Are CDs Better Than Streaming?

Every real music lover tries to get the highest quality sound. And this is quite justified, because the knowledge of the quality of music begins is the key point in assessing one or another channel of listening to it.

Most music lovers who are well versed in modern music find that CD quality is far superior to the music quality of today’s music streaming services. But is it?

To get an expert answer to this question, let’s look at it from a technical point of view. The defining moment in this case will be the bitrate. Streaming services, such as Swedish Spotify, offer a bit rate of 320 Kbps, and even then in a separate version. This is a more expensive subscription. The usual bitrate for the free version of this streaming platform is 126 Kbps, and it is it that is designed for the mass consumer.

The CD bit rate is 1411.2 Kbps. Today, only two music streaming services can offer this quality of music – Deezer and Tidal. This will be a HiFi subscription, which, by the way, is not cheap.

Another issue is ease of use. The music streaming service offers users its huge music library, which consists of tens of millions of licensed tracks for every taste. A CD has very limited capabilities, and besides, it cannot be upgraded. But the sound quality on a properly recorded licensed disc is much better than in music streaming.

The choice of streaming service depends on the needs of the user. Twenty years ago CDs were at the top of the musical fashion. But today everything has changed. Now they have nowhere to insert and nothing to reproduce. The development of high-speed Internet, cloud and streaming services has changed the world of music content consumption. Now most music lovers use subscription music streaming services.

You will not envy music lovers even from the recent past. Often they were forced to listen not to what they wanted, but to what they had to – there was not much choice. And now you can listen to any kind of music and do it the way you want.

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We have to admit that streaming has had a significant impact not only on the earnings of musicians, but also on how we find and listen to their work. On the other hand, not everyone is happy with the subtotals, so many true music lovers are starting to return to CD players in order to listen to truly high-quality music.

In fairness, we note that there are few of them. Most music lovers either combine both options or still concentrate on music streaming services, purchasing the most expensive subscriptions with audio content quality of 1411.2 Kbps. Either way, this allows them to access millions of tracks in high definition. For example, the music library of the French streaming service Dееzer exceeds 80 million songs. And a significant part of this colossal amount can be reproduced in the highest sound quality without loss.

The CD is almost 40 years old, and for those of us who remember how it started, it remains a mysterious high-tech achievement even now that the medium has had to make room for the onslaught of streaming services.

If we set out to identify the moment when digital data storage began to replace analog in consumer electronics, the appearance of the CD can be considered as such. Well, music streaming has become the latest generation, which today has gained maximum popularity among music lovers. By the way, music streaming services, as of 2022, generate almost 84% of the income of the entire global music industry.

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