Streaming - CD - Vinyl

What criteria do you use to decide whether to stream or to buy a CD or a record?

I have around 400 old CDs and haven’t bought any for over 7 years. With my uniti star, i hear these and usually rip them directly.

I have had a record player for a few months now and I am very happy to buy new records and also use my old records (around 200 pieces). it is the best sound for me and also a more intense listening experience.

My third source is tidal.

When I discover new music, I often ask myself: Do I buy vinyl or stream I permanently and why do I not buy a CD anymore?

For me it’s easy being a dinosaur, I have a turntable and a CD, the turntable is for sitting down and listening to, the CD is background music to do the vacuuming etc to. So if it’s music I want to sit down and enjoy it’s vinyl, otherwise it’s Kylie and Jason’s greatest hits on CD (there are of course one or two exceptions to that rule)

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I am in a similar situation as yourself. Had quite a few CD’s got into vinyl and then got the star. I have both a Tidal and Qobuz sub and play through Roon.

I just about exclusively buy vinyl now for physical copy. For digital I stream mostly, buy the hi res files online or only if I cannot find them via options 1 or 2, I buy the CD.

Personally I cannot detect any real difference between the Tidal/Qobuz streams and a CD so I do not buy them. Plus there is disc rot to consider so that kills it a bit for me in terms of collectability. I have no idea how much of an issue it is these days but a number of my old cd’s refused to rip on the star (even having visual disc rot).

Vinyl just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. From the sound of to the physical items with the large cover art. And it tends to engage me more because of the physical nature of handing and playing them.

But that is my opinion. What is also important is comparing vinyl playback to digital. If, unlike me and those with the same tastes, you don’t find vinyl to sound “better” in a way to your digital then that should perhaps sway the decision.


Very simple: I ripped all my vinyl and disposed of TT. My CD player died and I replaced it with a streamer, ripping all my CDs. I now benefit from the potentially better sound quality of streaming from my own source (the ripped vinyl of course preserving what they sounded like, warts and all, though the worst ones since replaced).

So everything is now around streaming: I buy new music in high res as download when available and not silly price, otherwise 16/44 for which my choice of download or buy CD and rip is simply whichever is cheaper.

Streaming online for me is only from free sources to sample new music, when sound quality isn’t so important.

Ran out of space and patience with vinyl in 1990 and won’t be looking back. Ran out of space for CDs in 2018 really but have only just moved to streaming. Again, once I’ve ripped 1,800 CDs I don’t see me looking back. CD quality downloads are just fine.


I only buy CDs in charity shops now, and then only if we’re in because OH wants to have a poke around seeing what’s what. Usually rip it then straight back to be recycled for the next punter to buy it.

Tried vinyl but realised that it’s such a money pit that it wasn’t for me. The TT I had wasn’t good enough and the idea of contributing to the £20+ per LP scam when it doesn’t appeal in the first place clinched it. Everything is streamed now, either from the NAS or more likely Tidal, since my Qobuz login failed and rejected all attempts to bring it back.

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I have gone back to vinyl after 20 years of CD. Its partly about nostalgia for me plus the organic feel of the medium. I have ripped about 2,500 CD tracks to an SSD which hangs out the back of the Nova for more casual playback and unserious listening. The P10 is the headline act on my hi-fi rig these days and gatefold coloured limited edition vinyl is the icing on the cake :slight_smile:


Virtually 100% streaming for me and is about 20% local from my QNAP Nas and 80% from Qobuz
With Qobuz and the new steamer platform ND555, I’m not sure there is a significant difference between local and internet streaming
IMO. If this trend continues for me, I can see using internet streaming especially 24bit only ,not needing a Nas /server software for storage and backup.
Considering Roon which will handle organization and metadata nicely.
I have an old Rega Planar 2 and while it’s not commensurate with my digital system, it doesn’t come close and I’m not sure adding the complexity and expense of an appropriate vinyl system will be worth it although I have about 250 LPs.

Back to vinyl for some 6 years now (kept around 200 records from way back when; am now up to around 900). Vinyl is the main source (in my home office). I have roughly the same number of CDs (in our combined living/dining room) but hardly ever play them, instead using Sonos for casual and background listening. I am keeping the CDs as I plan to rip them at some point and go 100% streaming for casual and background listening. Vinyl will remain my prime source.

I get the nostalgia around vinyl. I wish people would be honest about that more often. It holds very little for me. I Having to get up every 15 to 20 minutes to turn the thing over; dealing with 2nd to 4th generation vinyl; getting versions of albums that someone somewhere must have had inserts for but rarely me. Items deleted within a year never to appear again.

CD afforded an opportunity to obtain items I’d only read about and to hear them as a piece. Whilst covers and booklets were smaller there were also more of them so in most cases they were a more accurate reflection of the original package than any vinyl I saw in the 70s or 80s. I was occasionally nostalgic for the size of the front and back covers but I think people largely kid themselves as regards the quality of inserts. They’re more prevalent and better quality now.

Streaming has got me listening to music again but all the packaging is stripped away and you’re left with the mixed bag of trying to find a cover image which matches what you own and managing meta data. I would love to take the Darko approach and have a 27” tablet for covers but… not really.

I can see the positives and negatives of all three but vinyl remains the least attractive for me. There is an absolute killing to be made by the first service which puts in place seamless access to vinyl and CD inserts within a streaming service. I suspect it’s really about not doing anything which impacts margins as some of the magazine apps could be adapted to work within a streaming environment seamlessly.

Roon certainly isn’t that. It’s link to Allmusic is at best third rate. I continue to be amazed at how many people continue to be impressed by such a basic site.


Thats true, however I have specific vinyl related tastes in music which is limited to around 250 albums/artists which I have now largely restocked that went missing over the years, and thats about it. Save for the odd coloured vinyl reissue I dont see myself accumulating the same number of vinyl albums that I have CD’s (about 1,000) so its less of an issue. Over time I will incorporate my CD collection (currently in storage) onto a more appropriate streaming platform and upon launch of Naim’s next generation 572/SuperNova/UnitiStatement (whatever it may be) may well revert to full on streaming, overtaking vinyl as the primary source. Largely the nostalgia vinyl thing right now is taking me back to carefree youthful times (i.e. 70’s & 80’s) when year on year global pandemics were a long way off…

I buy on vinyl if:

  • I would be really unhappy if the album disappeared from streaming (it happens) either because I simply like to listen to it or I want it for purposes of documentation. Or it is not available at all, which also happens depending on what you like
  • I listen to it quite a lot and think the artists should at least get a token appreciation
  • Somehow I think it is music that should be listened to on vinyl

But to check out, only streaming or some such. This limits new vinyl purchases to maybe one a month for me if at all, which is manageable space-wise. (And I am discovering on Discogs that most of the vinyl I bought in the 80ies/90ies is selling for silly prices, and there’ quite a lot that I have that is VG+ to NM as it turned out I didn’t like it so much after purchasing)

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Vinyl is my main source again. Lost count of number of LP’s, probably about 3,000.

I had a collection of around 3,500 CD’s. Sold about 1,500 through an Amazon shop and made some good money, gave the rest to local charity shop. The ladies face in the shop hit the floor when I dropped off the boxes…

Of course, I ripped all of these (which took over a year) before parting with them.

I now use Roon for my local music and Tidal. 2 x HomePods in the kitchen & 1 in the office for casual listening around the house

Vinyl for me.
I’ve been buying vinyl since the mid 70’s. Even when CDs arrived I still bought vinyl.
I’ve invested most of my money in a vinyl source and have almost 4000 LPs.
I do have some CDs but hardly ever play them.
No interest in streaming apart from casual listening.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend any one starting out now to go vinyl though.
It can sound fantastic but you would need deep pockets.

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Vinyl - Because I don’t have it in FLAC
CD - Storage medium before it is converted to FLAC
Streaming- Local music only

as a very then young school boy vinyl and radio, as CD’s were introduced got my first CD player

so when my NAIM journey started it was a mix of vinyl and CD - i need to then choose mty prefered source with was going to be vinyl - CD was changed to digital in 2014 by NDX

so for me now and going forward Vinyl and with the current quality of pressings combined with the recent re leased re masters I am in a very happy place

for NDX the benifit of having a NAS the size of your laptop with 2TB of music on it is perfect 2nd choice for me, not forgetting some of the superb I radio stations avialable

Primarily still CD for me but also some vinyl (I am a sucker for a vinyl/CD bundle deal). I have 1500ish CD’s and 200ish LP’s at present and I hope both formats will still be available for my lifetime (I am 57 years old). Hoping to upgrade turntable later in the year (Rega P8?). No interest in streaming. I use Spotify only on a try-before-buy basis.

No turntable here anymore, though I’ve still got a box of my favourite albums on vinyl, just in case…
Once I had my Unitiserve I bought a lot of CDs especially from charity shops, catching up on older titles I always wanted but didn’t ever have in my collection.
These days I’m using Roon and I find very little reason to buy, unless of course it’s from a band I really like and want to support.
I did buy hi-res for a while but the quality (depending on the original masters I guess) was patchy, and they cost more than buying the CD, so these purchases are few and far between these days.
So in summary, mainly streaming with some specific purchases, and vinyl, maybe one day again!

An observation, no more no less, prompted by some of the posts on here: it is of course an infringement of copyright law to copy music to a NAS and then sell the LP/CD. I guess many of us do that, though by no means all given the comments notes in other threads referring to keeping the hardcopy in storage. (Technically I think it may actually be illegal to make a copy in the first place, but if the original has been retained I doubt a penalty would be awarded in tge very unlikely event of prosecution.)

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At least under US copyright it is generally permissible to make copies of a lawfully purchased CD for your own personal use.
I would expect in the EU and UK is similar.

Of course selling the CD is fine, but keeping the copy is not :wink: