Downloads vs CDs vs Vinyl

What format would you buy (please read post before voting)

  • I'd buy a 12" vinyl LP or EP and have free downloads

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'd buy downloads (and have the option to burn my own CD if I want)

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • No, I want a proper CD in a nice Digipak etc.

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • I would like all of the above

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • I'll just download it free illegally

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Pete Thomas

Staff member
I hear there is a resurgence in vinyl.

I was talking to my favourite mastering engineer, and he said many people are now releasing stuff as downloads and vinyl only (no CD)

The assumption is if people buy the download, they can then burn a CD if that's what they want. And they get artwork with the download as PDF files to print a nice CD cover. NB: With something like bandcamp the downloads are hi quality files, not just mp3.

Or they buy the vinyl and get a free download voucher, again they also get the CD if they burn it from the download.

I've been wondering about this for my next CD release, so I'm doing a bit of a market survey, please vote on the poll and add comments here.

Do people really still want vinyl?

Of course if you burn your own CD from the download, you need to faff with printing the artwork and putting it in a jewel case as opposed to getting a nice digipak

Orren Merton

Logic Samurai / Administrator
Staff member
I don't think you're going to get too many people answering they'll download illegally. And not just because LUG members are smart enough not to admit that. ;) But because as a crowd of musicians, not only do we make music, but since we have a keener sense of the value of it than general consumers do, we want to buy music. It feels right.

Personally, I think that a great way to go might be to push the vinyl and download options, but to offer CDs via a low-run service, such as CD Baby, or even print on demand; so those who want it can get it, but it's not the focus. FWIW, I've sold more Ember After downloads than CDs, but it's still available via CD Baby if someone wants the disk.

Take care,


Staff member
Vinyl is too much bother and confusing to spell (where does the "y" go?) and it crackles. I would admit that it does sound better but not if you play them when drunk and repeatedly with knackered needles. CD is quieter and more consistent but does have lesser resolution even to my 20+ years-of-live-sound-work-ruined-tinnitus-suffering-ears.

The Spotify higher quality Ogg Vorbis files sound alright to me! I was pleasantly surprised when listening to my Talk Talk reference material ("Happiness is Easy" the definitive live engineers' track of choice in the UK - I definitely started that trend 20 years ago!) in my studio.

I was not so sold on the MP3 format but now it is supplied at higher rates (256 KHz?)it seems ok.

Maybe if I had the time and inclination I'd go back to vinyl but I am more a music lover than an audiophile.

Now where's my Pink Triangle and Linn Sondek?



I just want to download music and not burn a CD (and that all album covers eventually will become available at least as pdf files), but there no such reply option...

Pete Thomas

Staff member
I just want to download music and not burn a CD (and that all album covers eventually will become available at least as pdf files), but there no such reply option...

True, maybe I can add that option, or rephrase it. I meant for the CD burning to be optional. All I want to know really is how many people are happy with a download as opposed to physical media.

EDIT: changed the poll so that burning CD for a download is optional