Ed Bott: Why I prefer CDs to downloads Ed is out with another very insightful piece this morning regarding why he also prefers purchasing actual CDs to online music downloads. It’s interesting by the way to see CNET news today pick up on Ed’s Kazaa post from a few days ago.
In his analysis, Ed examines the various online retailers and finds different problems with each of them. Either they won’t let you redownload a track once you’ve purchased it (you can always reburn from a CD if you buy it), the bit rates are too low, or the costs really aren’t that much of a bargain.
Ed instead prefers to go out the old fashioned way and buy a CD and rip it himself. Ed also adds that by shopping the competitive used CD market on Amazon.com and other places you can even pick up better deals.
Speaking of used CDs Ed, I’ll let you in on another dirty little secret that the RIAA would rather you not know about. (Forgive the momentary lapse of ethics here folks but I do have a great deal of animosity towards the RIAA suing 14 year olds and grandmothers). If you live in the Bay Area, stop by Amoeba or Rasputin’s some time. Buy all the CDs that you’d like to your heart’s content, buy them both new and used, and then bring them back within a week and they’ll give you 75% (76% in Rasputin’s case) store credit. The kids are calling this an “insurance” policy these days. If you pay $8.99 for a used CD (no shipping, but tax of course) for a 14 track CD this works out to $.64 per track. Return the CD for store credit and your cost drops to $.16 a track. $.16 for a totally DRM free, high bit rate, clean .mp3.
Now let’s see the RIAA try to shut down the used CD market.
Of course if your hard drive crashes and you haven’t backed it up (very key) you still would have to go back and spend the $.16 a second time back at the used CD store.
Lather, rinse, repeat and you’ll have your 200,000 .mp3 library in no time.