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Format question for potential donations

 
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USA MojoPin VIP (subscribed member)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:03 am   Post subject: Format question for potential donations Reply with quote


With the ease and popularity of MP3, lots of lower-demand albums these days no longer see an official pressing of an actual disc, but get released as digital albums only. (It is, of course, cheaper for the publisher that way.) But in response I've also noticed some push-back demand by people who still want physical CDs for the higher sound quality, and stores which don't want to miss a sale on that account. The compromise of these forces seems to have resulted in the phenomenon of "CD-R on demand" whereby a physical disc is made from the digital file source, one at a time, to fill an individual order.

I've come across this setup occasionally on Amazon, especially in shopping for newer albums, where the only options offered are either MP3 digital albums or CD-R OD. (For an example of what I mean, see James Horner's score album for 'The 33' here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017OKMUZQ/ ) Regular CDs are best, imo, but that isn't always given to us as a purchase option.


So my question is this: in a situation where there is no formal pressing of an album, but it is officially offered for purchase as either MP3 or CD-R, is there a preference for one option over the other? i.e. When both of these formats are available, is the disc still considered preferable?

I ask because I'm wondering, if the merchant just produces a CD-R from the digital copy they have, is it really superior quality to simply getting the mp3 download directly? In that situation it seems the disc may not be really lossless like a formally published CD, and perhaps the mp3 set may even have the higher quality, for being one less copy iteration. But maybe Amazon does have a better source than mp3 from which to make its CD-Rs, so that disc is still the better choice. Does anyone have knowledge and/or buying experience to report on this?


At any rate I would appreciate hearing owner/admin input or guidelines, please, about which of the two is preferred in the case of album donations meant for station airplay. It would help me & others when shopping for albums potentially to donate here. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:55 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


That's a very good question.
After digging around a bit I came across this. It seems that CD-R discs from Amazon are manufactured from original audio source files and should have CD quality. I don't have experience of this though...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:44 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I bought a CD-R on Demand of Repo: The Genetic Opera. This was back in 2008, so it's possible what GalFin says re quality of files on the CD is not the same. In any case, I do not have a trained ear for that sort of thing.

I will say that I was impressed with the presentation. When you hear CD-R, you expect to get a plain label CD in a plain case (or worse, one that still says "Staples" or "Memorex" on it, with the title of the album written by hand in marker.) But the CD had an image printed on it, and the case included a folded booklet. Since the mp3s came with no booklet, I can't say that was skimpy or not. Anyway, the presentation surprised me in a good way.

That's the extent of my experience. I don't know if that helps, since stuff getting donated is just going to be audio in the end.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:20 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks very much for the feedback, GalFin & LadyInque. I don't really have experience buying these from Amazon myself, either, but your comments are at least encouraging. For the present then, I will keep an eye out for CD-R issues over the digital store.

However, if anyone else has had a contradictory experience, I'd still appreciate hearing about it (by way of warning or for reevaluation). Thanks very much!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:18 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


You're welcome Mojo!

I also found this interesting discussion from last year.
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