We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In the past year, I realize I have heard my share of live music but have not bought a single piece of recorded music.
Part of that must be that I already own so much of what I want to listen to, including Barenboim's set of Beethoven's Piano Concertos, and all of Beethoven's string quartets including his astonishing and complicated masterpiece, Opus 133, the Grosse Fuge. The hook brings you back.
(It takes me many listenings to see what a composer is doing with an ambitious piece. Composers, like performers, tend not to realize that the average music listener cannot key into what they worked so hard on - at great length and fussing over every note for months or weeks - in one drowsy after-dinner session in a concert hall.)
Agreed which is why I love being able to purchase songs a la carte. The increased capacity of CDs allowed much more marginal music to included in every album. This used to only be the case for a handful of double albums by self indulgent bands like Chicago. These albums were always two good sides surrounded by two sides of unlistenable garbage.
I bought a lot of CD box sets @ ~$2/CD, most of them early in the decade. I acquired a couple of such sets in the past two or three years, such as Astor Piazzolla, Artur Schnabel playing Beethoven sonatas, or early rock and roll. Some mail order purchase, but mostly at a used book store.
When is the last time I paid retail [$10+] for a CD? Maybe 4 years ago.
I've long thought SACDs are a great medium and intended to buy them almost exclusively in the future. I thought they sounded much better than conventional "Redbook" CDs although the mulichannel feature was useless to me.
SACDs do have a rigorous copy protection scheme which helped RIAA but was an obstacle to many younger buyers.
So the market has decided - free rips and lower sound quality (MP3s) are preferred over higher cost and higher sound quality.
Still, SACDs won a big share of classical content although that market segment is declining anyway.
I continue to buy SACDs over CDs whenever I can. Audiophile vinyl is also very attractive and can sound great but is usually more expensive even than SACDs.
Here's a site with all SACDs produced and reviews: