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Music Listening Technology: Which Do You Use?


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Showing 1-25 of 181 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 9, 2013 3:44:39 PM PST
Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs? Or are you using modern technology?

At first I didn't like the sound of CDs. Then, I preferred them because of their ease of use. I really wanted to be able to make some "best of" CDS, like I used to do on cassette tapes. When I finally got a personal computer, I was able to do that. That phase didn't last long.

I only had about 250 CDs in my collection when I ripped them all to WMA files on my Windows PC. Since then, I have been selling as many of my CDs as possible, including about 50 MFSL "Gold" Original Master CDs, which I had no trouble getting rid of. Other than that, it is difficult to get more than a dollar for a good CD.

I no longer have any use for CDs. As soon as I get one, I download it to my PC, then copy the songs to my MP3 music player (notice I didn't say "ipod") and USB Flash Drives. Listening to music is now so much easier than it used to be. I can use the flash drives at work, at home, and in my auto. Flash drives can hold hundreds, if not thousands of CDs, and you don't have to carry around a lot of CDs, or change CDs every time you want to change music. Some people may say that CDs sound better, but I don't notice any difference, except with CDs music flows smoothly from one song to the next, and on flash drives and MP3 players, you get an annoying hesitation between songs, which is very distracting sometimes, especially with some Pink Floyd songs.

Music listening technology has really advanced in the last 30 years. I was too young for reel-to-reel, or 8-tracks, but I do remember trying to get all the dust off of vinyl albums, to play music, or record onto cassette tapes. And there was always the annoying "tape hiss" on cassettes. Then you had to carrying around a bunch of cassettes or CDs. And if you wanted to listen to your favorite songs, you had to constantly change cassettes or CDs, which could be dangerous while driving.

Now, I just leave a flash drive plugged into my car (they don't need charging), and listen to any of my music, by simply navigating through menus on the audio system's display screen. I do this at work also. And if I go somewhere, I can take my MP3 player, which also has all of my favorite songs. I am so thankful that I lived to be able to experience the ease of modern music listening.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 3:46:21 PM PST
CD and downloads.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 4:31:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2013 4:33:44 PM PST
alysha25 says:
That's interesting, I'm using flashdrives more and more also. I have somewhere around 300 CD's that I'm currently trying to clean and organize. And it's really kind-of a pain. I Should just get 1 shelf or bookshelf like stand for them. Instead I have 2 Wire stands that stack 114 CD's each horizontally. They get dusty. Then I bought some nice little plastic crates to put the remaining and new Cd's in since they don't even sell the exact wire stands I have anymore.

My buying currently is roughly half physical CD's , and digital downloads. The digital downloads get copied to a CD-R which I label myself and put in a slim jewel case. Well, that leaves me with my current dilemna. I've decided to organize the regular Cd's in the larger jewel cases on the wire stands. All the slim jewel cases , and any other jewel case that is different, like cardboard, clam boxes etc goes in the plastic crates also.

I guess my point to all this? Is that although not long ago I probably would have said physical Cd's all the way. I'm gravitating toward digital downloads , MP3 player, and flashdrive. Also I say MP3 player. It's not an ipod. And while I love my sansa, it does annoy me that Only ipod or itunes brand plugs directly into all the new speakers.

I mostly only listen to music on my computer in media player. All that music is copied to 2 MP3 players , one has a 8 GB microchip in it, need to get another. I'm going to buy a 32 GB flashdrive to store all the music in my media player. I'm thinking someday I'll quit buying Cd's or even burning the digital downloads to CD as it takes up space and collects dust. And Someday our computers won't even have CD/DVD drives. It's still pretty amazing that 32 GB's of music can be on a flashdrive the size of the tip of your finger.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 4:43:20 PM PST
MicroSD cards are even smaller than flash drives. I have a 32GB microSD card in my cell phone, and it is amazing that 300 or so CDs can fit onto something the size of my fingernail. I store a backup of all of my music on a couple of flash drives in my safety deposit box. What is a shame, is that I just bought a 64GB flash drive for $32, but the difference in price between a 16GB and 32GB MP3 player is more than double (about $150-$200 difference).

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 4:48:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2013 4:48:25 PM PST
S. Rice says:
Vinyl will always be my format of choice but I'll buy CDs if they have bonus tracks not on the original LP. I still buy a few new cassettes for the novelty, but don't listen to them much. I don't buy MP3s or any other compressed music file. I listen to loss-less CD rips on my iPod Nano when I'm away from home.

For streaming music, I use Spotify on my iPhone. I got a Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Christmas and it sounds remarkably good considering how small it is.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 8:43:06 PM PST
Music Hound says:
I've been in a state of "hoarding" CDs over the past few years, as it seems they will probably become hard to come by. I've been around since vinyl, reels, 8-tracks, cassettes and (aside from some vinyl that is superior sounding to some CDs I have) I still like the standard red book CD format the best. It's highly standardized, reliable, sounds good, takes very little effort to use, and usually comes with halfway decent album art and information. A standard CD player is WAY easier to use than any other playback device, including DVD and computer. It's a shame that they are getting harder to find in regular stores, as DVD players are the preferred choice. But the biggest reason I like CDs is that they are my own tangible copy of the artist's work. I don't have it stored in a "cloud" somewhere, where it may or may not be there (or even work) in the future. I OWN it. The recording industry hates that. They want total control of the material, and as long as I have a method of playback, I don't have to rely on, or keep paying for the privilege of hearing my favorite recordings.

Having said that, I am in the process of copying much of my collection to hard drive in lossless WAV format for ease of enjoyment via USB drive or other device in the future. However, I will not be letting go of my old CDs (or vinyl) anytime soon, or maybe ever. My two cents.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 5:23:04 AM PST
I have a large CD collection of which most has been ripped to my computer into both FLAC for archiving and to AAC 256kbps VBR which can be used to listen to on an IPod, the computer or burned to MP3 CDs for car listening. I also have software whereby I can burn DVD-Audios at regular (16/44.1) or high (24/88.2 or 96) definition. I generally download these days unless it is a disc that is not available for download or is released on a high def format like DVD-A, SACD, or BluRay Audio.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 6:11:42 AM PST
Lauren says:
I continue to buy CDs only and have never really wanted to download a digital song, ever. I like having a tangible recording plus lyrics, artwork, the whole package. Digital just seems to be disposable and CDs work fine everywhere I want to hear music. And the sound is so much richer on CD. Yes, the sound is even richer on vinyl, but handling vinyl seems like a royal pain, especially after I haven't really done it much in about 20-25 years.

I will use digital streaming to sample music, but if I really want to own something, it will be CD. If I choose to use an MP3 player in the future, I'll likely be listening to songs ripped from CD.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 6:27:31 AM PST
vivazappa says:
CD's until they are discontinued.
I find myself getting some of the newly released old stuff on vinyl...it sounds sooooo good!
I do have a "tear-a-bite" of Dead live bootlegs!

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 7:05:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 7:08:27 AM PST
B L T says:
After blind listening tests to determine the sound quality of an MP3 compared to a that of a CD, I'm convinced there is no difference. I enjoy the convenience of plugging one of my flash drives into the USB port of my CD player and listening to dozens of albums uninterrupted (no changing CDs). I also enjoy storing all of my music on a few flash drives in a small ceramic bowl on top of my stereo system (no more stacks of CDs). I've switched to MP3s and I'm not looking back.

...........................................................................

I discovered this morning that Amazon has a new feature called AutoRip where you can buy a CD album and and also get the MP3 version. Plus, CDs purchased from Amazon in the past are now available as MP3s in Cloud Player for Free. I got an email notice from Amazon this morning that several CDs I purchased over the years are now available for me to download . I'm downloading those albums now.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 7:24:33 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 7:25:08 AM PST
B L T says:
re: I don't have it stored in a "cloud" somewhere, where it may or may not be there (or even work) in the future. I OWN it.

MP3s are stored in the cloud UNTIL you download them to your computer. I download my MP3 purchases from the cloud to a folder I've created on my computer. From there, I own them and can do what I please with them.

Why wouldn't an MP3 work in the future? 8 Tracks still work if you have an 8 track player. MP3s will work if you have the device to play them.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 7:39:00 AM PST
J. Coco says:
I have a few thousand cds and very little time to listen to them.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 8:23:49 AM PST
MC Zaptone says:
If you want to keep using the latest technology in the future my advice would be to make sure you rip/buy your songs to the highest bitrate possible, lossless format. Why? Well you can't upgrade the sound to match the system. Once it's MP3 it cannot be upscaled. With the advent of cloud storage and better memory capabilities MP3 will disappear. If you don't think there is an audible difference between low and high bitrate copy, it maybe down to your equipment, for example MP3 sounds fine on mobile players and in car systems but play them through decent stuff and the sound diminishes. If I play low rate recordings through my Pioneer CDJ decks (twin Brown Burr DACs per player) and high end active speakers the difference is plain to hear.
Keep it as high quality as possible and you should be future proof.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 8:36:32 AM PST
B L T says:
I've got a nice system and I can hear the difference between a low and high bitrate MP3. Maybe it's just me, but I can't hear a difference between a high bitrate MP3 and a CD. If the CD sounds good the MP3 version of the CD sounds good too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:40:47 AM PST
No, that is normal BLT. In blind tests between a CD or lossless digital file and high bitrate MP3 or AAC, most people will identify correctly 50% of the time, which means they really cannot tell the difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 8:42:13 AM PST
Lauren says:
@BLT I think that is the difference. I hardly ever get to hear high bitrate MP3s, and the low bitrate MP3s sound like crap to me. Low bitrate MP3 is for convenience, not quality sound.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 9:04:54 AM PST
B L T says:
I buy all my MP3s from Amazon and they sound as good as a CD. Anything from 192 to 256 kbps should sound good.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 10:53:27 AM PST
Proman_JS says:
Well, all I know is 128 or 160 is good enough for me. Any lower and yeah it is really noticeable.

Does anyone utilise Ogg Vorbis? It's a format not supported by Android, and I think that's unfortunate. I've had a handful of files in that format, but it seems there have been those who've said it's the best.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 12:43:49 PM PST
Digital music, MP3's or iTunes format. I have too many CD's already and don't care to have more taking up space. Same thing with my reading habits now as well.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 1:14:08 PM PST
KBIC says:
I have been buying records since I was a kid. In the 90s I did go strictly CD til about 2005. Now I buy mainly vinyl and CD about 50/50 each. I do get some stuff as a download but only if I really don't care if I lose it. I have been slowly converting all of my vinyl to digital for convenience mainly. The problem with digital is that it could all just disappear at the drop of a hat. I have my own "cloud" at home that is mirrored.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 2:34:02 PM PST
With iTunes and Amazon both having Cloud backup for all music purchases, "losing" my music is not a concern anymore. I can always download it again. Past that I have redundant backups locally for my digital content.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 4:25:52 PM PST
When I rip a CD, the size of the WMA music file is much smaller than the same song downloaded as an MP3 file. I also don't notice any difference in the sound quality, between WMA, MP3, or CDs.

Why would you download an MP3 of music you already have on CD?

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 4:37:28 PM PST
What is all this talk about losing MP3 music? I think your CD and vinyl collections are more at risk of getting damaged, lost, or stolen. With MP3 (or WMA, or AAC, which are really M4A files I believe), you can store the files on your PC, music player, and flash drives that you can even put in your safety deposit box. The point is, you have multiple copies of your music collection. With CDs or vinyl, you only have one copy of your music collection, and to me, that is very risky. And, BTW, I don't even use Cloud - I download music files directly from Amazon to my PC.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 4:40:27 PM PST
B L T says:
re: Why would you download an MP3 of music you already have on CD?

I hardly ever play CDs anymore. I like having my albums on flash drives and I haven't converted most of my CDs to the MP3 format yet. The only CDs I do play are the ones where the music flows smoothly from one song to the next, like Pink Floyd.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 4:55:00 PM PST
Two Tub Man says:
My purchases are roughly 50/50 between vinyl & CD. Sound-wise, as well as asthetically, vinyl is vastly superior
to any other format. CD's have the obvious advantage in the capacity, portablility & durability departments. Both
formats have their weak and strong points, but if I had my druthers, I'd take vinyl every time.

I refuse to pay for downloads (what an appropriate name!), but I will redeem a free download code if one's
included with a vinyl purchase, and burn it to a CD.

I still have an honest-to-god stereo system, with big ass speakers, a turntable, a 5-disc carousel CD player,
and cassette deck. Turn it up to "4" and it'll set off the car alarms in the garage.

Sure, it's old, as are my preferred formats...but so am I.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  181
Initial post:  Jan 9, 2013
Latest post:  Aug 27, 2013

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