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The need for physical media in 2021?


Towelie

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I've been clutching onto physical media for years, continuing to collect CDs, uploading them onto iTunes, keeping the physical format stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

I have resisted streaming services like Spotify for the longest time, but have finally given in and joined as a premium member. 

I just no longer see the point in physical media. It's just useless clutter at this stage when you can get 95% of it on Spotify. 

I am interested in the thoughts of those who still buy CDs, vinyls, those  who like to consume physical formats etc. Do you not see it as a futile exercise? What are you getting from it and do you actually use the physical media you purchase or is it more as a collectors piece nowadays?

I used to want to keep buying CDs to support the artists, as I don't believe in the devaluation of music as an artform. But now I don't even use the physical format to upload onto iTunes, I really see no use in owning any of it.

I'm even thinking of selling my entire CD collection (we're talking in the thousands). 

Edited by Towelie
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1 hour ago, Towelie said:

I've been clutching onto physical media for years, continuing to collect CDs, uploading them onto iTunes, keeping the physical format stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

I have resisted streaming services like Spotify for the longest time, but have finally given in and joined as a premium member. 

I just no longer see the point in physical media. It's just useless clutter at this stage when you can get 95% of it on Spotify. 

I am interested in the thoughts of those who still buy CDs, vinyls, those  who like to consume physical formats etc. Do you not see it as a futile exercise? What are you getting from it and do you actually use the physical media you purchase or is it more as a collectors piece nowadays?

I used to want to keep buying CDs to support the artists, as I don't believe in the devaluation of music as an artform. But now I don't even use the physical format to upload onto iTunes, I really see no use in owning any of it.

I'm even thinking of selling my entire CD collection (we're talking in the thousands). 

If you have the space I'd hang on to the physical media, or at least some of it. YOu never know what it will be worth in 20 years time.

I guess there's three options. Physical. Digital where you own it (no DRM). And digital where you are basically renting it (Spotify).

I use Spotify to discover things, and no longer buy many CDs. However I still think that it's important to own non-DRM songs. You never know when the internet will be down, Spotify will be sold, Spotify will begin to put up their prices etc.

Edited by axl666
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2 hours ago, Powderfinger said:

It’s not a need, it’s an addiction, a pure lust!!

It’s been part of my life for 30 years, I still have records I bought aged 12. I remember when and where I bought them, and what was happening at that time. 

I literally came back to the thread to post this exact thing. 

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5 hours ago, Towelie said:

I've been clutching onto physical media for years, continuing to collect CDs, uploading them onto iTunes, keeping the physical format stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

I have resisted streaming services like Spotify for the longest time, but have finally given in and joined as a premium member. 

I just no longer see the point in physical media. It's just useless clutter at this stage when you can get 95% of it on Spotify. 

I am interested in the thoughts of those who still buy CDs, vinyls, those  who like to consume physical formats etc. Do you not see it as a futile exercise? What are you getting from it and do you actually use the physical media you purchase or is it more as a collectors piece nowadays?

I used to want to keep buying CDs to support the artists, as I don't believe in the devaluation of music as an artform. But now I don't even use the physical format to upload onto iTunes, I really see no use in owning any of it.

I'm even thinking of selling my entire CD collection (we're talking in the thousands). 

I've thought of ditching my media for streaming, but I can't bring myself to do it. I love the artwork, holding it, and revisiting it from time to time. Alot of people have music as white noise in the background, and that's cool, streaming is brilliant for that. But when I listen to music frequently for 'something to do' and enjoy marveling at the beauty of it, and zoning in on specific instruments, having the physical file is a part of that process. Hope this makes sense. 

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Streaming is great for convenience but i won't ever be a true believer.

With vinyl i still like them for collection purposes, they are like art pieces :lol: With CDs i have moved to digital lossless files so i still have "ownership".

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I’ve trimmed down my blu ray collection quite a bit but my main format of music is vinyl and always will be.

cds to me are pointless though. I sold all mine probably 10 years ago or so as I would load them on to iTunes and then stuff them in a drawer. Cds are to me, like a small hard drive. They just have the information on them, whereas as vinyl, the sound waves are actually pressed in to the record. It’s a different experience where you are literally listening to the record and interacting with the music by dropping your needle on it, where as with a cd you are listening to the information that is digitally stored on it which really makes it no different than a computer, phone or any other digital storage.

 

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I usually buy physical for stuff I really care about, I have quite a lot of vinyl and cds, most of my listening is done on streaming now though as when I'm on my laptop it's just there. Spotify is great for finding music I might otherwise never listen to as well, and if I get into an artist enough I'll buy physical stuff. I do listen to vinyl more than cds probably. I like buying different versions of vinyl/cd that may have different tracks, artwork etc as well.

Edited by Jw224
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Streaming is complete bullshit to me, I have no interest whatsoever. I don't need to physically own media, but I do need to own it in some capacity. Buying music and other media digitally that I can personally keep on my computer is something I'm ok with. Streaming, no fucking way. For example, I could pay thousands of dollars for movies/tv shows on Netflix, then if I cancel Netflix to move to another company like Amazon or Hulu, every fucking thing I purchased is completely gone? Fuck that.

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1 hour ago, ShadowOfTheWave said:

Streaming is complete bullshit to me, I have no interest whatsoever. I don't need to physically own media, but I do need to own it in some capacity. Buying music and other media digitally that I can personally keep on my computer is something I'm ok with. Streaming, no fucking way. For example, I could pay thousands of dollars for movies/tv shows on Netflix, then if I cancel Netflix to move to another company like Amazon or Hulu, every fucking thing I purchased is completely gone? Fuck that.

But why would you pay thousands of dollars for movies or TV shows? The whole point of streaming is that you pay a small monthly payment for access to a large, comprehensive selection of media.

On Spotify, you can have access to pretty much every record that's ever been recorded (with a handful of exceptions) for as little as $10 a month. How is that not a good deal?

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4 hours ago, Towelie said:

I know you have an extensive and impressive collection, but do you stream as well?

For sure. I use streaming whenever I'm out and about. I also use it now and again during our Friday night spins if/when I don't have something on physical media. 

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17 hours ago, Towelie said:

I've been clutching onto physical media for years, continuing to collect CDs, uploading them onto iTunes, keeping the physical format stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

I have resisted streaming services like Spotify for the longest time, but have finally given in and joined as a premium member. 

I just no longer see the point in physical media. It's just useless clutter at this stage when you can get 95% of it on Spotify. 

I am interested in the thoughts of those who still buy CDs, vinyls, those  who like to consume physical formats etc. Do you not see it as a futile exercise? What are you getting from it and do you actually use the physical media you purchase or is it more as a collectors piece nowadays?

I used to want to keep buying CDs to support the artists, as I don't believe in the devaluation of music as an artform. But now I don't even use the physical format to upload onto iTunes, I really see no use in owning any of it.

I'm even thinking of selling my entire CD collection (we're talking in the thousands). 

I'm also about the ritual for me. When I can stand in front of my cd and/or vinyl collection and find something that fits my mood. Getting it out, putting it in the cd or record player, sitting down and flipping through a booklet as I listen. Reading along with lyrics or gazing at pictures or artwork. It's the whole experience that I consider much more satisfying that scrolling through my phone. It's just much more real and you're much more focussed on whatever music you picked out. I also intend to keep collecting physical music. 

I actually (somewhat reluctantly) bought an SD card last year so I can fit my entire music collection as MP'3 on my phone just because my new car doesn't have a cd player anymore. ;) Could've used Spotify and all, but it pisses me off when music I love isn't on there. 

Edited by username
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23 hours ago, Powderfinger said:

It’s not a need, it’s an addiction, a pure lust!!

It’s been part of my life for 30 years, I still have records I bought aged 12. I remember when and where I bought them, and what was happening at that time. 

Yeah, I can see that.  I mean for some people, they collecting various sports jerseys, some likes collecting various band t-shirts, and some likes collecting CDs and keeping ticket stubs.  That need is going to be there for people, it just depends on how niche it is.

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1 minute ago, Anguyen92 said:

Yeah, I can see that.  I mean for some people, they collecting various sports jerseys, some likes collecting various band t-shirts, and some likes collecting CDs and keeping ticket stubs.  That need is going to be there for people, it just depends on how niche it is.

I also have 90% of my concert tickets, and a lot of gig shirts from over the same period as I’ve collected music in physical formats. It’s a way of life for me. 

8 hours ago, username said:

I'm also about the ritual for me. When I can stand in front of my cd and/or vinyl collection and find something that fits my mood.

Yep, this. I like flicking through parts of my collection and picking out a few records to listen to based on my mood. I have a lot of Motown, chess, etc alongside the punk / rock / grunge / metal stuff. 

 

The biggest thing is the story behind each Vinyl, CD and cassette I own. 

I have one cassette that is a copy of Nirvanas - In Utero on blank tape, I got that tape in May/June of 1993 a few weeks before it was released officially.

A guy I went to school with, his older brother played in bands, one of which had supported Sebadoh at a Dublin gig in the late 80s or early 90s and from there on he and Lou Barlow traded live bootlegs, demos, etc etc. Lou sent this guy In Utero like I said weeks before it was released. The quality wasn’t great, the songs were in a different order and Marigold & I hate myself and want to die were on there also. They didn’t get on In Utero as it was released. 

 

Each time I look at that cassette a million memories come. And that’s just one blank tape. Every single, album, ep, cassette, CD, vinyl, tells a story to me.

Hitchhiking 10 miles each way to buy Dirt by Alice in Chains. 10 benson & hedges and sitting listening to it for the first time. 

I think people that love physical musical media are a different breed in a way. Ritual plays a part, but it’s a total lifestyle methinks. 

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For me, I always was a CD fan, even more than vinyl because it is like the perfect medium being compact and less physically fragile.  I also love the fact that used CDs are super cheap and you can find better masterings of older albums than you can find digitally via streaming

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