A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Default Music Collections / Formats

    I'm vaguely curious to how many folks here are either partly or wholly streaming refuseniks, plus what older formats you might still have kicking around.

    Speaking personally, it could be said I'm holding out because I spent ~15 years building up a large MP3 collection, and see no reason to ditch it now. I do use streaming, but as a facility to 'find new stuff' than anything else - If I then find something I like, I'll buy a copy and add it to the offline MP3 collection.

    I've still got some ~200 CDs which currently sit in a pair of storage boxes in a remote corner of my home. Some date back to my pre-MP3 era, others are ones I bought later for the sole reason to rip and add to the above collection [because CDs still seem to cost more than digital copies].

    I also found a dozen audio tapes yesterday. I decided to throw them on realising I no longer had the facility to play them, nor was I nostalgic for the 'cassette sound'. I remember that as a kid, and it was rubbish.

    Anyone else like me here?
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    I still have maybe 2-3 dozen cassettes that I can play in the car, and occasionally do so. I threw a lot out after making sure I had digital versions of the albums or most individual songs. I'm not giving the rest of them up yet! My ~160 CD collection is all on a large bookshelf, and also occasionally gets played in the car.
    Nearly everything musical now though is digital, MP3's. A friend and I ripped nearly all our CD's to digital and they get played all the time... on my PC, through the TV or a Bluetooth speaker in the house, and cycled through my phone. I don't stream music at all.

    ...I still have vinyl too, but nothing to play them on now!
    Last edited by Tarmor; 2021-12-06 at 03:28 AM.

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    I went full mp3 over 15 years ago and that's still what I use. Back in the day, I would buy CDs, rip them to mp3, and put them on the shelf, mostly to never be played again.
    I play all my music either from my computer to my stereo system, or from my phone to the car speakers or headphones. High quality mp3 is good enough for me, no need to muck around with flac file sizes.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    I'm not again' streaming (in fact, I likewise employ a free app or two to seek new sounds), but my preference will always remain with tangible media. I actually just bought the Mrs. a newly released album on CD for Christmas, as we often load up the old disk changer and let it play all day, no commercials. Between the two of us, we probably own 5 or 600 CD's.

    Her car is the only MP3 bastion, stocked with a few thumb drives of her ripped favorites. While I'm not what I would consider an audiophile, I can sometimes hear the quality drop that the compressed format suffers, but the convenience outweighs the loss. My car plays disks, but the factory speakers are so old that anything with much bass risks destroying them.

    I know we still have some tapes, but I'm not sure where. A couple of old boom boxes still work as far as I know. My oldest got a record player, thought it was cool for about a minute, then decided something else was cool. It's in the attic. I don't think the handful of records are still around. Though, my parents had one of those coffin sized record playing stereo furniture pieces, a Zenith, that if I had space for I would have claimed. It had external inputs, and once it had lasted through 60's/70's country and bluegrass records and then the vinyl my siblings had growing up, I found new life for it in the late '90's when I plugged a CD walkman into it. Nothing since has compared with that finely tuned, wooden framed speaker box for tone richness. It was only about 30W, but man, could it blast. If I had it, there would definitely be some choice records on hand. Replacement tubes are a little hard to find these days, but it'd be worth it.
    “Rule is what lies between what is said and what is understood.”

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Streaming only nowadays.

    I have a pocket computer and earphones. I can listen anything I want. I can go out running and listen music, or stay on sofa and listen music.

    Getting rid of all of the physical stuff like CDs and various players and tangled messes of cables left more room for other things. Mainly just more room. Inevitable future moving is that much easier with less stuff. And less stuff in general is good.

    I think I've literally mariekondoed myself into a slightly happier place.
    Well that was awkward.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    I prefer local copies over streaming in most cases. I'm OK with it for video, but music and games I would far prefer installing locally.

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    I guess streaming is for people who like to listen to lots of different stuff they haven't heard of today.

    I'm just the kind of person who simply wants to hear the same ~300 songs for all eternity.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Yora: You and I were doing the same thing about the same time, it seems. Unfortunately, I took a 'dead end' at first and did my collection [perhaps ~75 CDs] using Windows Media, which did it in that .wma form [and not even the best quality either] which needed re-doing as MP3. I then had to re-do them *again* a couple of years later at max quality.

    ~15 years later, said collection now comes in at 328 hours of music. So, a tad more than '300 songs'.

    Imbalance: I've heard many say 'it doesn't sound as good', but as most of them are playing their MP3s through tinny little **** things I've generally ignored them. However, when you remember that a CD can hold 700MB and a good MP3 rip is around 150MB, well some things will be lost...

    I *have* been toying with starting to re-rip my CDs as ISOs. Apart from the obvious one, the main things holding me back is a) hard drive space [projected space needed, 140GB] and b) not knowing if there's a way to mount them all in a easy-to-use programme like MediaMonkey.

    With the Zenith... that is not surprising. In those days, their build quality was very high. Which raises the question; what it might sound like if you had hooked up an MP3 player to it...

    Thirsting: All which you say is 100% true. But it's also applicable to my MP3 collection. However, my collection has the advantage that I *possess* the copy of the music on a local drive - you don't. Basically put, you're beholden to your streamer. If the site goes down, you have nothing. If the internet goes down, you have nothing. If the streamer ditches the rights to allow you to listen to a track, well tough. Or worse, decides you shouldn't listen to that track. After all, we've seen this happen also with computer games, TV shows, films and eBooks.

    Lastly, I doubt there's any single provider which has my entire collection. This means I'd have to go to another service to get it [or go without]. This means my MP3 collection wins again because it's 'all under one roof' with MediaMonkey.

    However, on the down side is the simple fact my collection took an age to assemble. My ***-packet says it would have taken perhaps ~85 hours to rip all those CDs alone, for starters. Then there's all the labelling, dating, sorting into compilation 'albums' and so on - about half of them would have required manual data entry, for example. However, I did much of that when streaming wasn't an option.

    So it might be an example of why many older systems continue being used; the outlay has already been paid, the costs of maintaining is low and the proposed benefits of conversion are minimal.
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    I also found a dozen audio tapes yesterday. I decided to throw them on realising I no longer had the facility to play them, nor was I nostalgic for the 'cassette sound'. I remember that as a kid, and it was rubbish.
    There are some casette to MP3 systems available - the one I've got is basically a walkman with a USB cable and some software to handle the recording and basic editing. Might be useful if you've got something you decide you want to keep.

    I prefer physical media personally, for a couple of reasons. The first is George Lucas - I want the version that I bought, not what the creator suddenly decides is their vision, no matter what that actually does to the music/movie/whatever. The second is The KLF - I have a copy of The White Room album that I played quite happily for many years while their entire back catalogue was deleted.

    Minor things yes, but it's not too hard to see similar things happen through malicious intent.

    Doesn't mean I haven't ripped them all to my PC etc. But that's in another room to my system, which I always play new CDs on a few times to start with.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Eh, I think a sibling of mine has one of those [the tape > MP3 converter], but as far as I can tell my tapes are just a couple of mix tapes and a few albums I already have on CD, so not missing anything.

    As with the 'in another room' issue; can't you get a USB audio dock for the stereo, allowing you to play MP3 flash drives? Or perhaps finding some obsolescent laptop to run the cables from?
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amidus Drexel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    I write a lot of the music that I listen to, so by time spent listening to stuff, I'd guess it's in this rough order:
    1. DAW playback
    2. mp3 files (small and good for sharing, and it's also the only audio format my car's computer recognizes)
    3. streaming of various kinds
    4. WAV files
    5. physical media (mostly CDs in the car, though I do have some unopened vinyl in desperate need of a good record player)
    6. emulator playback (when I'm actually doing something with that hobby project)
    7. radio (I don't think I've listened to radio since... one particularly long road trip a few years back, and probably a few years prior for any serious radio listening).


    Almost my entire collection is digital, though - I spent a long time (read: at least a week or two) in my late teens ripping my parents' music libraries, and every CD I've ever bought I've ripped as soon as I got the opportunity. There are only one or two albums I have on vinyl that I don't have digital copies of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    Imbalance: I've heard many say 'it doesn't sound as good', but as most of them are playing their MP3s through tinny little **** things I've generally ignored them. However, when you remember that a CD can hold 700MB and a good MP3 rip is around 150MB, well some things will be lost...
    RE: mp3 quality - I've heard that 320kbps (highest-quality mp3) is indistinguishable from lossless codecs for almost anyone on most speakers (read: for anyone except audiophiles), but I don't actually have a source for that.

    Anecdotally, my minor hearing damage prevents me from hearing most of the inaccuracies in high-quality compressed audio, except in a few edge cases that mp3 (and compressed audio codecs in general) really struggle(s) with - notably, audio with lots of important high-frequency information.

    (The super-low-frequency stuff will sometimes get cut, though that is usually lost during playback by inadequate speakers, not during compression).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    I *have* been toying with starting to re-rip my CDs as ISOs. Apart from the obvious one, the main things holding me back is a) hard drive space [projected space needed, 140GB] and b) not knowing if there's a way to mount them all in a easy-to-use programme like MediaMonkey.
    Why clone discs to ISO files? That has all the effort of ripping to a lossless codec (e.g. .flac) plus all the space requirements of ripping straight to raw data (e.g. .wav) without any of the utility of either format.
    Last edited by Amidus Drexel; 2021-12-07 at 09:20 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Quote Originally Posted by Amidus Drexel View Post
    I write a lot of the music that I listen to, so by time spent listening to stuff, I'd guess it's in this rough order:
    1. DAW playback
    2. mp3 files (small and good for sharing, and it's also the only audio format my car's computer recognizes)
    3. streaming of various kinds
    4. WAV files
    5. physical media (mostly CDs in the car, though I do have some unopened vinyl in desperate need of a good record player)
    6. emulator playback (when I'm actually doing something with that hobby project)
    7. radio (I don't think I've listened to radio since... one particularly long road trip a few years back, and probably a few years prior for any serious radio listening).
    I've become more pro-radio once I got a DAB one around ~5 years ago - not only has the listening quality drastically improved but my station choice has increased from ~20 to ~95 [meaning more likely to find stations which are playing what I like]. It's also much easier to 'station surf' too. I don't listen a huge amount to radio music, but when I do it's usually 'classic/oldies' stations - allowing me to gain a better feel to the state of music in the 60s/70s/80s [which were 'before my time'] and find a few artists which I'm exploring further.

    (The super-low-frequency stuff will sometimes get cut, though that is usually lost during playback by inadequate speakers, not during compression).
    Which is what I've long suspected; folks complain about MP3 vs other formats because they're trying to play the former through tinny phone speakers, while the other one was on a decent hi-fi.

    RE: mp3 quality - I've heard that 320kbps (highest-quality mp3) is indistinguishable from lossless codecs for almost anyone on most speakers (read: for anyone except audiophiles), but I don't actually have a source for that.
    Why clone discs to ISO files? That has all the effort of ripping to a lossless codec (e.g. .flac) plus all the space requirements of ripping straight to raw data (e.g. .wav) without any of the utility of either format.
    It all depends on whether I feel there's a worth doing it - not actually gone deep into it [or consulted folks more knowledgeable than I]. Plus, I'm keeping all those CDs as basically 'archive editions' of my MP3s [not my backup, that's an external drive]. ISOs appear to be good for this and relatively easy to perform as long as you've got an ISO maker programme [which I do, obviously] which means I can finally lose the discs.

    I'm having similar debates regarding my large PC game and DVD collections too - the storage space these are all consuming between them is pretty large for my crackerbox British flat [it's taking up space which I want an exercise bike to be!]. As a halfway house, I'm wondering whether I should simply buy a ton of those plastic wallets, de-case the collection and reduce the storage space required by perhaps 50%.
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    I'm having similar debates regarding my large PC game and DVD collections too - the storage space these are all consuming between them is pretty large for my crackerbox British flat [it's taking up space which I want an exercise bike to be!]. As a halfway house, I'm wondering whether I should simply buy a ton of those plastic wallets, de-case the collection and reduce the storage space required by perhaps 50%.
    I've got some wallet folders while I can so I'm ready. I'm definitely not a fan of this idea of "renting" everything, although it's eventually going to beat me.

    CD's (similar size to yours, but mostly multi-compilations) are Ogged (lossless) for local use and backup, and as I don't need instant access them they don't take up that much space.
    Plus it means there are some nice surprises (one time I found the same song on both CD's I had just bought, by very different artists)

    There are still quite a few songs from tapes that I haven't got on CD yet (I don't think I have the tapes still).
    Last edited by jayem; 2021-12-18 at 02:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    I'm definitely not a fan of this idea of "renting" everything
    Nor am I. It's a complete and total ripoff.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2021-12-19 at 04:02 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Well, the economics of music-buying vs 'renting' is an interesting one, with lots of of 'ifs/whens' on working out which is best. I mean, just as an example, the options for getting 1993 Blur's 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' on Amazon [co.uk] are...

    MP3: £8.99
    New CD: £6.80
    Used CD: £2.92

    Or free 'to listen' if you've already got Prime [otherwise, £7.99 p/m]

    Two things stand out.

    #1: The MP3 version is free if you get the new CD from Amazon direct. Who is the cheapest in this case. So you save £2.19 *and* basically get a free CD.
    #2: The MP3 quality is 256k. So nothing special.

    Clearly, the used CD wins on all fronts save 'ease of use' and perhaps a little risk you'll buy a disc too badly damaged to be ripped. But as you'll be saving £3.88, I will argue you can afford the risk.

    One thing I did notice is that you can buy individual MP3 tracks. Which is interesting, as ironically my 'Villa Rosie' is damaged and for £0.99 I can fix it....

    [EDIT: 30/12 - Thanks for removing the message below, God-Admins. I did think it was a little too early in our relationship to be told they love me *smirks*]
    Last edited by Mr Blobby; 2021-12-29 at 11:37 PM.
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    I don't do streaming music. I'm upgrading my car radio because its going bad and I dislike the local radio stations for never playing anything I want to hear, but I want it to play mp3's from a flash drive instead so I can make up my own playlist. Otherwise, I've got a main personal playlist of several thousand mp3's on my HD which I separate out to make smaller, 'themed' playlists, several hundred CD's, about 100 cassette tapes, and for music that I don't particularly care for but still have, records and there are still some 8-tracks lurking around.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Make sure your new radio is DAB; it will allow you access to a lot more stations. I listen to a lot more of it now than I used to [and helps me occasionally discover new music].
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    Make sure your new radio is DAB; it will allow you access to a lot more stations. I listen to a lot more of it now than I used to [and helps me occasionally discover new music].
    Thanks, but what's DAB?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Digital Audio Broadcast--digital transmissions of radio signals. Not available everywhere, you might need to check if you get those.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Digital Audio Broadcast--digital transmissions of radio signals. Not available everywhere, you might need to check if you get those.
    Thanks; I'll do that.

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    Default Re: Music Collections / Formats

    Tapes of live broadcasts, not many but most were definitely not profesionally recorded anywhere.

    CDs, big pile, works fine, have some odd/niche/local/foreign artists who probably couldn't get streamed in my country.

    A few mp3s, trying to find backups of live broadcast songs on the tapes, some favotite CDs ripped for more mobile playing.

    A surprising number of wind-up music boxes, competing with the mp3s for total counts.

    And radio because with a good station I'll hear new things I wouldn't have though to try, plus out classics station has a weekly opera.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Blobby's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Digital Audio Broadcast--digital transmissions of radio signals. Not available everywhere, you might need to check if you get those.
    The costs of running a DAB station is much lower than FM/AM too, which means more niche stations are economically viable.

    Though it may be an idea to get a FM/DAB dual-band radio, if you're in a country which has not had a digital rollout yet.

    Think Telok's a winner with their music-boxes, unless somebody has a large collection of wax cylinders they listen to or something...
    My online 'cabinet of curios'; a collection of seemingly random thoughts, experiences, stories and investigations: https://talesfromtheminority.wordpress.com/

    'This is my truth, tell me yours.' - Nye Bevan

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    For usable purposes my collection is principally in mp3* format, but almost all of that was originally ripped from CD and I still have the CDs too.

    As to why I haven't switched to streaming, it's not so much out of principle and more that I've never acquired the habit. I do have a Spotify account which I used in the early 2010s, but I got frustrated that a lot of the stuff I wanted to listen to didn't seem to be available on it at the time, and what were at the time fairly low limits on the number of times you could play a given track without paying money. I gather that neither of these is such an issue, but after a while I just found I was using it less and less in favour of my existing setup, to the point where I stopped using it altogether.

    I was a smartphone holdout for a long time, and that was probably also a factor: I couldn't carry a streaming service around in my pocket, so it was no more convenient than my existing collection (and indeed, given that my existing collection was on ipod, rather less so).

    I do listen to the radio in the car, but that is mainly because the CD player on my car stereo doesn't work terribly well; when it was more reliable, I tended to listen to CDs there.

    *or other audio file format
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