Top 5 on Friday: CDs

I’m not dead! I’ve just been crazy busy with actual life things and other day-to-day tasks I prioritize over this blog. Like, you know, being an editor and having a boyfriend and another blog.

Top 5 reasons CDs are better than mp3s

1. Reliability. My CDs are gonna be around unless I horribly maim one somehow or it’s lost to a fire. Technology is nice, but it’s not always reliable–any writer or college student who’s experience a computer crash the night before a paper is due during finals week will tell you this. Something goes wrong, there goes all your mp3s. Sure, you can restore your purchases, but what a pain in the ass.
2. Financial support to the artists. Sure, they tend to get very little either way and filesharing means I can get music without financially supporting an artist I may dislike as a person or who might support things I don’t, but at least with CDs, the price means their cut is slightly bigger. And at the end of the day, the artist doing the work (most times) deserves that cut.
3. Cool collector’s items. I’ve backed two Kickstarters in the past year, which is far fewer than I’d like, and one of the great perks–and one of the things that makes Kickstarter great for artists and music lovers–is that most of the time, the CD you get is somehow unique. Sometimes, it’s completely unavailable or hard to find elsewhere. Other times, like in the case of Amanda Palmer, it’s just nicer. Buy her new album in stores and you get that pretty pink cover, but Kickstarter backers got a case that’s a little book full of lyrics and artwork. AFI fans, think Clandestine. And can you get a badass limited-edition box set of mp3s? No, you can’t.
4. Resell value. Taste changes. I liked things years ago that I don’t like now, and years from now, I may not like a lot of what I like now. With mp3s, especially if you paid for them, tough titties. If you didn’t, you can delete them with only the tiny guilt the recording industry will try to impose on you for allegedly costing them millions of dollars when you really probably didn’t. But if you got them legally for a price and you delete them, money wasted. iTunes and Amazon aren’t likely to say, “Sorry you thought ‘Gangnam Style’ was a good idea to buy. Here’s a full refund.” With CDs, you can sell it online or take it to a store that will buy it or give you store credit, and there are enough music fans that this is still a worthwhile thing to do. And if you have some of those aforementioned Kickstarter releases or limited-editions or box sets, more money for you. When I die, if no one wants my music collection, sell it. Guarantee you a good couple hundred bucks off of some of that shit.
5. The experience. This admittedly isn’t gonna matter to casual fans, but if you’re a music-lover, you take pride in your collection, love adding to it (or scaling down when you move on from a love affair with an artist), and want the whole package of liner notes and a full album right there in your hands to enjoy whenever you want. It’s more personal, and you don’t get that when you click “download” on the internet and just have files sitting in front of you.

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