Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Why I Still Buy CDs in 2018

Some music I listen to is not available online- not legally, at least. But for 99% of what I want to listen to, it's on Spotify. I listen to music on YouTube sometimes, too. And to be honest, I spend more time listening to music over the internet than I do listening to my local library. But all of my favorite music can be found on my computer's hard drive and my phone's SD card. Owning CDs is not about convenience, because they are incredibly inconvenient. I own CDs because I want to own a hard copy of my favorite music, and adding an album to my library on Spotify just isn't the same as adding a CD to my physical collection.

There are lots of little reasons why I like to own CDs. Supporting the artist, album booklets, and that personalized GTA V radio station, just to name a few. But the real reason why I own so many CDs is simple; I like to listen to albums from start to finish. I care about albums for their own sake. If I'm going to listen to music for hours, I might as well listen to one cohesive work instead of shuffling through random songs that I may or may not feel like listening to in the moment. When I listen to my playlists, I skip songs constantly. When I listen to an entire album, I am sucked into a single sound and feel. The best albums, in my opinion, are the ones that are like a single musical work instead of a collection of smaller works.

My favorite album of all time is Metallica's "...And Justice For All", which I think is great for listening to from start to finish. I get lost in the endless riffs and grooves, losing track of where one song ends and another begins. I strongly believe that the album is much better than its individual songs. Very few of the songs on AJFA would make it into my list of favorite songs, but the album as a whole blows everything else that I have ever heard out of the water. So it is a no-brainer for me that I would like to own a phsyical copy of this album.

Just because album sales are falling and selling CDs doesn't work for artists anymore doesn't mean that I have to stop enjoying them myself, as a listener. I don't think of myself as old fashioned or behind the times, but I do think some things are worth holding on to, like my physical CDs. They just work, and I have no reason to think they'll ever stop working. Spotify may work better in some cases, but CDs and vinyl are never going to completely go obsolete.

I'm not trying to claim that my way of listening to music is better than yours, only that I like my way of listening.

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