I found it funny that as you described not wanting to listen to music via the computer nearly as much as versus the CD player, I was thinking to myself that I feel the same way about listening to my CD player versus my turntable. (And then wrote the exact same thing!)
However, I do feel that CDs have their place.
(But that place is in my car.)
I agree with you that vinyl for me would easily be my first choice, but when music isn't available on vinyl, I would rather put an actual CD into the CD player than select it on iTunes. Must be my nostalgic side.
I am also a "physical" media guy. Never tried the computer route and right now, I really don't have any interest in it.
I love looking through my massive CD and LP library and picking out just the right music for my mood at the time. The LP cover art and liner notes will never be replaced or duplicated.
.... I don't even own a CD player anymore. Computers are better than just about every CD player under $3000, even then it is a tossup. As always it is about implementation with all the different types of media. But a computer (I like apple for audio) and a good DAC will run you around $3000 anyway.
I even think the new 96/24bit tracks are on pare with records but most would not.
My A.D.D. lets me surf through my music library much easier with a computer and DAC.
CD players are so yesterday.
CD players are so yesterday.
So are 1957 Chevy Bel Airs, but I'd love to own one!!
Computer front ends can be very nice when setup properly, however a high quaility CD Red book system can sound fabulous. There`s nothing "so yesterday" when it comes to good sound, simply choice.
My intent wasn't to debate which format was better, although we all know which one sounds the best. Hint: it doesn't involve 1's and 0's. I was merely expressing my preference for physical media instead of computer files. I think my music sounds just as good from my Mac into the USB port of my AMR CD player as compared to actual CDs.
I tried computer audio for awhile, and still really like streaming internet radio, but in the end I missed the ritual. And my 8-year-old just mastered the cd player, so it seems like the wrong time to make the switch! That said, I think my current cd player will be my last.
I get my "physical fix" from CDs and vinyl and my music listening from the computer files. I enjoy the physical sense of putting a disc into the CDP and an album on the turntable, but also the immediate satisfaction of cueing up an album via computer. With the right DAC the music just flows and it is worry-free. Choose your pleasure.
I get the whole physical media thing. I converted to discless playback about 2 years ago. My CDP collected dust for almost the entire year and a half I had it before I sold it.
Why does everyone assume you'll never see or buy a CD again if they go the computer route? iTunes sucks, and hardly anything I listen to is available in high-res. Even if that wasn't the case, I'd still buy everything in disc form.
I have all my CDs ripped to an external hard drive. The CDs are in a few easy to get to boxes in the basement. When the mood strikes me to dig out the CD, no problem. However, that mood has struck me far less often than I thought it would. After the first few listens with the liner notes in my hand, I get passed it. Why, I don't know.
So I guess I'm saying that you don't have to give up physical media when going the computer route. I keep all mine in case of a hard drive failure.
And for the record (no pun intended), I really miss my vinyl. It's also in the basement, due to my current apartment's layout. We've been here a year, and hopefully we won't be here too much longer, not that it's a bad place at all.
I went through the same thing ... I ripped everything to harddrive some time ago. I kept my disc collection at first, just for backup. Then I noticed after a while I was no longer listening to albums ... just tracks. I got sort of burned out on music for a time and quit listening altogether and then somewhere along the way, I started playing CD's again. I was sort of reborn and shortly after bought a turntable. I have been buying vinyl solid for 9 months now and I am really enjoying the sound of my setup and ritual of playing an album. I find I listen to the whole album if I go through the hassle of setting it up. I still listen to the computer but mostly vinyl and CD's. Turns out; I really like the labor involved in listening to music. I discovered that I am clearly a CD and LP collector. I would never part with my collection. I guess it's similar to stamps and bottle caps. I honestly wish I had a small room just for media storage. I have some pretty rare stuff along with lots of old discs that have followed me since my college days. I enjoy looking through the collection and finding some lost gem - then queuing it up. It really does take me back lots of old concert memories. I started sticking the ticket stubs in the CDs some time ago and have at least a hundred mixed in. I always get comments when people look through the collection. Yet another reason to wander through the shelves.
So I guess youre not alone
I guess some people like to go through "the Process" of starting their music. I agree a great TT setup is the way to go, but I enjoy having my entire CD collection a click away. With J River I can label my favorites as 5 stars and the player will shuffle play which I enjoy.
To each his own!!
I sold my vinyl years ago when I found a cdp I felt bettered the sound. Granted I didn't have a true high end analogue front end, but I wasn't willing to spend the money on it.
I grew up with vinyl but lost the appreciation of cueing up a record and watching the needle fall. Do miss the artwork of 12 inch lps.
About half of my cds are ripped to a hard drive which is connected to a Mac Mini. The convenience of this is amazing. For serious listening though, I go to the cdp. It sounds better and I can still get up and change cds.
To answer your last question, yes you are in the minority. And that minority is shrinking every day.
First of all I view this in a slightly different light than most of the respondents of this thread. Having been in the entertainment business for years prior to retirement. I approach any art form and that includes music that is downloaded via computer. My concerns are simple is the artist being compensated for thier work? via the computer downloads. None of us get to see what iTunes or any other music download entity is paying in royalties to the artist and the label.
I do not downlaod music from any source for the simple reason I am not totally convinced that the proper payments are being made to ASCAP or BMI. Without absolute proof of payments I will continue to boycott digital down loads.
In my day I shut down so many pirates and had them prosecuted to full extent of the law and took great pleasure in seeing their equipment totally destroyed. In short these are norhing more or less than thieves that threaten the entire music industry. Music is not free, never has been, it has to be paid for, like anything else.
I continue to buy CD and Vinyl albums through legitimate sources, to do less is a slap in the face of the artist, the label and the employees that work in the music industry. In fact it nothing more or less than outright theft. Most everyone here has been a victim of theft at one time or another in their lives and how did that make you feel? Violated of course, no difference than downloading music from a dubious source to satisfy ones current need to get the product they want for personal satisfaction.
If a viable solution is not reached, we can see the music industry going into oblivion. It is all to easy today to download and most all that do, don't give a rats ass of the people that make what you enjoy are truly being paid their hard earned royalty, that is the law by the waya Federal Law that is enforceable, I know that first hand.
Artist are only going to create when it is financially viable for them to do. Cut off their living and the music goes away, plain and simple.
i believe that a transport that doesn't spin the disc while it is playing is prefereable to a conventional cd player. the psaudio perfect wave transport is a perfect example of such a device.
Well said, Ferrari! I wholeheartedly agree! Let's "properly support" the musician's who provide us with means to enjoy our hobby.
If the sound quality is better with the computer audio system, why would you not sell the CD transport and move on?
If you are not getting a lot better SQ, then you may have made the wrong choices. This is just like selecting a cartridge for your tonearm. Critical decision and the enabler for quality digital audio.
Are these great sounding Computer/DAC systems connected via USB? Is that the only way? And, is it true that USB remains a compromised audio transfer of data to a DAC?
The people I know who have tried "memory DACs" find they are not as good as standard DACS.
Ferrari, I'm sure ASCAP and BMI are keeping a close eye on any legitimate download seller. I disagree about free music though. There has always been free music. We used to call it radio.
I don't have a computer set-up yet, but I'm looking forward to trying it. I'll keep my physical media. I've got a lot of stuff that's never going to make it to he-res download. I don't find the loading of discs or Lps to be enjoyable though. Must be all those albums I flipped over the years.
"Are these great sounding Computer/DAC systems connected via USB? Is that the only way? And, is it true that USB remains a compromised audio transfer of data to a DAC?"
Yes, USB. There are no technical compromises with USB, just some existing designs that are poorly executed. New technologies always have this effect. Think about the very first CD transport. Complete junk. Now CD transports are quite good because the designers have finally figured out that jitter matters etc.. Likewise some of us have figured out USB.
You can also get great results with networked WiFi devices and a reclocker, but these are typically limited to 44.1 and maybe 96. USB will do 24/192.
Both of these interfaces use packetized data bursts, buffering at the end-point and then establishing a new master clock. Once you have this, the details of the interface are less important.
Mr."T" was referring to a "memory transport", not a memory DAC. The memory transport spins the cd disc to retrieve the information, then basically "stores" it in bit perfect form prior to sending it via I2S to the DAC (no spinning discs, no lasers = less possibilities for mechanically induced jitter). It's a great concept that works very well.
i like both for different reasons. the convenience of computer audio can not be matched. i've rediscovered my cd collection since getting my pc based system up and running. tunes i haven't heard in years are now getting regular play time. playlists are a blast as is jumping around depending on what you're in the mood for.
that being said, i still prefer the sound when my perfect wave transport is spinning. when it comes to critical listening, cd's and dvd-a(hi res)are still my weapon of choice.even though 80% of my listening is done via streaming, my cd collection still occupies the bookcase a few feet away. no boxing up and storing away for me. i still love these archaic little discs.
regarding how i acquire my tunes....will only download hi-res music. everything else is still purchased on disc. don't see this changing anytime soon.
Personally I prefer a computer source, primarily for its ease of use. I don't enjoy getting up and changing a disc. Maybe I'm lazy.
One thing I didn't see mentioned so far is the space required for physical media. It can be difficult to accommodate thousands of discs/albums, especially if you don't have a large home. When I switched to a computer source and put all my cd's in the garage, I freed up a lot of space. I wish I could do the same thing for my movie collection, which is now at 1000+ titles. It takes up a lot of space and is not particularly attractive to look at.
The one physical medium I still cling to is books. Although I own a Kindle and use it often, I still prefer a hard copy of a book. Don't know why I have a double standard.
No! you definitely are not the minority. I like the idea of computer based music servers and their convenience, but. I am still buying the shinny little platters, I am like you I like the ritual and I like having something to hold on to, I guess I am just an old fashion guy. I am actually adding a new SACD player to my system, this will be platter spinner number three.
Likely, youre not in the minority, but certainly you - as well as many others - are "behind the times" and missing out on something that is truly hard to explain in writing.
Computer audio (USB and Network) has advanced to the point that the sound quality not only matches, but potentially exceeds the "old fashioned" CD transport protocols. This fact combined with the flexibility and near "miraculous" user-experience of having an entire library accessible via the touch of a button, leaves me literally amazed every time I listen to my system which is literally every night now that I have a music server setup.