When I have seen people listing their systems lately
I have noticed a lot of people using conventional CD players and SACD players. I remember being at an Audiophile club meeting a couple of years ago and the owner of the store claiming conventional CD players were dead and obsolete.
Are conventional players gaining in popularity nowadays or are they just stalling till digital becomes more standardized.
Any deviation from Redbook means a new format. New players, new software (discs). It’s a vicious circle - in order for a new format to succeed, people have to buy both enough of the discs And enough of the players. If not enough people are buying the discs, they will forget about making the players and/or if not enough players are being sold, they will forgo making the discs.
From what I can see SACD is dead, as is bluray audio and possibly DSD....I dunno what could be next...until the music industry finally breaks down and embraces downloads, presumably that’s coming eventually, but when...who knows.
I believe that most people who want a CD or SACD player has one by now. Digital, however, is just getting started and so it has a higher growth trajectory. It reminds me that it's the same with CDs. They say that CD sales are falling off but how could they not fall off when they have been around for more than three decades. Again, anyone who wants a specific CD probably already has it. Also, there are "used record/CD stores" whose sales are not recorded as new sales, although they are for the buyers who frequent them.
In summary, the music business is trying to find new ways to separate the consumer from their money. They know that the CD market, including the players and the CDs themselves are almost exhausted. So, now there's digital downloads, music servers, etc.. I have decided that cassettes, CDs, and records are as far as I want to go to chase music. So, when a stereo store owner says that CD is dead, he simply means that he hopes that his customers will abandon their CD players and begin buying the next big thing- digital. Sorry if that sounds cynical but unfortunately, it's true!
I think what the storeowner was saying was that computer audio and music servers are taking over for the standalone CD/SACD player--I know that one of my dealers in NJ only used a computer for digital demonstrations. However, there are dinosaurs like me who still like to put CDs and SACDs into drawers, and handle vinyl (and at least in my case are too intimidated or lazy to learn how to use our computers and downloads). Also, those of us with large collections of vinyl and silver discs might not have the time or the inclination to store them in a computer. Just my $.02.
Personally, I couldn't care less what the market is doing or where it's going. I have a good SACD player and a large collection of CDs and SACDs, and they do the job for me. If that means my head is stuck in the sand, then so be it: let it be stuck. As long as the sound is acceptable and the music good, I don't care how old and supposedly antiquated the technology might be in the eyes of some. Long live physical media!
I have collection of CD, SACD. And I am using Oppp95 to play *iso SACD on DVD-R. I also use Foobar2000 to play SACD *iso with Fiio X3 2nd as external USB DAC. Used Tidal for a two month trial and really like it though the price a bit high.
The UK market for LP’s continued after it had declined greatly in the U.S. Looks like the same is happening with CD/SACD. Maybe Brits and Europeans don’t feel like they have to be the first on their block to get the latest gadget the way we Americans tend to. I didn’t get an SACD player until last year, and am now buying SACD discs of music that both matters a great deal to me and feature particularly good sound.
Personally, I couldn’t care less what the market is doing or where it’s going. I have a good SACD player and a large collection of CDs and SACDs, and they do the job for me. If that means my head is stuck in the sand, then so be it: let it be stuck. As long as the sound is acceptable and the music good, I don’t care how old and supposedly antiquated the technology might be in the eyes of some. Long live physical media!
Wow, I didn’t intend that to be a rant! :)
That’s not a rant. Simple truth of the matter. I would rather have physical media myself.
CDs are not dead nor are the players with Aphiles. I do not happen to think marketing is bad, perverse, evil, or creating some sort of need and desire not already hard wired into our humanness. Marketers are people and companies are people. We are all the same and flawed from birth. Don't blame marketing or our system or our country for consumerism that some feel is beyond reasonable. It is our fault both individually and shared, that is if you wish to say it is indeed something to judge as fault.
I am sticking with CDs for now. The next thing with potential is Meridian MQA (Master Quality Assured). I have talked to speaker designers with great ears and they feel that many good current CD players beat all current computer formats but that companies are bringing computer formats to shows because it is easier to bring a depth of catalog than lugging around physical media and it makes them look state of the art modern. I strongly prefer a physical medium for sound quality, not having to mess with computers when I am relaxing, and not having to rely on delicate storage options.
Best of both worlds. Physical media I have. Thousands of vinyl and CD. Diving into the world of a music sever (Music Vault) for the purpose of streaming TIDAL and new music, I discovered an unintentional and much appreciated bonus. I've ripped over a thousand CDs into the MV. And while using the JRiver shuffle setting I'm DISCOVERING so much music I already own. In addition, it is my experience that the ripped version actually sounds better than the CD played through the Esoteric K-03. (no transport slouch) Finally I'm using the DAC of the Esoteric for both source options. I still find SACD through the Esoteric to be the very best digital. So I'm a luddite on the fence. I still buy CD and vinyl. I rip CDs immediately to the server. And I listen to TIDAL on occasion. Got to,go... ... time to flip the album...
16/44.1 is not literally perfect. It may be good enough (or even overkill) for the intended purpose (human listeners), but it's still an approximation of the signal. No analog or digital reproduction can claim to be "literally perfect".
Had you not included the "literally". I'd probably have skipped this reply, because your point is taken
I have a PS audio DS, and I have been with computer based audio since 2004. Guess what I noticed that the music coming out of my Sony 5400es satisfy me the most. I buy used CDs regularly in Amazon even when I can listening on tidal. Tidal is convenient and the best quality streaming source but I still prefer the CD quality. Nothing is written on stone yet related to format it is all very subjective, connected to convenience and the music you own. I am not planning to sell my Sony anytime soon. Yes I use foobar with windows flac files, audirvana, iTunes with AIFF, and vinyl on my VPI. My 2 cents.
I log many hours each week listening to tracks on my music server. 90% of my listening time. I rip all new CDs to server up front. Have not played a cd since about 2009. CDs are fine but listening off a music server with good streaming software takes things to a whole new level. No going back once there.
+1 mapman and papermill. I buy CDs, rip 'em to my MVault, then use the CDs in my car. Four basic reasons:
Convenience, which to me means a lot. No lost or mis-filed CDs.
No need to keep buying new disc players. High quality one's ain't cheap and the availability of replacement drives is not assured.
MVault is totally upgradable in terms of hardware and software, expandable storage and auto-duplicates the files w RAID storage. It's not a proprietary box like the Olive or Aurender or Antipodes. We all know what happened w Olive.
I've duplicated many of my flac files onto micro SD cards to play on my A&K portable when I travel.
Swamp I use Plex app for remote play. It can access my server at home or download local copies of files though I have not leveraged that feature yet. Also creates playlists of similar tracks like Pandora or of music of a particular mood with dozens of moods to choose from. Plus artist bios and links to album reviews on all music.com.
Mapman I agree and do same..love the server when it works ( NAIM).. keep the Cd as a third backup after the RAID my ten year old mac Cd with a killer cable to same dac is not even close to the server RIP in WAV... but to be fair the server is 2 X the Cdvplayer €
I tried to migrate from CD to master stereo downloads, but my genre of music is rarely available for download. I already started a thread "rare song paid download sites", but seems nobody knows where can I find new age music or soundtracks, or music remix by Eric Levi, Thomas Bergerson, composers : John Barry. J. William, Han Zimmer etc..
I have enough storage space for my remaining 1500 vinyls in my 900sq ft condo now that I've switched to an inflatable mattress in the living room. Good thing I thinned out 3K on my moves, sleeping on patio is is rough on an old man in MN winter !
I started with .wav several years back. I liked .wav because it was native CD format. Tagging and artwork was basic and limited but sufficient with Logitech Squeeze system.
I investigated making the change about a year or so back as part of testing out Plex as a replacement for Logitech Squeeze system. Newer software like Plex tends to have more features that can make use of more extended and flexible tagging.
That trend continues to evolve. .wav is basic and limited with tags.
So i experimented with FLAC at first versus wav to see if I heard any difference. I did not so I proceeded to batch convert all my files to flac and start using Plex. I still use Squeeze with Flac as well but that system is legacy and no new versions or features coming out. So I will leave it behind eventually.
I use Plex and Squeeze both currently with flac. No difference in sound quality that I can detect and Plex + flac works well, even with the free version of Plex. I deleted my archived .wav files after a while once I felt sure I would have no need to go back.
I have pretty good ears and a resolving system I think and can detect most any change I make like with wires, power, etc. But I detect no difference really between FLAC and .wav. Nor should there be if things done right technically. FLAC is compressed but lossless and system must convert to PCM (.wav format essentially) to play, so as long as all is working well nothing to fear based on my experience.
My advice is take it one step at a time and see what works for you. There could be differences case by case for many reasons. No two people or systems work the same, so you gotta do what works best for you.
I ran into the same situation as mapman. I had all my CD's ripped as wav. Due to the non-existent tagging options in WAV, I was forced to manually add each CD into the windows media player database. Basically rip a CD, load windows media player, add the new CD folder to the library, and use the lookup to "tag" the folder as an album.
This worked fine once my collection was ripped. But, what I was doing is storing the data in a database that only Windows Media Player could use
instead of storing the data in the music files.
One day my boot/OS drive died on me which was no big deal since my music files were on another drive. I got a replacement drive, and re-loaded windows. I then launched Windows Media Player and added my music folder to the library. Instead having a thousand nice and neat albums, I had a single album with 15K songs. When my boot drive died, I also lost the Windows Media Player database. All the work was lost.
Yes, in the end it is best to have all "static" tags and album art embedded in the file and use a open and non-proprietary file format like FLAC rather than any vendor proprietary one. That keeps you from being setback should you choose to use something new or different to play.
It also makes life easy to restore your library from a similar backup in case the drive dies or other disaster strikes. I’ve been through that too. So many more things can go wrong or change if music and all related info is not all stored in the same file. Its best to store teh most important info that will not change much if over over time in the file ("static" tags like title, artist, album art, etc.) and then let the various software used to play pull in other supplemental information that may change over time via live web connection dynamically, things like linking to external resources like allmusic for artist bios or album reviews, lyrics, wikipedia articles or any related content that evolves grows, changes and gets better hopefully over time.
Companies like Apple Microsoft and the others all do whatever they can get away with to try to lock customers into their systems and believe me Apple in particular can get away with a lot these days. Used to be more Microsoft.
I think stand alone CD Players are mostly dead, but I don't think the Redbook CD format is dead. I differentiate CD players from universal disc players that player SACD, CD, DVD, and Blu Ray.
My old standby player was a Rotel RCD-950. Having an IT background, I always have more computers laying around than I need. Back in 2009 I decided to rip a bunch of music using EAC into wav, and compare the sound quality to my CD Player. My PC was connected to my Rotel RSX-1056 receiver with an optical digital cable, and my CD was connected with the usual analog RCA cables.
Had the same song playing on both systems and synced up. I could barely tell any difference between the two when switching between sources. I then brought my wife in and had her listen as I switched back in forth. On a few different songs she thought the PC source sounded better. At that point I ripped all my Cd's to files and have never looked back.
To this day I still buy some CD's. They are simply used to rip into FLAC, and then are put in storage out of sight. Personally, I can never see going back to having racks of CD's in the living room, plucking a CD from the shelf, putting the disc in the player, and pressing play. I play vinyl when I want that level of interaction. I have purchased a few high def music files if I'm sure they were not upsampled from redbook, but I still buy lots of CD's.
About six years ago, I gained the ability to rip cds and HD tracks to a hard drive and to have these digital tracks passed onto dacs capable of playing them. For several years I retained the cd players I had, main OPPO models with mods.
As long as my music servers worked properly, there was no question that they were far superior. When they were not working, I had to revert to vinyl as I sold the cd players. I still have a universal player, but don't use it as the sound is just no good.
I really think that downloads are the wave of the future, but I do know several guys that live with streaming, but I find them unlistenable. I retain all of my many thousands of cds, as ripping is getting better. I own about 500 SACDs and have had most of them transferred to DSD rips.
In all cases where I have a cd and a DSD of a recording as well as an album, The double native DSD play back is far superior and, of course, most convenient.
I grew up with physical media and, gratefully, have held on to my lps, cassettes and cds along with the devices to play them. I've no problem with most folks using a computer/variant as source. Just not gonna move on from what I have. Much new music continues to show up on cd from artists I enjoy, and I've generally had good luck buying used lps.
I'm so tired of reading "SACD is dead". I've got over 100 of them and Arkivmusik lists over 2500 titles for sale and dozens of new ones every week. Perhaps it's just we Classical Music lovers and the Japanese market but that appears to be enough of a critical mass to keep the format going. I much prefer SACD to downloads. Pop the disc in, out comes high res music. No fiddling with computer nonsense. I do enough of that at work and when I want to chill at home I have great sound without having to worry about my internet connection, without having to do the daily computer update or have Apple try to sell me anything. I think download sales are peaking. People are either streaming or sticking with Physical Media.
I stream to find new music. Once found I buy the CD. I rip the CD to both a MACBook Pro and MAC Mini as AIFF. ALso have a disc spinner and use it often when not wanting to boot computer. I like to own physical copies, as this is the way I have bought music since I was 16 (50 years ago).
One thing I should mention, i have several systems and use the Macbook Pro as the source for all but my main system. Great to be able to take your entire music library with you.
I just realized that my last post was my 2nd here with basically the same message. This being my third, I think it is time for me to go listen to some music. I often tell my friends that I can be quite self effacing, however in their company that attribute is not required.
Based on my personnel experience, CD player is the most simple and effective way to listen to your audio system. Yes, the CD shops down here have limited albums, however the format is still alive and good. Still many audio manufacturer is releasing new models to support current demand and I believe new format has to be something convenient like CD format to totally replace Red-book players, till then let us enjoy with shining discs.