V.com weekend vote: When is the last time you listened to music via a CD?

March 4, 2016, 10:33 AM · Forget vinyl, cassettes, CDs -- a lot of us pluck our on-demand music from thin air these days -- from the Cloud, from Spotify, etc.

Of course, CDs (and even vinyl) remain something that we can buy and collect, tangible objects that bring us music and also have liner notes, photos and illustrations to bring us closer to the artists who made it.

CD rack

While I listen to a lot of music through my phone's various music-providing apps and procure new music through my computer, I still do have a CD collection.

My teenage kids -- I think they barely have a dozen CDs between the two of them, and most of those would be mixes made by friends. Digital natives that they are -- they are virtuosos with various apps and seem to be able to call up any kind of music in any genre, at any time, anywhere.

Recently I wanted to listen to a CD, and I realized that I needed to hunt down the one remaining CD player in my household. I hadn't used it in a while, so I had to re-familiarize myself with the various buttons. Had it been that long?

It made me think, how much are people listening to CDs today? Let's have a vote!

Replies

March 4, 2016 at 06:11 PM · I said last week, but really it was the week before, in the car.

March 4, 2016 at 06:19 PM · I've more than 2000, and listen to some every day. My problem is to choose. I love them all the same. And they'll take them from me, only over my dead body.

March 4, 2016 at 07:03 PM · Even our CDs, of which I have a few hundred, are gradually getting ripped to a massive hard drive ("personal cloud") in the basement. This, some years after transferring a bunch of vinyl to CD!

I like the streaming services, but those monthly fees do add up. Maybe we should have a thread on streaming services. I like Rhapsody but every time they "upgrade" the app it becomes harder to use. And synchronizing with my daughter's MP3 player is a nightmare, something keeps going wrong and we have to reset the whole MP3 player and load up all of the songs again. Also searching on Rhapsody is very hard. If you want a certain person playing a certain concerto you cannot search for that in one step like you can on Spotify. But I like being able to use my music on my MP3 player too, which I do not think you can do on Spotify.

Another stream that I like is jazzradio.com.

March 4, 2016 at 08:27 PM · I like CDs because the sound quality of the CD player speakers is better than my phone/laptop. However, it is expensive to buy CDs. When I study a piece, I like to listen to 10 or more recordings by different performers. This is unfeasible with CDs, but Spotify allows you to create custom playlists. If you don't mind the ads, it's free. They do have a $4.99/month student subscription though, quite affordable for the amount of listening I do for school and pleasure.

March 4, 2016 at 09:11 PM · I also feel like, if I have the physical CD, should I have to pay a streaming service again to listen to it? But of course, then there is the problem is on the other side of that; artists not getting paid enough by the streaming services.

March 4, 2016 at 10:55 PM · I have been gradually ripping CDs into files for the phone, which is what I listen on the most often now. But I do also listen to CDs in the car now and again. It's great to have both, really. But I can foresee the day when I won't want to move all those CDs to the next house, nor find shelf space for them. During our last move in 2013, we already got rid of about 40% of the CDs then.

March 5, 2016 at 12:09 AM · I'm listening to a CD right now, Van Cliburn, Moscow Phil, Kondrashin, Rachmaninoff's Rhaps-pag. Fabulous.

I own it. Also Fabulous.

March 5, 2016 at 03:28 AM · I'm actually more likely to listen to an LP than a CD! I own several hundred CDs but they've all been ripped to iTunes so I generally listen to the recordings on my Mac or iPhone, but I have several hundred LPs that have never been digitized and if I want to listen to one of those recordings I need to play the disk. I actually have a CD player in my car that has never been used; its slot holds my iPhone mount!

March 5, 2016 at 05:02 AM · I do occasionally just buy a download album, especially if the liner notes come in a PDF.

Mostly I buy CDs and rip them to my LapTop and rotate them on to one of two MP3 players. One, I usually keep at home, contains mainly folk music, predominately Celtic, with the occasional rock of ages, I mean rock from my long ago past.

The other MP3 player, which I use both when waiting for kids, or watching sporting events, okay that's almost the same thing, and at home. This MP3 contains mainly Baroque and Classical, with a little Romantic music; predominately violin or wooden flute.

My wife bought her mother a new CD player for Christmas and bought us a replacement for my ancient device, which would rarely properly play the first piece on the CD.

I tested ours with one of my CDs so I could teach my mother-in-law how to use her's.

I will use a drone (tone) CD, or music-minus-one on a CD player if I'm practicing in the living room. Since my postural instability has become worse I mainly practice sitting on our tall bed. I have a speaker system from my old desktop in there with a AUX cable for the MP3 player.

I use the folk MP3 with cheap headphones when I use the exercise bicycle. I use the Western Art Music MP3 player if I'm unable to fall asleep and move to the recliner; with better headphones.

March 5, 2016 at 07:47 AM · I still listen to CD's from choice because of the superior sound quality. If I buy a download it has to be FLAC or better (no MP3's)and I burn to CD. I have copied most of my CD's onto my laptop (in FLAC format) and one day I will get a decent pre-amp which supports a direct link from the computer. But even playing from the computer sound card through my stereo system the sound is surprisingly good. Seems that the laptop sound quality is compromised by the speakers (no surprise) and the amplification. But the compressed formats used on Youtube, MP3 etc are no substitute for CD quality.

For my LP's I've gone vinyl -> cassete tape -> mini disk -> CD over the years - and some of them still sound amazingly good!

March 5, 2016 at 03:16 PM · I like having CDs. My brain likes to file away information in distinct and discrete amounts. Having an endless, open supply of music doesn't help me keep it all sorted. It's overwhelming.

Sound quality on a CD - with a good player - is better as well. I have issues with internet sound quality. I don't fully understand why it's 'good enough' for so many people, when they are so fussy in other regards...

However, I do have an iPod that I use(for work, etc.) - but even on that, I sort by CD.

I also like having CDs because of the music that is on it. If I buy a CD for one 'song'...and then take the time to listen to the other offerings on it...I generally expose myself to more variety which is a good thing. I have learned a lot by listening to the incidental music that is on a CD outside of the piece I was keying in on.

March 5, 2016 at 04:23 PM · Sometimes it's worth it to get away from all of the annoying ads and CDs do just the trick.

March 5, 2016 at 05:21 PM · Some CDs are unburnable, meaning you can't copy them to a hard drive . . .

March 6, 2016 at 10:38 PM · I must be one of the last remaining music collectors that has absolutely no music apps at all. Well, I have a Mac which has iTunes, but I never listen to anything on the computer. I still have a lot of vinyl but no working turntable so CDs are what I listen too.

Also, I don't have any Sirius or internet radio either. Just straight up AM/FM free radio. And I'm perfectly happy with that.

March 7, 2016 at 06:13 AM · My husband and I are like Patrick. The only CD's I listen to are borrowed from friends--mostly Scottish fiddle music teaching CD's.

March 7, 2016 at 03:08 PM · My car doesn't have an MP3 player, just CD and radio, so I listen to CD's regularly while driving.

March 7, 2016 at 03:33 PM · I like the permanence of cds. For important musical moments, I don't want to rely on the net, and prefer the better sound quality of hard media, too.

March 8, 2016 at 02:23 AM · I'm not exactly sure of when I last listened to a music CD, but I do remember it was one of two: It was either the recording of "Beethoven 10" I'd been given (I suspect that some of it was a few of Beethoven's sketches for the same passage, strung together in sequence) or of Christopher Gabbitas singing Horace Odes to the tune of the Do-Re-Mi plainsong (a CD that, again, I was given, in connection with a book I had read, "Horace's Odes and the Mystery of Do-Re-Mi" - Stuart Lyons does demonstrate that the tune predated Guido d'Arezzo and his sol fa/solfege and had previously been used for Horace's Odes. He has also demonstrated that the Odes were written to be sung. I don't think he's demonstrated conclusively that that particular tune goes back as far as Horace).

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