I am not sure, if I can be called as “Audiophile” but I sure do love music, a lot actually. During my teenage years back in mid 90s, both the CD based Stereo Systems and Audio CDs were rare & quite expensive in Bangladesh. The primary source of Musics were mostly Cassette Tapes and all the major Music labels (Soundtek, Sangeeta, G-Series etc.) in Bangladesh were releasing music albums on this format.
When I got my first Computer in 1996, it came with a CD-Rom and that’s how my journey of enjoying CD Musics got started. Back at that time, it wasn’t quite easy finding people who owned a Computer or a CD Stereo System. In early 2000, CD media started to become very popular and pretty common. However, the new wave of MP3 music swept the entire region in a big way. Piracy became a big issue for those who were working with the Intellectual Properties. To be very specific, I think it was the Software & the Music Industry that took the biggest blow. Even then, there were widespread usages of Audio CDs and the label companies continued their music releases in Audio CD format.
Sadly, some of the finest Bengali Music were not originally available in CD format, be it Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti or other Bengali Musics. Even though there were various initiatives were taken to digitize some of them, the results were not all that satisfying. Perhaps it was Bengali Pop and Rock Music that mostly enjoyed much of the digitization success. However, almost all the music that were transferred to Audio Format, suffered from quality related issues back at that time. Slowly, the quality started to improved by couple of fold as the usage of computer in Music production got widespread. But I think it was too little, too late.
As the Internet usage got widespread and downloading music from various websites became the norm of the society, Audio CD based music Industry basically collapsed. Fast forward in 2019, the entire CD based music Industry already suffered a major blow and now it is literally dead in Bangladesh. For the last three years at a row, I visited Bangladesh for number of reasons and tried to find some of the popular music stores within the Dhaka City to buy some CDs before they go totally extinct, I barely had any luck. Most of the stores are not there anymore and almost all of them went out of business.
On my last trip to Bangladesh though I had very little success. I found one shop like small room at the first floor of an apartment building located in New Elephant Road in Dhaka. Owned by the landlord who showcases his CD collections. I found number of CDs that I wanted to purchase and I offered him three times the price of suggested retail price marked on the CD but he declined. However, he offered me to sell the burned copy of the Original CD at the same retail price or ripped version (WAV format) of the audio CD with a little discount. I couldn’t bring all the CDs that I wanted to have and I knew it will take sometime until I go back to Dhaka. I ended up buying 70+ albums ripped in WAV format and 20+ physical CDs. I knew I am being ripped off but at the same time I knew most probably this is my last chance to get these musics from the Original CDs.
Music Albums on Audio CD.
Things are not looking good for Audio CD music lovers over here in the Western Hemisphere either. Over the past few months, I purchased over 20+ music album from eBay alone. Friend of mine (Krishnan Dashan) from India helped me to purchase few Ghazal and Indian Classical Music albums in CD format which I am yet to receive. I will write a detailed post on these albums as soon as I receive them. Big thanks goes to Krishnan for his support all the way.
Now, back in 2016 I managed to purchase my Hi-Res stereo that I was looking for a very long time. Here is the little review of the system if you are interested to know.
Panasonic SC-PMX9. Video Copyright: GetConnected Media.
Over the last two decade I have played around with number of music file formats (WAV, MP3, ALAC, Flac, M4A etc.) and I think I never enjoyed listening musics as much as I do from Audio CDs. Also, having a Physical CD and listening from it gives a sense of ownership which I find really satisfying. I have a huge collection of music of various genre (Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classical, Fusion, Rap, Indian, Bengali etc.), mostly in WAV or Flac format which works really well with my stereo but nothing beats Audios CDs as far as my satisfaction is concern. When everyone is selling their CD collections, I will continue to purchase them as soon as I find the one I love.