Forums - Music Discussion - What's Your Favorite Music Format?

What's Your Favorite Music Format?

Online Streaming 16 34.78%
 
CDs 13 28.26%
 
MP3 13 28.26%
 
Vinyl Records 2 4.35%
 
Cassette Tapes 0 0.00%
 
8-Track 0 0.00%
 
Other 2 4.35%
 
Total:46

Spotify....

but i have vinyl collection :)



 

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Amazon Music streaming. Easier way to find all the music I want.



I just bought more CDs, in a store, EDM mixes in particular. Ironically a lot of the mixes consist of vinyl recordings. Uncompressed vinyl sound lol. I do still have some digital music saved on my ps3, Neowave trance mixes that aren't available in physical format on this side of the world. MP3 vinyl recordings.



CDs, due to portability, sound quality (at least before the "loudness war") and habit (they were the dominant format when I was a child).



I AM THE EGGMAN, THEY ARE THE EGGMAN... I AM THE WALRUS, GOO-GOO-G'JOB! ("I Am The Walrus", The Beatles)

The_Liquid_Laser said:

My preferred format is CDs.  It's the right balance of audio quality and convenience.  I used to be under the impression that vinyl was better quality than CDs, but several audiophiles have told me that they are basically equivalent in quality.  Basically vinyl is analogue and CD is digital, but those are the two high quality formats and the other formats are lower quality.  Anyway, I most listen to CDs in my car and they sound fantastic, and I also like having a physical music collection.

Pretty sure vinyl is the best sound quality you'll get, but CDs are high quality enough that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference, certainly not without some really good audio hardware.



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mZuzek said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

My preferred format is CDs.  It's the right balance of audio quality and convenience.  I used to be under the impression that vinyl was better quality than CDs, but several audiophiles have told me that they are basically equivalent in quality.  Basically vinyl is analogue and CD is digital, but those are the two high quality formats and the other formats are lower quality.  Anyway, I most listen to CDs in my car and they sound fantastic, and I also like having a physical music collection.

Pretty sure vinyl is the best sound quality you'll get, but CDs are high quality enough that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference, certainly not without some really good audio hardware.

Vinyl has its disadvantages as well

"All-analog" doesn't always happen: Many modern vinyl records are produced from digital masters, either recordings made natively in software such as Pro Tools or converted from tape before being sent along for mass production. When I visited Gonsalves, he was working on My Brightest Diamond's new album — from his computer. But analog-to-digital conversion (and vice versa) has come along quite a bit since the birth of the CD, and Gonsalves says he asks for high-definition, 24-bit files to master from if digital's the option.

Still, as artists and labels hop on the vinyl trend, some new vinyl releases may be mastered from CD-quality audio, not the high-resolution formats audiophiles and folks like Neil Young adore. Is a CD-quality album going to sound more accurate on vinyl than a CD? Nope. But it will sound more vinyl-y, if that's your preference.

"There's basically nothing you can do to make an hour-long album on one record sound good," Gonsalves said. Vinyl's capable of a lot, but only if the grooves are wide enough for the needle to track them properly. A longer album means skinnier grooves, a quieter sound and more noise. Likewise, the ear-rattling sounds of dubstep weren't really meant for your turntable. "If you had taken Skrillex into Motown Studios, they would've said, 'It's uncuttable!'" Gonsalves said, thanks to the strain the high-energy music would put on the needle's journey.

Vinyl can struggle with highs and lows: High-pitched frequencies (drum cymbals, hi-hats) and sibilance (think "s" sounds) can cause the ugly crackle of distortion, while deep bass panned between the left and right channels can knock around the needle. "It should basically be in mono," Gonsalves said. Otherwise, "that's a hard path for a needle to trace."

The beginning of an album side sounds better than the end: As the album's circumference shrinks toward the middle, the needle speed changes and it can't follow every millimeter of the groove. If the song that closes side A or B is a complicated one — say, one with a busy harmonica solo — it may well sound less than hi-fi. That's why those double-LPs are worth the extra flipping.

Surface noise: "The warm sound of the vinyl, that's a form of noise that you get from dealing with the lacquer material and having it go through this manufacturing process," Gonsalves said. The vinyl format can generate other issues: crackles and pops, records that skip and the whine of a needle against the LP, all problems that the CD advertised itself on solving decades ago. But for many, these sounds are just part of the vinyl experience, adding to the charm of a format that takes some extra effort — and often rewards it.


I prefer CD, mostly for 90's Techno / Trance. If I play that on a record player on my preferred volume, the needle would end up next to the turn table :) Fun fact, most of the CDs I enjoy are recordings of mixing from records, pops and crackles all captured during the more quieter parts. CD is the best record player!



SvennoJ said:

...

I prefer CD, mostly for 90's Techno / Trance. If I play that on a record player on my preferred volume, the needle would end up next to the turn table :) Fun fact, most of the CDs I enjoy are recordings of mixing from records, pops and crackles all captured during the more quieter parts. CD is the best record player!

That was definitely a more scientific post than mine.

I've got a few traumatic experiences with CDs, but none with vinyl. Because I've never used vinyl. Those flimsy CD cases break so easily, and the discs themselves can be quite delicate too. I'll admit I'm not the most careful person in the world, but I've had CDs I've taken good care of end up all scratched and awful to listen to.

Nowadays, I'm going full digital. Buying music in 24-bit FLAC when possible. The worst thing that can happen to digital files is your HDD breaking, not a problem if you make a backup before that happens. Not like hard drives break all the time anyway.



mZuzek said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

My preferred format is CDs.  It's the right balance of audio quality and convenience.  I used to be under the impression that vinyl was better quality than CDs, but several audiophiles have told me that they are basically equivalent in quality.  Basically vinyl is analogue and CD is digital, but those are the two high quality formats and the other formats are lower quality.  Anyway, I most listen to CDs in my car and they sound fantastic, and I also like having a physical music collection.

Pretty sure vinyl is the best sound quality you'll get, but CDs are high quality enough that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference, certainly not without some really good audio hardware.

This is what I mean by basically equivalent.  Not only is my equipment not top of the line, but even if it was, I don't think my ears are good enough.  I do think there are some people who have very discerning hearing, but I think these people tend to end up musicians or at the very least audiophiles.  The average listener, like me, couldn't really tell the difference.

On the other hand, I can tell the difference between CD and other formats.  Cassettes and MP3s don't sound good enough to me.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 02 June 2020

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mZuzek said:
SvennoJ said:

...

I prefer CD, mostly for 90's Techno / Trance. If I play that on a record player on my preferred volume, the needle would end up next to the turn table :) Fun fact, most of the CDs I enjoy are recordings of mixing from records, pops and crackles all captured during the more quieter parts. CD is the best record player!

That was definitely a more scientific post than mine.

I've got a few traumatic experiences with CDs, but none with vinyl. Because I've never used vinyl. Those flimsy CD cases break so easily, and the discs themselves can be quite delicate too. I'll admit I'm not the most careful person in the world, but I've had CDs I've taken good care of end up all scratched and awful to listen to.

Nowadays, I'm going full digital. Buying music in 24-bit FLAC when possible. The worst thing that can happen to digital files is your HDD breaking, not a problem if you make a backup before that happens. Not like hard drives break all the time anyway.

You mean skipping or cutting out with CDs? It can't sound bad, it's full on or full off with digital :p (Perhaps with a bad player with lousy error correction) I only have one CD (out of many many) that skips in one place, I bought a new copy. Not sure how you scratch CDs if you take good care of them? Crappy player?

CD cases suck indeed, LP covers don't last either. I mostly remember LPs for getting in trouble scratching the record while dropping the needle trying to get it on the track I wanted to hear. Or dust/hairs getting hung up on the needle.

Best sound to me is DTS-HD MA properly mixed in lossless 24 bit 5.1 / 7.1. Movie soundtracks never sound as dynamic on CD (or any other format). However I don't have a blu-ray player in the car, nor a 600 watt 5.1 surround system.