questionswhich do you prefer, physical copy or download?

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Physical copy since computers can be hacked and terms of service can change.

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CD or Vinyl are better quality sound when compared to most Mp3 formats.

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Buy it from Amazon on CD. If the album is eligible, you get the MP3 version automatically in their cloud service. You can download from there anytime. I bought a CD Monday night, got the MP3 version and downloaded it. The CD arrived yesterday. Worked great.

Note: Not all CD's are eligible for Auto-Rip. You'll have to check on the one you want.

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physical copy. Then I can select whichever quality/format for digital playback, and I've always got the physical copy as backup.

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Physical, though I'll get digital if it's super cheap of free

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I would lean toward vinyl, but they want $40 when the download is $12 and the CD is $13.

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@klynb: The Vinyl is $33.68 on Amazon. From what I can tell that includes a code for digital download. Best of both worlds?

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Download has to be substantially cheaper for me to choose over a physical copy. If I have the CD, I can rip all the MP3s I want for free.

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Physical copy, I don't feel like I got my monies worth, unless I get something tangible.

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I prefer download. It is generally cheaper (I bet the album you want will be $3.99 on Amazon sometime soon) and for the life of me, I can't seem to keep CD's from getting scratched. No matter how careful I am, they get scratches in them. I keep my mp3's on my home computer, on my work computer and many of them are burned to CD-R's that I play in my car (until they get scratched). So, I'm not really likely to actually lose anything. So, while Amazon may not let me re-download the mp3's that I've purchased, I'll likely still have them. And, another bonus to downloading is less crap to store (though CD's are pretty easy to store).

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Download. Hate dealing w physical CDs. Buy cheap from Amazon or Google. Then use freeGoogle match and Google will give you a free higher quality rip version, if you bought from Amazon.

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I usually go looking on ebay. Sometimes even shortly after a new release, you can get a like new CD much cheaper( yeah, I add in the ship) than buying new or downloading. I have never had a problem with any CD purchased .
I have also purchased some fine vinyl on ebay. Old stuff that I can't find easily in local garage sale.

That said, I have a boatload of ITunes gift certificates to use up. I never use 'em cause I find what I want cheaper elsewhere. Got to think of it as free and go for it !
I always burn a copy right off as back up, so I end up with a disc anyways. Except when I get single songs. Then they are only on my back up drive. I guess they are on/in the cloud too.

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@f00l: Thanks for the tip. I didn't know that !

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Honestly I get about 99% of my music digitally, typically through Amazon since it is DRM free and I can use the cloud streaming. Now that they offer the free MP3 auto rip I will get which ever is cheapest.

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Physical copy unless I can get it the digital with NO DRM at the same quality or better than the physical. I do not buy mp3s from amazon or iTunes. I do get music from bandcamp and opt for the flac download.