In the age of music streaming, many people have left their CDs gathering dust in the attic or given them up in favor of an entirely digital listening experience. To us, this sounds similar to people who ditched their vinyl collections in the 90s in favor of CDs and are now looking wistfully at the recent resurgence of vinyl. Here at Xssentials, we believe that CDs are trending upwards in a win for physical music ownership, for good reasons. Here are five reasons to hold onto your CDs.
New CDs are Experiencing Growing Success
Plenty of modern famous artists like Adele and Taylor Swift are still using CDs to sell their albums, which also tend to pay them better than simply streaming. Early this year, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that CD shipments in the US rose by 47% in 2021 compared to 2020 (31.6 million to 46.6 million) with revenue that grew from $483.2 million to $584.2 million, marking the first time CD sales have increased in 15 years. Although this still doesn’t compare to the turn of the millennium when nearly a billion discs were shipped, nor does it compare to the success of vinyl records (for example, Harry Style’s Harry’s House album sold 219,000 vinyl records, 130,000 CDs, and 28,000 digital downloads in its first week), we’re still witnessing an uptick of music lovers who are gravitating back towards the CD.
You Can Listen to your CD Anywhere
Once you have a CD, the music is yours to do as you please. Not only can you listen to them in a car or a hi-fi system, but you can rip the files and store them as crisp 16-bit digital files for listening on your computer or phone. Furthermore, for moments when you lack an Internet connection, it’s nice to still listen to music you love. For example, when you’re commuting on the subway or taking a flight, your ripped CD file will keep you entertained. With streaming services, you are forever at the mercy of an Internet connection, licensing agreements, or artists like Neil Young who is taking his catalog off Spotify.
New CD Players Are Better than Ever
Speaking of listening to your CDs anywhere, do not underestimate the power of a portable CD player. We’re not talking about your old ’95 Sony Discman! As the lasers on older devices age, they’ll become less precise and more prone to skipping, which will harm the quality of your sound. Meanwhile, newer players are packed with modern technology that will deliver an even more crisp sound than you ever heard in the 90s. The key to excellent sound in new players is the DAC, the digital-to-analog converter, which takes digital data, changes it to analog audio, and then moves the music to the amplifier. Modern versions of both stereos and portable players are usually equipped with DAC so you can enjoy the highest-quality sound from your CD for years.
You can Find Hidden Music Gems Anywhere
There are still plenty of CDs that have not made it online to streaming services from a multitude of famous acts, like the Rolling Stones or Prince. An underrated compilation from your favorite artist may impossible to find online but easily available at your local thrift or record store. Plus, there is something nostalgic and fun about the treasure hunt for a hidden gem of an album or EP. You can utilize sites like Discogs to conduct research on your latest find or search for more CDs to grow your collection. If you ever aim to resell, more rare CD pressings will be worth a decent amount of cash.
CDs are More Accessible Than Vinyl
We’ve already mentioned that vinyl is experiencing a resurgence and CDs are on their way to having their renaissance. We know vinyl fanatics love to rave about the quality of sound, but the truth is that CDs can hold their ground. To begin with, CDs are significantly cheaper than vinyl, especially when you consider that for new chart releases, you’ll be paying about twice as much for vinyl than a CD. The price drops even more if you spot a second-hand find in a thrift store. A high-quality turntable is also generally more expensive than a CD player. Second, CDs are far easier to store than vinyl records; they take up significantly less space so you can own three times as many CDs and still have room to spare for transporting and storage. Like vinyl, CDs come with a booklet of fun extras, but we prefer the material in vinyl sleeves unless you purchase a special edition. Neither vinyl nor CDs respond well to scratches, but in case your CDs’ plastic casing breaks, it’s cheap and easy to replace the case; the same cannot be said for vinyl.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Good CD
Although plenty of people dismiss the compact disc, we think there’s still plenty to love, and it’s obvious that more of America agrees with us too! There’s nothing like listening to your favorite vintage EP, live recording, or special edition on a disc format. CDs offer a mix of quality, affordability, and convenience, the perfect middleman between vinyl and streaming. Here at Xssentials, we offer high-quality CD players and stereos that will do your albums justice. If you’re interested in joining the CD resurgence, contact us today to begin!