music - How much and what formats? Help me out with your opinions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by howard, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    There are so many ways get music now, and I'm wondering what options consumers like/want when they come across independent artists/albums.

    Consider you come across an album that you like, what are you willing to spend on, and what format do you prefer? Here are some options. Please post with any alternatives that you prefer. I also have some other questions that will help me get an idea on what is best and what people are looking for. Please answer as a consumer, not thinking what would be best for the artist or how to make more money. Just answer what you would prefer.

    Option 1: Cheap
    Digital Download - Free or Name your price
    CD - $5 shipped, and very minimal (simple 1 sleeve)
    Vinyl - $12 shipped, (simple 1 sleeve)

    Option 2: Expensive
    Digital Download - $3-5 with extra artwork and depth liner notes in a pdf
    CD - $10 shipped, nicer creative design
    Vinyl - $18 shipped, nicer creative design

    Option 3: All of the above as options.

    Related questions:
    Basically... do you just want the music as cheap as possible, or do you like buying a package with something creative?
    Do you care about CDs/Vinyl at all?
    How likely are you to pay $3 for an independent digital album vs for free?
    When an album is name your price, how often would you pay money?
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    If it's one of my favorite artists, I'll buy the CD even without hearing it first. I try to pay in the $12-13 range or less, if I can find it for that. It's important to me to have the CD, booklet, etc. for these artists.

    If I want the whole CD but it isn't from one of my favorite artists (one whose complete works I try to collect), I might buy the CD or I might download the album from iTunes.

    Anything else and I typically buy it one song at a time.

    This question doesn't make sense - why would anyone pay any amount of money for something that they can legally and ethically get for free?

    I'm not familiar with this concept - is Shatner selling CD's these days?

  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I tend to download my favourite songs from an album so I have them right away, and then order the CD and/or Vinyl (I tend to get CDs, but if there is a Vinyl release Ill get that as well as I like the sound I get from Vinyls.
  4. howard thread starter macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    The name your price was most popularly done by Radiohead for their "In Rainbows" album. It has since been done by a lot of Independent bands for the reasoning that they would rather have their music obtained by consumers legally and contributed to, rather than pirated. Much the same way a lot of developers have free applications but a donation button to hopefully bring in some income.
  5. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    There are few artists I would buy a CD for, but I still do on occasion. I've converted most of my mediocre-to-large CD collection into digital formats and sold off the CDs I don't care to keep.

    Most of my collection is AAC or Apple Lossless. I don't like MP3 quality. A few of the more "refined" songs I keep in AIFF, and have AAC versions to carry on my iPod or iPhone.

    I'd say that if you have a song or three that really stir the soul, it's well worth it to have better quality. It's a balance between space and quality. Keep in mind also, of course, that if you use anything other than cheap earbuds or headphones you can most definitely hear the difference among formats.

  6. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    I don't like paying full price for compressed music. If the publisher is saving money by selling downloads, I want a cut of that saving.

    For bands/music I really like, I also prefer to own uncompressed music (I mostly store it as Apple lossless in iTunes).

    I really don't care about CDs, Jewel cases, sleeve notes - all the information I need is online, and that physical stuff is just clutter I don't need.

    In general then, I only buy single tracks of download music - where it's a track that I kind of like, but not enough to buy a whole album. Where I want a whole album, I'll buy the physical CD and rip it - and I'm happy to buy pre-owned CDs since the bits are the same and I don't care about the case/notes. My preference would be to buy cheaper uncompressed music online - so I support bands like Nine Inch Nails who do this.
  7. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I would go for the above option for a band I like. If I like someone's music, I want to support their endeavors, so I want to throw a little money their way. I see no reason for an artist to provide all of their stuff for free.

    Notice, I say artist. There are plenty of "musicians" out there who should have to pay ME every time I have to sit through one of their crap songs (most of today's pop).

    Most of the music I listen to is audience-recorded live concerts of the bands I like. These are all provided free online (legally, and encouraged by the bands themselves). You also have the option to buy most of these shows as a soundboard-feed-recorded option if you want a more studio-sounding recording. Even though I'm getting most of my music for free, I do still support these bands by buying their albums and going to their concerts whenever I can.

    And as for the compressed/uncompressed thing...doesn't really bother me. Most of what I listen to doesn't have fine nuances that I will miss. And I'm rarely listening using studio-quality headphones or a THX-certified theater system. And since, as I said, most of my stuff is audience recordings, they are frequently of dubious quality to begin with, so having 10 times the file size is pointless.
  8. steadysignal macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2010
    agreed. lossy formats at full price are hateful.

    i don't mind keeping the library as all digital (not keeping CD's or vinyl), as long as its backed up a few ways - and places - so i don't lose what i spent.
  9. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    I prefer to have a physical CD for a few reasons.

    1) having a nice stereo system really reveals the weaknesses of compressed formats

    2) I will always have the physical backup

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