I know what your thinking, a CD. Who uses CDs anymore? Or maybe your thinking what's wrong with CDs? Its better than tube socks. But that's because you fall in to 1 of 3 groups when it comes to buying music. 1. You like streaming your music and the feeling of having millions of songs at your fingertips on your smartphone. 2. You love your CD collection and your still reminisce and buy actual CDs at Targets. 3. You listen to 8-tracks, cassettes, and vinyl. Vinyl. Really!
Streaming has almost overnight taken over the music industry and has left the major record labels playing catch up. Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal are the three major players that have completely revolutionized the way that we listen to music today. This has been multiplied by 10x with the creation of smartphones and tablets and of course, the all mighty Aux cord. This means there is no more standing in line and waiting for the record store to open so that you can buy the latest CDs. Similarily, streaming has almost eliminated the short lived feeling of waiting until 12AM so that you can download your favorite artists's latest project. Nope, streaming and subscription based services rule.
But there's still something about having a CD. Maybe it reminds you of the early 2000s where CDs ruled and the cassette tape was as dead as the VHS. Or maybe its the album art you get when you purchase a CD. It's something that's tangible and is more than just bits of data. Some albums nowadays offer downloadable album art and booklets, but its not the same feeling as having something physical in your hands. For example, Kendrick Lamar's "Good Kid Mad City" included family photos that let you into his life and was more of a collection of the thoughts he had when making the album. This is what's missin. Album booklets were sort of the social media before Instagram and Twitter, where artists were able to share photos or mention what was important to them at the time of making the album. This is something that you won't get when only streaming the album. But there is hope. Artists are starting to recognize this missing element of tangible items that use to come with album releases and are now getting creative. For instance, Curren$y started using USBs shaped like Jets (which symbolize his "JetLife" label and motto) and on the USBs was the whole "Pilot Talk III" album, something artists might soon follow suit.
"By and large, Lipitch releases music that the industry has largely forgotten about: demos that slipped through the cracks, albums that were never finished or got shelved, batches of leftover B-sides. "
I know earlier I was knockin vinyle a little but vinyl is actually making a comeback. In the last few years there has proven to be a niche market for vinyl. The nostagalia alone along with the sound quality are a few reasons why artists are choosing to release vinyl copies of their albums. One company that is capitalizing on the resurgence of vinyl is a shop called Chopped Herring Records ran by a Manchester DJ named Bob Liptich. According to an article that originally appeared on "Bandcamp Daily", "By and large, Lipitch releases music that the industry has largely forgotten about: demos that slipped through the cracks, albums that were never finished or got shelved, batches of leftover B-sides." Click here to see the full article. Chopped Herring Records are known for dropping mostly underground artist's records but there are a few legends in there like Biggie. Check out this sick Biggie verse below. (Originally appeared in Bandcamp Daily's article "Digging Up Rap History: The Story Of Chopped Herring Records" by Jay Balfour,)
Who knows maybe one day CDs will have the same comeback that vinyl records are now seeing. But one thing's for sure is that streaming is the now, and even more important is that in the next 10 years even that might change. But no matter which group you fall into streaming, CDs, or vinyl, just sit back press play and enjoy the audio dope.