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Old 09-10-2019, 04:08 PM
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Anybody else miss staring at a shelf of CD's?


Or tapes/records/whatever....

I'm a decent music fan. Not the greatest on this board, but definitely love listening. Multiple genres, multiple decades.

While I admit that we are incredibly spoiled in the age of streaming, I find myself longing for the days when you could browse a wall(or shelf) of material until something caught your eye. I find it way too difficult to do this when I have to request a song/album out of the blue. All the Spotify playlist on the world won't make up for that.

I will give a shout out to whomever on this board brought up KCDX... It's not the same, but it's definitely a positive in my music life.

But I really want to just peruse several thousand CD's that at one point I clearly thought enough to collect and pull one out I haven't heard in a while and listen to it in its entirety. But alas, I lost that ability. Kudos to you if you still have a collection to browse..


Sorry to Mods if this belongs elsewhere. Do what you see fit.

Last edited by StuckinNJ; 09-10-2019 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:15 PM
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I feel the same way about Blockbuster Video. I miss the 'new release' wall and all the various genre sections with everything in alphabetical order.
Trying to browse stuff in Netflix just sucks in comparison.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:20 PM
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I miss albums, and album art. Looking through a new album's liner notes, any special inserts, etc. that might have been included was every bit as much fun as listening to the album. There have been attempts by some artists to do fun stuff with CDs (like the slipcase for Pink Floyd's Pulse release, or the Scissor Sisters' Ta Dah set), but it's just not the same.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:21 PM
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Yes, I miss shopping for music in a store. I have found a few ways to get that "huge volume of random and possibly related stuff" thing going, but no, it isn't the same as a real store.*

And thankfully, I own many thousands of CDs and a couple thousand DVDs/BRs. When I want to browse, I just go into my library. Aye; there's a couple thousand books in there too.

*ETA: music lovers, I highly recommend checking out Bandcamp. Scroll down until you see "Discover" on the left hand side of the page; it's like having an endless listening station in a store all to yourself.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-10-2019 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:33 PM
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I actually have a vertical shelf of both CDs and DVDs. So, I get to stare them every day. Admittedly, I haven’t added much to them the past couple of years
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:33 PM
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While I have my music stored digitally, I keep all my video discs in cases on shelves. Music benefits from random play, video benefits from being able to eyeball the spines.

And as for "peruse several thousand CD's that at one point I clearly thought enough to collect and pull one out I haven't heard in a while and listen to it in its entirety", don't you have your digital collection grouped by album? On my ipod I can scroll up and down through the album list, and thereby see the ones I haven't heard in a while.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:08 PM
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I don't miss it at all. I love the convenience of having all of my music stored on my phone. Well, in the cloud, actually, so I don't have to store it. It's all about the music to me. Even though I have my CDs alphabetized, it's still a pain in the ass to take several of the shelf, take them out of the box one at a time, and listen to them. And yes, I've used CD changers in the past, but they're glitchy and break down eventually. My phone allows me to mix infinite playlists.
  #8  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:28 PM
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If you are really stuck in NJ, you must know about the Princeton Record Exchange...if you haven’t been, you should check it out. I work in Princeton and visit it often. I stare and stare and sometimes by a CD for $2.99. The “nice price”!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:31 PM
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I miss DVD rental stores I guess.

Granted we have family video and the public library, and I can go there to look at DVDs. But blockbuster had a special nostalgia that is gone.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by romansperson View Post
I miss albums, and album art. Looking through a new album's liner notes, any special inserts, etc. that might have been included was every bit as much fun as listening to the album. There have been attempts by some artists to do fun stuff with CDs (like the slipcase for Pink Floyd's Pulse release, or the Scissor Sisters' Ta Dah set), but it's just not the same.
Seconded. A friend in college had access to some serious photo developing stuff and basically mad a copy of Steppenwolf's "At Your Birthday Party" and used it for wallpaper. He did another for someone else but I don't recall what album. Some of the art was incredible.

(Remember the "newspaper" for Thick as a Brick?)
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:43 PM
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I'm currently 'binge-listening' to my extensive collection of CDs of the hilarious BBC radio program 'I'm sorry - I haven't a clue.'
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:51 PM
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The only thing I miss from the old days is album covers. As far as listening goes, I'm all digital.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:12 PM
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I don't miss it, since I still have all my original CDs (though I rarely play them, but listen to the copies on my computer as well.)

I still have about 300 records on vinyl too, going back to Sgt. Pepper, which I keep mainly for the covers and the inserts. (I have a copy of the original Sticky Fingers with a working zipper .)
  #14  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:19 PM
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I feel the same way about Blockbuster Video. I miss the 'new release' wall and all the various genre sections with everything in alphabetical order.
Trying to browse stuff in Netflix just sucks in comparison.
I miss going to blockbuster and noticing all the soft core noir/thrillers that i was going to catch on my pay channels when they showed up there in a month which was 80 percent of any blockbuster "new release" rack
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:19 PM
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Shout back at ya about KCDX. Greatest station ever. Sirius should follow their model.

I have a shelf of CDs double depth. And a room of DVDs.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:42 AM
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What works better for cleaning pot?

A year ago my group played in a used record store. I spent some time flipping through the bins. Really brought me back - an activity I hadn't thought of in a couple of decades, but that came back to me instantly to something I had spent hours and hours doing in my teens-early 20s.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:27 AM
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I do miss CDs. CDs have better sound than MP3s, and while I enjoy the music on my iPhone, sometimes I liked listening to a CD and enjoying the superior sound. Obviously you can get even better sound than a CD, but the sound difference between CD and MP3 (or Apple files, whatever they're called) is very, very obvious.

My car doesn't even have a CD player. It's sad.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:35 AM
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I do miss CDs. CDs have better sound than MP3s, and while I enjoy the music on my iPhone, sometimes I liked listening to a CD and enjoying the superior sound. Obviously you can get even better sound than a CD, but the sound difference between CD and MP3 (or Apple files, whatever they're called) is very, very obvious.

My car doesn't even have a CD player. It's sad.
Maybe because I haven't listened to a CD in a long time, but I can't tell the sound difference. I usually play my music on Bluetooth speakers, but even over earbuds, mp3s sound OK to me.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:09 AM
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Also, CDs are my preferred music medium. Glad the car I bought 2 years ago still offered one. Never developed an interest in managing my music digitally. CD does everything I want. I've probly got a couple hundred CDs and half as many albums. Turntable in the lower level room my wife uses for sewing, making violins, and exercising.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:43 AM
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The only thing I miss from the old days is album covers. As far as listening goes, I'm all digital.
The quality of digital reproduction is poor. Digital music isnt the same as music on CD or vinyl. Take it from Neil Young,

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/m...ing-music.html
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:06 AM
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(I have a copy of the original Sticky Fingers with a working zipper .)

I saw a copy of this still in the shrink wrap at a record store in Seattle. It's an early version with the zipper fully zipped. Early buyers of this album when it was released were complaining that the zipper was damaging the vinyl, it was at the last track when fully zipped. The record company fixed this by shipping the albums with the zipper at half mast and rotating each 90 degrees from each other when boxed. I wore out my first copy, my second copy was played once to record it on a cassette tape.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:42 AM
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The quality of digital reproduction is poor. Digital music isnt the same as music on CD or vinyl. Take it from Neil Young,

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/m...ing-music.html
Which is funny, because Young's entire catalog is available for streaming.

https://neilyoungarchives.com/

Last edited by cochrane; 09-11-2019 at 10:42 AM.
  #23  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:51 AM
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I miss going to the record store and heading straight to the "Import" section and seeing how many albums Tangerine Dream have recorded; it seemed like there were 2 or 3 new ones every week. Plus, the Imports came in a plastic sleeve with stickers telling you how much it cost in foreign money.
  #24  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:52 AM
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Nope, not a bit. I hate “stuff” so I embraced streaming with a gleeful heart.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:14 AM
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Not really, to be honest.

I do recall being very offended at the idea of not owning a physical copy of media. it's mine dammit!

Convenience won out. I still have a bunch of disks in one of those binder things under my bed I think. Haven't touched it in years and I might as well toss it, but there was a major investment in money there so it's hard.
  #26  
Old 09-11-2019, 11:18 AM
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I'm a Luddite; some day every single one of you are going to lose every single bit of your digitized media, so you have to go out and buy it all again. All I have to worry about is finding an 8-track player in working condition.

Hey, wait a minute...
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:45 PM
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I'm a Luddite; some day every single one of you are going to lose every single bit of your digitized media, so you have to go out and buy it all again. All I have to worry about is finding an 8-track player in working condition.

Hey, wait a minute...
I still keep my CDs around for just such an emergency. I might have to have to rip it again, but you don't have to buy what you still have. And it's possible to back up your online purchases to CD.

Last edited by cochrane; 09-11-2019 at 12:47 PM.
  #28  
Old 09-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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The only thing I miss from the old days is album covers. As far as listening goes, I'm all digital.
This is pretty much where I'm at. I started collecting LP records as a teenager back in the 1980s when CDs weren't yet available in record stores. When CDs started to become common I held off because it was easier to appreciate the art on vinyl LP sleeves.

I finally switched to CDs by the end of the '80s, partly because of their portability (a full moving box of LPs is friggin' heavy!) and partly because LPs were rapidly disappearing from record stores, not to mention the equally sudden ubiquity of CD players. I was eventually gifted a rotating CD tower that I used to store and display my CD collection, which today is completely full and no longer kept in a particularly visible location.

My brother's collection developed in a similar manner over the same years, but his was much more prolific than mine, and for a long time his CDs were kept in shelves mounted on his walls. However, the last time he moved (in 2013), he left most of his CDs in their moving boxes and didn't make the extensive effort that would have been required to replicate the display.

When my brother passed away last year, I inherited his collection, which by then filled 12 moving boxes (and a full moving box of CDs is friggin' heavy!), and decided to free them from their boxes and display them on bookshelves that I had also inherited, resulting in a disorganized mess that is nothing like the glorious display that once adorned his walls. A fairly significant percentage of my collection is duplicated in his, but the task of sorting everything out has been daunting enough that I've been putting it off for over a year and counting.

In the meantime, the ubiquity and convenience of digital media has all but ended any new CD purchases. In the last decade, I've probably bought less than 10 new CDs, while my digital collection has exploded, and those CDs that I did buy were immediately copied (I hate using the word "ripped") to MP3 and played exclusively in that format.

I recently read that sales of vinyl LPs have been making enough of a comeback that they're expected to outsell CDs by the end of this year, at least in terms of revenue. I can understand this, since the analog experience of vinyl LPs is more organic and personal than CDs ever were, while the convenience factor of digital-only formats is far greater.
  #29  
Old 09-11-2019, 02:08 PM
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Maybe because I haven't listened to a CD in a long time, but I can't tell the sound difference. I usually play my music on Bluetooth speakers, but even over earbuds, mp3s sound OK to me.
Maybe it's been awhile. The difference is strikingly obvious - it is one of the more dramatic differences in sound quality between any two mediums.

MP3s, remember, exist for one reason; to make the sound file manageably small. In the early days of file sharing and portable digital music players, having the sound files as large as a .WAV file was just not practical; a four minute song is like 40MB in .WAV format, and no one was going to want a 256MB player that only held six songs. The MP3 made digital music practical in a time when transfer speeds were slow and mobile storage small. The tradeoff was sound quality.

Today of course you could in theory transport your music in larger, higher quality formats, but that's not the common standard.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:31 PM
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Your mileage definitely varies. Or maybe mine varies. I can detect no difference. I bought a new stereo for my car a few years ago. I didn't buy it for the CD player. I never played even one CD in it. But it did have an input jack that I plugged my phone into. Sounded fantastic.

Last edited by cochrane; 09-11-2019 at 02:33 PM.
  #31  
Old 09-11-2019, 02:55 PM
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Your mileage definitely varies. Or maybe mine varies. I can detect no difference. I bought a new stereo for my car a few years ago. I didn't buy it for the CD player. I never played even one CD in it. But it did have an input jack that I plugged my phone into. Sounded fantastic.
From the linked NYT article above:

Quote:
The compressed, hollow sound of free streaming music was a big step down from the CD. “Huge step down from vinyl,” Young said. Each step eliminated levels of sonic detail and shading by squeezing down the amount of information contained in the package in which music was delivered. Or, as Young told me, you are left with “5 percent of the original music for your listening enjoyment.”

Producers and engineers often responded to the smaller size and lower quality of these packages by using cheap engineering tricks, like making the softest parts of the song as loud as the loudest parts. This flattened out the sound of recordings and fooled listeners’ brains into ignoring the stuff that wasn’t there anymore, i.e., the resonant combinations of specific human beings producing different notes and sounds in specific spaces at sometimes ultraweird angles that the era of magnetic tape and vinyl had so successfully captured.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:52 PM
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From the linked NYT article above:
I didn't say there is no difference. I can't hear the difference. If you can, listen to what you like and be happy with it and let others like me do the same. I don't hear by reading newspaper articles. If my brain is fooling me, I don't care and I'm fine with it. If there's a trade-off, I'm willing to put up with it.

Last edited by cochrane; 09-11-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:00 PM
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I still keep my CDs around for just such an emergency. I might have to have to rip it again, but you don't have to buy what you still have. And it's possible to back up your online purchases to CD.
I have a couple of shelves of double-depth-double-stacked CDs in cases for mostly this reason, though also a bit because it doesn't feel like I own things if I don't have the hardcopy. Plus I don't like throwing stuff away, including the insert/cover art.

I do have some stuff purely digital, but it's stuff that I couldn't get a hardcopy of at all. And despite double backups I expect it to vanish in the wind someday.

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The quality of digital reproduction is poor. Digital music isnt the same as music on CD or vinyl. Take it from Neil Young,

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/m...ing-music.html
Another advantage of keeping the CDs is that if I woke up one morning and started caring, I could re-rip them all in a less lossy format. I know there are better ones than mp3 out there.
  #34  
Old 09-11-2019, 04:13 PM
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Not missing looking at CD or cassette cases. A box of CDs was particular stupid since the orientation of the text on the hinge side was upside down! Find a CD you want to look at, pull it out, flip it around to see the cover.

Plus the writing and such was too small and often far less than vinyl albums.

Now, looking at vinyl albums is a very different experience.

Last edited by ftg; 09-11-2019 at 04:14 PM.
  #35  
Old 09-11-2019, 05:08 PM
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The quality of digital reproduction is poor. Digital music isnt the same as music on CD or vinyl. Take it from Neil Young,
Not if you do it yourself. I spent the first half of 2018 digitizing my music collection, which involved acquiring used copies of all the CDs for the songs in my digital collection. I used Exact Audio Copy to make "perfect," lossless copies of every CD into digital flac files. I still have that entire flac library (418 CDs, 146 gigs) but then manually converted each track I wanted in my active library into 320mbps mp3 files by hand using audacity, normalizing the volume for every track in the process. This means I did exactly one conversion per digital file, directly from the lossless flac into the highest quality mp3 file possible. (I also embedded 600x600 album cover art into the mp3s taken from albumartexchange, which are quite nice.)

My mp3 files are unusually large, but my music collection is small: 876 songs, totaling just a hair under 8 gigs. Those fit easily on a low profile flash drive, which plugs right into my car stereo, no fuss no muss.

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I'm a Luddite; some day every single one of you are going to lose every single bit of your digitized media, so you have to go out and buy it all again.
Not me!

In fairness, if I knew how much work it would end up being, I may not have started that project at all. But now with it all finished I'm quite pleased with it. When I started I only had fewer than 100 physical CDs, so it ended up being a process where I'd order a box of 10 used CDs for $15 (including shipping!) each week, processing those 10 then wait for the next box. That kept it from being too much at once. Mostly.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 09-11-2019 at 05:13 PM.
  #36  
Old 09-11-2019, 05:19 PM
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I have a wall of over 2,000 CDs right in front of me, that I can stare at whenever I please. Of course they're all ripped onto my computer, with the best 2,000+ tracks on my phone. Even if my computer and phone crash, I still have the originals. And that's not counting all the LPs I still have... and 78s.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:25 AM
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The difference is strikingly obvious - it is one of the more dramatic differences in sound quality between any two mediums.
Maybe you have mutant ears, because this isn't at all true. It's virtually impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a song from a CD and that same song ripped at a decent bit rate to either MP3 or AAC.

If you were a trained sound engineer (or a mutant) maybe, possibly, perhaps on a good day, you could. But either way, "one of the more dramatic differences" is pretty far-fetched.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:27 AM
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Maybe you have mutant ears, because this isn't at all true. It's virtually impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a song from a CD and that same song ripped at a decent bit rate to either MP3 or AAC.

If you were a trained sound engineer (or a mutant) maybe, possibly, perhaps on a good day, you could. But either way, "one of the more dramatic differences" is pretty far-fetched.
I can tell the difference, but I think it has more to do with the whole stack of equipment and not just the recording medium. In my college days, people played their CDs on a high quality component stereo system with large speaker towers and maybe even a subwoofer. A pair of airbuds playing streaming music simply can't reproduce the range of sound. Then again, most people probably don't expect it to. They expect their phone streaming Spotify over a Bluetooth headset to have an equivalent fidelity to maybe a Walkman playing a magnetic tape.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:56 AM
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Well sure - on cheap earbuds, your sound quality is largely a function of the earbuds, not the source.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:06 AM
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The quality of digital reproduction is poor. Digital music isnt the same as music on CD or vinyl...
Just to nitpick...much music is "poor" because it is often stored as MP3 or other highly compressed form. CD music IS digital, and can be extracted (to a WAV file) without compression if you must. If you do this, you can't complain that it is poor unless you feel the original CD is also poor, because it's the exact same, byte-for-byte, data.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:22 AM
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Miss staring at the shelf? No. Miss the simplicity of browsing over a few hundred discs and picking out the one I feel like at that moment? Yes.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:27 AM
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It's virtually impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a song from a CD and that same song ripped at a decent bit rate to either MP3 or AAC.
I once had a coworker who claimed that music on a CD sounded "grainy" to her, as opposed to vinyl. We all just rolled our eyes.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:19 AM
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I miss some aspects of it, in particular browsing in a record store to discover new music through serendipity. It's harder to do that now, to just bump into something that's out of your usual groove but you like. I was listening to an NPR review of Baby Caught The Bus by Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes. In the old days I might have seen it in a record store and given it a try, but now, if I hadn't heard the review, I wouldn't have otherwise heard about this album that is now one of my favorites.

However, you can't beat having most of my music collection in my pocket, and easily searchable. It just the music I don't have yet that's hard to find.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:27 AM
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Browsing in Tower Records was like being in heaven.

But I remember when CDs first came out, and they had maybe five of them displayed on a wall.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:47 AM
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Maybe you have mutant ears, because this isn't at all true. It's virtually impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a song from a CD and that same song ripped at a decent bit rate to either MP3 or AAC.

If you were a trained sound engineer (or a mutant) maybe, possibly, perhaps on a good day, you could. But either way, "one of the more dramatic differences" is pretty far-fetched.
I agree. Sure, if it's a shitty 128 or 160 kb/s MP3, the difference is obvious. Once you start getting to 192, it can be somewhat tough for me to tell the difference, and at 256 or 320, forget about it. I can't tell. I'm not an audiophile, but I am or at least have been a musician, so I do care about sound. Regardless, some services, like Bandcamp, allow you to download lossless files, if you so wish.

Anyhow, I do not miss CDs at all. I was a little late for the vinyl album generation. I mean, I was around (growing up mostly in the 80s, and a bit in the 70s), but when I got into music, it was cassettes and CDs. I believe I have bought two vinyl records in my life. Vinyls stacked up on a shelf looked really cool, and that big album art was awesome. CD jewel cases are ugly as sin, and the album art a pale imitation of vinyl art. I don't miss CDs in the least. Once I ripped my CDs, I threw them all into the trash, and haven't looked back.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:56 AM
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I miss album art. Some of it was great and served as yet another means of artistic expression that had the potential to tell you something (cool) about the band and their collective ethos.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:20 PM
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I miss my CDs being on a shelf. Now they seem to live in increasingly-precarious, tilted-Jenga piles stacked up in every room but the bathroom. I need to actually bite the bullet and drop several centibux on various DIY shelving units ... and get that cataloguing database program up and running.
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Last edited by mjmlabs; 09-13-2019 at 07:21 PM.
  #48  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:45 PM
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What I miss about today's iTunes culture is not being exposed to album material. In the LP/CD era, while I confess I often bought an album primarily for a specific tune, I really enjoyed listening to the other material in the collection. Just because they aren't in the "hit" class doesn't mean they aren't worth listening to. Some non-hits are my favorites.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:45 PM
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What I miss about today's iTunes culture is not being exposed to album material. In the LP/CD era, while I confess I often bought an album primarily for a specific tune, I really enjoyed listening to the other material in the collection. Just because they aren't in the "hit" class doesn't mean they aren't worth listening to. Some non-hits are my favorites.
I don't quite understand. You're really not constrained to listen to single songs and can easily hear whole albums on streaming services. I haven't changed my music listening preferences in that regard at all, I'm still listening to albums, but only digital and mostly streaming from either the net or my private archive (which includes the ca. 2000 CDs I own which I ripped to 320 kbps and a lot of stuff I downloaded in the good old napster days. But I kept all my CDs and LPs. You can pry them from my cold dead hands. It ist a sort of life project that's now completed, but deserves preservation. And yes, I miss artwork and browsing CD/LP racks).
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Browsing in Tower Records was like being in heaven.

But I remember when CDs first came out, and they had maybe five of them displayed on a wall.
I remember when Tower didn't carry CDs (or maybe they were tucked away where I didn't see them) and I went to a small specialty store in Studio City, CA that carried them exclusively. A typical customer was a high-end audiophile because they cost much more than LPs or cassettes and players weren't cheap, either.
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