Originally Posted by ravenheart
On a personal note as a consumer of recorded music, I don't. I hate it.
I'm tired of small bands and labels either having to charge insane amounts of money for their CDs, or not being able to release their music properly at all because they can't afford it, or the more cost effective way of releasing it has become a cheap knockoff with no overheads.
And I'm tired of digital music in general degrading and devaluing the concept of a music collection.
Although, all of this is down to two main factors really. People are cheap, and people are lazy.
One of the first things I thought when reading the OP was, "ravenheart is going to disagree with everything posted here."
I'll reiterate what Powerslave said though, where are the outrageous prices? Barring shopping for CDs at FYE, Best Buy or Barnes & Noble (or the UK equivalent, whatever that may be), most of which don't carry much I'm interested in anyway, prices across the board seem pretty reasonable right now. Small bands generally charge very little for their music, labels charge a tad more, but I haven't paid more than $15 for a CD in a long time (excluding shipping), years even. Often vinyl is no more expensive than CD, unless it comes in deluxe packaging of some kind or if it's double. And often these releases are more personalized and include more than they used to. A lot of bands write personal notes of appreciation, include patches, posters, candles, maps, photographs, razors, etc. at no noticeable extra charge just to try to reach out to the consumer and offer them more (which in marketing terms is called an "in-pack premium"); seemingly an appreciative gesture just for buying the music in the first place.
So quite the opposite really, bands seem to be reaching out and making their products as affordable and cost-productive as they can without losing their shirts. These are consumer benefits.
As far as digital music degrading physical collections, I've learned that almost all bands worth a shit release their music in some physical medium. In fact I can't think of a single instance where I wanted a physical copy of a band's material and couldn't find it. And I listen to a lot of independent artists, so expecting this to be an issue wouldn't be unreasonable, as compared to signed artists. In my experience though, it's not. So this might hold weight if you're talking about rap or hip hop or some genre of music I'm not familiar with, but for the most part it seems metal is very consumer friendly if you're looking to "collect" it.