1. Born to lose: will deteriorate and break at some point and may take the playback device with it
2. Tape hiss always present
3. Hard to access specific songs: fast forward, listen, rewind, etc.
4. Take up a fair amount of room to store
5. Tape players harder and harder to find including portable ones
Pirate potential: very low for obvious reasons: copy of hissy tape = hissy copy.Vinyl
1. Fragile, often damaged when first played, and deteriorates over time
2. Large covers and lots of information
3. Heavy and hard to store
4. Musical fidelity is good with a nice pressing, good record player and electronics
5. Fairly expensive these days
6. Must flip the record to hear a whole album
7. Playback device (turntable) increasingly available
8. Usually have to purchase an entire record to get one song
9. Impossible to play on a portable music player
10. Record stores are wonderful. There's a definite cardboard/vinyl smell, and it's nice to see all the vinyl lovers. Discogs.com and gemm.com allow access to almost anything but more limited than CD.
Pirate potential: low. Too much trouble to rip vinyl (I know that's what USB turntables are for) and you still get the vinyl noise.CD
1. Damage/deterioration is fairly rare if one takes reasonable care (CD "rot" appears rare, thank god)
2. Jewel boxes are large and take up a lot of room
(there are alternatives, of course) - jewel box info is often quite good and extensive
3. Fidelity is good with even low cost equipment
4. Equipment is readily available for playback
5. Usually have to purchase an entire album to get one song
6. Portable music players available but are subject to skipping if the listener is exercising
7. CD stores are still wonderful. It's great to see other music lovers surrounded by music. However, you do have to drive over and they may not have what you want.
8. The vast online CD store collective is nice. Via discogs.com and gemm.com you can find almost anything. Specialty stores like Hypnos.com are not possible in the brick and mortar world except possibly in cities like NY and San Francisco.
Pirate potential: high. Easy to rip to MP3 or lossless files.Files
1. No damage or deterioration but must have backups on some sort of physical media
2. Fidelity is good with even low cost equipment
3. Home music servers (Sonos, Squeezebox, etc) make accessing files from multiple rooms easy and in a variety of price points for the equipment
4. Space for music storage is minimized (e.g., 100,000+ lossless .flac files on a couple of two terrabyte external hard drives)
5. Necessity to purchase an entire album to get specific songs is decreased or eliminated
6. Music info is often limited - sometimes a .PDF file and album art included
7. Files with increased fidelity beyond CDs available (hdtracks.com)
8. Access to files is increasingly available
9. Easy to play on portable music devices even while exercising unless the player has a hard drive (older iPods)
10. May be less costly than buying physical media and delivery is instant (I particularly like the latter point). You can read about an album, locate it, purchase it, and be listening to it in 10 minutes.
Pirate potential: high. Easy to copy files.