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Amazon trying to keep the physical CD alive

Discussion in 'Music & Media' started by Dngrsone, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Dngrsone

    Dngrsone Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I buy music maybe once every third month or so... new artists come to my attention, favorite artists put out new albums, the usual.

    I have noticed that lately, Amazon is selling physical CDs at a discount compared to the mp3 download for any particular album.

    Usually, it's a dollar or two cheaper to buy a CD that will be mailed out to you (with instant access via Amazon's Play service-- in fact, I think this started when they began the instant download feature) than to just buy the digital copy of the album alone.

    What kind of crap is this? Did Amazon have to cut some nefarious deal with the RIAA in order to continue selling DRM-free .mp3 music or something?

    Now I have a bit of a quandary-- do I help prolong the existence of the Compact Disc by buying physical copies that will end up stored in a binder in the back of my closet (with a bunch of excess paper and plastic packaging going straight into the recycle bin), or pay a couple extra bucks to download a digital-only copy of the music I want to listen to?

    What kind of message is Amazon really sending us with this? Should they be subsidizing the CD industry, wasting paper, plastic and fuel (to transport all this materiel) just to allow this outdated format to linger another five or ten years?

    I am half-tempted to buy a CD and have them mail it to an undeliverable address, just to make them spend more... after all, three minutes after I purchase said CD, I will have digital copies of all the songs downloaded.

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  2. Gmash

    Gmash Extreme Android User

    I love CDs. Digital music is ok for a phone or computer speakers, but if you have some nice home audio gear, nothing beats a real CD. I actually want to buy a turntable and get back into vinyl sometime soon. If you don't like CDs, don't buy them. I prefer to spend my money on real objects, not digital files.
    Clementine_3 likes this.
  3. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    CDs need to survive. You have to have something to hold in your hand and physically play or when the networks go down or your digital devices crash you'll have squat to listen to. Real books should never die either IMHO.
    Clementine_3, tube517 and Gmash like this.
  4. tube517

    tube517 Android Expert

    Some people still want the physical CD just like there are still people who like LPs (albums). Collectors love that stuff.
  5. Dngrsone

    Dngrsone Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Okay, I can understand the niche that the vinyl album fills. My wife has a bunch of old vinyl in our garage.

    Yet the Compact disc is definitely not a distortion free analog medium. The mp3 codec can encode music with the same level of fidelity as the CD does, and one can package a hell of a lot of music in a cheap thumb drive than a CD will hold.

    I also agree with the notion of paper books. There is a definite place fort that medium. I argue that the compact disc should go the way of the 8-track and the 5 1/4 floppy- the medium is outdated and has been satisfactorily replaced by other media/formats.

    The disc is nowhere as robust as Sony made it out to be when they began selling it; most discs degrade within a decade, if not sooner through use and abuse; and because of those two facts, the overwhelming majority of users archive their music in a more accessible form anyway.
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Actually MP3 can't encode to the same level of fidelity as a CD, simply because it's a lossy codec. How perceptible it is, depends on the encoding, the material, what kind of equipment one is using to play it, and how good your ears are.

    Which means Amazon is selling lower quality audio on lossy MP3s at a higher price than the original CDs. :rolleyes: Might as well buy the CDs, rip and encode them into lossless FLAC instead. That way you'll have the original quality on your devices. MP3 is quite old now, there are better more efficient lossy codecs, like AAC and Vorbis.

    BTW I don't/can't actually pay for MP3s myself because I'm in China.

    I haven't bought a music CD in over 10 years now, and the only CDs I own are a couple of Mongolian grasslands CDs, that were gifts.

    Talking about old formats though, we do use cassettes here, mainly for audio teaching materials. Those are not obsolete yet, not in the PRC. I've got a new textbook here(New Concept English), bought it a few days ago, and it says on the back "Additional audio materials are available on cassette and CD" ...nothing about on-line or MP3.
    Dngrsone likes this.
  7. Dngrsone

    Dngrsone Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    You have a very good point there. Too bad most music players (as far as I am aware) don't do FLAC... but it is definitely a selling point for the CD.
    mikedt likes this.
  8. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Device(s): Samsung Galaxy S II 'Epic 4G Touch' SPH-D710, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

    I'm sure all your devices listed will play FLAC though. :p AFAIK Android has supported FLAC since 2.2 Froyo, with the default player. And will play Vorbis and AAC as well. If you want to use better than MP3 lossy codecs.

    There's other lossless codecs as well, like "Apple Lossless" if one has iOS devices.

    If you have older devices it might be a problem. Then you use MP3 to highest bit-rate possible, 320kbps. And it's very easy to transcode FLAC to MP3 should you need anyway.

    BTW I've got an 80GB Apple iPod that plays FLAC, because I installed Rockbox. Which is my main music player when travelling, and during the day sometimes.
  9. Italo

    Italo Android Enthusiast

    I can't tell the difference between high quality mp3 and CD audio. At least not with my crappy PC speakers. However, I'd rather have the physical CD and rip my own mp3's at a higher bitrate than what amazon provides.

    As is my music collection is a mix of CD rips and mp3 downloads. It just depends on how much the mp3's are vs CD, mp3 quality, how much I like the album, etc..
  10. general eclect

    general eclect Android Expert

    Thinking about rockboxing my 160GB iPod, and fitting a 240GB drive, as my collection won't fit on any longer as flac. Trouble with that is the pod is getting a bit long in the tooth and is playing up a bit now. If I knew fitting a new wheel thingy on the front would fox the problem I'd definitely go ahead with it...
  11. Gmash

    Gmash Extreme Android User

    Bought a CD from Amazon last week for $9.99. It came with a free Autorip and I got an email from Amazon telling me my music was available in their cloud player before my CD was even delivered. I don't use that feature, but still pretty cool!
  12. FlameBV

    FlameBV Lurker

    I live in northeast MA, and there's a chain in ME/NH called Bull Moose. That store's stacked to the brim with thousands of CDs from all sorts of esoteric artists and genres. They also have a real cool offer where you can grab 5 random CDs out of a bag for $1. Picking them out's a really fun game since you have no idea what you'll get. Some of my friends have picked up some gems with that deal. That's a place where they keep the CD alive, and I mean truly alive, not in a deadened top-40-only way like fye.
    Gmash likes this.
  13. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    Ever since our car was broken into and all my CDs were stolen (~4 years ago), I've never bought another CD. Don't see that trend changing. If I can't find it on Rhapsody or Google Music, I don't bother. :)
  14. !on

    !on Android Expert

    Is it because some people are selling reasonably good quality discs & packaging through Amazon similar to how they would through ebay, & that much of that is buyer beware? People in the know choose Amazon over Music Magpie because they'll get a higher price, not to mention the fact that CD's have to be *PERFECT* for Music Magpie to give you any spare change back for what you're selling them.
    In MM's T&C they state that if they're not in the best condition THEY WILL KEEP THEM WITHOUT PAYING ANYTHING & quite often exaggerate about the quality of stuff they receive - yet they'll still send them to their partner stores to sell for their own profit!!!

    So, much of what Amazon sells is actually second hand.
  15. Oasish

    Oasish Lurker

    Gmash likes this.
  16. mojos

    mojos Newbie

    I have digital music as well as the physical cds. I only buy the physical ones when I really like the artist and want to keep it a part of my physical collection. Physical cds are valuable ya know :)
    Gmash likes this.
  17. Italo

    Italo Android Enthusiast

    I'm the same way. I own a bunch of cds, but have some digital only stuff as well. For a long time I preferred buying cds and ripping them myself. I'm not happy with the sound quality of some of the bigger digital stores. My collection is in mp3, but I try to keep as much of it 320 kbps as possible. In the last couple years I've started buying more stuff digitally, and buying physical copies of just the stuff I really like.

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