V.com weekend vote: How many CDs are currently in your possession? and when is the last time you listened one?

March 17, 2017, 11:48 AM · Last night I spent way too much time with a pile of CDs, trying to figure out what to keep, what to give away, how to store it all, and in a few moments of frustration, whether or not I could find a way to digitize the whole entire thing.

The problem is, the time that it take to digitize the whole thing! And also, those lovely booklets.

I definitely have mixed feeling about CDs. They take up so much room! And yet, I find myself unable to cull them. I actually do use them, I have an old CD player in my studio, and I often play things for students when they are working on a piece. It's nice to be able to pull out a recording of, say, Rostropovich playing a Bach suite, hand the booklet to the student, and say, "so this is where that piece in your book originally come from..."

I could do the same on the computer, but there's something about having a physical "library" that makes me feel like I'm surrounded with wonderful music, performers, information in the form of liner notes...Yes, I can find it on Google, but it's not "my library."

What are your thoughts on CDs. How many do you have? Do you have any at all? And are they gathering dust, or do you actually take them out and play them? Do you get new ones ever? Tell us your thoughts!


and....

Replies

March 17, 2017 at 09:20 PM · I have a pile of old CDs I haven't looked at in a few years.

March 17, 2017 at 10:10 PM · Wow!!! Double-vote! Cool.

I was doing some cooking just this past weekend and decided to pop in a CD of John O'Conor playing Beethoven piano sonatas. That's one of my boxed sets and I really love it. When you're a little stressed out it's hard to beat the combination of cooking and early Beethoven.

CDs: No glitches and no ads featuring "Flo".

March 17, 2017 at 10:12 PM · I listen to CD's every day. I still buy them too. You didn't give us enough options for the "When did you last listen...?" question. On the other hand, I don't have a computer at home, just a smart phone.

March 17, 2017 at 10:15 PM · I pretty much only listen to CDs in the car nowadays. I find that when I'm at home, even if I have something in itunes I'll go to youtube to listen to it first.

March 18, 2017 at 01:20 AM · I find that you can find tons of versions of one piece on youtube. That's why I like it.

March 18, 2017 at 01:50 AM · Often listen to CDs though finding a quality CD player nowadays is becoming rather difficult if not impossible, hence why I digitized my 400+ CD collection, all of which fits on a single micro flash drive that I use in the car, and uploaded it all on Onedrive to access it anywhere whenever I want.

March 18, 2017 at 02:11 AM · I listen to cdS in the car. I love classical music. I hope cdS never go out of style.

Glorria najhawan

March 18, 2017 at 02:15 AM · The vote menu is absurd. For the first vote, "how many CDs do you have?", the highest choice is "more than 201." I guess my approx 6,000 CDs would be "more than 201." For the 2nd vote, "when was the last time you played one?", the most recent vote choice is "last week," which for me could easily have been RIGHT NOW or at least "today." I buy as many as I can afford every month, virtually all classical.

I still recall in the days when I collected LPs, how I wished for a format that wouldn't scratch and skip and sound dusty. When the CD came out, I was the first in my college dorm to have a player. I still recognize the CD was my wish come true and I still have my very first CD, still in mint condition, purchased in 1985: Stravinsky's Firebird (complete) by the Detroit Symphony under Antal Dorati. And yes, every year or two I play it.

March 18, 2017 at 02:39 AM · Oh yeah .. the Dorati/DSO sound. Instantly recognizable, like CSO under Fritz Reiner.

March 18, 2017 at 02:40 AM · I have a large collection (between 1000 and 2000 CDs), but I have been unable to listen to them for a long time because my CD player is broken. I have some old but very good speakers hooked up to my computer, and that's how I listen to music when I'm at home. Until recently I had my entire CD collection on my iTunes on my computer, but then iTunes kicked my copies of my CDs off of my iTunes. I think they want me to be able to listen only to what I've bought recently from them. The digital forms of my CDs (mp3s, wmas, etc.) are still on my computer, but they are terribly disorganized. They are scattered in folders throughout my computer, and some of them I just can't find. Some are corrupted, missing a few tracks or having duplicates or triplicates of each track. I have been finding, cleaning up, and copying all my music files to my current iTunes. This is very time consuming. I have to convert all the wmas to mp3s, but fortunately there are free downloadable apps which can do that. My biggest problem is the CDs which I can't find in digital form on my computer. Some, but not all, of these recordings can be downloaded from Youtubes. What a terrible time for my CD / DVD player to die! My misfortune is even worse because my player stopped working just after the warranty expired. Aaaargh! I'm glad that I have all my CDs and that I organized them well and stored them in CD notebooks along with their printed pamphlets. Now I desperately need a new CD player so that I can listen to and digitize all my CDs.

Now I have a request for advice. My current plan is for redundancy: keep all my CDs, digitize them, store them on my computer, back up the digital versions, and copy them to the current version of iTunes on my desktop. I want to be prepared for the next time that the marketing geniuses at iTunes do something else that will make trouble for me. If I digitize and back up my CDs, what electronic player can I use to listen to them? As a dedicated but weary music lover, I'd appreciate your good advice.

March 18, 2017 at 03:11 AM · Will Wilkin, I, too, still have and, when possible, still listen to my old CDs dating back to 1985.

March 18, 2017 at 04:04 AM · Thousands of classical-music CDs, predominantly violin music. Also have LPs and 78rpm records.

March 18, 2017 at 05:15 AM · I appreciate the opportunity to share my love of CDs. However, I was disappointed in the choices for when I last listened to one. By selecting last week, even though I listened to one today, it does not reflect the true frequency of my listening habits, which are 7 days a week. I could no more throw away a CD than I could a book. I will donate them once I am certain I'll never listen to them again. But my core collection (over 100) has been in tact for decades. I rarely buy new ones unless I have thoroughly researched the artist and the material. My recent acquisitions are Anne Akiko Myers, Nicola Benedetti, and Josh Bell.

March 18, 2017 at 08:11 AM · Pauline - 'If I digitize and back up my CDs, what electronic player can I use to listen to them? ' By 'electronic player' do you mean computer software? If so, VLC media player or SMPlayer are both free and will play almost any format, audio or video. Not sure if they are available on Mac's but definitely on Windows. I would recommend FLAC format rather than MP3, as you get good compression and no loss of sound quality.

Will - 'how I wished for a format that wouldn't scratch and skip and sound dusty'. My sentiments exactly - I actually stopped buying LP's even before CD's came out. Like you I still have my first CD - Mozart symphonies 39/41 - Colin Davis and the Dresden orchestra. And it's still one of my favourites.

Agree about limited choices for responses. I probably have around 250 CD's (more than 201 but nowhere near 6000!), plus various 'official' (and paid for) downloads from Hyperion, BSO etc. Mainly orchestral and chamber music. I try to listen to something most days, usually CD but I also use Youtube - although the sound quality is sometimes intolerable. I tend to use it as a 'try before you buy' - If it's really good I will buy the CD (if it's available) to get the better quality sound. Like Annabel, I actually buy very few now (limited budget) - mainly Hilary Hahn in recent times.

March 18, 2017 at 01:41 PM · I have over 3000 CD's and still buy them - I have bought some on iTunes but I find it just so boring as a consumer experience, there is just some file in my computer instead of having an actual physical object with liner notes and photos - I have the same problem with kindle, I enjoy much more to buy a Physical paper book.

March 18, 2017 at 03:53 PM · Well over a thousand cds, several of which I listened to last night. Plus some old, treasured LPs and a few dozen cassette tapes (mainly concert recordings from live radio broadcasts) to which I listen two or three times a year. Old but reliable technology - you can't beat it!

March 18, 2017 at 06:52 PM · I inherited over 600 CD's and listen to one every day in my car. finally got them organized in a 6 foot swivel CD holder. If I really don't care for one of them, I donate it to the library. Most of them are classical music.

March 18, 2017 at 09:56 PM · One problem with converting CDs to MP3 files is that the software wants to "help you organize" them by storing them in some weird location on your hard drive with some file name that is not the same that you entered in the software. I had this problem back when I was using Rhapsody, and Windows Media Player is not much better.

Pauline wrote, "My biggest problem is the CDs which I can't find in digital form on my computer." I feel her pain.

Go to the main "search" feature of your computer and just search for all your MP3 files. Once they are all listed there you can move them all, at once, into a single folder elsewhere on your computer and then start organizing them from there. Or if you want to copy them instead, you can copy them to a new folder or onto a new USB2.0 or USB3.0 external hard drive and keep them there. A decent solution for many people is to by something called a "personal cloud" which is just a network-ready hard drive that you can plug directly into your router with a network cable. I think WD has one that's 4 TB for under $200. This can be accessed from anywhere. And as long as you only put MP3 files on it, not personal info, who cares if someone hacks it?

And by the way if your laptop has a CD player you can play them back there and possibly send the audio to your stereo by Bluetooth. Of course, all of that costs money.

Poor Laurie. How could she possibly know that some of us have hundreds of thousands of CDs stored in warehouses that we're renting down by the river ...

Seriously, anything over a couple of hundred means that you were, at least at some point, significantly invested in that particular storage medium. That's true whether it's 200 or 20,000.

March 18, 2017 at 11:55 PM · When I voted a year beginning 20**, I forgot about the sermons on CD that I listened to in the car. I assume, though, you meant music CDs?

March 19, 2017 at 12:45 AM · My small collection (about 244) is all ensconced on an MP3 player and I listen just about every day, while doing the puzzles in the local paper.

I agree that the location is not always where it should be...sort-of a built-in Random Play mode, but still so much easier than playing the actual CDs..and with good earphones, the fidelity is great.

March 19, 2017 at 04:30 AM · I have over 2000 Cds (I used to be a reissue producer at BMG Classics) and I listen to them all the time. My favorites are downloaded onto my computer and iPod. But I have a collector mentality so I like having the Cds. I had a beautiful maple CD "cabinet " built with slide out draws, but the front of the drawers have only a small lip, enough to keep the cd from falling out, so I can see the covers about 80 CDs. The cool complete Stravinsky box set, Mahler set, Heifetz, Rubinstein, Oistrakh, and other nice photos I place in front which makes the the room look beautiful.

March 19, 2017 at 06:06 AM · I have over 3000 classical cds (two shelving units rated 1080 CDs each, plus a third unit full of boxed sets), mostly violin, viola, cello, piano, chamber, orchestral. Listening to CDs most every day, on higher-end player, amp w Natural Sound Pure CD Direct, and nice Wharfedale speakers - great range, detailed soundstage, beautiful depth. Currently in the process of archiving whole collection in FLAC, Apple Lossless, and 320kHz MP3 using Phile Audio and iTunes.

Also have over 200GB of tracks on my iPhone, from Apple Music, for plane/car trips, sound delivered via good, wired headphones - yum! In a pinch, reluctantly using bluetooth. When I come across a good album on Apple Music, I purchase the CD - it supports the artist, and I like the booklet info/art. Plus, streaming/downloads vs. CDs on a good system is like settling for junk food instead of fine dining+wine - why??? Life's already too short...

March 19, 2017 at 07:27 AM · Cds are permanent & I can respect artists by buying them. Everything on net is subject to legal & personal whim...here today, gone tomorrow.

March 19, 2017 at 08:28 AM · I'm glad my car is old enough to still have a CD player. That's where I listen to them, in true Hi Fidelity. Well, except when driving over cobblestones...

March 19, 2017 at 09:45 AM · I have a couple of thousand CDs and I still get new ones (most recently: Ehnes' Paganini and Hindemith Quartets). Problem with so many is a lot of them get buried and you really have to search hard.

Nothing however beats the real thing, a live concert or recital.

March 19, 2017 at 12:52 PM · I built a dedicated music library with 5TB of storage that reads the info from the disk and automatically catalogues it, uses a regex-based filter to generate a playlist for whatever I'm in the mood for. I guess it doesn't count as use of CDs, but its library is derived exclusively from CDs.

March 19, 2017 at 08:27 PM · Dimitri I guess the Appian Way is out of the question then ...

March 19, 2017 at 09:21 PM · FLAC is the way to go! Thousands of km away from my home, with my complete CD library in my pocket.

March 19, 2017 at 10:06 PM · I have over 3000 classical cds (two shelving units rated 1080 CDs each, plus a third unit full of boxed sets), mostly violin, viola, cello, piano, chamber, orchestral. Listening to CDs most every day, on higher-end player, amp w Natural Sound Pure CD Direct, and nice Wharfedale speakers - great range, detailed soundstage, beautiful depth. Currently in the process of archiving whole collection in FLAC, Apple Lossless, and 320kHz MP3 using Phile Audio and iTunes.

Also have over 200GB of tracks on my iPhone, from Apple Music, for plane/car trips, sound delivered via good, wired headphones - yum! In a pinch, reluctantly using bluetooth. When I come across a good album on Apple Music, I purchase the CD - it supports the artist, and I like the booklet info/art. Plus, streaming/downloads vs. CDs on a good system is like settling for junk food instead of fine dining+wine - why??? Life's already too short...

March 20, 2017 at 04:06 AM · I have well over 500 CDs, haven't counted recently. I've ripped them all into iTunes although I may go back and redo them in a lossless format when I have time. These days I typically only buy new CDs if a download's unavailable or if I'm at a concert where I can buy directly from the performer, or if I know the liner notes will be of interest.

March 20, 2017 at 03:23 PM · I'm now definitely wishing I'd had a category for "more than 1,000"! I'd say I have maybe 300, and it seems like a lot! At last though, I've found good storage for them and no longer feel like they are an invasive species. I even have room for more! ;)

March 20, 2017 at 04:54 PM · My 2K REVOX CD player crapped ou after 25 years,t, and I called the audio store asking for a replacement, and was told "why do you want to replace.......Check out TIDAL. The selection is amazing, even for classical. For 10.00 a month you get mp3 level quality access. For 20.00 per month, you get CD quality access. You can hook up your computer to the stereo. Or if you are an audiophile, buy an ELAC box for 1K, and it sounds as good a a 1000.00+ CD player. Now you can compare the performances of all the different violin concertos, batch sonatas, etc.....We just moved, my 800 cds are still in moving boxes, and I think that is where they will stay.....

March 20, 2017 at 04:58 PM · Laurie, you also neglected to include questions about laser discs (and 8-tracks?)! Lost the collection to Hurricane Katrina, but we had over 500 records, as many CDs, lots of laser discs, and about 200 cassettes, some of which still played in 2005. Even had the Heifetz briefcase. I guess things are more portable now, but I miss pictures and liner notes.

March 20, 2017 at 09:21 PM · I think streaming services should give you a link to the original liner notes.

March 22, 2017 at 05:55 PM · Well I'm embarrassed. I have about 200 in boxes in my closet. There is no room for them in my bookcase, but I wish there was. Perhaps another bookcase in my room where there is a blank wall. I could put them there. Problem is I'm pretty fussy about book cases. No wobbly flea market finds for me. The bookcases I buy cost over $400. To spend that much on a CD case.....huummm...

I feel terrible every time I open the closet door to pick out clothes to make the fashion statement of the day, only to see those lonely CDs sitting there on the floor. Perhaps this article has awakened me to bring them out!!!!

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