Music on physical media? This is so last century.

by Volker Weber

Photo: vowe

Thomas* explains why he does not use the new Apple Ping service on iTunes. I don't use it either, but not for the same reason. Thomas says he buys his music on CDs and his music library mostly holds physical CDs. For me it has been almost four years since my CD collection was relegated to storage. A year ago I dragged them all out for The Big Rip. For many years I have been able to play my music in every room of our house, without any physical CDs to carry around. And I am listening to more music than ever. Which is quite a statement considering that I have been spinning records for ten years in a prior life.

During the last five years, my iPods have turned from music players into music controllers. They tell my ZonePlayers what to play. And often this is not music that I have ever had on a physical storage media like a CD. I use a lot as a source, as well as Deezer and more recently Wolfgang's Vault. I have been using the Napster service, but never subscribed to it. And I wish, Spotify would open up to a German audience, because my sound system will soon support it. Currently you need to be in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Netherlands or Sweden. If I were in the US, I'd probably also use Pandora a lot.

In toto, CDs are last century to me. They are the best medium if you want to give music away as a present. But there are so many other sources of music.

Sometimes people ask me if they should buy a new stereo or a Sonos sound system. My answer is pretty simple: it depends on how much money you have. You can either buy a stereo, and buy a Sonos later. Or you can buy a Sonos right away. ;-)

*) Not sure, why Thomas has a second Twitter account.



Have also ripped my entire music collection into mp3s because I don't want to physically own it, just listen to it.

I've even gone as far as using a NAS which is controlled via a NAS app on my iPhone, but most often I just use it the cheap way, aka opening the app on the phone, connecting it to the stereo system/amplifier and choosing an artist / station. This way, I won't even need mp3s (given that the future is streaming multimedia).

If I had enough funds, well then yes I would indeed go for a Sonos (as seen on TV/IFA - which reminded me of this blog because this vowe dude keeps on writing about his Sonos! :-).

As for Apple Ping: What took them so long & will I be able to use it on my 2G @ FW 3.1.2?

Juergen Eichholz, 2010-09-05

I like vinyl :-)

Armin Roth, 2010-09-05

Ach, many things to say about this. First of all: I have one "business" and one "personal" Twitter account. And this still makes so much sense for me that I'm gonna keep it that way.

Secondly, music on CDs is last century for sure. But I bought them all and I still like them. I also prefer flipping through liner notes in a real booklet over any digital alternative that I've seen so far (album art was much nicer with Vinyl, of course ;-)

Thirdly I like Sonos a lot, too. But I don't have a real need for it since I live in a flat and listen to my music mainly in one room. The stereo (a decent one) is loud enough to fill the rest, too. If I would live in a larger house where numerous zones would make more sense, I would go for Sonos as well. Even though it's no cheapo stuff after all.

I like the Last.fms of the digital world, too. Nice for some office background muzak sometimes. But most of the time I wanna listen to certain songs and not to something similar. So I'm still fine with my CD library.

And ripping them all to MP3? No time. This would be a major project for a sabbatical. And I don't have one planned for the foreseeable future. Also, I am still be unsure where to save them to. I do not have a (media) server in the house. Drobo is just as expensive as Sonos. And I haven't found another NAS that I find really compelling yet.

Last, but not least I don't want to pay nearly the same price for compressed music if I can get in full, uncompressed quality as well. I don't claim to be able to spot the difference between CD quality and 320 kbps MP3. It's more a matter of principle.

Or to cut a long comment short: Maybe I'm just a bit old-fashioned :D

Thomas Cloer, 2010-09-05

Why would you use the "professional" account to explain your choice of music media? ;-)

Volker Weber, 2010-09-05

After having not had a CD player in the house at all for the last 5 years, we got rid of all our CDs (about 600) and the three cupboards that stored them in the lounge a few weeks ago. All our music was on an AppleTV for the last 3 years, and now we have succumbed to vowe's relentless propaganda in favour of a Sonos + NAS set-up.

(I just hope we don't get hit by solar flares that wipe out our music - my wife would not be amused. We have lots of backups, but all are on magnetic media!).

John Keys, 2010-09-05

By 2013 you will be far away from British scientists. And you were rich enough to first buy something else. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2010-09-05

In 2013 I should also be in the service area of Spotify :-P

John Keys, 2010-09-05

What's your reason, not to use, or even try Ping?

Sven Richert, 2010-09-05

Why I don't use Ping? Because I don't "live" in iTunes.

Volker Weber, 2010-09-05

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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