Thursday, 22 September 2011


On Tuesday the following 5-CD box set arrived from Amazon.

It cost me £24.99. A download, which did not include a bonus 5th CD (stuck on the front of the box) but just the four CDs in the box would have cost me £14.99. Was I so desperate for the extra CD (with a running time of less than 40 minutes) that I'd pay a tenner for it? Actually, no I wasn't. However, as I immediately copy music to my computer and then on to my Ipod Classic and never listen to the CD again, yesterday (Wednesday) I put up the box set on Amazon Marketplace for two pounds less than Amazon's price with the description played once from new, sold it today and have just got back from posting it. After Amazon's cut and the postage, I got £18.00 back which meant that the music effectively cost me £7.00 and included the bonus CD.

Now this was what I consider a good bit of work but it doesn't always come out as well. Sometimes the download is considerably cheaper as when I recently bought So Many Roads by The Grateful Dead as a download when the original box set was out of print and fetching over £130.00 new.

But mostly my CDs end up in the loft where every so often I weed them out on the basis of -do I really want to keep this? I'm now starting to ask myself the question -how few of my CDs do I really really want to keep? I won't lose the music unless the house burns down while I'm and haven't taken my Ipod with me which is pretty unlikely and then the CDs would have gone as well. Apart from keeping the music on my Ipod, I also regularly make an external backup copy of all data on my hard drive to a 1 terabyte Toshiba hard disk which fits into my pocket. I hope I'm not tempting fate by saying this, but effectively the music lasts forever.

In theory, any new CDs I buy I should just copy and then put up for sale immediately on Amazon Marketplace where I could recoup about half the cost which is still cheaper than the download. Unless, of course, the cost of a download is still cheaper than that which does happen occasionally. In practise it doesn't neccessarily work out like that as there may not be a download available or the CD is just too damn cheap as in the case of-

This one, including postage from an American marketplace seller, new cost me £4.06 with the Amazon UK price being over a tenner. At that price it's just not worth selling it.

And then there's the box set which includes a DVD. This isn't always worth as in an older post I mentioned saving over £20 by buying just the download of a Rolling Stones box set. And then there's this which only arrived this morning so I haven't a chance to listen to or watch it-
This amazing piece of work by the brilliant guitarist Rea consists of a music CD of the above title, a documentary DVD about bullfighting plus a CD of Chris's soundtrack to it, a second DVD which appears to be a sort of spiritual journey plus, again, a CD of Chris's soundtrack to it. For, and you'll laugh, only £12.99. For a Chris Rea fan like me that's just a no-brainer. A string of five star reviews also suggest it's pretty damn good. I only came across it by accident on Amazon as it wasn't included in my recommendations.

So the answer to the question -CDs or Downloads? -is, for me: Yes, please.

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