I know there have to be others, but sometimes it seems like I’m the only person left on earth who still purchases CDs. And yes, I mean actual CDs, compact discs…the ones that typically come in those hard-to-open plastic cases. In fact, I truly prefer vinyl records to CDs. If I could throw a vinyl in my car stereo, then I’d stick to those. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my digital formats. I constantly have music playing on my MacBook Pro, I have a few albums on my cell phone, and work out with an MP3 player. Yes, I do know about iTunes; I actually use it to encode all the CDs I buy into MP3 files. I know I could pay a small fee for services like Napster and have a seemingly unlimited selection of music, but I still prefer the actual physical discs.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still prefer buying my music on physical formats to downloading them or paying for a subscription service. These methods are often cost-effective, quick, and easy, but I’m a sucker for physically owning the music. I like getting the booklet that comes in the case, the cover art on, and the actual CD. I do like using the Cover Flow feature on iTunes, but for me it still doesn’t beat looking at a stack of CD cases or a crate full of vinyl records to find inspiration on what album to listen to. I enjoy going to Best Buy on Tuesdays to pick up an album on release date. I like going to local record stores and looking through old used albums. There’s something about the atmosphere of those local record stores. Each has their unique clientele, style, and feel. Besides, I always find an album I should have bought several years ago whenever I go to one. With today’s releases, where many artists are more concerned about selling ring tones than making good music, it can be pointless to buy all your music on CDs when you can pay for individual tracks, but I normally find some hidden gems that don’t make the radio.
I appreciate the higher sound quality that you can get from a physical CD over a compressed digital format. While some digital formats are lossless, they often take up so much space on a hard drive or media player that it’s impractical to use, unless you’re an audiophile or music professional. When I really want to hear something sound good, I still feel that you can’t beat the sound of a clean vinyl record and a quality turntable. I know that carrying around a bunch of CDs when traveling or working out is not convenient. For these purposes, I definitely think a portable digital media player is the way to go, whether it’s an iPod, Zune, Zen, whatever. But when I’m sitting at home and I want to really enjoy my music, there’s nothing like thumbing through my vinyl and CD collection and listening to my favorite tracks.
Are there any others out there that feel the way I do?