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zrmaxwell

CDs vs Vinyl vs Streaming/Digital

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I like CDs a lot due to the fact that you get something to hold on to & I import those CDs into iTunes via an external CD drive. 

What do you prefer & do you have a collection of CDs, Vinyl, or Digital music? 

I used to buy stuff from iTunes, but since moving towards CDs, i rarely do it anymore. 

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Personally I'm much more of a CD guy but for practicality purposes I kinda have everything on my desktop that I've ripped.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Dan Castellaneta said:

Personally I'm much more of a CD guy but for practicality purposes I kinda have everything on my desktop that I've ripped.

Alright. Cool.

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Can't see a difference between CD and Spotify. I encode to 320kbps and have expensive headphones.

 

Only difference is availability, I mostly buy collectibles that are hard to find / out of print.


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15 minutes ago, zrmaxwell said:

I like CDs a lot due to the fact that you get something to hold on to & I import those CDs into iTunes via an external CD drive. 

What do you prefer & do you have a collection of CDs, Vinyl, or Digital music? 

I used to buy stuff from iTunes, but since moving towards CDs, i rarely do it anymore. 

For ease of use, Digital is king. You buy it, download it immediately, and can move the files around as needed. My only gripe is that iTunes only offers 256 kbps files, instead of ALAC/CD-quality.

 

And because of that reason, I prefer to buy physical CD's - but it's just a lot more inconvenient to do so (and often more costly).

 

I don't buy Vinyl at all, because it's objectively worse quality when compared to a CD mastered to a similar quality level. People buy Vinyl for 2 reasons:

1. They are collectors, and vinyl are easy collectors items

2. They prefer the subjective "warm" sound of vinyl

 

My Fiancee collects Vinyl - in particular, old 78's and 45's. She collects antique and vintage stuff in general.


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1 minute ago, dalekphalm said:

download it immediately, and can move the files around as needed. My only gripe is that iTunes only offers 256 kbps files, instead of ALAC/CD-quality.

Yeah that is why I dont use iTunes. I just download complete discographies of the band, then do a quick search on international stuff, but some bands are only worth one or two songs, but I still download the entire album. The newest trend I love is Strombo is using his house to host 30 minute concerts, CBC records it, yet you still see Strombo with 2 friggin phones in his hands and lots of other people with their cells. The Cult was awesome.

 

DVD's and CD's are too bulky

Vinyl is good for the home stereo, its a trend for sure same with vintage stereo equipment.


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2 minutes ago, zrmaxwell said:

iTunes offeres a max of 256kbps when buying things from the iTunes music store. When importing CDs into itunes, you can choose 320kbps or lower, ALAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, and AIFF...

If you're ripping CD's at anything except ALAC/FLAC, you're doing it wrong :P


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Probably, but if i wanted to listen to my music and have it all on my phone, i would have to reduce the quality to 128 kbps through iTunes. It's a shame, but i hope to get a digital audio player or a phone with a micro sd card at some point in the future. 

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1 minute ago, zrmaxwell said:

Probably, but if i wanted to listen to my music and have it all on my phone, i would have to reduce the quality to 128 kbps through iTunes. It's a shame, but i hope to get a digital audio player or a phone with a micro sd card at some point in the future. 

Personally, I would still rip to ALAC/FLAC first, then let iTunes down convert to whatever your desired playback bitrate is when you load up your phone.

 

 


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I primarily stream via amazon music or youtube.

 

I tend to buy CDs and am getting into Vinyl. A lot of CDs nowadays come with a digital download as well, solving all the problems.

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Everything digital.

Also, it eco friendly, no waste. Unlike the plastic from the CD case, the plastic film that cover said case when buying new, etc etc etc... And it doesn't take up physical space, meaning no need for shelving to store the discs.


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2 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

For ease of use, Digital is king. You buy it, download it immediately, and can move the files around as needed. My only gripe is that iTunes only offers 256 kbps files, instead of ALAC/CD-quality.

 

And because of that reason, I prefer to buy physical CD's - but it's just a lot more inconvenient to do so (and often more costly).

 

I don't buy Vinyl at all, because it's objectively worse quality when compared to a CD mastered to a similar quality level. People buy Vinyl for 2 reasons:

1. They are collectors, and vinyl are easy collectors items

2. They prefer the subjective "warm" sound of vinyl

 

My Fiancee collects Vinyl - in particular, old 78's and 45's. She collects antique and vintage stuff in general.

The warm sound of vinyl and tape isn't subjective, it's objective. It is warmer. It has "warmness" that they like and therefore they enjoy more, but what's irritating is when they say it has better audio quality. It just doesn't.

The other reason people collect vinyl is for the "experience" of putting a record on a turntable and listening to an album... I'll admit, I've not done this, but I don't need to set up the 70mm IMAX film to enjoy a movie experience so...

 

As to what sounds the best? CDs are digital, and if they're mixed and produced properly blow vinyl and tape out of the water. Anyone who tells you otherwise is nostalgic. Play an empty tape and just listen to the silence of HSCHHHCSHSHSKKKHCHSCHSHCHSHCHScrackleCHCSHHCHSCH.

Listen to an empty digital file and listen to the silence of

 

Not to mention the bass tones and notes on digital are both deeper and WAY more accurate.

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I'll buy whatever. I'm not bound to any one format. 

I tend to buy vinyl, since the mastering is usually better on a lot of records than they are on digital formats, since they don't really play nice with loudness mastering.

There's also a lot of releases that are only released on one format (be it vinyl, CD, cassette or download), so having the option of playing them is always nice. 

 

7 hours ago, JZStudios said:

The warm sound of vinyl and tape isn't subjective, it's objective. It is warmer. It has "warmness" that they like and therefore they enjoy more, but what's irritating is when they say it has better audio quality. It just doesn't.

 Saying vinyl sounds warmer needs a small addage. 

The "warm" sound that a lot of people describe is usually a result of an improper implementation of RIAA equalization in the pre-amp and/or due to the tuning of the cartridge, 

If you listen to a turntable with a ceremic cartridge you'll notice all the "warmness" disapear, since those cartridges don't need a pre-amp.


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Audio format guides: Vinyl records | Cassette tapes

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4 hours ago, Dan Castellaneta said:

Personally I'm much more of a CD guy but for practicality purposes I kinda have everything on my desktop that I've ripped.

I do the same.

 

4 hours ago, Raskolnikov said:

...I encode to 320kbps...

I do the same when ripping to MP3s (I also rip to .wav). I can't hear the difference between the MP3s ripped at 320kbps and the CDs.

 

4 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

...I don't buy Vinyl at all, because it's objectively worse quality when compared to a CD mastered to a similar quality level. People buy Vinyl for 2 reasons:

1. They are collectors, and vinyl are easy collectors items

2. They prefer the subjective "warm" sound of vinyl...

Also, every time you play vinyl, the quality that is there is reduced due to wear. Then there are the pops, hiss, and crackles that inevitably crop up. 

 

4 hours ago, Canada EH said:

...DVD's and CD's are too bulky...

I totally agree. To reduce the amount of space they eat up, after ripping them, I mark each one with a four digit index number, then store them in 300 disk hanging sleeve storage cases. Before pitching the cases, I remove and scan the jacket art and data. It all saves a huge amount of space. Also, since all the data is digitized, i can easily back it up. Even if my home burns down, I'll still have all my music and movies on my offsite backups.

 

Even stamped CDs, DVDS, and BDs can go bad over time (that's a given with burned CDs often sold by independent artists). Ripping them preserves the content should the originals ever go bad.

 

4 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

If you're ripping CD's at anything except ALAC/FLAC, you're doing it wrong :P

Horsefeathers. ,wav is lossless. MP3s ripped at 320kbps are indestinguishable from the originals. I use MP3s since I still have players that will only recognize them.

2 hours ago, JZStudios said:

The warm sound of vinyl and tape isn't subjective, it's objective. It is warmer. It has "warmness" that they like and therefore they enjoy more, but what's irritating is when they say it has better audio quality. It just doesn't....

Exactly! I cut my eyeteeth on wax and vinyl (yes, I'm that old) and even I don't believe vinyl is superior to digital.

 

2 hours ago, JZStudios said:

...The other reason people collect vinyl is for the "experience" of putting a record on a turntable and listening to an album... I'll admit, I've not done this...

I did that for years when wax and vinyl were all that were available. What a royal pain in the neck! Who needs it? Not this old lady! Not to mention I couldn't skip tracks I didn't like which I can with digital.


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On the topic of records and the various hisses and crackles they make, here's a trick: if the recording is in mono, play/record it using a stereo setup. Because the noise is randomly distributed but the signal is not, you can easily remove a large portion of the noise by comparing the left and right and taking only what's common to both.

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1 hour ago, Volbet said:

I'll buy whatever. I'm not bound to any one format. 

I tend to buy vinyl, since the mastering is usually better on a lot of records than they are on digital formats, since they don't really play nice with loudness mastering.

There's also a lot of releases that are only released on one format (be it vinyl, CD, cassette or download), so having the option of playing them is alwasy nice. 

 

 Saying vinyl sounds warmer needs a small addage. 

The "warm" sound that a lot of people describe is usually a result of an improper implementation of RIAA equalization in the pre-amp and/or due to the tuning of the cartridge, 

If you listen to a turntable with a proper ceremic cartride you'll notice all the "warmness" disapear, since those cartridges don't need a pre-amp. 

Maybe with vinyl, but with tape I'm willing to believe that much like film it has an inherent "tone" to it. Certain films just have certain tone tints.

But I'm no expert and I've never used a vinyl. My dad's got some laying around, but we don't have a player.

However, if the end goal of buying a nice "proper" ceramic cartridge is to remove the warmness that everyone associates with vinyl as to is "sounding" better that kind of just proves my point...

Even from a recording standpoint digital is 100x better. If something messes up or you don't like a take, you didn't just waste a blank. It takes significantly less space, it's considerably cheaper to produce, the audio is cleaner, reproduces a wider frequency range... The only reason Vinyl (and the 80's which was terrible all around) is making a comeback is because of nostalgia and a retro wave.

26 minutes ago, Lady Fitzgerald said:

I did that for years when wax and vinyl were all that were available. What a royal pain in the neck! Who needs it? Not this old lady! Not to mention I couldn't skip tracks I didn't like which I can with digital.

My dad argues that more Vinyls were designed to be listened all the way through instead of the harsh cuts of most digital media. Which is... valid I guess. I don't know that I'd attribute that change from one song flowing into the next to hard stops and ends on digital, but there's still plenty of bands and albums that crossfade or just straight move into the next track. It's more of an issue with Pop music which has just declined dramatically over the years.

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6 hours ago, JZStudios said:

...My dad argues that more Vinyls were designed to be listened all the way through instead of the harsh cuts of most digital media. Which is... valid I guess. I don't know that I'd attribute that change from one song flowing into the next to hard stops and ends on digital, but there's still plenty of bands and albums that crossfade or just straight move into the next track. It's more of an issue with Pop music which has just declined dramatically over the years.

I loathe, abominate, hate, despise, and detest cross fade! The wax and Vinyl I had didn't have it (thank God!). Did I mention I do not like crossfade?


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1 hour ago, JZStudios said:

Maybe with vinyl, but with tape I'm willing to believe that much like film it has an inherent "tone" to it. Certain films just have certain tone tints.

But I'm no expert and I've never used a vinyl. My dad's got some laying around, but we don't have a player.

However, if the end goal of buying a nice "proper" ceramic cartridge is to remove the warmness that everyone associates with vinyl as to is "sounding" better that kind of just proves my point...

Even from a recording standpoint digital is 100x better. If something messes up or you don't like a take, you didn't just waste a blank. It takes significantly less space, it's considerably cheaper to produce, the audio is cleaner, reproduces a wider frequency range... The only reason Vinyl (and the 80's which was terrible all around) is making a comeback is because of nostalgia and a retro wave.

Ceremic cartridges sound awful (especially on solid state equipment that isn't engineered properly), so people don't buy them for that reason. 

The really fuzzy vinyl enthusiasts usually source pre-amps with accurate RIAA equalization, which can easily set you back $10.000+.

 

In regards to tape it really depends on the type of tape and the way you play it back. 

If you run 1/4" tape at 15"/sec with Dolby NR-B, then it's pretty much indistinguishable from a CD. 

Although, if you plan on doing that in 2018 then prepare to dig deep

Edit: You, of course, also need a machibe to play it on: http://www.unitedhomeproducts.com/the_uha_phase12_tape_deck.htm

 

When it comes to cassette tapes, you can take a Type IV tape with Dolby NR-C or S and it'll also sound indistinguishable to a CD. 

 

The "tone" you describe tape as having is pretty much only a thing on Type I cassette tapes, since they can't really reproduce any sound above 16KHZ, making the music sound very bass heavy.

This is also not helped by a lot of prerecorded cassette tapes not having any proper noise reduction, meaning the hiss of a Type I will be noticable and interfere with the reproduction of the bass notes.  


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Audio format guides: Vinyl records | Cassette tapes

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1 hour ago, Lady Fitzgerald said:

Also, every time you play vinyl, the quality that is there is reduced due to wear. Then there are the pops, hiss, and crackles that inevitably crop up. 

Or your favorite record player (now getting on 60 years old), needs to be balanced but it was made before the days of tune-able counter weights and replacing the cartridge is a gamble on quality because the originals aren't made anymore.

 

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

I don't buy Vinyl at all, because it's objectively worse quality when compared to a CD mastered to a similar quality level. People buy Vinyl for 2 reasons:

1. They are collectors, and vinyl are easy collectors items

2. They prefer the subjective "warm" sound of vinyl

 

or:

3. they are tone deaf gullible twits. 


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digital and vinyl, no CDs for me. Only have one modern vinyl and i really like it just because its an experience. i like the crackle and the feel of it, and when im not where i have the stuff for vinyl i just use digital streamed. 


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6 hours ago, Volbet said:

When it comes to cassette tapes, you can take a Type IV tape with Dolby NR-C or S and it'll also sound indistinguishable to a CD. 

Other than the wow you get when the tape stretches. Also, tape wears faster than vinyl and replacing the heads when they wear is no where as easy as replacing worn needle. Cassette tape was more convenient to use than vinyl but that's all one can say for them (other than being an improvement over 8 tracks).


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As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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2 hours ago, Lady Fitzgerald said:

Other than the wow you get when the tape stretches. Also, tape wears faster than vinyl and replacing the heads when they wear is no where as easy as replacing worn needle. Cassette tape was more convenient to use than vinyl but that's all one can say for them (other than being an improvement over 8 tracks).

Strangely, I've never had a cassette deck eat any of my tapes. Nor have I ever worn down the head of a cassette deck.

 

The only tape issues I've ever had has been with a reel-to-reel tape machine.


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Audio format guides: Vinyl records | Cassette tapes

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I fell for the “vinyl sounds better” trap. It really doesn’t. And vinyls scratch, even if you sneeze on them. So your $30 vinyl will slowly start to crackle and skip over time. Perhaps my turntable sucks. I don’t know. I am not willing to spend $800 on a decent turntable. 

 

I just think that the recording and mastering matters more than the format.

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1 hour ago, Volbet said:

Strangely, I've never had a cassette deck eat any of my tapes. Nor have I ever worn down the head of a cassette deck.

 

The only tape issues I've ever had has been with a reel-to-reel tape machine.

I didn't say anything about cassette decks "eating" tapes or Heads wearing down. Just because you never had problems doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

 

Every cassette deck I ever used showed wear on the heads fairly quickly. They still worked but it wasn't long before audio quality started to be compromised. Somnething I didn't mention is the oxide layer on the tape also wears over time, again causing a loss in audio quality.

 

Tapes can get eaten in a deck (I've had it happen) but the problem I was referring to was tapes start stretching over time. This causes wow when the tapes are played. Again, I've had it happen.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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