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In what format do you buy your music most often?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / October 19, 2006 7:54 AM PDT

In what format do you buy your music most often?

Tapes (where do you find them?)
MP3s, etc. (which music service?)
Other (what is it?)
I don't buy music

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I rarely buy; I "rent"...
by John.Wilkinson / October 19, 2006 8:08 AM PDT

I go the subscription route (WMA DRM), where each month a fee is paid so that I can download as much music as a I want along with the associated licenses. Of course the licenses expire rendering the music unplayable if the subscription ever lapses, so I don't own the songs, but that's fine by me particularly since I'm not the one paying the subscription fees. Happy

When I do purchase songs it is usually by CD, which I rip to my computer and sync with my PDA. However, I still have plenty of records, cassette tapes, etc laying around that I am converting to digital format.


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by jmarkar / October 19, 2006 7:48 PM PDT

Itunes did it first and they deserve the loyalty for a bit longer.... I just hate the proprietary thing since I don't even have an Ipod..... Just can't stomach giving that much money for a $30 dollar music gizmo.

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Why use ITunes when LimeWire is free?
by marygib / October 20, 2006 7:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Itunes

Traditionally, in the past, I had bought CDs. My first music purchases were vinyl, until 8-tracks hit the market. From there, I progressed to cassettes and then to the occasional CD purchase. Through the years, my need to purchase and collect music was less rational.
After the purchase of an incredible sound system for my computer, I began downloading music from ITunes (at $.99 a song). I already had the software for burning CDs so ITunes gave me the option to choose what I put on a CD. I like a variety of music so I wanted CDs that offered an array of different artist and genre (types).
My daughter is young, single, works in the medical field, and goes to college so her monies budgeted. Periodically, we have ?pajama parties? at her apartment to maintain our friendship, shop (I buy, of course), and watch movies. We also listen to some of the latest music (that she has a better feel for) and some of the oldies, which is my expertise.
I noticed that she downloaded and burned an extreme amount of CDs and questioned her buying so many songs via internet. She is the one that set me off on a different course. She learned from a friend about LimeWire and had been using it for months. It is a free service and offers the same music as ITunes.
After finding out about LimeWire, I began my using it exclusively. I have burned quite a selection of CDs for myself. I also have a sister that feeds me information on specific songs that I download and burn for her.
LimeWire is very user friendly for searching, downloading, and sorting music. The only dilemma faced was to move the downloaded songs from the LimeWire software program file to ?My Music? folder. I have been and remain a dedicated LimeWire consumer.

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Because LimeWire is mostly *illegal*...
by John.Wilkinson / October 21, 2006 1:25 AM PDT

Most (over 90%) of the content on Limewire and other P2P networks and torrents is illegal. One person will buy copyrighted content and then mass distribute it over such networks, giving it to others for free. The term for it is Piracy, something the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and others are cracking down on. It has resulted in tens of thousands of lawsuits (punishable by fines per song you upload/download as well as jail time) and the forcible shutdown of numerous P2P networks. Limewire itself is currently being sued and is expected to be forced out of business in the coming months.

Aside from that, P2P networks open a hole in your computer's security system that can result in all kinds of infections, instability, data loss, privacy invasion, etc.

For those two reasons I strongly urge you to reconsider its use and uninstall it, then scanning your computer with your antivirus and antispyware software as soon as possible. Governments around the world are looking to make examples and the more you engage in its use the more likely you are to float to the top of their lists.


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I buy mp3s without DRM
by dgriffin / October 19, 2006 8:44 PM PDT

I buy mostly mp3s these days, but only those without DRM as I have 4 mp3 players of varying ages, PCs at home and at work and a CD player in my car which can cope with mp3s. I refuse to buy music which I cannot play on all these devices. Luckily I buy mostly classical music these days (from eClassical), and have already converted my pop CD collection to mp3 format (THAT took a long time as I have several hundred CDs).

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MP3s from MSN Music
by jayhelman / October 19, 2006 9:18 PM PDT

I purchase and download music from MSN Music.

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Are SACD & DVD-A dead yet?
by punterjoe / October 19, 2006 9:32 PM PDT

Having invested in players for these media, I look for those formats - especially surround mixes. Although fresh titles are so rare I think the formats are comatose if not O.P.D. Otherwise I buy used CDs from stores or new CDs sold directly by artists @ live shows.
The theme is getting the best quality original & repurposing it for the ways I listen - downmixing 5.1 to stereo AAC/MP3 for iPod & in-car listening and frequently crushing the dynamics for the often brutal car/subway listening environment.

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Don't buy music
by KewlEugene / October 19, 2006 10:09 PM PDT

If your sick of paying too much for music and sick of DRM then quit buying CDs. That is the only way things will ever change to favor the consumer instead of moving toward a system where you'll end up paying every time you listen to a song. The government will never do anything about it because the publishers have too much money and power. If you buy a CD shouldn't you be able to listen to the music on it anywhere and on any device you want to use? I bet if we all stopped buying music things would change in short order.
Ok, I'm off the soap box.

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by jimth / October 20, 2006 12:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Don't buy music

Why buy music when you can download for free?

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Try to find a the happy medium: don't be a total sponger...
by Nikita / October 20, 2006 2:17 AM PDT
In reply to: MP3

Rahn_Bless, don't you think it's not bad sometimes to pay a couple of bucks to the musicians whose music you adore? In the end music is their job and bread. You yourself don't work for free, I suppose...

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Good Art is not Utilitarian by nature
by F.A.$.T. / October 21, 2006 2:14 PM PDT

I once accepted the whole ''support the artists who live off the music'' thing, but I realized how plastic and artificial that idea is. Art should not be created above all everything else to make money. You should be able to listen to an ''artist's'' work anywhere, anytime.

I suppose the medium here is artists making money off concerts and memorabilia. The issue was created by the recording industry because of falling profits.

Music has been sadly turned into a business trying to maximize profits. Too often when a musician is introduced, the first (and sometimes only) thing mentioned is how many albums they sold. It's a gauge of success, but I'd much rather hear something about the actual music!

Personally I like CD and the freedom to put the tracks on your mp3 player, listen to it in all its glory of a premium stereo or in the car.

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I rarely buy music, because ....
by Watzman / October 19, 2006 10:45 PM PDT

Am I the only one that feels that all the songs I want to hear have already been written .... for the most part before 1975 .... and I already have them?

Well, if not all, then almost all.

Today's music .... isn't MUSIC ... it's noise

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Yes, dad
by kstebleton / October 20, 2006 12:29 AM PDT

Yes Dad -

I'm sorry I left the radio on so loud in your car.

My uncle said today's music sounded like a bunch of plumbers shouting down a drain pipe. That was in 1969. This is probably what he thought of much of your collection! I was 7 when I first heard that comment.

Personally, I found a lot to like in Limp Bizit and Linkin Park. Tool is cool. I've taken my daughters to concerts by these artists and ... while we have a generation gap, it's not over the music!

Buy the new Weird Al CD that came out recently - you'll laugh to the lyrics lampooning society AND be exposed to the real songs that your kids are enjoying.

Don't be such a stick in the mud!

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Format for Music
by 1-4 / October 19, 2006 11:03 PM PDT

It is almost like books, I just love to hold and possess them. I buy CDs just as I used to buy records many years ago. I am going to have to get with it though, my wife just got me an iPod with a bunch of gigs so I guess from now on the music goes on that - if I can figure out how to operate it.

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Do not even understand latest formats for music
by marygib / October 20, 2006 9:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Format for Music

Your message "touched my heart". I have been sitting here reading all the messages and found that I was completely lost in the mix of acronyms used for music formatting.
I do hope you enjoy your iPod and have the benefit of learning about the latest music formats. Personally, I do not even know what an iPod is. Until this morning, I had thought it was like a "Walkman", which I do have.
I had felt so proud of myself for having the ability to download songs from internet and burn them to a CD. Now, it appears I am not "up to date". Despite my elaborate sound system for my computer, surround sound for the TV, a moderately expensive stereo set-up for the den/house, CD player with great sounding speakers in my SUV, and two separate Walkman,...I must not have what is the latest in music devices and find myself clueless with how to go about bringing everything up to a "modern" level.

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by mikeerde / December 16, 2009 2:17 PM PST
In reply to: Format for Music

same here, I also like buying cd, because I can hold them.

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I don't buy from RIAA
by wizardb / October 19, 2006 11:18 PM PDT

I used to download the odd new song from Napster to see if I like a band or album and then would go and buy the CD's of stuff I enjoyed but since RIAA started with their suing and the rest of their garbage I quit buying music altogether and know listen to what I have and download from bands that have no affiliation with RIAA.I will never again buy music until the dinosaur that is RIAA dies!!

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I use Rhapsody
by ARTWebGuru / October 19, 2006 11:20 PM PDT

I use Rhapsody's To Go service, you pay a monthly fee and you can legally download MP3's to your player as often as you want. It's a great service. I listen to music I wouldn't normally listen to if I had to buy the CD.

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Vinyl, the old stuff
by mjd420nova / October 20, 2006 12:19 AM PDT

I look for the old vinyl stuff, the kind of music you can't find anywhere but in the old record shops. Vintage 1950's, sound tracks and obscure recordings by artists before they became famous.

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Mix of New and Used CDs mostly.
by paoconnell / October 20, 2006 12:22 AM PDT

I've tried downloaded music from iTunes, and it's a good way to get an idea whether you like a particular group or not, but the sound quality isn't all that good.
I usually wind up buying CDs, either new or used, because the fidelity is so much higher. If I can find a used CD at a reputable dealer, that's usually as good as a new one, and used CD shops often have music that is otherwise unavailable.
Occasionally I download non-RIAA, un-DRMed MP3s from a musician's website.

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It's like all the cassette tapes I made as a kid
by kstebleton / October 20, 2006 12:22 AM PDT

When I was a kid, I made cassette tapes of songs and albums I'd come across. I could make a lot of tapes for $10 back then - and it's the same now.

For the albums I wanted to keep, I purchased a copy sooner or later (usually sooner!) so I could have the ''real thing'' - the best sound, all the artwork - who misses the 12'' LP jacket and inserts?

Today I'll grab an MP-3 of something I am curious about. If I like it, I will want to hear the entire album, and I get the CD. It's permanent (I don't trust ''burned'' cd's), the commercially made CD is more rugged, the (small) artwork is there, and most importantly, I am putting some $$ with the artist.

If you listen to it, and want to keep it - PAY for it!

(I've been happier with the highest quality M4A Ipod setting than most MP-3's I've found. Yes, I enjoy carrying my music and podcasts around on a little 4gig Nano.)

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Tapes used to be so much fun
by TrackStar1682 / October 20, 2006 2:57 AM PDT

I remember a time before I had a computer where instead of hearing a song I liked on the radio and then coming home and downloading a copy, I'd just break out a cassette tape, and locate a blank spot and record the song on there. I'd add one song at a time if I wanted to, remove songs, or even erase the whole tape and start over completely and still be able to use just one tape. Now those were some times!

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Tapes used to be so much fun
by kstebleton / October 23, 2006 6:05 AM PDT

I can relate to the cassettes:

Maxell UDXL-II (S) tapes - I still play a few of them in my 1991 Toyota Camry. Most still play without squeal even today.

** Remember trying to get tapes for $2 or so, in 1980? That's like $5 today, I guess. The last spindle of no-brand CD's (which sound exactly like name-brand cd's!) cost me about $7 for a HUNDRED.

Yes, traditional music distribution is doomed. Maybe for good reason - how much of my last $13 went to the artists? But until the system changes, it's either buy it at Best Buy (Amazon, I-Tunes store) or rip it off. PULEEAZE: The artists I like deserve the support I give!

(I think I'll pull out a few CD's tonight and leave the IPOD alone Happy


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I buy MP3 downloads from
by Lodro / October 20, 2006 1:01 AM PDT

...and discover new artists and download lots of great FREE tracks from CNET!!! Thanks CNET!!!!

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(NT) (NT) My local libraries are full of music...why buy?
by rgfitz / October 20, 2006 1:37 AM PDT
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Buy audio cassettes
by tlm965 / October 20, 2006 1:42 AM PDT

I'm still a diehard user of audio cassettes and I buy from Recording Media & Equipment in Fort Lauderdale Florida. I call then at 800-541-9797.

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RE: In what format do you buy your music most often?
by protagonistic / October 20, 2006 2:18 AM PDT

I buy music in WAV format whenever possible. There are a number of sites that sell their music that way, the most notable being IMHO.

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by somanyroads / October 20, 2006 4:45 AM PDT

I buy CD's so far I don't burn my own, other than my own music composed in Cubase etc. I have an extensive vinyl collection but to be honest I prefer the sound and convenience offered by the CD format. Mp3's sound dreadful to my ears and I only have a few dozen mostly hard to find tracks in that format. Those experts who say that Mp3 is as good as Cd (.wav), must be either utterly deaf or listening on poor quality equipment.

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by gbenito / October 20, 2006 5:02 AM PDT

And then, I rip them to Mp3

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by zanzzz / October 20, 2006 6:24 AM PDT

I get most of my new music from Emusic. For $20/month you get 90 downloads all without DRM!!! You won't find many of the big greedy pop "musicians" on this site but it has a great selection across the board. Do not buy music that has been crippled by DRM! Support only companies that refuse to be anti consumer and possibly the others will relent in their despicable business practices.
On another note- Who are these people with such superior hearing ability and ultra high end audio equipment that they find mp3's so inferior in quality? An mp3 encoded at a rate of 192 kbs or better sounds wonderful. I cannot believe you can tell the difference between it and an uncompressed wave file on most consumer audio equipment. Also quite curious to me are those that insist a vinyl recording is superior to a CD. Every vinyl record I have ever listened to has noise particularly in the quiet passages. There is no way a vinyl recording is superior to a properly made digital one.

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