Anything rare or mainstream is on youtube and audio can be downloaded to your computer with youtube downloader. Stuff you could never get on a CD or record will be there. In the comfort of your own home. You can put it on anything or make your own CDs. My whole playlist came from my own record collection and youtube as I kept adding more and more.
But if you want to buy CDs then Amazon has an extensive selection, thousands of them to choose from. About the best place. All genres, artists.
Anything rare or mainstream is on youtube and audio can be downloaded to your computer with youtube downloader...
Any music from a YouTube conversion has noticeably poorer quality than if you played the same exact song from the original cd, tape or lp record - and you can really hear the difference in your broadcast, especially if you play the original and YouTube conversion side-by-side.
But yeah, there are some cool tunes on YouTube that you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
When I get songs from youtube usually there's 3 or 4 or more versions, or should I say sources, of the same song and I always listen for it to be the original recording and pick the best of all in terms of audio quality. But anything can be had on youtube that you will never get on CD and I found some obscure things that surprised me that it was there. For example a 60s garage band called The Nocturnals from Canada that me and very few others would know about.....try getting that on a CD! You'd have to have the record from back then. On you tube there's quite a few songs by them. If it was recorded you will find it. Plus, even if you could find CDs of collections that would have everything I want to get to my library of songs it would cost me $1000s and $1000s of dollars to rip to my computer and get on my playlist and then the CD has no use anymore. And a CD would give me a few songs and the rest a waste. I can sit here and at no cost have instantly ANY song that exists by any artist no matter how rare or known it is. A very small sacrifice in audio quality for just what I want. And computers don't even come anymore with CD drives!! I happen to have a Lenovo that still has but if I get another computer there's no CD drive and no ripping to computer.
Also even more current artists off the beaten path that you would never hear on commercial radio that exist like Kitty Daisy and Lewis(look them up) there's no way you will, in North America, find the CD but I can get anything by them from studio to live songs on youtube.
Since my station is very into music, it's important to us, and so I use every source I can. I'm also a convicted audiophile and try to get the best sources, it's never ending, getting closer to the master tapes or better than someone's encode they did a long time ago and upgrading.
I think Youtube sound can be acceptable, there are 96k AAC and 128k ogg streams available. That's compressed audio and probably not real hi-fi, but when dealing with older recordings and vinyl copies, the copyist's care and attention matters more.
One of the problems with Youtube downloaders and converters is they take already compressed audio and put it into another compressed format. It's for the masses to get music that's convenient for their system to play, but that degrades sound quality further.
Aac, ogg, mp3 are considered 'final' formats and experts say those should not be re-encoded to another lossy format. Mostly what I do is grab the video itself, then open in a wave editor and save the audio to Flac, a lossless format, giving the same quality as the video has, with no further degradation.
Flac is awesome, if you haven't tried it yet, check it out. I put every recorded station bit and promo into flac, and all CD rips I've done for about the last 10 years have been in flac, it really is superior sound quality assurance, so I don't have to worry about my sound quality.
I've long thought CDs were the ultimate playback source, I loved them on my station, as long as I minded the hard cut-off track endings and knew where they were to fade out, or let the next track start and faded gracefully when I could.
I like this article on why you should make the effort to keep your CDs or collect them now:
That said, as Sparepart has said, you have to watch out for CDs that have been remastered excessively, rather than trying to be faithful to the source. Some CD re-release companies aren't too concerned about quality, or they think a CD of an old recording should sound as loud as new CDs, and they run the audio hot and clip peaks.
For example, the albums by Chase, on Wounded Bird Records I believe, they sounded harsh on the CD version, and looking on the tracks in a wave editor, there are many clipped peaks, where they rode the audio too high, likely for loudness.
And then we run headlong into issues like the 2008 Universal Studios fire where the masters for entire catalogs were lost, not to mention the originals for at least one of speeches made by Martin Luther King, Jr.
I only read about that fire recently, and the loss was so bad I couldn't even think how to take it, since music has been a lifelong interest of mine. Priceless history in the care of unfeeling corporations.
It made me wonder why we have priceless anything. Hearing about the fire made me think about my collection of records, CD, files, and maybe I shouldn't care so much, but I keep pressing on, and when I DJ and someone asks about a song they liked or a song touched them, that brings some sense back into why I do this.
There are times we are in the spell of things, ideas, and it happens a lot I think, providing goals and hobbies, things to achieve, and it's good to take a step back and ask 'why'.
Along those lines, I had a friend from Cleveland who was a record collector from the early 1960s and on. He has memories in records, like running a home radio station with friends in 1966, WKOS, that was a DJ and music station. After an article about their station was printed in the newspaper, the FCC came to town to check things out, but the station had gone off the air by that time.
He had records from that station, and others he DJed at, and did record hops too I think, and broke some songs in the area. He carefully kept the record collection in storage, and sometime in the 1990s part of the collection was stolen while he was out of town for work, so he decided to sell the rest of it. I thought, well at least you have part of the collection yet, but it wasn't worth it to him to keep them after the collection was broken and incomplete.