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Why You Should Start Buying CDs Again

It's often cheaper than buying MP3s—even if it comes with MP3s: Brian Barrett
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2014 1:20 PM CST
Why You Should Start Buying CDs Again
This CD cover image released by Big Machine Records shows "1989," the latest release by Taylor Swift.   (AP Photo/Big Machine Records)

(Newser) – Brian Barrett wanted to listen to Taylor Swift's new album, and as you may have heard, it's not available on Spotify. So he bought it—in actual CD form, something he hadn't done since 2006. He explains why on Gizmodo: Amazon was selling 1989 as an MP3 download for $12.50, or as a CD for $10. Not only was the CD cheaper, but it came with the MP3 version of the album. Why in the world would Amazon do this? "Digital prices are negotiated separately; there's a set price for them," Barrett explains. "But Amazon can work around that price if it knows you own a physical copy of the music, in which case it can essentially gift you the MP3 version without paying the artist and label extra money."

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But there are reasons beyond saving money to buy a physical CD: The sound quality is better than that of a digital copy, you can more easily play the music in your car, and CDs have resale value. "I suspect that many of you—whether you actively pay for music or not—blew off CDs" long ago, Barrett writes. But "now that it's more clear than ever that a Spotify subscription won't necessarily scratch your every musical itch, it's helpful to know your options. Especially when they don't make any god---- sense." Click for his full column. (Read more compact discs stories.)

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