I would rather own a CD of an artist who I feel deserves my money than just have their albums saved on my HD. I can take a CD with me and drop it into a stereo in a car or with me to work, or out for others to hear. I don't have to rip, encode it or download it. Its there. Its on demand and its still the format that nearly everyone is using for music.

Even though there's so much hype over Napster, mp3s are still a novelty in the sense that they can't be taken from home because the average person doesn't own a portable mp3 player and would probably not want to spend the time learning how to convert and then burn audio CDs from mp3. Plus, mp3s sound inferior.

Having a CD is something tangible in the sense that it can be replaced. If you lose your CDs to theft, fire or an act of God (if you're covered for that..), they can be replaced. If your HD crashes or you step on the case to some Mp3 CD, you're basically screwed and you need to replace 650mb of music again.

I like mp3s because they are an incredible way to spread sound around. Its good to hear what's out there and really establish what you like to hear, instead of sitting at HMV for 5 minutes, skipping through shit and deciding whether or not you should buy it or not.

Mp3s make it possible to preview rare and imported material before you order it and having the album on mp3 makes it a little more bearable when the guy at the record store gives you a blank stare when you ask him if he has it in stock. After you ask him to order it, you can still go home and listen to the album on your box.

For me, Mp3 is the perfect way to access my music collection. Unlike emil_greer, I only see the CD as the way to get the music into my collection legally, but which I then proceed to rip onto my hard-drive. The CD is then stored in a big box in the cellar with the rest (saving a lot of shelf space in the bargain), but I feel that to support the artist I should buy the embodied carrier. Second, and as important, the CD serves as a back-up copy against the possiblity of losing the data in a HD crash.

But I have come to appreciate the comfort of listening to my music digitally without ever having to change discs. When I buy a music CD, I see it as buying a license to listen to the music I like, however I like to do it (so copy protection infringes on my customer rights of fair use). BTW: The license to use (hear) the music is also embodied in badly scratched, used CD's, so buying those, and getting the music off the net is perfectly acceptable. The artist has gotten his profits from the original sale, and probably from the former owners' replacement as well. OTOH, buying a CD, ripping it and then reselling it, is not.

When played back over my stereo, and sampled at 168 kbps, I am unable to hear any difference between Mp3 and the original, so the comfort of being your own radio station by selecting your collection (or part of it), clicking shuffle and thereby ensuring musical entertainment for hours without needing to give it further consideration, not having to stop what you are doing every 45-74 minutes to change discs greatly expands on my listening pleasure. The act of putting the CD into the player emil_greer describes, holds no special meaning or pleasure for me.

The other argument made above still applies, of course. MP3 is a great way to sample new and unknown stuff from the comfort of your own home. But remember: Delete what you don't like and buy what you do, everything else is theft. Support the music you like. Resist efforts to restrain you in utilizing your rights.

I consider myself to have fairly good taste in music. I like to think that my CD collection reflects this: flipping to random CDs in a Case Logic, I see Neon Heights, King Tubby, and The Pixies. I go to IDM clubs and fall asleep to the Cocteau Twins. I spin deep house and electro-disco. Still, sometimes:

I've just gotta listen to "Maggie Mae."

I would never buy anything which stemmed from the minds of Rod Stewart, Lasgo, or Dolly Parton, but you can find tracks by all of these artists in my mp3 collection. And nothing beats doing the dishes to "Tubthumping". And let's not even talk about Serge Gainsbourg.

It's people like me who truly appreciate mp3s, which allow us to indulge our random desires for bad music anonymously. It's sort of the equivalent of receiving porn in a plain brown wrapper. There are many more like me: I know those who would rather undergo death by cheesegrater than buy a Styx album, yet know every word to "Come Sail Away" by heart. I just have the courage to come forwards.

Anonymously, of course.

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