18 reasons to keep purchasing CD’s and records. You might be surprised to find there are some very good reasons. Or you may just stick to your big hard-drive full of music. Either way it’s worth a look.
1) CD’s and Records still sound better: Believe it or not, they sound better than nearly all music files, and with Blu-Ray, nobody touches them. Many Audiophiles would argue that nothing will ever be invented that will improve on the sound of the vinyl record because of its analog recording and straight through delivery.
2) Tangible: You can hold it in your hands! Would you rather have a real fish tank or digital fish on tablet?
3) Less Expensive: Song for song buying physical media new, beats digital prices hands down (a random comparison of over 100 samples, yields a 27% lower price for media.) If you buy used there is no comparison. But here’s the upshot: You still get the MP3’s 4’s or whatever file type you want. In fact, Amazon on certain CD’s sends you the mp3’s immediately.
4) Music is still “Album Oriented.” People buy singles now, but bands issue albums. An album is a collection on a theme that often represents years of work. Albums have artists commissioned to build art around the theme and these pictures are part of the theme.
5) Deep Tracks. Often albums have hidden chestnuts that never make it to the hit parade. You will never discover these if you just buy your favorite music files.
6) Portable. Digital Solid State music is the ultimate portable format right? Wrong. To some extent this is true and the future probably holds better portability, but if I want to listen to an album on my drive across town, I must find the digital album and put it on a format that will play in my car or I can just grab the CD and go.
7) You can still rip it. I said this earlier, but you can buy the music in a permanent form and still store it on your hard drive.
8) Amazon Gives you both. On select albums (and there are quite a few of them) Amazon will ship you the CD or LP and make the music files available to you immediately.
9) Album Art and Liner Notes. Sure you can look at on the screen. But this has inherent disadvantages. So you can print it right? Come on let’s get real. There is nothing like the real thing.
10) Artifact. You possess a physical artifact representative of the exact time it was made and the time it came into your possession. And it may appreciate in value at the very least you have a collection.
11) Residual Value. Can you sell a music file? Of course not. But when you buy a CD it holds residual value. It can be resold. Essentially the value of your estate goes up. Music files are worthless.
12) Help the Bands. Mid and Low tier bands nowadays make below the poverty wage. Support what they are doing for you and the art. Buy the physical stuff at shows and wherever sold.
13) The experience. From finding a hidden treasure in the racks at your music store or online and opening the packaging to placing it on the turntable while you wait for the first bars. This used to be the most intense few moments of my life.
14) Permanence. Music files can vanish in an instant. CDs and Records are permanent.
15) Marketing. Do you want Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody or iTunes marketing to you tastes? Some do. I do not want to get pigeon-holed, which happened to me once and I realized I was missing out on entire sub-genre’s
16) Smell. There is a definite smell to CD’s and LP’s. It is subtle but unmistakable. Since scent memory is the strongest. One is often brought back to other times usually positive memories.
17) Ritual. The ritual of finding, opening and listening to a record or cd does not exist with music files.
18) Ongoing discovery. Often when you find a new record, there isn’t much depth to your experience at first listen. But as you go on and perhaps see the media laying around, you think about it and discover new dimensions in the album art that may link to the theme of the album. And the music itself, if it is good, grows on you. I could go on but you get the drift. You will never find a music file laying around.