Buying music

We’ve had posts about streaming/spotify etc, but just wondering who still buys music here, and how your purchasing habbits have changed over the last few years?
I used to buy lots on cds and had a long-lasting eMusic subscription, but I’ve finally stopped with eMusic, and I’ve been finding the idea of buying cds less appealing now that I only ever burn the cd on to my computer, and then feel a bit guilty just having bought a bit of plastic just to hold on to. So I’ve mainly been paying for downloads instead (with cds still being bought for my (older) favourite bands).

I have a nice old cheap £5 a month Spotify subscription, which means I can listen to it on my computer without adverts, to listen to music to see what I like enough to then buy and download the album so that I can listen to it on my phone and on the go. I’ve been thinking about subscribing for the full Spotify for convenience to listen to new stuff whilst out, whilst still continuing to buy/download music. I think/hope I will do this, but I just suspect that I will end up buying less mp3s, despite my best intentions. Any suggestions on how to stop that slippery slope would be appreciated! As mentioned in the other recent music thread on the social board, paying £10 a month for my artists get a small tiny proportion of that feels a bit rubbish.

Maybe a bit of a pointless thread, but anyone still buy mp3s and subscribe to Spotify etc? anyone buying less physical music because of wanting to be an eco warrior? and other related questions…

I listen to Spotify probably 10-12 hours a day, but if there’s an artist that I put into heavy rotation that isn’t already some sort of international superstar I’ll buy their album on vinyl (if it’s available). Probably end up with 5-10 a year.

I see vinyl as a legacy collection and a way to get a little more money to the artist — I inherited my mom’s, so someday I hope to pass them on to my kids. The resurgence of popularity has been helpful, even tiny labels are pressing them.

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Yeah I’m lucky enough to have the income to buy lps sometimes so it’s a no brainer for me. It actually also makes the “make a list of your albums of the year” thing a bit more pointful as the top ten or so are the ones I ask the TV to buy for me and that’s my Christmas present sorted.

Still buy cds, listen to them in the car.

Streaming does not fit my lifestyle.


I buy vinyl and CDs and have Spotify. I wouldn’t ever want to just stream - feels a bit wrong.
Probably spent the same annually most of my adult life (which goes back to the days when non-chart CDs were £17!)
Also more on gigs now I’m lucky enough to be able to afford it.
My 15 yo daughter also buys the music of her favourite artisits (mainly vinyl) which is encouraging. I don"t even have to nag her about it too much.

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I’m similar to you I think - doubt I will ever go all-streaming but I do use it more and more to try things out before buying CDs or Bandcamp downloads. I’m trying to curb my CD collecting, both for environmental reasons and lack of storage space.

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Not interested in streaming (live rurally so it wouldn’t work anyway). But all the music I listen to, largely as cds (which I lay in the car). If a car didn’t have a cd player, I probably wouldn’t buy it!

My music listening is 95% streaming nowadays. I stream via Google Play Music pretty much my entire working day & in the car.
Have felt guilty about that & have started to buy some vinyl to offset the guilt factor, although I don’t have the time to enjoy them really. I buy at gigs & from a local independent music store. Have bought 3 LP’s in the last few weeks and haven’t had any opportunity to listen to them so now I’m feeling guilty about starting an unused vinyl collection which my wife is not too happy about :scream:


Used to spend loads every month on CDs, then quit my job and went to university and switched to streaming only.

Still mostly use Spotify, but I have a record player now and buy one or two new LPs a month stuff that I really like. Would buy more (I have a “to buy” folder on Spotify that has about sixty albums in it) if they were £10-15 rather than £15-20 :man_shrugging:

I stream a lot on Bandcamp, don’t use Spotify just cause I don’t really like having that much decentralised immediate choice music-wise or whatever you’d call it.

I still buy CDs, but I am trying to cut that back a bit, for the sake of storage, and the fact that I do have to admit that I listen to most music digitally. So I buy stuff off Bandcamp, Bleep, Boomkat, places like that. It’s lucky my tastes are inclined towards the indie side of things because honestly all the mainstream digital music stores (iTunes, Amazon) are absolute fucking nightmares to use nowadays, I find

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I buy CDs. Mostly from Monorail and Fopp, sometimes HMV, or wherever. Occasionally direct online. Try to avoid Amazon* for music (and in general). Had 100s (1000s?) of my albums ripped to mp3 but had an external hard drive die during a short period when that was my only copy of them and haven’t bothered to go back and re-rip them all, but have done all of the stuff I’ve bought in the last handful of years, plus a few others. Vinyl prices seem to generally be mad now, so I don’t bother with that any more.

*just checked my order history and apart from a couple of albums in 2014 - Run Fast by The Julie Ruin and Mess by Liars, in case you were wondering - it looks like I stopped buying music from Amazon in 2012. :astonished:

I went through a period of buying a lot of vinyl but have cut back drastically due to the cost, having a Spotify subscription, and the fact CDs can also be listened to in the car.

It’s worth noting though that streaming is probably not the environmentally friendly option -

This is just for music - I’d guess Youtube, Netflix etc are even more damaging.

Like you I use Spotify to try out new stuff, but have stopped buying CDs. I still buy MP3s, and uhhh… illegally download stuff. Also buy a small amount of vinyl a year.

I don’t think i’ll ever be a streamer.

I’m somewhere in the middle.

I have a meticulously curated iTunes library that I’ve been maintaining since 2004 when I ripped every CD I owned, and I’ve made a habit of ripping everything as soon as I purchase it. Nowadays I purchase LPs, but mostly crave the download code inside to add to my library. I think I might have bought the odd download-only digital release half a dozen times, but mostly I’m vinyl and my iTunes library…

…but I subscribe to Apple Music. Mostly because it puts my entire iTunes library in the cloud, odd radio rips and live tracks and all. Love that convenience. I occasionally use Apple Music to listen to essentials playlists of heritage acts but that’s it. If there’s an album available and I haven’t purchased it, i probably won’t listen to it.

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I still use iTunes Match for cloud/device syncing, and that works great for me maintaining my iTunes library. Plus it’s only £30 a year.

Still buying downloads, stopped buying cds a while back. Not a streamer yet and want to avoid it for many reasons but I suspect I’ll give in eventually.

Swapped to Tidal from Spotify after the infowars thing. Had been meaning to anyway because they pay the artists slightly better rates at least theoretically. I got the hi-res for free for 3 months but couldn’t tell the difference so now pay for the family subscription which is €15.

Happily bought CDs until I discovered Roon a few months back which prompted me to sell/give them away. Tbh it’s transformed how I feel about digital music and for the first time pondering quitting the vinyl habit. Not quite ready to take that plunge yet though and I’d have to think about how to support artists as I don’t really get to gigs.

So still buy lots of records, don’t have a local record store so use bandcamp or Boomkat/Norman etc. Also have maybe 100 digital albums almost all from bandcamp but a few from Boomkat. Oh yeah & second hand vinyl via discogs too occasionally.

Streaming has only increased the number of records I buy because of discovery.

This could become more of a problem in the future as i believe a third of new cars don’t have CD players now and this will grow and grow.

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We bought a new car in late 2017 and realised as we were driving home in it that it didn’t have a CD player. I was mortified, but soon realised that having lots of ripped albums on a USB stick in the dashboard is great, better than juggling lots of CDs.

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Apple Music subscription, as I do most of my listening at home via Sonos or at work from my phone. But I buy any album I really like on vinyl and pre-order albums by artists I like, especially if they’re doing fancy colourways and the like. Haven’t bought a CD in about 5 years, but can’t remember what the last one was.
usic Magpie’d pretty much my entire collection prior to moving to amsterdam last year, as I knew I wouldn’t have a car for the forseeable, and it was just a bunch of heavy boxes I’d have to find space for. Lots of memories there but I’ve got most of my top nostalgia/favourite albums on vinyl now anyway.