As music streaming has changed the way we listen to our favorite tunes and find new ones to love, most formerly-loved CD collections are left to gather dust in the attic or given away to thrift stores. To us, this abandonment feels all too similar to the wave in the 90s where vinyl owners gave up their collections in favor of CDs. These groups are now kicking themselves for missing out on the vinyl resurgence, and here at Origin Hi-Fi, we believe CDs are beginning to make a comeback as more people find nostalgia in physical music ownership. Here are our top five reasons to keep your CD collection.
Many popular modern artists like Taylor Swift still sell their albums on CDs, which pays better than a few Spotify streams. According to a report by the Recording Industry Association of America, CD shipments in the US rose by 47% in 2021 compared to 2020 (31.6 million to 46.6 million) with revenue that jumped from $483.2 million to $584.2 million. This is the first time CD sales have grown in 15 years, although it doesn't compare to the year 2000 when almost a billion discs were shipped. However, we're still excited to see more music lovers gravitating to the CD.
Once a CD is in your possession, you can do what you please with it. Of course, you can take your CD to any car with a stereo. You can also rip the songs and store crisp 16-bit digital files for listening when you want on your computer or phone, even in when you lack an Internet connection. For example, a subway commute or plane flight may leave you without tunes for minutes or hours, but a ripped file will always be available for you. Furthermore, streaming services usually don't offer the full library of an artist, and you're left at the mercy of licensing agreements or artists who decide to remove their catalog from a platform.
We've mentioned you can take your CD or its files just about anywhere, but have you considered a portable CD player? We don't mean your '95 Sony Discman; it probably skips often, ruining your sound quality. However, new players made with modern technology deliver a sound far better than anything you had in the 90s. This is achieved through the digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which converts digital data to analog audio and then passes the sound to your amplifier. DAC is built into most modern stereos and portable players so you're able to achieve cutting-edge sound from your CD for years to come.
There are so many special recording sessions from famous acts like Prince to a local band with a 15-year-old EP and limited edition albums that aren't available online but only on CD or vinyl. This is the kind of music that's nearly impossible to find digitally, but with a bit of searching at your local secondhand shop, you could be the owner of a true hidden gem. It's a lot of fun to treasure hunt for an album you would have never expected to find too! If you want to research your latest find, sites like Discogs have lots of information to help you find new targets for your next CD bin dig. Besides, if you ever want to resell, a rare CD pressing will be worth more.
We predict that CDs will soon undergo a resurgence like the one vinyl is enjoying today. We know the owners of records love to talk about their superior sound quality, but a CD played through a quality stereo holds its ground. First of all, CDs cost significantly less than vinyl, whether you're paying twice as much for a new release on vinyl vs CD or purchasing a turntable or a CD player. Just like vinyl records, CDs also come with fun extras in the packaging, if not more than vinyl. It's also far easier to store CDs because of their smaller size. You can own three times as many CDs as vinyl and still have leftover space that makes for easier transportation and storage. In case your CD's plastic casing breaks, it's cheap and easy to replace the case, but the same cannot be said if you damage a vinyl sleeve.
Although many have bid farewell to the compact disc, we don't think you should ditch it. There's plenty to love, and we think it strikes the perfect balance between vinyl and streaming for anyone who wants an affordable and convenient way to listen to music they physically own. Here at Origin Hi-Fi, we offer the newest models in CD players, stereos, and speakers that will truly honor the quality of your favorite albums. If you’d like to join the CD resurgence, contact us today to get started.