I/O (input-output) path isn't "clean". You've got to move a certain number of bits from laptop storage to your DAC in a certain period of time to avoid gaps and glitches. The more contention for USB I/O while your system is "at rest", the harder this is going to be to achieve. Storing your music on a separate USB stick may be fine for systems where the real drag in the process is a sluggish (or overworked) hard drive, but if you're trying to pull the bits from a 200MB hi-res song off a USB stick while simultaneously driving them out to your USB DAC for external processing, you're asking for trouble. (Note this is an extreme example, and probably not applicable to year-old hardware, but it roughly covers the concept of resource contention.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  25. DaveShakey

    DaveShakey Active Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Yes, I have made new transcodes for my car of the source flacs a few months ago. Anything invalid in there foobar will highlight it. There are no problems, all match the logs etc. and I listen to the lot on album shuffle all the time with no errors at all.

    The only time I've had problems with the digital files is when a whole drive died and when the source CDs had glitches on the audio (a Lost Horizon album and an Enslaved one - and these aren't damaged discs, they have the same audible errors that are in every version of that pressing).

    The CDs that did rot weren't overplayed, they are 90s discs that rotted on their own in dry regular shelf storage. It's still very few that went wrong and probably only from certain types of pressing.

    I'm in the "still buy CDs" camp BTW. This is just my experience over the last 30yrs of using both.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021

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