In an ideal world, I would always get my music from CDs. I do a fair bit of downloading and streaming music online, and I find it to be extremely helpful for discovering new artists. However, when it comes to paying for downloads, I rarely can make myself do it. I have an iPod, but have spent only one dollar on iTunes (for a song not available on disc). My issue with this is that I feel no sense of ownership. I may be able to get digital liner notes, but even a printout of those would likely be low-quality. As prices do not vary greatly between the formats, I would rather purchase something permanent; something I can keep. I see mobile downloads as even more wasteful. At two to three dollars a song, I can never convince myself to buy more than one or two songs upon purchasing a new mobile phone.
For me, it all comes down to CDs. Most of the albums I want can be purchased for less than fourteen dollars, and come complete with a case and liner notes. I have something that I can keep in a collection, bring into my car, or carry around with me. The visual presentation is an extension of the album itself, and should not be ignored because of convenience. Plus, CDs are extremely versatile. Most can be ripped into the mp3 file format, which can then be transferred onto a digital music player. Even my cell phone supports mp3 playback! With compact discs, you get the physical and the digital; something to keep and something that can be manipulated for the listener’s enjoyment. The internet is an excellent resource for artists and listeners alike, but if money is changing hands, I prefer the CD format, by far.