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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink How Do You Buy Your Music These Days? CD’s, LP’s, Digital Downloads? (Quick 30 Second Survey)

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If you have a spare moment, I've posted an essay and a quick 5 question survey on the Double Crown website. Just curious to know how many of you buy your music these days - it doesn't have to be just surf music. We can also get a discussion going here. My post was fairly long on the website, but I could have gone MUCH further with this issue. Anyway, here's a link to the post and survey -

Double Crown Records

Surf CD's / Vinyl / Fanzines / DVD's

CDs, LPs, or Digital Downloads? Yes.

Most new music I buy as CDs because that's mostly what's available. It also depends upon how much I feel that I'm going to listen to it, because I can't play vinyl in my car. On the rare occasion that something I really care about is actually released on vinyl I will buy it that way every time.

I'll buy digital downloads sometimes but not as often. Mostly because I like having A Thing, and it's easy to forget that I've downloaded an album unless I'm looking for it specifically. With physical stuff I can leave it sitting around and say "hey I should listen to this".

I like to buy stuff directly from bands when I see them, and most often they only have CDs. Even if they had LPs they wouldn't cart around a big ol' heavy crate to sell 1 to the occasional weirdo.

Hot Summer Comes Again!
Let's Go Beach! Let's Go Beach!

submitted the answers and left this comment.

"I know that I am in the minority here.
But I am not a fan of Mp3s at all.
I either buy cds, or LPs.
I hope that either of them never go away."

I know that digital downloads are the choice for many people.
Just like I am not on Facebook but I know its a good way to promote shows.
I think it's necessary to have the release available on as many pay download sites as possible. But I hope that cds and or Vinyl never go away. Maybe depending on how popular the band is, you could do different amounts of pressings. 1000 or so for the bigger ones, and 500 for the smaller ones.
Have you ever sold out on something, and re-pressed?


Last edited: Mar 13, 2012 14:21:08

The way I see it, vinyl is the ideal physical format. Sounds better (debatable, I know) and the art is much more striking than CD. Digital is becoming the most convenient format, in that it doesn't take any space. For most people, CD seems like it's fast becoming an awkward middle-ground, though I still have many uses for it.

Mostly, I buy the cheapest physical product. For older stuff that's usually vinyl (and reissues usually sound terrible to me), newer stuff that's usually CDs. I usually only buy digital if it's less than $5 and it's the only option I have.

As a radio DJ I find MP3s easiest to arrange with, CDs best to play, and vinyl the sexiest. As I tell people that submit music, I'm fine with digital, but having a CD helps me remember that it exists, because although I have a ton of CDs, I have a bazillion MP3s. Plus the album art helps me remember.

I LOVE it when people include digital copies with physical media, as it's saving me a step. When you do that with vinyl, you get the best of both worlds.

But that's mostly just me:

The new rise in vinyl seems like a fetishist thing to me. Kids shelling out over $100 for Smashing Pumpkins with blue vinyl, etched gatefold whatever, limited copies... I don't see that crowd really overlapping with the Double Crown set. While I'd love to buy every upcoming Double Crown release on vinyl, that's never stopped me from buying a CD. Digital only, unless the price were dropped significantly, would be a bummer.

Storm Surge of Reverb: Surf & Instro Radio

Mainly CD or DVD, and occasionally a piece of vinyl.

dp wrote:

Mainly CD or DVD, and occasionally a piece of vinyl.


And I just like to say the the plethora of great new stuff is costing me these days. Way to go Sean, Danny, Ivan, Ferenc, Dalibor, and Norm, among many others Smile And I love it. Off to fill in Sean's survey.



I am one of those folks that listen to music almost primarily digitally. However, I am not a fan of mp3s either. The format is old and compressed to shit, and the sound suffers. My preferred format is AAC, which is the best combination of size and fidelity, especially over mp3. CD quality tracks come with small file sizes, and I think they sound great. I listen to most of my music on headphones at work or in the car, so this is perfect for me.

I have nothing against CDs other than having a place to store the damn things. Every CD I buy goes right into my iTunes, and the CD onto the rack where it will stay. I do love the art and liner notes and all of that, but less clutter and the ability to put MANY cds on an iPod instead of what can fit in my player or car trumps the art. It's function over form to me. With some bigger releases, iTunes includes all liner notes and art in a pdf when you buy an album, and sometimes has the "iTunes LP" feature,which is an interactive digital experience that goes with the songs. I really love this option when it's available, but I can see where this specifically would be cost prohibitive for smaller bands and releases. I'd love to see smaller bands/releases include art with digital formats, though. I wonder what holds this up because it doesn't cost more in terms of production because the files are digital. Maybe it's how they get distributed to iTunes? I honestly don't know. Hopefully this will be part of the future.

As for vinyl, it is not a viable form of music consumption for me. I basically only buy vinyl if I have to, and then I hope and pray for a digital download attached to it. Worst case scenario, I'll hook the turntable up to a crappy old computer I have and use audacity to import it (major pain in the ass). It's also not portable, and you have to flip it, etc. It's just not for me.

I just posted the survey and there's already 28 respondents - that's great! I'll let it go a week or two, and will post the results here, as well as on the DC website.

Jeff-- To some extent we do vary the number of CD's we make per release, but 1000 is really the quantity that makes the most sense. The price per unit really goes down between 500 and 1000 units. There have been a few releases that we sold out the first 1000 units and made more. Our best sellers to date have been the Penetrators "Locked & Loaded" CD, the "Takin' Out The Trash" tribute to the Trashmen, The Surfites "Big Pounder", The Madeira "Sandstorm", and "Seasonal Favorites Volume 1". All of these sold over 1000 units, requiring another manufacturing run. "Locked & Loaded" has hit the 2500 mark, and we're nearly sold out, so we may look at doing another 500 or so at some point. I'd like to do more Apemen CD's as well, although paying the additional mechanical licensing fees may make that one cost-prohibitive.

Double Crown Records

Surf CD's / Vinyl / Fanzines / DVD's


I responded, splitting my answers between digital and physical so that they added up. Doesn't mean I purchase much music these days.

For myself, I do not want digital downloads the way they are usually done. I want to control my music after I've bought it, and have the source material available. I do not wsh to have to re-buy anything just because I wish to use it elsewhere, or want it in a new format. I DO like those ideas of buying the CD and getting the tracks and stuff pre-ripped on USB drives or via download. There's a model I could get behind.

I don't get out to live music much these days, either.

As for music-sharing sites, I will occastionally do it for things that simply aren't available.

Streaming I do some, but not so's I pay for it. I include podcasts in there. OTA is still free for now.

In the past few years I have only bought cd's from the bands at their show. I have yet to purchase any digital downloads. Although, I do have a bunch of the free ones that many sites have. I have not bought any LPs is years. The format of choice is CD
~~these are the ones authorized by the band such as Maderia, Pollo, Surfside IV, Bradipos IV, Dr legume, Hell o Tiki, Bruce Harvie,The Infoiatis,,,,and these have all been mentioned/discussed on forums here.

I actually feel a little guilty about this (even though I assume these artists are getting paid royalties), but I've almost completely stopped buying physical copy and subscribe to Spotify. Most of the classic stuff I listen to is on there and current artists are well represented.

After losing our house last year I had to take a hard look at how I spend my yankee's and 3-4 new albums a month adds up quick (I'm sure that's nothing compared to some out there).

If I had the scratch I'd be knee-deep in vinyl...I still prefer the emotional resonance of that format...don't know if it "sounds" better but it definitely "feels" better to me.

If it's on vinyl and CD, I'll buy it on vinyl. If it's only on CD, I'll buy the CD. If it's digital download only, I ain't buying it or downloading it illegally.

The only drawbacks to vinyl are that it's not portable, and if you have a lot of it moving suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

That was excessively violent and completely unnecessary. I loved it.

I buy 99.9% of my music on CD, but I listen to lossless rips of the CDs.

I'm not at all against a download-only option, but only if I can get the tracks in a lossless format (I don't care to get into the "which format" flame wars. If it's lossless, by definition I can make it whatever lossless format I prefer to work with).

I have purchased exactly one album in a non-lossless download, but only because the band (Wolfgang Parker) didn't produce any physical media, and ONLY released through Amazon MP3. I loved the songs, hated the MP3. But I digress.

The convenience of having everything ripped is everything to me. I like that I don't have to flip a record. I like that I don't have to change a CD. I like that I don't have to pick which 5 discs go in the changer for tonight's listening pleasure. I guess I'm lazy.

But so what? I've got tons of great music at my fingertips. I never lose anything. And that party where everyone had too much to drink? Not a single CD or LP was lost. Smile

when i buy cd's it's almost always from the band or from someone like double crown/cd baby, etc. i too load them into my computer but edit out the tunes i don't care for. every now and then i'll buy a whole cd from the itunes store but mostly my purchases are single songs, kinda like buying 45's in the old days. Smile

Vinyl - preferably 45's. I have collected 45s (mainly '60s) off and on for 45 years. With that being said, I have my turntable plugged into my pc where I digitize the sound to listen to in car, at work, etc.

In regard to Spotify and other streaming services, they do pay artists and labels, but it's pennies at a time that add up to a buck or two here and there. If there's a time where everyone just used Spotify or Pandora, I'd shut down Double Crown. I think streaming services have their place, but I really hope they don't become the sole source of music. I could write an essay why this scenario would be a complete nightmare for the music fan, and none of it would have to do with the closing of Double Crown. Essentially, nearly all of the labels you know and love would go away, and Spotify would become a worldwide "label", the only "label". I hate to go into grumpy old man mode, but if the world goes streaming only with music it'll ruin the music industry, majors and indies.

Double Crown Records

Surf CD's / Vinyl / Fanzines / DVD's

Streaming is for sampling, imo. I buy my music via CD or Vinyl (the old fashioned way). If I cant find it on either, I get it on iTunes or BandCamp.

Streaming will most likely be the way of the future, which sucks, but it will give the few labels at the top the most control and the most efficiancy for distribution. So most likely thats the route they will go.

But as long as there's physical media still available, and as long as I have money, I'm sticking to the old fashioned way.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2012 19:43:10

Thanks for writing that article Sean, I really enjoyed it!

I buy only records/vinyl, with an exception or two. The price of new vinyl can be steep, but used stuff from the UK in the 80s(where most of my money goes) is usually very affordable. I just wish I could get an affordable Chameleons CD...

I buy classical on CD, because very little of it gets a vinyl release. I've been buying a lot recently. I also buy the surf releases I want on CD, very little gets vinyl releases...

I also buy CD releases of my favorite artists, which is double dipping in vinyl and CD. And I often double dip in vinyl if there is a color vinyl and a black vinyl version. Two bands I own two vinyl of each of their releases.

I will never stream my music unless the quality is amazing(it isn't yet and won't be for many years). I will never download a record either.

I listen to lossless rips of my CDs on an iPod 6G, and I can always find lossless or 320kbps AACs online of the vinyl I buy. I never redeem the MP3 redemption codes.

Massive props to Radiohead and Big Black Delta for having FLAC and MP3 downloads for free when you purchase their LPs, no redemption code either, you immediately could download them.

I have everything backed up in Google Music as well as on my iPod, Google Music just doesn't sound good enough though. It converts everything to 320kbps MP3s, just yuck...

I almost only buy digital now.

I love album art, I love physical copies. LPs are super cool. But I have to be honest with myself:

the last 7-8 years i've played CDs in a CD player only a handful of time. LPs I only buy on impulse and then barely ever play them. I have MANY CDs THAT HAVE NEVER ACTUALLY BEEN PLAYED, ONLY RIPPED.

I feel lame because I really think physical copies are great and never thought i'd stop buying CDs. I don't like having "stuff" that just sits there when I can just have the music for way less money.

The Obsidians! (Ottawa surf)

Last edited: Mar 13, 2012 21:13:15

Prefer CD, due to portability & resale value. I will occasionally break down and pay for a download. I payed for mp3s of Los Twang! Marvel's "Jungle of Twang!" because I couldn't find it anywhere on CD and two days later I saw the CD for $10 used.

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