‘Dragems “How to Buy: Second-hand Compact Discs”
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G’day Drop pundits! I am ‘whitedragem’, an Australian ‘technologist/geek’ who is here to offer some common, and some uncommon knowledge, to help those wanting to build a vast audio library filled with high quality sound files. CDs? Yes CDs => as they will allow ripping onto just about any audio playback device, usually via a computer and specific software; that allows album art/tags, heck even lyrics, to live with your High Def master files. Why CDs? Because they can be bought second hand for less than a dollar, and if the average user spent $10-15 dollars a month (equivalent to a music subscription), with the typical cost of $1-2 netting 10-20 tracks, this would equate to having a large collection of lossless music, in a relatively short amount of time. A collection that can jump ecosystems (say ‘from iTunes’) to any future equipment that a user may consider, whilst also giving file freedoms, like ‘mixing’ into iMovie.. This header is a placeholder. The article will form over the next few days. hopes are- a community brainstorm; edits to first posts to incorporate future suggestions, and expanded links and suggestions that other Drop participants also recommend. the ‘placeholder’ nature of this heading is for ‘dragems testing purposes. (Eg can I create a poll for ‘votes’ on future ‘how to’ guides?; do I need a guide to link to (like this one) if making a poll? its’ just me tinkering... the seven ‘to be edited posts’ after this one will be to allow for the detail that this article intends to go to, with visual aids, and I believe there is an 8 photo limit per post, so I will ‘claim the first 8 posts’, and then update accordingly. please, patience for the article- it is given free, and I would like it to be easy access/readable. So some time in editing and formatting is required. It is storyboarded presently, hence me toying with these pages, and learning the website etc’ the article will be ready to read when this text is no longer here ;-) cheers, whitedragem Article coming (due prior to October)
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Whitedragem
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Oct 26, 2019
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Seeing the number of people visiting this thread, and possibly reading past the ‘work in progress signs’- the purpose here is to create a discussion place for the topic of ‘second hand’ CDs. I suppose not having a thread filter to sort posts as ‘oldest first’, means that it may prove messy. I am keen to learn ways to keep it simple and legible.. might have to ask a mod to sticky the first eight posts(?! please do) Many reading the thread will of course already be practising the art of second hand music buying, and hopefully a few points here-in raised may prove helpful when negotiating ‘cheap’ music. A point I cannot hammer home enough- DO NOT PLAY HARDBALL/or be a ‘DIFFICULT’ CUSTOMER!... For the prices we are aiming to pay, no one is going to take on stress, or want to be left ‘feeling bad’. If any attitude is to be shown- I’d suggest-Work the opposite angle!:Courtesy, Manners and Respect; make them feel positive for helping us out. (In consumerism, seldom do we recall the price we paid, but oft we recall ‘how we felt’) For the paltry price we wish to purchase at, make the seller a coffee and bring ‘em a newspaper (jokes). Qualify how happy they have made you simply for offering the discs for sale (if an individual seller, thank their good tastes (obviously you like them enough to want to buy them), if a shopkeep, thank them for their time displaying them etc. To practise what I preach- in the ‘how to’, I suggest approach the counter with a large pile of potential discs (that you would be happy to buy), and ask if there is “any discount for buying in bulk”, (and continuing on without taking a breath), at these prices “may not buy all of them, so might have to double check the conditions and sort through them”..... qualify that you’d buy the cases for the art if price wasnt a concern..... Usually an outdated product (CDs are so yesteryear), that isn’t worth a wage to stock, sort and sell, isn’t worth the trouble to haggle either. Shops are often happy just to have the stock rotated, and to create fresh space to ‘bring out more’... Today I approached the counter with around $22 of discs.... The Gotye was a special edition CD including a DVD with a few album tracks etc (top ‘row’ of the photo, below), which had $5 on that one album! There were a few gems in my hand, but was more than my budget for frivolous spending, and I had left quite a few ‘great buys’ on the shelf.... The agent (a volunteer at a thrift store that goes the extra mile and alphabetises their CD collection) said, what if I could do them at $1 a disc..... For my simply asking whether there was any movement on the price if I bought ‘quite a few’,.. had me go back to the shelf and grab handfuls more,.. which now extended to some random and unknown discs bought for either their a)art, b)album title/song names and/or c)pressing quality and included booklets etc. From the below photo, for $20 aussie dollars, we have two signed albums (Black Sorrows), a few limited edition releases (including extra discs with live tracks etc), a few gold discs of exceptional pressing quality, and every disc is immaculate, most without dust, and quite a few never even spun (guess based on conditions found in). So the Gotye special edition I was going to pass up on @$5 was an easy ‘yes’ for $1. The double disc Dave Brubeck for $3 was skipped due to already having... for $1 its stocking filler.... Peter Gabriel - So, for $3, still good value, but initially skipped (until the $1 offer had been extended).. The double discs and special editions were fantastic... Some of these discs I had been after for years (that Bare Naked Ladies - Rock Spectacle I had never found in a nice condition), and some were just rebuys of titles I own a few times over (Dido, Jewel and Deep Forrest are classics, always(OK Jewel isn’t everyones’ cuppa)).. “OK Go”? I asked my child if that disc might be interesting- was told I haven’t really listened to their music.. which mirrored my experience which had been every Nintendo 3DS update, for months, had free OK Go video clips to watch. 3D immersive videos they could do very well, but I did recall a few of their tracks were a little ‘toe tappy’, so for $1 I took the chance. Lord of the Rings had a couple of Enya tracks I didn’t have elsewhere, and soundtracks can be useful in a lot of situations (roleplay games and fitting background music is always a hunt).
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For the cost of a little over a months subscription cost to a music service, a collection can be built up in ‘no time’. within a year, the self sufficiency of owned music is viable to survive off (heck when I was a pre-teen, CDs were expensive enough that everyone I bought was ‘very well listened too’, and I wouldn’t have had this many in a year.... For one hour of wage or less, buying some for their art is viable at these prices. For me this is a typical heist, and I like to do so at least once per month, but if possible, once per week before I spend income on anything frivolous. It curbs my enthusiasm for further purchases, and I dismiss many other purchases because few weigh up well when considering ‘value for money’ vs the joy of buying music. This is the first month of my child surviving without Apple music. Has been a very easy transision, with only request being “can we buy a few ‘Pixies’ discs (a favorite band)” (“can’t believe you don’t have any of them”). The only doubt from todays haul, was passing up a live Bat out of Hell/meatloaf CD from a concert in Melbourne, Australia, which may have featured a symphonic orchestra. The disc was marked, and I like perfect discs, so I left it behind... As an aside: A nice benefit of owning music is being able to display the music that you might like... more likely for guests to request common favorites if they can see you like a band as well.
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Oct 26, 2019
Whitedragem
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Sep 30, 2019
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I am seeing a few post reads: so want to say thankyou to anyone flipping through... I have been stuck on an old iPad for content creation, and find it very limiting. In the top post I had meant to say ‘by the end of October’, as it was a the end of september when I was starting it. I did feel that the framework would be up by now, and the information would flow easily. I have basically paused making it as the first post should be about making CDs and their history, and requires much ‘cutting and pasting’ from internet. (sharing this iPad with family means it is more of a ‘toy’ than anything serious.. and is without a few key apps that would make the process easy) I have a tonne of articles I want to commit (one per month for the next year or so), and am tempted to put them up and just edit and add to them as time goes on- then community feedback would show me what is most important to do first. _____________________________________ Once this post is gone, and the top post has a link to the bottom/start of the thread, then the page will be ‘open for business’. Anyone persevering and pushing on.. why? bored? watch netflix or something. REad a book. pat a kitten. hug your shopkeep and thank them for selling milk and bread. That is the level of text you will be reading into. Complete with markup formatting placed for myself to edit the document. It just not quite done yet. Come back when the sign on the door says ‘open’. (?!) Of course it wouldn’t hurt if I changed the thread topic to include WorkInProgress, but that would require editing the first post- something I am trying not to do until there is something underneath it worth reading. Not THIS!! Anyone continuing on.... Warning,.. the thread is ‘out of order’, so start at the bottom ‘its a very good place to start;-)’ The first post is not done so, starting with post two, and following the ‘end of post links’ will keep it ‘flowing’. You can jump to post two of the article here:https://drop.com/talk/26089/dragems-how-to-buy-second-hand-compact-discs/2513459 Be forewarned; Under construction. Work In Progress.
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Sep 30, 2019
Whitedragem
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Sep 29, 2019
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Yet to come/Work in progress 6 Bonus (note to self, published this after 7, check order on page) Bonus stuff SACD (dual layer) and lifting tracks HDCD (preserving the format when ripping) included ‘free’ music DVDs; higher sampling rates can equal better sound. (these pictures not specific to this post, just checking quality/compression limits etc)
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shots not specific to this post, just up to proof ultimate picture quality etc
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Sep 29, 2019
Whitedragem
81
Sep 29, 2019
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Work in progress/yet to come <7 (yep looks like order swapped) Further reading curated list of links for further reading: links to specific thread posts that share pertinent info etc What now/Now what? link to an ariticle=> “How to: Rip CDs” (either have How to Rip SACDs under that, or link to current equipment that make for easy SACD ripping and how to setup guide) End?- should offer links for further reading. placeholder graphic (just had camera power die trying to transfer this articles 30 odd pictures)
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Thankyou for your time (ye found it with the scaffolding up,.. Not Yet; still cooking!) > To be made post 6 Special editions/ special cases to look out for / BONUS HDCDs High Definition Compatible Digital was a processing method, at the mastering stage that would render data into a HDCD format. Essentially it was a 20Bit format, although would have scaled well to future disc technologies and still given better than what we ended up with. Sadly anticonsumerism happens. The CD patents that Sony and Philips owned were running out and they needed something new to extract royalties from (Super Audio CD was Sonys next push) SuperBitMapping was a way to get us to rebuy CDs of albums we already had, whilst using a word that sounded better than ‘remaster’. (I have bought War of the Worlds so many times in so many different flavours!!) HDCD was a very real benefit to all consumers in that discs processed to be HDCD still rendered improved results on regular CD players, and any player or DAC (if using the CD player as a transport to pass the digital signal onto an external processing box) that could fully process the HDCD signal (anything with a pacific macrosonics PMD100 and PMD200 chip) would render back 20bit of signal from a 16bit source. Not wanting to make a whole article, here, on HDCD (another time perhaps),.. the format was bought up by Microsoft so it could render compressed music files better than Apple (it was a compression war at the end of the nineties), and Microsoft obviously had not need for it to flourish. Its kinda like they wanted to kill it, as the steps required to turn decoding of HDCD discs on in Windows Media player seem to get more and more convoluted with each passing year. Yes even media player with windows 10 allows 24bit audio playback from ‘certain discs’ if you go deep into the menus and enable the feature (why not ‘on’ by default?).. Of course as media player isn’t bitperfect playback there isn’t much point configuring it anyway, and users would be better sorted with a range of other media playback or ripping software. JRIVER is an example of an alternative.
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HDCDs have an obvious logo that is sometimes found printed on discs or in their covers. More often than not it is completely absent.
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These are all HDCDs except for Florence and the Machine, whom just naturally belong in collections for people who like well engineered recordings.
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The Live album (the band is called ‘Live’) on the left I have bought four or more times. I even found a version which was ‘three discs’ (double audio discs and a DVD). Graceland- just buy it even if you have it. You will know someone who doesn’t.
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The Goldfrapp cover shown above is highly worth seeking out. That is to say just about any disc you see in those cases are worth considering. Many will be High Def formats, or special / deluxe editions. That Goldfrapp was a two disc affair (CD/DVD). I have had a few DVD Audios in those cases as well. Living Colour in the RED CD case. Automatic for the People with the yellow spine. Pet Shop Boys (the orange one above), yes I HAD the launch version (Very Relentless) as I was a fan of their early stuff and would buy even before release. Tool has some very epic first run covers!
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And if you love the band; maybe go to an online site and order a special deluxe version of your all time favorite artists music’. I saw their final concert, (Crowded House) on the steps of the Sydney Opera House (couldn’t get an ice cube in your drink for eight Sydney blocks when concert ended).. everytime I see their ‘two disc’ special edition ‘best of album’ Recurring Dream, I buy it. For the live version of Sister Madly it is worth the asking price everytime.
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Sep 29, 2019
Whitedragem
81
Sep 29, 2019
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Yet to Come/Work in progress 5 Purchasing So you’ve found your favorite thrift store for buying albums (mine alphabetises them and still only charges $1 per disc). Is $1 a disc always a good buy? Stop and smell the roses sometimes. Is there a full priced disc that you desperately want and is unlikely to turn up second hand? Buying five albums you may not listen to is poor value if you could buy one you really want. So, keep an eye out for premium second hand stores. They might not be where you buy the lion share of your collection from, but if they curate better discs and treat them better or make shopping easier (remember your time is worth more than money!),.. then reward yourself with some ‘premium shopping’. The Pink Floyd ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ double disc pictured below I have purchased three times. Three times the exact same album. Not for doubles (either to give to friends/family or keep one in the car), but due to being burgled a lot in my youthful days. Fortunately I had the same taste in second hand shops as the thieves who cleared me out, so I rebought it. A couple of times again! Some discs you know you ‘just want’ and they are unlikey to be albums that friends may buy (and loan to you?),.. so order them before they come out, or be willing to pay a bit more for them ‘second hand’. Sure if you wait patiently they turn up for $1-2, but who would live a life without their favorite artist for a measly $8 difference in price? (Things we need to consider)
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Of course all albums turn up at all price points. Patience is key.
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The higher the price, the better the ‘haggle margin’. (Above was less than $20)
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I always devote 10-20% of super cheap purchases to high quality pressings of ‘World music’. I think this stems to youthful days of wanting the CDs in the little esoteric tarot and crystal selling stores. Generally stuff like walking beside a Northern Territory stream. (literally a bushwalk recording) Wouldn’t pay $30, but I would pay $2. the amount of ‘world music’ on sale in clearance bins is just exceptional if trying to save a packet on alternative/new age recordings.
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At the prices often given, it becomes a ‘no brainer’ to give them a whirl. Sometimes ‘fun discs’ or the unexpected one that you had “no idea what it would sound like”, proves to be ‘desert island disc’ worthy (if you needed twenty albums to survive off for ten years, what would you choose?).
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One point to consider; from a person who has started their collection over from scratch ‘several times’: Greatest Hits CDs. Greatest Hits CDs are a great way to get all your favorite tracks by any given artist on one album. (maybe two/three if considering an artist like Madonna or Billy Joel, or Creedence, or Floyd, etc) The problem with greatest hits CDs is twofold. You often miss the album tracks that aren’t ‘chart hits’, and once you have a collection of individual albums covering all the hits, the ‘Greatest Hits’ discs don’t often get spun. If you are building for a digital catalogue, you build your own ‘greatest hits’ compilations using Playlists.
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In the hock shop industry, individual albums by INXS or the Eurythmics wouldn’t sell very well once their greatest hits albums started to filter through to our shelves. Some albums will prove easy to find. If you are familiar with second hand shopping for CDs it becomes a quick process ‘skimming along the shelves’. (Many recurring titles) < factor price and ‘your budget’ if budget allows spend 10-20% on ‘random discs’/artists that your instinct/intuition guides you to do. These could include Funny and Unusual discs, discs purchased for the art, or even simply the song names. > < Do you go without the disc you want to get seven you may not? > Next... https://drop.com/talk/26089/dragems-how-to-buy-second-hand-compact-discs/2513464 (part 6)(BONUS)
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Sep 29, 2019
Whitedragem
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Sep 29, 2019
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Yet to come/Work in Progress 4 Borderline Buys (might swap this with ‘5 Purchasing’ for logical, evolved reading) Sometimes a disc you want badly will be in between a bunch that you might not care too much about. Always take all candidates to the register, as your tall pile indicates how serious you are about buying. Before you whittle down to what is ‘keepable’, haggle the price a little bit. ‘First round haggling’; establish any discount for buying multiple CDs. Statements like “what if I buy more than ten?”... Keep the thought in mind as some discs that wouldn’t normally pass muster, might be acceptable if they work out to be thrown in for free, or are exceptionally cheap due to buying a bunch of ‘good’ albums.
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I wouldn’t buy this disc. In fact I basically don’t buy any disc that is marked. A quick check to establish how a disc has been handled ‘in the past’ can be done with exhaling (your breath) onto the disc surface. This will reveal small surface abrasions and finger prints etc. I usually find ten discs in the store and generally leave with two to four. Generally following this rule I spend about fifteen minutes time, and walk away with five discs for five dollars. The extra disc ‘to make it a round number’ is often any disc that is perfect that has interesting art, or something that piques my interest.
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This disc has a few scratches that don’t go into the ‘recorded data’ area. Maybe the last few seconds of the last track. If this was an awesome album, and the price was cheap enough, I MIGHT consider it.
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This is a standard 45minute long album, pressed to CD. It is only ‘half filled’, and scratches and marks to the outer edge are totally fine. Even some damage to the top of the disc, if it was towards the outer edge, might be acceptable.
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Sometimes great albums have missing covers. If the price is right, they can be worth buying. I just make up a case for them, and label the spine, if they are going into a CD rack. Back in the nineties this was often taken to a much more professional level which involved colour printing original album art etc. OOps,.. my ‘backup’ of TravellingWilburys (disc 2) cause it is a rare album. The local LIBRARY had it and MEMBERSHIP IS FREE. At the time the album was worth a couple of hundred dollars to buy.... damaged cases missing covers missing discs (anthology/multidisc case) is the artwork rare (buy the case, sans the CD) Due to the nature of how discs are traded in or given to certain stores, it isn’t uncommon to hit a vein of pure gold. Sometimes whole collections are side by side; their condition is likely to be similar. Oh the Joy when the first disc is immaculate and there are twelve more titles to check! Having volunteered to work Sundays in a hock shop (to get access to the ‘staff loans’ book) whole collections of AC/DC or John Butler Trio would turn up (it was Western Australia, so very fitting).
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Two “Nine Inch Nails” covers for “with teeth”; you can see the different white points that the printers were calibrated to. One is a double sided disc, a DVD on one side, and a CD on the other. (flip the disc to play it in a DVD player) Continuing to.. https://drop.com/talk/26089/dragems-how-to-buy-second-hand-compact-discs/2513462 (part 5)(factor price and YOUR budget)
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Sep 29, 2019
Whitedragem
81
Sep 29, 2019
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Yet to come/Work in progress 3 Buying considerations Coated discs vs non coated discs Get familiar with ‘High Quality brands’ and Top Tier pressings.
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Dont worry about Cracked Cases. They can be swapped around with nice cases if it matters to you, and a missing cover certainly won’t affect the sound of the ripped tracks, and will hardly be a concern to collectors whose end game is to have a lot of master quality rips on a Hard drive/media centre/or USB drive for the car... What we are looking for is discs in perfect condition, or with undamaged areas that contain the audio. If sound quality is our ultimate goal, it is true that not all CDs are created equally. Some factories, such as Pioneer, would shut off all extraneous equipment and burn certain disc runs after midnight when the power grid was more stable. Knowing that not all ‘pressing are equal’ means a bit of excitement comes along with this hobby.. You never know what you will find,.. be it a rare collectors edition of some album you have been waiting for, or a CD single for your favorite track (with longer cuts of a fave song, remixes, and often live or acoustic tracks, sometimes of another bands song’). If you have bigger budget and are trying to grow a collection that includes unfamiliar music, a couple of suggestions: Know what music is likely to come with a given label, or know which labels often cover music that you like... As an example; I have always bought ‘Blue Note’ label discs... some ranges of classical music I will buy based on a familiar logo even before I consider the conductor or the composer. Look for stickers to suggest ‘great album’ (although it is unlikely to be a first pressing if it has ‘nominated for X grammys on the front cover!). Anything saying ‘gold disc’ or picture disc are potential for nabbing a better quality disc than modern repressings that are done with cost consciousness the consideration. Get to know the weight of a CD case and normal vs heavy weight disc. (the paper album cover/artwork doesn’t add a lot of weight, but a weighty Gold disc with picture art pressed onto the top layer can be ‘very heavy’ - these discs sound noticably better on good equipment, and read so well that even ‘long broken’ CD players that will not initialise other discs, will ‘spin up quickly’ and play it again (sam)..
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First runs by certain artists will always be in cardboard (actually due to environmental aims for some artists,.. anything in CD Jewel cases makes me highly suspicious it is a ‘grey market import)
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Ahh the Columbia red stripe. Always a welcome find.
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Stuff in unusual cases; eg these are all paper/‘digi’packs and special releases. Admittedly some discs are CD singles, others simply small batch runs or very special editions.. Definately count the number of tracks on the album if it looks like a single. If the same song is listed more than two or three times, and not much else.. it is probably a single. not a bad thing if you are after them. Some Singles have taken me years to track down. (and ‘no’ the internet didn’t have them...)
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cds of various shapes and sizes; these above are all singles. Some are in sleeves, some are in full/regular CD cases. (and everything in between) Have a hierachy of preference for purchasing as this should be a fun hobby and not bog down a day. Approach the counter with fifteen discs, being fully prepared to walk away with three. I do not recommend opening the cases in the middle of the store, and they usually will have some tape around the cover to ‘lock it shut’. In higher crime areas where the discs are ‘valuable’, they might often be stored in a drawer with a staff member having to get them out individually. Any store willing to micromanage a sale of a CD so much as to keep them in a drawer is probably charging ‘good money’ for them. Find thrift stores & opportunity shops/hock or pawn shops and garage sales where the reseller simply wants them gone. One second hand store on my travels has a basket near the counter giving free CDs (limit 20) to anyone who wants them; not even requiring a person to buy anything. Its like they just want them gone. Oblige! factor the quality and uniqeness of the disc including singles vs albums paper /first release cases and pressings continued.... https://drop.com/talk/26089/dragems-how-to-buy-second-hand-compact-discs/2513461 (part IV)(Borderline buys)
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Sep 29, 2019
Whitedragem
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Sep 29, 2019
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Part 2 - Physical Media How are they made?
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A very high quality CD, in ‘great’ condition. (dust included) CDs, being digital, contain binary information; either a ‘zero’ or a ‘one’, and this is etched in the production process, by a ‘burner’ as a pit (non modified substrate layer, ‘the valleys’), or a groove (creating a raise in the metal dye, ‘the mountains’). These 0s and 1s are why we refer to them as ‘digital’. The mediums that came before digital, such as tape and vinyl, that contained music in less 'mathy fashion' we refer to as analogue. It takes a complex computer, that we often refer to as a DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) to turn these 0s and 1s back to an analogue wavelength that our ears are developed to process. The quality of DAC circuit design and then the amplifier to speakers/headphone pathway will all have effects on the end sound. Adding a dedicated DAC is an easy upgrade that can make massive changes to the perceived sound as a DAC circuit has so much to do right, and takes expertise to make it sound 'natural'; if done well then digital mediums have as much a right in HighFidelity sound as good analogue components do. Many people seem to think that a CD, by its nature, is perfect,.. but really it is just a great storage format. The actual sound that CDs make has gotten so significantly better, generally about every seven years or so DACs get significantly better that upgrading a DAC is probably the first thing we should all be considering if we are unhappy with our 'modern world sound'. If analogue equipment sounds great in your home stereo system, but digital sources sound cold and analytical, then an upgrade in the quality of DAC being used should level the playing field, to making digital audio 'sound nice again'.
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The TOC (Table of Contents) runs around the centre of the disc, being the first bytes of data on the 'inner ring' of the disc surface - generally up to twenty megabytes of data is used here as reference to where the files are located on the CD. The TOC is quite simple for audio discs as it is just telling our CD player (DVD/Blu-ray players etc)how many songs the disc contains and where the starting location for each track can be found. [The TOC gets a lot larger and more complex when 'burning' multi-session discs (not relevant to audio discs); - where if a user wants to update data elsewhere on the disc, writes can then modify the TOC values to ‘point’ to the newly added or 'changed' data.] On disc spin up, an 'initialisation' process scans the TOC to learn what the disc contains, and where the data can be found. For audio discs this is simply to learn how many tracks are on the CD and where each one begins. So the TOC is where the laser starts to read the pits and grooves’ (0s and 1s) on the disc.. After first initialisation (where the CD player reads the TOC to know how many tracks are on the disc and where they are found),.. the player can go on to play the tracks (if the user hit the 'Play' command to close the disc tray), or it can 'report to the display' how many tracks the disc contains and the total running time of the disc. It seems that in order to keep things predictable for playback equipment, song limits of 'the first twenty tracks' had the track lengths given, allowing 'count down' timers to display, counting down in seconds until the end of the song. For track twenty-one and onwards this neat ability to countdown song times is lost, not really an issue for most music listeners, as filling a CD with twenty tracks is pretty easy to do. If ANY DAMAGE is located on the inner part of the CD, the likelihood of the CD initialising in a player (telling the player what it contains) drops immeasurably. (Don’t buy discs with inner circumference damage).
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These two photos show examples of CDs that have had A) a label, and B) a full coating placed on the top surface of the disc. (Picture disc, even if the ‘picture’ is “just a coating”) Ahem, back on topic,.. When lasers focus on a disc, the pits and grooves are read by a process of reflecting the laser light through the substrate. A coating on top of the disc can help reflectivity. (some even swear by taking a permanent marker and ‘darkening’ the 1mm outer and inner ‘sides’(circumference/edges) of the CD with ink, to ‘aid’ disc reading). Anything that can be done to aid reflectivity, be it a gold disc, or a well looked after disc collection (sans ‘scuffing’) will make for an easier to read disc, with the flow on being better audio to be read from the disc surface.
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Layers; The dye/metal substrate actually sits 5% of the way from the top of the disc, or, 95% of the way from the underside of the disc. For this reason, a few scratches in the underside of a disc may not have affected the ACTUAL DATA contained therein, but just about ANY DAMAGE to the top surface pretty much means the DATA in that AREA is gone! <data area; 5% from top/95% from bottom of disc> Polishing CDs to remove ‘scratches’ is a thing. I might consider it if the disc is unreadable, but I do not like ‘thinned discs’ in my collection. The CD spec is pretty specific about a lot a little things, one being the ‘distance from the bottom layer that the data is contained’; lasers literally focus to a fine point to read the pits and grooves. Polishing the disc and making it thinner can have the laser be ‘unfocused’ when attempting to read the disc. <“do not polish!” (laser focus considertion)> The blank CD can hold roughtly 74 mins of music data when stored as REDBOOK Audio (44khz 16bit) <previous post should highlight why this is so!(not yet)> Some media allowed filling ‘right to the edge’; example being -around the 1990’s quite a few CDs started coming to market that were 80 minutes long. (eg ‘best of’ Pet Shop Boys- Discography) As most CDs were repressings of music from the Vinyl era that preceded them, it is common to find a lot of recordings that offer around 45mins worth of audio (Suzanne Vega albums come to mind). These discs are often only ‘half filled’ or have a lot of ‘disc edge’ that contains no data, nor has the laser read over the area. Scratches may not matter if they do not run into the data area. < damage to top of the disc is VERY BAD but only if ‘in the data area’ to be read > Scratched discs may sound ‘trebly’/missing bass (long frequency that is easy to lose if the disc is ‘hard to read’) as the sheer number of perfect samples to interpret for a musical not whose wave stretches for 20 metres in length, will not work out if the signal stops supporting the frequency mid way through..(discussed further in part 4 (although not yet!)) continue to: Part III - Buying Considerations https://drop.com/talk/26089/dragems-how-to-buy-second-hand-compact-discs/2513460

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Sep 29, 2019
Whitedragem
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Sep 29, 2019
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Part 1: Introduction - What is a CD? (under construction) For anyone wanting some history about these polycarbonate circular devils. What is a CD?
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Compact disc history: including High points (CD+G,HDCD, multimedia discs etc) Replaced by: Minidisc (not really), DVD-Audio (not really), SACD (not successfully), Compressed formats/digital files -MP3s, FLACs, AACs-ALACs etc Next part... The CD as Physical Media https://drop.com/talk/26089/dragems-how-to-buy-second-hand-compact-discs/2513459
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Sep 29, 2019