What, no CD player?

What, no CD player?

For the past two years, my lucky family and friends receive from me a CD of ITM tunes that I’ve recorded in my attic room on Garageband. They seem to appreciate these offerings, although the phrase, ‘the pleasure is all mine’ sometimes comes to mind! Sadly, the march of technology is now threatening this little ritual as several of my lucky recipients no longer own a CD player. I’ve put the 2020 recording up on my website (AtticNotes.me) but it’s not the same as receiving a boxed CD disc in your hand. Has anyone any suggestions as to how I might provide these’CD deniers’ the album in an alternative format that would feel like a gift? Many thanks in advance.

Re: What, no CD player?

Perhaps keep giving the physical CD, but include a QR code link to Spotify/Soundcloud/Youtube or the like?

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Re: What, no CD player?

Or maybe you could put the tracks on a USB device, not quite a CD, but something you can hand over as a gift.

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In the spirit of zero waste, a card featuring a QR code?

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You could present each household with a decoratively bordered card showing the web link in elegant calligraphy.

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To add to what mandolinista said, there are lots of companies that produce fun custom USB drives with logos, etc. You could do something like that if you’re willing to spend a bit to have them produced… You could do little clip drives with a Christmas tree or something on them, and then clip them to your Christmas cards… https://www.customusb.com/flash-drives/square-clip/

There are even companies that make flash drives that look like little musical instruments - https://www.a2zimprints.net/p/product/e1a082c7-22a7-4fb8-9483-8af8ffa6a767/custom-molded-violin-shaped-pvc-usb-flash-drive
https://www.everythingbranded.com/guitar-shaped-usb-driver

Re: What, no CD player?

Include a CD player with each CD… ??? 🙂

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@Titch. Love your comment. Best laugh I’ve had for a few days. Thanks.

Re: What, no CD player?

I was somewhat taken aback a few years ago when I leased a new car and discovered it hadn’t a CD player. I was a little more taken aback when I discovered my phone was too ould fashioned to pair with the car. Changed the phone for the cheapest one I could get that was compatible, and guess what? It’s compatible with the new car!
Alex.

Re: What, no CD player?

Have it pressed up in vinyl. Full 12" sleeve and inner. And bllx to ‘em if they don’t have a record deck! (But do a YouTube as well!)

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Vinyl?? Why not a wax cylinder?

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I’ve still got some wire for a wire recorder….any good for you?

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A card or booklet featuring an artful QR code is an idea worth considering. There are a lot of free online QR code generators now that let you customize your URL link, colorize it, add artwork, make it look sort of like a Celtic knot, etc.

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Many thanks for your excellent and entertaining suggestions—it’s good to know that those friends and family who claim not to have a CD player may have to face the music after all! The flash drive is an interesting option, although these too seem to be going the way of the CD player and destined for the dustbin of history.
I think my best bet is the QR code on a card and putting my music up on YouTube or similar. I’ve just acquired a QR code generation app and it seems to be a piece of cake to create these things. I’ll try to incorporate one into a home-designed Christmas card.
Great team effort, everyone, and once again you have probably saved Christmas!

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Technology is moving too fast! I second the usb.
Can one still buy CD players? So many years of collecting, I don’t want to dump them or continually have to rip them onto every new laptop I buy.

Re: What, no CD player?

Is that a USB 2 or 3?

Had to get an adapter for my Macbook which only has two USB3 ports and nothing else (apart from headphone socket). Also got a DVD/CD drive so I guess technically you can still get CD players.

Re: What, no CD player?

Oh no my old boombox CD player just died…I hope CD players still exist. I have a pile of ITM CDs.

There’s just something nice about having an object like a CD or vinyl you can hold in your hand, especially as a gift.

I faced a format quandry when I pulled out the manuscript for a music book I wrote 20 years ago but never published. With Covid time to finally publish, I thought "how many people use music books any more?" so I’m putting the whole thing up on Youtube, where it will be accessible to exponentially more people.

Re: What, no CD player?

The disappearance of CD players, and the consequent disappearance of CDs, has had a disastrous effect on music, and especially on folk music. CDs for serious listeners of all genres typically used to come with a pamphlet of liner notes which at their best were works of valid musicological scholarship written to be accessible to the general public.

This was especially true of CDs of traditional music. To give just one example of an immense number I could give, I happen to have to hand a CD by Tradition records, a reissue of an original vinyl album, Down By The Glenside: Songs of Ireland by Mary O’Hara. The included pamphlet has a splendid picture of Mary O’Hara, and the liner notes by Liam Clancy include a one page biography of her, and five pages of brief but informative notes on the songs, including translations of the Irish lyrics.

Tradition Records is long out of business, though some of their vinyl and CD recordings are available used or have been reissued by other companies. Down By The Glenside is available in a reissue from a company called Essential Media Group-Mod, but it’s hard to find, and the one I’ve found advertised costs about US $30 including shipping, and I can’t tell whether it includes the original liner notes (the picture on the CD is displayed on some sites and it’s different from the one on my CD, which implies that the reissue may not include the original notes pamhlet). So between the expense, the fact that few people now have CDs, and the possibility that reissues don’t include the notes, the very valuable and interesting information in the notes is more or less lost.

Some companies, a very few, who sell reissues of CDs in downloadable mp3 form will also give access to pdf liner notes, but not many, and even if they do, the connection between the notes and the recording becomes awkward: sure, you can print the pdfs and keep them in a folder and rummage through it when you want the notes, but how many people are going to bother?

I feel that this loss of valuable background and context material for our music of all kinds is a cultural disaster. But I don’t have any suggestions what to do about it.

Re: What, no CD player?

> how many people use music books any more?

Me, for one! There have been various "digital tunebooks" published in the last 20-odd years and a number of them are now not only out of print, but completely inaccessible. In one case the CD-ROM has degraded to be unusable, in another the proprietary software doesn’t run on anything later than XP. Youtube seems likely to be around for a while, but so did MP3.com in its heyday. Give me paper any day. My 1880 William Gunn collection will still be entirely usable come 2080.

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Re: What, no CD player?

Richard D Cook: It’s pretty easy to create an on line book to sell via Amazon.com. You only need basic computer skills, and I’ve found the royalty/payment system (if you are lucky enough to actually sell some copies) is pretty easy to manage. You have to charge at least a token price for it. The link is https://kdp.amazon.com/

On the subject of music books more generally, internet sites like Google Books and Archive.org have huge numbers of collections of music books, including many collections of traditional music, dating back to the 18th century.

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I use an external CD drive (player/recorder) that plugs in to my laptop via a USB connection. They’re extremely cheap, no more than $15 to $25 US. I love having liner notes, artwork, and a physical artifact (the CD) as a backup. But most of my listening is by playing mp3s.

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While we’re on the subject, be aware that anything you record in whatever format is headed for the ‘dustbin of history’, and that bin is moving closer all the time, in the sense that technology is changing at an ever-increasing pace. What you record with the latest technology today will be accessible to only most obsessed and determined researcher tomorrow. That can be oppressive or liberating, depending on how you look at it … !

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Maybe eventually technology will be advanced enough to create some sort of devices which will enable people actually to create their own music.

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While I’ve no suggestions, your query did cause me to pause. Looking at a rack I built to hold our CD collection, and then I realized how long it’s been since we owned a CD player. I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but it’s been 8 years.

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You are not alone, Chuck. I now accept that if I don’t make my recordings available to be streamed, progressively fewer people will ever hear them. Ah, well, c’est la vie! So, if anyone is interested, I’ve just recently put up my 2020 recordings onto my website—the album is called Attic ‘20. (There’s also an Attic ‘19.)
Here’s the direct link: https://atticnotes.me/My-Attic-Recordings/Attic20
By the way, these recordings will sound a lot better if you are able to stream them (via bluetooth) to your hi fi player!