this blog is girtby.net

Posted
08 October 2005

Categories
Cultcha Personal

Tags

14 Comments

A CD, See?

Does anyone actually play their CDs any more?

As a result of the highly-successful campaign to go legit I have bought lots of CDs. Most of them have never been played more than once, possibly in the car on the way home. Once home, the CD is ripped, then put straight into the Big Box In The Closet, never to be seen again (until a few years later when I feel the urge to re-encode everything using the codec du jour).

To me, CDs are receipts. They are tangible evidence that you have paid for the music at some time in the past.

I will freely admit to flouting copyright law and claim my fair-use rights even when there technically are none. So when I have bought a CD and, for whatever reason, cannot rip it to iTunes, I will have a clear conscience after downloading it from the internet. The plastic discs themselves get scratched and lost. Sometimes they are just buried at the bottom of the box in the closet. Sometimes I just can't be bothered with the crappy software (such as that currently needed to extract a soundtrack from a DVD, for instance). In these situations it's usually easier to just download the music from the internet.

And what's the deal with observational stand-up comedy copy-protection on CDs these days? I have never encountered it myself, but if I did I wouldn't try very hard to break it before giving up and downloading a copy from the internet. I expect most half-savvy music lovers are doing the same. The effect is that record companies are pushing people into the more seedy corners of the internet to download their music. What are they thinking?

14 Comments

Posted by
Sunny Kalsi
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

I bought two albums recently. I only ripped one from it's packaging, but I still haven't even opened the case, much less put it in a CD player of some sort. This is because I'd already downloaded the albums. If I somehow lose the mp3s, I'd just download them again. It takes a significant amount of effort and time to rip a CD.


Posted by
alastair
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

It takes a significant amount of effort and time to rip a CD.

What software are you using? iTunes is teh win. Downloading the album cover art is the most time-consuming part of ripping a CD as far as I'm concerned.


Posted by
Richard
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

I've always found CDex to be simplicity itself when it comes to ripping CDs. Owning an original Create Nomad Jukebox (with the 6GB drive, back when that was a big deal, and it was one of the only HDD-based mp3 players around) made finding good tools a must.

I must admit I haven't listened to all of the CDs I've bought recently, but I still listen to CDs at home and in the car (disc rotation in the car takes a while, and I prefer to mix the new with the old). When I find a decent mp3 player that can plug into a good component sound system and not look like a lump of crap [hint: it should look like a modern slimline DVD player, not a vertical beige box], and I find the right way to listen to mp3s in the car, then I suppose I'll never have the pleasure of prizing a CD loose from its transparent plastic prison again. On the plus side, I won't worry about the broken tines, hinges or cracks in that plastic either.

By the way, if you ever see an mp3 playing alarm clock, that would make my day. No longer would I have to put up with other people's lousy DJing abilities. I'd only have to suffer my own.


Posted by
Richard
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

And another thing: I think you meant flout (as in "La! La! La! I'm ignoring copyright law"), not flaunt (as in "Look at me! I've got some copyright law!").

Well, at least it's not a effect/affect spelling fuck-up. Here's a simple explanation for those who might be confused. Reading a review can affect my purchase, because the review had an effect on me. Handing over the money effects my purchase, because the exchange of money directly affects the sale, and it is the only reason for the effect. Using effect correctly may just be an affectation, but a tip you may find effective is to use 'affect' first, and only when that sounds wrong, switch to 'effect'.


Posted by
alastair
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

Thanks Richard for flaunting your usage skillz. Your comment affected me effectively.

The OS X Dictionary app has a relevant usage note which I will now memorise:

USAGE Flaunt and flout may sound similar but they have different meanings. Flaunt means ‘display ostentatiously,’ as in: tourists who liked to *flaunt** their wealth, while *flout** means ‘openly disregard (a rule or convention),’ as in | new recruits growing their hair and *flouting** convention. It is a common error, since probably around the 1940s, to use *flaunt** when flout is intended, as in | the young woman had been flaunting the rules and regulations.

That counter-example sounds vaguely familiar! (Strange punctuation theirs)


Posted by
Chris
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

It appears to me that there is tacit approval of ripping by the local music industry. The music industry is using the reality of CDs-as-hardware-tokens to skimp on CD packaging. They know there's no point giving you a standardised jewel case with clear writing on the spine because it's just going to end up sitting in a drawer or cardboard box somewhere once it's ripped. Instead you get the type of packaging you're used to finding in Corn Flakes packets.

(As you know) I purchased three reasonably recent CDs on Friday and all three came in crappy nonstandard cardboard boxes. Pet Shop Boys' Back to Mine was so poorly made that the two CDs were wedged into the glue in their slips and almost required me to break the discs to get them out of, and back into, their post-ripping cardboard mausoleums.


Posted by
alastair
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

It's a pity really, because it's always interesting (to me, anyway) to see people's music collections on display when you walk into their houses. The crappy little slip cases really don't cut it, as you say. Of course now we display our DVD collections instead, but it seems pretty obvious that these discs are the next candidates to be entombed in cardboard. And what will happen then? How will we get an instant appraisal of someone's cultural awareness from the comfort of their living room?


Posted by
Chris
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

Let's patent the iWallboard: A digital wallboard display that you can have mounted on your wall where your CD racks would have been in olden times.

The iWallboard would dispaly random artist, song, album, your rating and date added to collection to stimulate the music-taste discussions of years gone by.

Now what would be the modern day equivalent of lending a friend a CD? Hmm...


Posted by
Sunny Kalsi
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

well, I use abcde, which is basically just "type abcde, check that the downloaded tracklisting is OK, wait a bit". I meant effort as in actually having to add or remove CDs, and having to wait in between. Ripping 3 or 4 CDs is OK, ripping 100 is not OK.


Posted by
Sunny Kalsi
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

Sorry, conversation moved on and I didn't notice. Actually, I've been having issues with lending friends CDs (or more correctly, my brother lending his friends our CDs). Consequently, I don't know where most of my collection is, and becuase I don't actively listen to it, I don't miss it, so I don't care and I forget what we bought anyway. I don't have a nice compartmentalised CD rack like my DVDs on my bookshelf (easy because my brother and friends don't like anime). It's kind of annoying finding a CD lying under a pile of books, outside it's jewel case, scratched to all buggery. Screw CDs.


Posted by
Chris
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

I thought I'd note this post at Infectious Greed about a transcript of Teenagers talking about technology presented at a recent Web 2.0 conference/love-in.

Q: Assume i give you $100, what would you spend it on, could go to a bar (!), etc. Sean: save it for a surfboard, buy it from a used surf shop, better to buy offline to see it in front of you.

Diamond: spend it on ringtones, spend $50-60 on ringtones in a month.

Steph: Concert tickets, music, shoes from tru in SF on 8th ("yeah it's pretty tight, agrees Sasha"), she doesn't feel like paying for shipping and handling.

Sasha: food, clothes.

Jake: burritos and gasoline (laugher, applause).

...and this...

Q: Let's say you want to buy a CD player, where would you go? Sean: ummm, a CD player...? (laugher)

Posted by
Casey
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

Coming in very late on this entry... I'm currently re-ripping my entire 800-ish CD collection to 256k AAC, because I then plan on putting the whole lot in storage and taking two digital copies with me when I leave the country. iTunes is a terrible audio player, but I've found it to be an excellent CD ripper. Is there some automatic way of getting cover art when ripping? That's the thing that I will miss the most. For a while, I thought about using the covers for some kind of photo-mosaic wall art, but laziness got the better of me...


Posted by
Garth
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

Madlove the iWallboard! Just the thing for all those who aren't already somehow declaring such tastes via their blog by hacking a CueCat together with Amazon to display every single book they've ever bought PLUS their WishList(TM)...


Posted by
Matthew Flint
2005-10-08 15:21:13 -0500
#

To the folks who wanted a good-looking mp3 player for connecting to their hifi and an alarm clock that plays mp3s (and oggs, flacs and pretty-much anything else)... they could do worse than look at Slimdevices' "Squeezebox3". http://www.slimdevices.com/

(no connection, yadda yadda)