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Essential CD or Download?


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To enjoy your new Essential CD to its fullest, do you recommend we pursue a CD copy or a download version?

I spent the day yesterday in an NYC recording studio and asked the audio engineer the same question.  He definitely recommended the CD version.   Downloads, he said, can be extremely good, but will never have a totally accurate compression level (or whatever it's called).  A CD, on the other hand, because it's as close to a first-generation as the consumer can get, will ALWAYS contain the audio-levels the artist intended.

Your thoughts?


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The mp3 format basically sucks. There's too much bandwidth for iPhones etc to handle, so the files are compressed (read: squashed) into much smaller files, much like Raspberries early recordings. You lose all the crystal high frequencies and the warm low frequencies, and it sucks the air out of the recording. The CD is definitely the way to go.

When I send files to friends and co-workers, I use a service called We Transfer that allows you to send very large files through email. There are a number of services that do this. It's really the only way to send something, so it doesn't lose all the quality. If you downloaded "Brand New Year" from the SoundCloud, you got the full, high resolution version. If you go to SoundCloud and listen to BNY now, you hear the mp3 version. There's a world of difference.

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Hate to sound old or stupid, but technology has ruined the art of fidelity for the sake of convenience. Most people will listen to an incredibly engineered & produced recording on cheap earbuds. Even many new digital recordings sound so overly compressed. Although I love Paul McCartney, his new disc NEW sounds so dense, overly compressed, and computerized! The instruments don't breathe-it's like a snowball instead of a field of snow. If you listen to Band on the Run or Ram, you hear/ feel a ride cymbal, the kick drum, or an acoustic guitar. There are many excellent songs on Paul's new disc, but the production takes away a lot for me. Technology is a great thing, but restraint may be needed at times.

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