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View Full Version : Long live CDs!



Leo
16-05-2016, 09:56 PM
Upon reading Woebot's post (http://www.woebot.com/2016/05/more-thoughts-on-vinyl.html and this Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/music/commentisfree/2016/may/15/selling-cds-spotify-digital-music-streaming article), I'm prompted to come out of the closet and proclaim my enjoyment of CDs.

I've felt like an outcast the past few years with the boom in streaming and vinyl resurgence, but there are practical reasons for still liking CDs:
- I don't want to get up and flip double-LP albums three times to hear a complete album (after paying $30 for said double-LP).
- I especially don't want to hear a chopped up version of album-length compositions by artists like the Necks or Harold Budd.
- There are too many shitty pressings on those overpriced vinyl albums.
- Can't play vinyl in a car or pop it onto my iPhone (and even if you go through the bother of ripping from vinyl, it never really sounds that great).
- I've got what I imagine is early-stage tinnitus, so the purported sound superiority of vinyl is lost on me.
- I don't want to lose music when an artist decides to pull their catalog off Spotify, etc.
- I want to be able to listen to music even if my internet connection goes dead.
- And the cycle of used music formats is making it a good time to pick up cheap used CDs.

I feel liberated. I can say it. I like CDs.

Woebot
16-05-2016, 10:29 PM
heh heh

im with you my bruvva

droid
16-05-2016, 11:24 PM
Vinyl for collecting/DJng (only reason Id buy vinyl these days is if it was the only format available).

Digital for everything else.

CD's are for twerps. Only good for antiquated car stereos (like mine).

rubberdingyrapids
17-05-2016, 10:31 AM
i dont buy records like i used to. wish i did. but theyre all at my parents house. lugging vinyl around when youre moving is a pain. when i do listen to records, its now a kind of connoisseur experience. like a treat. a bit like going to the cinema rather than watching a DVD. so im in the pro-CD camp. theyre cheap. practical. better sound quality. and you can listen to them without a shitty ipod or having to turn on your laptop. the sound quality is the main thing for me though. though whoever invented them should curse themselves for enabling easy ripping/burning/file sharing.

Leo
17-05-2016, 02:06 PM
Vinyl for collecting/DJng (only reason Id buy vinyl these days is if it was the only format available).

Digital for everything else.

CD's are for twerps. Only good for antiquated car stereos (like mine).

a loud and proud twerp i am! ;)

i was separating home listening and overall practicality from DJing, so agree there. and some new vinyl pressings are beautiful things, lovely gatefold packaging, etc. "digital for everything else" is a problem for me...what happens if your computer crashes, dies or gets stolen? guess you could make sure you back up everything but most people aren't diligent about that.

droid
17-05-2016, 02:20 PM
If youre not backing everything up at this stage then there's no hope. ;)

john eden
18-05-2016, 12:05 PM
I'm way more picky that I used to be, but have bought digital, cassettes, vinyl and CDs in the last couple of months.

CDs were generally way cheaper than the rest...

Corpsey
18-05-2016, 12:15 PM
Don't miss the days of having to stuff a CD walkman in my pocket.

Never really liked CDs or their packaging. I do miss the necessity of buying music physically, though, and the effect that had on the culture of music generally.

Woebot
18-05-2016, 04:43 PM
CD's are for twerps.

not sure i've ever believed owning records made me a cool person. though i understand it's often part of the uncool person's strategy to be cool. too old to care now.

-

i would admit it's starting to be a bit of a struggle to make CDs sound good through my system though. it's a good (NAIM) CD player too - but what the audiophiles are telling me is that you can get a better sound off a record player for a tenth of the cost of its CD player equivalent.

my DAC (Duet 2) sounds ok through the same amp and speakers. and strangely through earphones, my buds, i'm not bothered by digital at all. but through my speakers i'm finding i get very fatigued by the brightness and treble. again, it's not a problem with digital per se...

Woebot
18-05-2016, 04:44 PM
a loud and proud twerp i am! ;)

amen

droid
18-05-2016, 05:23 PM
not sure i've ever believed owning records made me a cool person. though i understand it's often part of the uncool person's strategy to be cool. too old to care now.

lol. Nothing to do with coolness - coolness and choice of media format are not things I associate with one another.

Its just the general ungainliness, lack of longevity, durability, attractiveness and pretty much everything else about the format that makes them twerpish (which i meant in a facetious way of course).

Leo
18-05-2016, 05:39 PM
lol. Nothing to do with coolness - coolness and choice of media format are not things I associate with one another.

Its just the general ungainliness, lack of longevity, durability, attractiveness and pretty much everything else about the format that makes them twerpish (which i meant in a facetious way of course).

cds certainly aren't attractive, but i don't buy your longevity/durability argument. vinyl scratches and skips just as easily as cds, a not-insignificant percentage of vinyl comes with surface noise due to lousy pressings, and my earliest cds bought back in the day still play fine, no "durability" issues. when the format was new, some cds had crappy sound due to crappy mastering jobs but that hasn't been an issue if decades.

droid
18-05-2016, 11:38 PM
Well - in terms of longevity - I have CD's from the early 90's that have literally decomposed, and this was major problem with early manufacturing processes. As for durability - there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the format, but unlike vinyl, CD's are small and portable, which means on a practical level, they are far more likely to be thrown around, left out of cases and generally banged up, not to mention the fact that jewel cases will snap in the breeze from a butterfly's wings. The only CD's I own without any scratches are the ones Ive almost never played. Compare this to minidisc - you can put those fuckers through a washing machine and they'll still play.

As for sound - again, nothing intrinsically wrong, but apart from the general feel of CD sound, there's the practical consequences of the format itself; the loudness war, sloppy or just awful mastering... far more prominent than vinyl as you simply had to put much more work in to make something sound good on wax.

Woebot
20-05-2016, 01:50 PM
twerpish (which i meant in a facetious way of course).

well thank goodness for that!

Woebot
20-05-2016, 01:58 PM
Well - in terms of longevity - I have CD's from the early 90's that have literally decomposed, and this was major problem with early manufacturing processes. As for durability - there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the format, but unlike vinyl, CD's are small and portable, which means on a practical level, they are far more likely to be thrown around, left out of cases and generally banged up, not to mention the fact that jewel cases will snap in the breeze from a butterfly's wings. The only CD's I own without any scratches are the ones Ive almost never played. Compare this to minidisc - you can put those fuckers through a washing machine and they'll still play.

jewel-cases are irritatingly shit. i have only just dipped my toe in the water of second-hand cds and no problems thus far - but presumably you'd be mad to settle for anything but NM.


As for sound - again, nothing intrinsically wrong, but apart from the general feel of CD sound, there's the practical consequences of the format itself; the loudness war, sloppy or just awful mastering... far more prominent than vinyl as you simply had to put much more work in to make something sound good on wax.

yes, it is easier to get a good sound off a record. especially as the record-player/tone-arm/needle tech is so mature you can get an amazing record-player for very little money.

BUT - inherently - digital audio is superior. it's just that the playback has lagged behind. from a computer, especially, you need a good DAC. as for the general CD-bias towards treble - i've discovered (with great interest) that in high-end audiophile circles it's considered fine to EQ in the digital environment (while it introduces phasing if in the analogue realm). you just have to lower the gain - so "treble reduce" rather than "bass boost". :cool:

and yes that EQ-ing is something you can't do from a CD player. it does seem like computer audio is the way forward - but what nicer backup for your wavs than a library of cheap CDs.

Woebot
21-05-2016, 08:51 AM
it's considered fine to EQ in the digital environment (while it introduces phasing if in the analogue realm). you just have to lower the gain - so "treble reduce" rather than "bass boost". :cool:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/anyone-here-ever-dare-use-equalizing-analogue-or-digital-change-frequency-response-often-be-more-linear-itunes-23262/

Woebot
21-05-2016, 08:54 AM
interesting audio guy where that comes from

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/nwavguy-the-audio-genius-who-vanished

Woebot
21-05-2016, 08:56 AM
also to share this:

"audiophool"

made me laugh :p

CrowleyHead
30-10-2017, 03:10 AM
Yeah, they sell a lot of computers without CD trays nowadays so.

Leo
30-10-2017, 12:28 PM
at their peak of popularity, new cds from big artists cost $16-18 in the states. today, you can get lots of new releases for $9.99-12.99. and yeah, the covers are sometimes flimsy, even those in jewel cases have a cheap insert instead of a booklet like back in the day. guess they think it's not worth investing in them since they sell so few units.

someday, hipsters will think cds are as cool as cassettes.

martin
30-10-2017, 02:19 PM
I was in a record shop in New Orleans last year and some bloke was talking to the guy behind the counter, saying that all existing CDs will be oxidised in about 10 years' time - so he was rebuying his entire CD collection on vinyl.

Can anyone here verify this?

Leo
30-10-2017, 02:28 PM
i've heard that about cds from the beginning, people back in the 90s were saying they'd last 10-15 years. could be true but i haven't found a 90s cd that hasn't played. some of them sound crappy due to shitty early mastering but they play.

Mr. Tea
30-10-2017, 03:41 PM
Yeah I've got CDs easily twice that age that still play fine in my car. So it's bullshit - unless there was a big fall in manufacturing standards in recent years.




someday, hipsters will think cds are as cool as cassettes.

Is there a limit to the kind of technology that hipsters will fetishize, do you think? I mean, RAM must be verging on being so cheap now, and even 4G/5G phone services so quick, that surely there will soon be little motivation to use heavy file compression on music? So if in the near future everyone is listening to everything in glorious .wav or .flac, will there be some retro caché to MP3, like the way people talk about the 'warm analogue crackle' of vinyl?

droid
30-10-2017, 09:23 PM
I have oxidised CD's. Its real thing.

Mr. Tea
30-10-2017, 10:18 PM
That's because Ireland is wet enough to rust 24ct gold.