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May 20, 2022 - 6:40:40 AM
2934 posts since 12/31/2005

I have winnowed hundreds of CD's out of my collection over the past few years and donated to a music nonprofit that sells them at fundraisers. So I am down to around 200 of what I would consider to be bluegrass classics. One I came across (that was in a fundraiser bin) was Foggy Mtn Banjo - the County Sales 1995 reissue of the classic album. Very hard to find. In the past, I know people were asking between $100-200 for these. I saw on on Ebay at $47 (I think). Just to test the market, I put the extra on there with a $20 min bid. Absolutely no activity. Five views (two are probably me), and no bids.

I know I have gotten used to streaming, and when I do listen outside of streaming, it is to an MP3 file of the CD's. But have CD's gone the way of the 8 Track? Will albums actually outlive them? I guess the only value left is the liner notes (which I do refer to for lineups, etc.)

May 20, 2022 - 6:51:28 AM

kd8tzc

USA

309 posts since 4/11/2022

Brian, I have not listened to a CD in years. In fact, none of my computers have a CD player. I do still have two CD players for the stereo, but they are put away. Both of our cars have CD players, but I couldn't tell you if they work as we have never used one.

I don't know if I would say if CD's are dead or not. I have not been to a record store for years, as like you and others, I stream all of my music. Some I buy digitally, others I just use something like Spotify.

I still have every record that I had ever bought, and still have a turntable (or as my kids called it back in the 1990's "that big CD player"), but I have not used it either. I tend to collect things though, so I may not be a good person to ask. I still have about a dozen old RPN Hewlett Packard Calculators, all of which I use. I remember taking an old HP 45 to a meeting once. It's big and has the Red LED numerals, and one of the "kids" that works with me asked me what the heck that was. He had never seen anything like it. Yes, he had used an LCD calculator, but was raised mostly on the computer so used Excel or the built in calculator to the operating systems.

BTW, if anyone has any old HP calculators they want to get rid of, let me know. I might be interested if I don't have that one.

May 20, 2022 - 6:55:48 AM

7 posts since 6/3/2015

The only CDs that are valuable to me (and I assume most others) are ones with music not readily available online, or with a fear of coming offline. I can see why that CD would fetch a high price back in the day before music was widely available, but that CD in particular is not in any danger of being offline.

I do agree that the real value is in the liner notes. I was at Merlefest a few weeks back waiting in line to meet an artist. The guy in front of me brought one of the musician's CD to be signed and the artist said to the guy "People still buy CDs? Why?"

May 20, 2022 - 7:00:28 AM
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368 posts since 4/26/2007

I am, and always have been, a huge fan of CDs. I like the complete album plus the booklets and liner notes. My biggest issue is that my current vehicle doesn't have a CD player, nor is there an aftermarket option because they're considered so outdated. It sucks bigtime, especially since I have a TON of CDs, both official and bootlegged.

I get why digital is so popular, and Lord knows I've bought my share of iTunes over the years, but I always put the random mixes on CDs. I've just always preferred them; now I'm having to go to the ungodly hassle of ripping everything to my laptop.

When the band I was in was playing show dates, we would definitely sell a decent number of physical albums at our merch table, but not like in years past. This was a recent as 2021, but you certainly tell a drop-off compared to, say, even 2015.

 

*Let me also add that I consider CDs in the same way I do DVDs: they are safeguards that I want to own in the event that the movie (or in this case, album) is no longer available online/digitally or on streaming. 

Edited by - HuberTone on 05/20/2022 07:04:18

May 20, 2022 - 7:02:40 AM

BobbyE

USA

3120 posts since 11/29/2007

I own a bunch of CDs but only play a fraction of them. Not much when just running around town on short trips but when I need to take a road trip my CDs are about the first thing I put in the car.

Bobby

May 20, 2022 - 7:03:46 AM
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322 posts since 4/14/2017
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I bought a Toyota Tundra in 2004 which is still running dependably, but the CD player died within the first year or two. Luckily, it still has a cassette player, so guess how I'm listening to music in that vehicle? The only streaming I do is if I have to cross a creek. Someone's got to keep the past going.....

May 20, 2022 - 7:12:28 AM
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76224 posts since 5/9/2007

I've ruined about 1/3 of the cds I've ever bought.I little scratch and they're done.
I bought a new Hyundai in '18 and was disappointed to find no cd player in it.
Then a friend gave me a thumb-drive with over 500 bluegrass songs on it.
It's such a small thing and can't be scratched.
I used toi have to carry a boxful of cds around and commonly lost or scratched them.

All better now.

May 20, 2022 - 7:24:19 AM
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434 posts since 10/3/2012

You can still rip them and create mp3s that you can put on your phone.
Yes, I still have two vehicles with CD players and I play CDs in them, but I would not go out and buy additional CDs.

May 20, 2022 - 8:08:50 AM

57 posts since 10/12/2018

I ripped all my CDs to MP3 back in 2005, and haven't bought one since. I re-ripped the whole collection to FLAC(lossless) in 2010. Neither me nor my wife has had a car with a CD player since 2010. The junker I make our teenagers drive has one, but they only use their USB port to plug their phones in. It's all on a NAS device that is shared in a couple ways with Plex. Everyone in the family has their own thumbdrives, and playlists.

Our youngest found the binders of CDs, and it took putting several in the bluray player to convince him they weren't all movies.

May 20, 2022 - 8:15:50 AM
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Ron C

USA

1525 posts since 3/17/2004

I have a large number of CDs of Bluegrass, Classical, and Jazz and play them regularly. For me, it is convenient to grab a CD, put it on the CD player, and listen. I've never scratched a CD or had one ruined in any fashion. I am careful when carrying them in a car to avoid heat warpage.

The CD has the most advantage with Classical music. When I listen to a particular piece, I will choose a performance rated as among the best in performance and sonics (and I bought the CD for that reason). I find that the streaming services have the piece but often don't have a particular performance I am looking for. I don't want to hear a generic version.

The MP3 digital versions have been compressed in dynamic range and frequency response to create smaller, more manageable files. Their sound is highly compromised, not so audible on a portable MP3 device, but very obvious on a good stereo system.

I do listen to Bluegrass channels on Sirius in the car and on Spotify on the computer. I don't care so much about the sonics when I use Spotify during my workout. And the car environment noise masks the sonic quality of a good recording, so I don't need high fidelity.

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May 20, 2022 - 8:38:10 AM
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2934 posts since 12/31/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Ron C

 

The MP3 digital versions have been compressed in dynamic range and frequency response to create smaller, more manageable files. Their sound is highly compromised, not so audible on a portable MP3 device, but very obvious on a good stereo system.

 


Depends on file size.  As for old classic albums, any compression rate is fine for old time or bluegrass recordings.  The "masters" for those recordings themselves are pretty low fidelity.  (Heck, they were singing into a can for money).  For ripping, I use 320kb setting on Windows Media Player and my ears can't detect any loss.  I think that is the standard for HD radio.  Early CD's actually had compression issues themselves, which I understood improved dramatically over the years.   

May 20, 2022 - 8:38:25 AM
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corcoran

Canada

471 posts since 8/3/2004

The Bear Family box sets (Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Osbornes, etc.) are available only in CD format, as far as I know. They are treasure troves of classic bluegrass.

May 20, 2022 - 8:41:17 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

27358 posts since 8/3/2003

I still play my CDs. Every morning when I get on the computer to check e-mail, the Hangout, other forums, news, etc., I put on a bluegrass CD. it's a great way to start a morning.

When I purchased my 2018 Honda CV-R it did NOT have a CD player. I was crushed until I realized I could put all those CDs on a flash drive and plug them into a USB port on my car. Problem solved. Of course, I also have Sirius XS, so either way, I had bluegrass music.

I still purchase bluegrass CDs. I much prefer them to something that has to be put on a computer. I don't spend my life on the computer like some do. I'm outside doing yardwork during the summer and that's no place for a computer. I don't care for the sound of the cell phone when it plays music, too tinny a sound, so..... continue on with CDs.

May 20, 2022 - 9:00:34 AM

349 posts since 11/9/2021

I can tell you for certain they are on the down slope. We used to sell 50-75 CD;s at a show. Since going to Itunes and other online vendues, that is down to a few, 10 or so, at shows.

May 20, 2022 - 9:22:41 AM
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4406 posts since 5/29/2011

It's kind of sad to think of CDs becoming obsolete. I can remember when eight track tapes were still considered new technology. On the other side of the coin, I had an extensive collection of bluegrass LPs which I now wish I still had. LPs are coming back in style. I used to tape my LPs onto cassette so I could preserve them. I could listen to the tapes in my car, or anywhere else, and keep my records pristine. It's interesting how technology has changed but practices have not.

May 20, 2022 - 9:27:41 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26039 posts since 6/25/2005

I still don’t get streaming. It puts too much control in the streaming vendor’s hands. I do not buy streamed music.

May 20, 2022 - 9:51:20 AM

2934 posts since 12/31/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

I still don’t get streaming. It puts too much control in the streaming vendor’s hands. I do not buy streamed music.


But I don't think there can be any going back.  Neither of my kids has ever bought a CD.  Record stores and chains are near extinct.  And like other say, where do you even get a CD player these days?  So artists may not like the streaming deal, but I don't think there is an alternative.  One service or another may dominate, but I don't know  think physical media will ever return as a distribution method.

All that leaves are old, out of print issues and some small label stuff that is not on streaming services.  Even the Gusto/Star Day stuff though is on streaming.  But anyone can put together sound files and release as an "album" on streaming services.  

May 20, 2022 - 10:03:47 AM
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9620 posts since 8/28/2013

I hope the hell CDs are not obsolete. I have trouble enough with electronic media that I never wish to try transferring them to some "thumb drive" that would most likely find its way under the car seat and eventually out on the pavement.

I have been transferring some old records (including 78s) to CD. Unfortunately, if CDs are no more, no one will make CD players, either, and if mine breaks, I'll be SOL. Everyone raves about digital this and digital that, but I just rage at those things. One can fix many ordinary devices, but when something digital breaks, you usually have no option other than the trash can. I actually have a digital camera that came with a 106 page operating manual. However, it had no clear diagnostics in it for when the camera stopped working, which it did (just after the warranty expired.

Maybe I'm just ranting here, but I feel that after 70 years, I should have that privilege.

May 20, 2022 - 10:19:09 AM

2934 posts since 12/31/2005

quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

I hope the hell CDs are not obsolete. I have trouble enough with electronic media that I never wish to try transferring them to some "thumb drive" that would most likely find its way under the car seat and eventually out on the pavement.

I have been transferring some old records (including 78s) to CD. Unfortunately, if CDs are no more, no one will make CD players, either, and if mine breaks, I'll be SOL. Everyone raves about digital this and digital that, but I just rage at those things. One can fix many ordinary devices, but when something digital breaks, you usually have no option other than the trash can. I actually have a digital camera that came with a 106 page operating manual. However, it had no clear diagnostics in it for when the camera stopped working, which it did (just after the warranty expired.

Maybe I'm just ranting here, but I feel that after 70 years, I should have that privilege.


If you have music you like on CD, then it's already in a digital format.  The risk you still run is the CD becoming scratched, lost, or stolen.  When you put the digital files on a computer, you can also back them up to the cloud effortlessly.  Most people already have free cloud accounts with their gmail, yahoo, or microsoft accounts.  Other services, like DropBox and Sync, offer free accounts and opportunity to upgrade.  This is the one way that digital is better. The computer automatically backs up those files.  So let's say your hard drive "crashes" (a rarer even these days).  Your files are secure and can be accessed or downloaded to a new device.  I also burn a backup copy and keep it in a location outside my house.  It's actually much safer and you never lose the music.

You are local to me.  If you would like me to look at what you are doing and to give you some ideas, just let me know.

May 20, 2022 - 10:42:13 AM

229 posts since 7/22/2012

I prefer CDs to streaming, if it's one or the other. They are definitely less popular with the general public than they used to be, it seems clear, but some folks still prefer a physical album of one kind or another. I do.

Edit: And to support independent artists, buying an album from them (even a download)—rather than just streaming it on a site—gives them significantly more money.

Edited by - Banjfoot on 05/20/2022 10:46:45

May 20, 2022 - 10:54:22 AM

psikes

USA

450 posts since 2/3/2010

With a CD collection of Jazz, classical, a little rock/blues and Bluegrass of over 1200 CD's they better not loose more value or my estate will be disappointed one of these days! Yep, I still have a great Denon turntable, 2 CD players (one with a built in cassette recorder/player) and my trusty old Teac reel to reel I think I am set until I kick off. All of this not to mention the actual digital music on my Mac.

Phil

May 20, 2022 - 12:39:27 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26039 posts since 6/25/2005

Am I the only one who has zero trust in “the cloud?”

May 20, 2022 - 12:53:09 PM

2934 posts since 12/31/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Am I the only one who has zero trust in “the cloud?”


The Cloud is just a series of very secure, highest quality servers.  They are far more secure and stable than any computer you and I can buy.  Consumer and business level hardware fails.  Dropbox has redundant servers in secured locations (their own and I think some Amazon).  If you can't trust the cloud, I don't know what you can trust.

May 20, 2022 - 12:55:53 PM

Mivo

Germany

95 posts since 9/13/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Am I the only one who has zero trust in “the cloud?”


You can keep local backups of data on hardware you physically own. All the digital audio content I own is saved on three different drives (SSDs), and on the cloud service I pay for, so even if access to a remote content server is discontinued, I'll still have my stuff. I move my data to newer, bigger backup drives every five or so years. Just gradual upgrades.

I've not bought audio CDs in many years now, and the only CD player I own is the drive in an older laptop. My newer computer doesn't have a CD drive anymore. The CDs I mostly bought in the 1990s have been given away or thrown away over the past decade. Just part of "downsizing" and appreciating having less "stuff" and clutter.

I overall prefer digital distribution, at least these days where you're usually allowed to download and archive audo files you purchase (I would not buy albums that I cannot download and use without vendor-specific software). Digital media doesn't quite "feel" like physical media, but it's convenient. The much missed cat I had in the 1990s would frequently scratch CDs, or they'd fall off the table and land on the sensitive side. And CDs also have an "expiration date", like everything else. When CD drives became common in computers, I'd "rip" CDs for convenience. Now I can just buy the files directly.

I'd only buy a CD if I really wanted an album that I cannot get in any other way, but so far that hasn't happened.

May 20, 2022 - 1:02:24 PM

2934 posts since 12/31/2005

In case you were unaware, CD/DVD players are now mostly a USB appliance. I keep one in my laptop case, but I also can plug it into other computers to watch movies or to rip CD's. They're cheap.   Here is an example for just $18:   LINK

May 20, 2022 - 1:25:53 PM

mrbook

USA

2062 posts since 2/22/2006

I don't stream. I also don't like other people choosing my music, or deciding what I will like. Over the last couple years I started buying a lot of CDs again - more used than new - filling out gaps in my record and CD collection. I play them on my 1970s-1990s stereo system. I like a roomful of music, and only use headphones when I don't want to disturb others. I don't know if they will be worth much after I'm gone, but they mean a lot to my life now.

On the other hand, I no longer see much value in making a CD with any of the bands I play with, no matter how good I think we are.

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