Simplicity

Streaming is pretty simple and has exposed me to more music than I would have ever known if I just listened to CD’s or albums.

I have boxes of CD’s in a closet and a couple seven level shelves yet to be boxed.

Ease of Access and quality sound at the my finger tips from iPad or iPhone using Qobuz has worked for me…

In the end what ever makes your boat float…

Yahoo… Life is Sweet!

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Weird thing. If you study literally anything it tends to become more complex than it initially appeared. For most users that does it mean that it is complex though. As several of us have noted, complexity is a choice.

Never experienced any of that. When I had vinyl and latterly CDs I would try and hear what I could of something which sounded interesting but you’re limited to what people play on the radio; what you hear through others and what reviewers say. The purchase decision was rarely quick on stuff with which you were unfamiliar.

With streaming I can read a review; listen to the album as many times as I wish and make a fully informed purchase decision very quickly.

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Agree

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There are many relevant threads on this.

The Naim app is all I need to operate when streaming, but I did have the one-off minor bother of setting up an account with Qobuz (and Tidal in my case). (Which took an actual phone call). Navigating around it is imho about as easy/ hard as finding stuff on the BBC iplayer on my TV.

Sound quality usually comes down to which version of which bit of music is being used. Having seen strong opinions pointing in every direction on this, we spent some hours testing this.

Multiple listeners were able to distinguish SQ differences between LP12 and CDS2 on lots of music. In the same way, the benefit of adding XPSDR to NDX2 was pretty clear - as long as we ensured that we were listening to same versions of the songs when streaming.

No-one on that test had the magic ears required to be able to tell what they were hearing consistently when comparing a good CD through CDS2 to the same CD when ripped to a Naim Core and replayed through the NDX2. The DACs in question are far from identical, but the SQ gap was just too small to call consistently.

With a bit of care to match which version of what music was used, we also quickly noticed that none of us consistently tell a good Qobuz stream via NDX2+XPSDR from the ripped CD or from the CD just being played on the CDS2.

Of course, a bad CD player has different faults from a bad streamer or a bad turntable - some failings may differ in size via box A versus box B and some may differ in how annoying you find them versus other faults. However, with better sources, the gap gets really small (even if it has as yet never vanished completely with LP versus digital).

Whatever I or any of us say, your ears, and your views on what is easy/ useful/ annoying to use, won’t be the same as ours. That suggests that you should make your own mind up, probably after a bit of experimentation, rather than believing any of us here too completely.

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No idea what that video says (I don’t watch such things), but I still buy CDs …even though I don’t have a CD player… It is often the cheapest source of music*, easily ripped to my music store using a computer.

*Edit: music to buy and own a copy, as opposed to radio or online streaming.

Streaming can sound amazing. The selection of music is amazing. Let’s say you’ll live another 50 years - Qobuz for all that time would cost £7800. The alternative might be 1 CD per month for life - you’ll have somewhere around 700 albums when you die - versus the millions you’ll have access to online.

and yet…and I say this as someone with Roon and an ND5 XS2…

Sometimes streaming just doesn’t tick the box. Sometimes when you’ve been on your devices for work all day, you don’t want to use a phone or an iPad to choose your music. Sometimes you want to just do something without Californian big-tech needing to be part of the equation. Sometimes you just want something that feels simple like when you were young.

It sounds to me like you’re looking for a rational justification for getting a CD player. Don’t worry about that. Most purchase decisions are sub-conscious or emotional. Who cares what others like, or what makes sense. If you want one, go and get one.

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Simplicity is why I stream with the NC line. It’s plug and play with no need to fuss with placement, aftermarket cables, massaging of burndies, or boutique products. The music sounds sublime as is and you get the benefit of an endless choice in music from local storage, streaming radio, or streaming sub services. And all at your fingertips with no need to be removing physical media every time you switch your music choice.

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Blockquote even though I don’t have a CD player… It is often the cheapest source of music, easily ripped to my music store using a computer.

How can it be the cheapest source of music? I might be missing something but each time I’ve looked recently the cost of a CD album is about the same as the monthly cost of a streaming service subscription which grants access to millions of tracks.

Sorry, I was unclear as I wasn’t thinking about radio and online, but music one can buy and own a copy. I’ve edited my post to clarify. Yes CDs can be expensive, but for some inexplicable reason not uncommonly cheaper than downloads, but perhaps it depends on the music one buys. Maybe it doesn’t hold up for everyone.

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Hi,
you don’t seem to even consider sound quality as a reason for choosing CD players… And yet, they have been designed, perhaps optimized for getting the best sound out of the disc - at least keeping cost in mind. Computers are not, NAS are not. In fact, users are aware of this otherwise there wouldn’t be such absurdities as audiophile, costly Ethernet cables or special switches.

A few weeks ago I still had a Naim HDX, a DAC-V1 and my TEAC VRDS-9 as sources. I could do fast comparisons. Not only did I not find any significant difference between the ripped file and the replay ‘on the fly’, I could not honestly say that the TEAC into the DAC V-1 was preferable to the bare CDP. A mere matter of timbral nuances, not of detail or soundstage or you name it.

We often contradict and misunderstand our parents, but get along well with our grandad or grandma. This is why LPs are ok and CDs are not… Let’s see what happens when the new craze will appear and streaming will become a parent to contradict and refuse… :slight_smile:

Best
M

(As for Qobuz and the millions of available albums, I have a subscription - a gift - and spend more time browsing unknown albums, trying some, being bored to death after the first minute of the new genius’s outcome, the Nth ‘masterpiece’, than actually enjoying them. I wonder how many of us are familiar with all 27 Mozart Piano concertos; who actually cares about millions of albums?)

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Me too.

Hi Max I actually bought all 27 Mozart piano concertos by Carmen Piazzini and the Leningrad Soloists; 11 CDs for £7. Enjoyable and well recorded. Part of the fun for me is finding these lesser known recordings often at bargain prices in charity shops and on the web.

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Great value and serviceable performances.

Sorry, I was unclear as I wasn’t thinking about radio and online, but music one can buy and own a copy. I’ve edited my post to clarify. Yes CDs can be expensive, but for some inexplicable reason not uncommonly cheaper than downloads, but perhaps it depends on the music one buys. Maybe it doesn’t hold up for everyone.

Ah I see what you mean now - yes mp3 downloads etc. always seem more expensive, especially DSD if you can find them. It makes no sense to me whatsoever considering the manufacturing, stocking & distribution of physical media must surely be higher than an automatic point of sale & download through a website.

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On the topic of simplicity in the context of CD vs Streaming, I don’t know if others have observed the same, but I have found that:

  • Streaming by far offers the easiest access to a great quantity of tracks at a relatively low cost and high quality.

  • I get ‘choice paralysis’ with streaming services and spend ages just browsing/skipping between tracks; it was definitely simpler when I had limited number of CDs to pick from and would just put an album on, switch off and listen to the whole thing. On the flip-side of this it is so much easier to discover new artists on streaming services particularly in 2024 with the clever algorithms that generate suggestions.

  • There never seems to be a definitive answer on whether CD or Streaming is sounds best (despite higher bitrates etc.), as evidenced by the debate in this thread.

  • Obsolescence always seems to be a factor regardless of media. I thought CDs were done for but then there’s always the thought that with streaming you never actually own the music if the subscription service stops. My 2017 reg car just has an infotainment system which had built-in streaming support but despite the song Buck Rogers by Feeder, JLR did not in fact fit it with a CD player, then a couple of years ago JLR just decided to ditch support for built-in streaming too. I’ve experienced similar odd things with not being able to stream certain media over an AV receiver because of the licensing arrangement.

  • Both forms of media seem to suffer from glitches due to different reasons.

  • Both formats sound great, providing with streaming it’s a decent file format.

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Yes, me too :+1:

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CD players have almost entirely disappeared from new cars. My 2020 Lexus has a Mark Levinson CD player but the newer models have ditched CD. Good reason for me to keep this car for the foreseeable future and the rest of the car is also ok!

I don’t find “simplicity” offers a straight win for either side in the CD vs streaming debate. Sure, it’s a doddle to take a CD out of it’s jewel case and bung it in the player, but I often opened the box to discover the wrong CD had been put back in it. Even worse, is trying to physically organise an ever-expanding collection of boxes. I have a good 1000 or so classical CDs. How to organise them? By alphabetical order of composer, obviously. But what about discs with more than one composer? Go by the composer whose name comes first in the alphabet? That’s what I did. And then one day … I wanted to listen to Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony in the Richard Hickox/LSO recording, but could I find it? I eventually gave up, which rather spoiled the evening for me. It was only next day I remembered the disc included a short piece by Butterworth, so was positioned under ‘B’ rather than ’V’. No such problems with streaming from my NAS.

But, for that to work well, careful attention needs to be paid to metadata and ripping software is far from perfect in that respect, as are downloads. I always edit metadata of new additions to my library so it conforms to my preferred system and that can be time-consuming if there are many albums involved. In my case, ripping my CD collection was one of the first things I did in retirement, but not everyone has that amount of free time available.

Personally, I find streaming, even with the extra steps organising the data on my NAS suits my somewhat anally retentive personality. But I can entirely understand why others prefer to use a CD player and presumably have a good way of organising their collection. I just don’t believe there’s a clear overall “simplest” solution that will suit everyone.

Roger

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With CD there are physical storage issues. I had custom oak storage units which are no longer being made. Sure I could get other units but they won’t match and will be out of place in our living room. Streaming is much easier given disability. Opening the CD holder can sometimes be challenging for us, depending on the type. Some are easier than others when you have multiple CD sets. I vote for streaming.