January 03, 2008
Why CDs are still better than downloads

This is the third time I've bought an album from Amazon and the third time that the downloader has crashed. When this happens I have to send an email to Amazon to get them to unlock the album and allow me to redownload it. A huge pain the butt. With iTunes full of DRM & wacky AAC files, Yahoo Music & Napster with DRM & wacky WMA files, it simply doesn't make sense to buy music digitally.

A CD still makes the best sense for music. You can play it in a CD player and you can rip it to MP3 (even if you lose the files).

You can try to tell me I'm wrong, but you know in your heart I'm right.

Posted by michael at January 03, 2008 07:40 AM


"Shortly after I finished this page, Mena and Ben Trott, creators of Movable Type and TrackBack made their own page explaining TrackBack for Beginners."

In actual fact this page is down..pity because in a recent release of SEO Tools newsletter it tells you to google the word trackback. Yours is the second entry to come up and your recommendation to the Trott site doesn't work. Pity. Now I have to try and figure this out! I use blogger, which may or may not use trackback..don't know yet. Happy New Year.

Posted by: Sharon J [http://www.jacksononthemoon.com] on January 3, 2008 8:19 AM

Yes, overall CDs are still a little better than downloads but only just. It actually does make sense to buy music digitally, just not from the retailers you've listed. Which is ashame cuz when it's done right, there is hardly a reason to owning CDs (honestly how often do you use a CD player nowa days?) The list of indi labels selling non DRMed, high quality music in mp3, FLAC and WAV are out there. The selection is much smaller, but music downloads work.

Posted by: keith [http://overshadowed.com/] on January 3, 2008 9:26 AM

The problem is not with the downloads... the problem is with your musical tastes: "Fuck Me Pumps"?!!!! What in the name of all that is holy is THAT? I hope your mother isn't still reading your blog.

Posted by: Mister P. [http://misterp.blogspot.com] on January 3, 2008 9:40 AM

This goes w/o saying. DRM is the bane of downloaded music.

Posted by: kp [] on January 3, 2008 9:47 AM

Yes, the mix mash of formats and drm out there can make downloads a pain especially when trying to get compatibility across different platforms and players. However, I must say the iTunes + iPod + Airport Express system works pretty well for me. It has drm but even with 2 computers and 3 iPods I've never felt hindered by the restrictions.

Having said that, I still buy CDs because often for the same price of downloaded content I have 3 key additional benefits: archival copy, full cd quality and album art (yes, I actually look at the booklet).

So, for music I want to keep and listen to again in a few years I buy the CD. If I want some music to just get my blood pumping for a long work session or want to put together a running mix I instinctively reach for iTunes. I think each has it's place when done right.

Posted by: jho [] on January 3, 2008 9:53 AM

I think the real problem here is Vista. I've ordered several albums from the Amazon store, and used the downloader on XP with no issues at all.

The big problem I have with CDs now is storage. I don't want to get rid of them after I rip them, but I also don't really need them out and accessible.

Posted by: alan [http://www.geekandproud.net/] on January 3, 2008 10:01 AM

Agreed that CDs are better. And agreed that the big problem with the CD is storage. I buy CDs, rip them to my machine and then never see them again after I break down the jewel boxes and place the discs in my CD notebooks (which I really need to figure out how to organize in a way that makes sense).

I hate the jewel boxes. Just tons of waste.

That said, I get my music lots of ways now - in store, emusic, amazon, and iTunes (although much less frequently and I try to stick to iTunes plus files).

I haven't run into those issues you did with the amazon downloader. It's worked pretty smoothly for me. But I really want my liner notes (or album mini-sites that actually had the liner notes on them).

Posted by: Jason [http://negroplease.vox.com] on January 3, 2008 1:27 PM

One more vote for Amazon and XP. I haven't had any problems, yet, with my album dowloads. Maybe it is Vista.


Posted by: Little Kenny [http://www.littlekenny.com] on January 3, 2008 3:07 PM

iTunes. I haven't bought a CD for myself in 2 years.

Posted by: BillB [http://squidly.com] on January 3, 2008 4:28 PM

Bittorrent. I haven't bought a CD for myself in 2 years.

Posted by: Bribo [] on January 4, 2008 6:58 AM

heh, RIAA now says ripping CDs to MP3 files (even for personal use) is now illegal.

Happy New Year everybody!

Posted by: Andy [] on January 4, 2008 2:21 PM

I personally just use stationripper ( http://www.stationripper.com ) - No DRM, can download a few thousand songs a day, and it is (in theory) legal in the US.

I used to use iTunes and have tried amazon, but just have gotten tired of how much of a screwed up mess it.

Posted by: tomas [http://www.stationripper.com] on January 4, 2008 5:36 PM

Hope you enjoy Amy once she downloaded!

Posted by: Ian Gardner [] on January 5, 2008 7:13 AM

Hope you enjoy Amy once she downloaded!

Posted by: Ian Gardner [] on January 5, 2008 7:13 AM

Very interesting. Thanks

Posted by: spomoni [http://www.spomoni.com/] on January 6, 2008 4:04 AM
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