Ok, I am very interested in buying Ella's box set. My preference is usually buying an artists CD over any compressed music. However, I have been reading in the reviews area that the CDs in this boxset are poorly sealed. So I am now wondering if it would be worth it just to download the set in mp3 form?
I would purchase the CDs as I did. Yes, the packaging is eccentric. The disks slide into the top of the "book." I can see where it would be easy to damage them if you weren't careful. I would copy them to the iPod, make copies of the disks for playing on a conventional system or in the car and place the originial set on the shelf. The sound quality is quite good for a location recording from the early 1960s, though be aware that the fourth disk is in mono sound and various other tracks are also in mono as the stereo masters have been lost. All told, about 2/3 of the material is stereo and 1/3 is mono. The book's essay is fine, though it contains nothing that I hadn't read elsewhere or surmised. But the music is so good that the "blemishes" in packaging become insignificant. Hope you enjoy 'em.