Buying CD's or Buying Individual Songs From iTunes

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Tuned MP5T, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Tuned MP5T macrumors regular

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    Nov 6, 2004
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    New York City
    #1
    My wife always tells me that I'm wasting money on CD's when there are only 3 to 4 songs I would like. She said I should use iTMS, but I like to have the CD in hand. I just want to know what do you guys prefer.
     
  2. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    Apr 12, 2005
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    London
    #2
    I think CDs are better value for money, same price per song (more or less) no copy protection, no compression, you can still compress them to whatever format you like etc. It is true that you may only like one or 2 songs and in that case i guess it makes sense. I, however, think that it is important to listen to the full album, sometimes we first like the songs that are promoted on radio but ignore the rest of the album, sometimes you can miss less commertial songs that can still be very good. I also think that it is good to be able to listen to a song in the context of an album
     
  3. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #3
    I agree with Javier. My personal philosophy is "I don't buy bits. I buy CONTAINERS of bits."

    If you buy a CD, you can do ANYTHING you want with it... you can back it up, you can sell it, you can rip it into any format you want (including formats with higher bitrates than you can get from iTunes or anywhere else). And no one can stop you from using it any way you want (of course, you shouldn't do anything to violate copyright). You OWN it.

    When you buy music from iTunes or anyone else, you're RENTING the music. There are limits to how many times you can copy it to other machines, there is no physical copy of the music, you're stuck with the format that they offer.

    I believe in the physicality of things I buy... so I don't buy bits.
     
  4. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

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    Jul 7, 2005
    #4
    many points here well covered
    i totally agree on this one
     
  5. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    #5
    most of the time i buy iTunes because i only have three computers and two iPods no need for the CDs and not that much of an audiophile aside from japanese rock and pop. Of course then i buy the jPop CDs.
     
  6. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    #6
    I actually do both. If I hear a hit on the radio and like it i'll usually buy it. Or my wife likes to download spanish songs that she used to really like. I do enjoy buying cd's though as previously stated reasons from the other posters.
     
  7. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

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    May 2, 2005
    #7
    CDs all the way for me.

    Lossless encoding is only a consideration for people who can really hear the difference, and who have a good set of speakers/earphones. Otherwise, iTunes is the same.

    I get some songs now and then from CDs that are really good that I don't expect to get. This is a nice, small plus, but overall - you're still paying over double per "good" song by purchasing a CD instead of iTunes. Even ordering from insanely cheap places that cell CDs for $12 or so, you'll still pay significantly more for CD songs, especially if you build up a large collection.

    With only those two considerations in mind, I think that iTunes is the better choice for the average consumer, giving good music while keeping the wallet relatively full.

    However, what tips the scales is that you can actually do what you want with the CDs. Encode in whatever you want - mp3 for your Rio, AAC for your ipod. Participate in CD-trading later on when you want to get rid of old CDs. Feel safe knowing that your computer and mp3 player and both completely die, and that your expensive music collection is resting in your CD-tower, and that you won't have to repurchase everything.

    With the flexibility of CDs - and after reading so many iTunes horror stories of people losing all of their songs (and apple refusing to reimburse them) - I'd put my vote in for the CD.
     
  8. supergod macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2004
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    Toronto
    #8
    I don't really like the whole iTunes music store method: it seems to be important only for very commercial bands... I prefer to download songs off P2Ps at a much higher bitrate. That way I can hear the whole album. Most of the time I find I only like a few songs from an album but sometimes I am just enthralled with a piece of music and Know that I have to go out and buy the CD for improved listening. The only problem is sometimes tracking down rare CDs: I end up having to order off the internet even with a city full of great used CD stores.
     
  9. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #9
    I like to buy CDs, I think it's a more complete listening experience, I discover music I wouldn't normally have listened to, I appreciate the artist more.

    I agree with all of you... if iTunes had more flexibility with compression or music management, I would probably use it, it's an awesome service. But echoing what others said... it's more rental than most people realize. Unless you're diligent about making backups and all that, there's not much ownership there.

    Not to mention, people argue that CDs will be replaced. Well what about your iTunes? Digital won't be replaced but your crappy bitrate is already history.
     
  10. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #10
    Hmm, I think I'll have to agree with Oxford on this one.
     
  11. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #11
    I disagree. When you OWN something, you can do whatever you want with it. Songs purchased from iTunes can be transferred how many times? As many times as you want? No.

    Doesn't sound like ownership to me... sounds more like a long-term lease with no option to buy.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #12
    What about once you the rights you are given and burn your iTMS tracks to audio CD-R? Is there really a difference then? Yes, there is some compression loss, but for most songs and most people it just isn't that noticeable. (see below).

    I'm speaking as someone who has a 650+ CD music collection. Most of the time I will purchase a CD if I like 4 or more of the songs on it. At 3 songs or less I will seriously consider iTMS. I have even bought 5 full albums on iTMS, mainly when I perceive a good value and/or want the album NOW. e.g. the album is $9.99 on iTMS, but only available for >$15.99 elsewhere or availability is limited. I have also bought indie music from AudioLunchbox for similar reasons. For older albums I'll always check to see if it's available at yourmusic.com, since $5.99 is hard to beat. Also, in one recent case I bought the album @ iTMS and then bought the physical CD since there was too much compression artifacts at 128kbps AAC.

    IMHO one BIG advantage of iTMS, especially for those of us with large collections is actually the LACK of physicality. I have a much harder time navigating my physical collection compared to my iTunes library...

    B
     
  13. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

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    Jun 24, 2004
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    England
    #13
    I generally prefer to buy CDs, but if there is only one or two tracks I want from a particular album, there's no way I'm buying the CD for that. iTunes is ideal for filling those odd gaps in your collection.
     
  14. Nanda Devi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    #14
    I buy all of my music from iTunes now, because I don't even own a CD player anymore. I have my iPod hooked up to a Bose Wave and that's my whole sound system.

    I personally love not dealing w/ CDs anymore. They always got all disorganized and it was a pain to be constantly changing them. I also like the flexibility of using multiple playlists in iTunes, and not being locked into listening to one whole CD. I still love albums, but there are always those albums that you don't like the whole thing and it's nice to pull out those tracks you do like and mix them up with a bunch of others in a similar genre.

    So that's my two cents. I've been CD-less for a couple years now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    ND
     
  15. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #15
    Well, you can still do all that if you buy CDs. Once you rip them into whatever audio format and bitrate you want, you can play them any way you like... and you're NOT limited to how many times you can copy them to new machines or devices that you buy. If something goes disastrously wrong, you always have the CD as a backup.

    Plus, I should mention that not all music is available through iTunes. Some of my very favorite songs are simply not offered: Wendy Carlos' music, for example.
     
  16. Nanda Devi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    #16

    Yes, this is very true, and if there are any albums I simply must have that aren't available in iTunes, then I will most definitely purchase the CD, rip it, and then stash it away somewhere or maybe give it someone else. I transferred my entire CD collection to my PBook when I got my iPod a couple years ago, and boxed up all my CDs. Since I had a pretty full music collection at the time, I haven't found the need to purchase anything yet that isn't on iTunes. But I'm sure that time will come eventually.

    ND
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #17
    Except with only a down payment. It's still not renting, like Napter's (or anyone else's) subscription plans are.
     
  18. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    I used to buy CDs... but now it's just more convenient for me to get the music on my computer. My iPod is always in my car w/ me and with airtunes, I have my music at all times on me. Why clutter my room w/ CDs
     
  19. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #19
    The point is not whether you actually PLAY the music using the CDs... it's whether you get your music by buying CDs (and then ripping them, whatever) or by buying songs through iTunes or some other online service.

    I have well over 400 CDs, but my space is not cluttered with them... for me, they're simply a backup, stored at maximum quality, of the music that I play on my iPod or from my computers. I could just as easily put my CDs in storage if I didn't still need to use them in my car.
     
  20. prowler11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    #20
    The Cheapest CDs on the Web

    For those of you who still buy CDs the best place to find the cheapest CDs on the web is at http://www.cheapestcdprice.com Its very simple to use. Just search for the CD you want and follow the simple instructions. :D
     
  21. the_freddinator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Location:
    SE PA
    #21
    If it weren't for cds, I'd have nothing to stick in my CD rack!

    Face it- the ITMS agreement is that you purchase the song and you canuse it on 5 different computers.

    I'm completely a cd person. The only time I have EVER considered buying ITMS rather than a CD was AFTER I bought the cd and found out that iTunes COULDN'T DECODE IT (kings of leon- aha shake heartbreak).

    I think you should stick w/ CD's. In the long run, it'll be better. If you have kids, they may like the entire cd even if you don't. I've claimed my dads cds as my own and have found cds that he listened to maybe once and have become enraptured by them.

    Buy CDs.
     
  22. Kenzie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #22
    Thank You


    Thanks alot for the link, what a great website. I will never buy another cd from a store again. :)
     
  23. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #23
    iTMS all the way for me. I can't remember the last CD I bought... er, yes I can; it was Bob Segers Greatest Hits about 3 years ago.

    Anyways, to me iTMS is a great deal. I simply CANNOT hear the difference between compressed music and the source CD (see a recent thread of mine:)). It's faster and easier to use iTunes, and while you can argue about the actual cost per song you do save on either gas to get to the store or shipping to get the CD to you.

    I keep a DVD-R backup of my music library, so I don't need to worry about HDD failures, etc, and if I want to share the "CD" with a friend, iTunes has no worries about me burning off a regular CD copy of the disc for them. They are even free to re-rip it, legal status in your home country allowing.
     
  24. applebum macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    SC
    #24
    The ownership argument doesn't hold water for albums or songs purchased from the ITMS - never has. You also seem to be arguing 2 different things by trying to define ownership by saying what you can do with the product - doesn't work that way.

    Let's say you and I want the same album. You go to the store and buy the disk - you "own" it. I, on the other hand, buy the same album from the ITMS, download it, and then burn it on to a CD. You and I have the exact same physical product in our hands - a CD that has all the tracks of this particular album. I own the tracks on my CD the same way you own the tracks on yours. I can take my CD and put it on any computer I want, I can make as many copies as I want, I can listen to it in any CD player that I would want to. Are my tracks at the same bitrate as yours? No. Do I have the cover art and/or any liner notes? No. Can I sell mine? Probably not. But none of that means I don't own the CD and the tracks on it. I have an old beat up car that doesn't run any more. I can't sell it, and I can't drive it anywhere - does that mean I don't own it???

    Fact is, if Apple were able to sell lossless songs from the ITMS with the same DRM they currently have, no one would be claiming you didn't own the music. Everyone would simply burn the album to a disk and they would have the same exact product you could get from the store. Your argument truly seems to be that when you buy from the ITMS you don't actually own a product of the same quality as what you would get if you purchased the actual CD.
     

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