Personally I listen to all 4 formats, maybe it's just a pretentious illusion but I think Vinyl has the best sound, and the whole ritual surrounding it is a music obsessives heaven. I wish more electronic artists/labels would release more Vinyl and less MP3s, although MP3s have their perks aswell.
Cassettes are good for demos/promos but they lack quality.
I predict a majority of this forum are downloaders? What do you think about these formats?
Are cassettes really still a thing? I don't even have a way to play a cassette anymore.
I have turned all my CDs into high quality compressed format for playing on my computer or portable players of whichever kind - though I still listen to CDs in my car sometimes due to lack of an easy way to play mp3s etc.
Sound quality wise - I wonder and hope that with increases in bandwidth and decreases in the price and physical size of electronic storage, if we will see a movement back towards higher audio quality. Are the masses happy with 128 bitrate mp3s?
If we're comparing the quality, CD wins being 16 bit wav.
Vinyl is not bad but the quality of the needle needs to be high to get anywhere close to wav. I own a record player, a cassette deck and like em all but for different things. I can't get into listening to metal on older formats but with older stuff like jazz or something it's pretty neat. I bust out my eggshell colored turtleneck and put on my huge earmuffs when I listen to vinyl.
Personally, I like CDs (a little too much, I think I've bought over $1000 worth in the past year), because they're cheap, simple, and offer better audio quality than vinyl or cassette (or at least, offer the potential for the better audio quality, loudness war casualties kinda sound shit on CD, or any format for that matter). I do buy vinyl though, but only for albums that I really, really love, or releases that are vinyl exclusive. As far as digital formats, I've really grown to hate MP3, FLAC is the way forward.
I use Spotify, and the streaming efficiently replaces any need for CD and mp3. It's on both my computers as well as my smartphone, which I use in the car. Just a monthly subscription. If I need to check something specific out that isn't on Spotify, it is 98% of the time on Youtube or Grooveshark(Last Resort).
... and if your connection goes down or is inaccessible in any way, you can't listen to anything at all. Fun.
Otherwise it's a neat and convenient service, and a much better and more modern business model.
Anything but the cassettes.. though making cassette compilations was really fun back in the 90's. I love vinyls, but I own like 10x more CD's than vinyls and buy more CD's too. Then again, I mostly listen to music from computer or mp3-player. Actually it depends a lot on the music itself. For 70's rock I got to have the vinyl, for something more digital CD's are my weapon of choise. Mostly.