Author Topic: Another newbie  (Read 2494 times)

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Offline Toonces

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Another newbie
« on: November 09, 2010, 07:19:32 PM »
This looks like a great place to discuss classical music.  I have 100 or so classical CD's and it's been a while since I purchased any.  Now with so much available on mp3 I'm wondering how the quality compares to a CD?  Although I have thousands of 'popular' mp3's, I've only purchased a few classical recordings in mp3 format.   It sounds great for popular music or "oldies" and sounds OK on the computer, but I've been afraid to buy anything "serious" without exploring further.  Classical is so much more intense and the quality much more important.

In the past I've used the Penguin Classical Music guide to help choose good recordings, but now with so many forums, I'm wondering if I need an updated copy?  Seems I could maybe get some good advice here.

My favorite composer is Brahms but I like a wide variety.  Anyway, glad I found this forum and hope to make it "home" for a while.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 09:56:21 AM by Toonces »

Scarpia

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 07:48:45 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

Download vs. CD is a complicated issue which depends on your needs.   You can start a thread on this issue on the "Diner" but here are my two cents.

For pop music, will you really be listening to that same track 20 years from now?  I listen to classical CDs I got 20 years ago.  So one question is will you manage to keep the digital rights for the things you purchase now working for the long term?   Also, MP3 might sound satisfactory on the device you are using now, but maybe in 5 years you will get a high end audio system and will find those mp3s inadequate.

My suggestion is this.  Don't pay top dollar for any new CDs.  Get used ones from Amazon marketplace, which are often cheaper than download, then rip them to mp3 yourself.  Then you'll have mp3s that don't have irritating digital rights issues.  Toss the jewel cases and store the discs and booklets themselves as backup.  (Storage requirements go down dramatically when you toss that ugly plastic case.)

DavidW

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 08:10:37 AM »
I fully agree with Scarpia.  And I find that used or new cds tend to be cheaper per album than mp3.  So with cd you pay less, get cover art, liner notes, lossless physical copy, and you can rip at whatever bitrate floats your boat (i.e. choice)... it is obvious that the cd is usually the best way to go with classical music.

With pop music you buy per song, you're better off paying that $1 for a download, but classical music is always about the album concept, you usually want the whole thing and it's all great. :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 09:01:49 AM »
I'm not sure if I agree with tossing out the jewel cases that house the CD. Some of us do have plenty of storage, so my suggestion is to keep your jewel cases with the original CD and liner notes in tact. If you ever choose to sell a CD online or to a local music store (which are very hard to find these days unless you live in a major city), then people are going to want the jewel case, especially if you have to ship it out. Not everybody cares about the jewel case, but there are plenty of collectors, like myself, who will tell you otherwise.
 
Downloading music has never interested me, because in most cases I can get the actual CD cheaper and why not? I get the original liner notes, artwork, and a hard copy of the disc to do whatever I want with it. You can rip that CD to mp3 and save it on a hard drive, you can burn yourself of a copy of the disc and carry it with you wherever you choose to go, etc. There are many advantages to owning the physical discs that many people fail to realize, but then again the general public don't know anything about audio quality or the importance of actually owning the CD, which increases in value over a period of time. When I'm ripping a CD to my one of my iPods, I use a 192 kbps bitrate. You really don't want to go bellow 192 kbps, because you start to loose a lot of quality in the audio and even though you can store more music on your mp3 player using lower bitrates, it's always better to have good audio than horrible audio.
 
Welcome to the forum!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 09:04:32 AM by Mirror Image »
“In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Scarpia

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 09:04:30 AM »
I'm not sure if I agree with tossing out the jewel cases that house the CD. Some of us do have plenty of storage, so my suggestion is to keep your jewel cases with the original CD and liner notes in tact. If you ever choose to sell a CD online or to a local music store (which are very hard to find these days unless you live in a major city), then people are going to want the jewel case, especially if you have to ship it out. Not everybody cares about the jewel case, but there are plenty of collectors, like myself, who will tell you otherwise.

If you keep the little paper insert, you can always reconstitute the original packaging with a substitute Jewel case.  Just use the Jewel case from a CD you're recently purchased for a CD you want to sell. 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 09:06:52 AM »
If you keep the little paper insert, you can always reconstitute the original packaging with a substitute Jewel case.  Just use the Jewel case from a CD you're recently purchased for a CD you want to sell.

Why worry about taking a CD out of jewel case and putting that jewel case up when leaving it alone would be much less time consuming and, again, not everybody has storage issues. I like having the CDs in jewel cases and leaving them in there.
“In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline springrite

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2010, 09:11:32 AM »
I'm with M.I. on all accounts.

Oh, welcome to the board, and get ready to get ALL possible replies! This means you'd have to make up your own mind. We have everything here with the exception of consensus.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

DavidW

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 09:19:54 AM »
In the past I've used the Penguin Classical Music guide to help choose good recordings, but now with so many forums, I'm wondering if I need an updated copy?  Seems I could maybe get some good advice here.

This is just me, but I find so many recommendations on this forum that I don't feel the need for a music guide.  I have a couple of books that run down all of the major composers and selected recordings.  I just don't feel the need to have anything more indepth than that. :)

Offline Toonces

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 09:55:09 AM »
Thank you so much for the warm welcome and all of the thoughtful replies.  I think I'm gonna like it here!





  Also, MP3 might sound satisfactory on the device you are using now, but maybe in 5 years you will get a high end audio system and will find those mp3s inadequate.



Scarpia, I never thought of it that way.  Systems have improved over the years and who knows what we'll see even in the near future as far as improvements.

Offline Brian

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2010, 10:07:20 AM »
This is just me, but I find so many recommendations on this forum that I don't feel the need for a music guide.

Yeah, these guys have cost me too much money with their tips for me to want to go buy a book, too.  ;D Welcome, Toonces!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2010, 11:32:16 AM »
Hi Toonces, and welcome to GMG.  Although I'm a fan of the Penguin Guide, too (with caveats), a forum like this one is invaluable in getting a range of recommendations from a wide variety of people. 

Oh, and I like Brahms, too--can hardly go wrong there!

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Offline Hollywood

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 08:34:15 AM »
Greetings from Vienna, Austria Toonces. Welcome to the forum.  8)
"There are far worse things awaiting man than death."

A Hollywood born SoCal gal living in Beethoven's Heiligenstadt (Vienna, Austria).

MN Dave

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2010, 08:51:19 AM »
Greetings from Minnesota. Have a good time with the forum.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 10:58:51 AM »
Welcome, Toonces!

Which composers and genres do you like so far? 

Re. MP3s, sound quality depends on codec and bit rate.  Typical high-loss 140kbps Fraunhofer files are pretty crappy, but for listening via computer or "mp3" player, LAME mp3s at high bit rates work fine and are difficult to distinguish from redbook CD files.  (I use 320 CBR, file size ~1/5 the CD file size.) See http://www.free-codecs.com/download/lame_encoder.htm  And get easy error-free ripping with CDex.
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