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View Poll Results: What is the future of the compact disc?
They will be obsolete like tapes and 8-tracks
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17.86%
They will become a niche collector format like vinyl
13
15.48%
They aren't going anywhere anytime soon because enough people still like physical
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66.67%
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What will happen to CD's?

Old 02-18-10, 07:52 PM
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What will happen to CD's?

Seems like in the past year or so all you hear is about the death of the compact disc in the era of digital downloading.

When talking about this, do you think that cd's are going to become totally obsolete like 8-tracks and cassette tapes, or do you think it has what it takes to become a niche collector format like vinyl comfortably is today?

I personally think it'll be closer to vinyl than cassette because there are still a lot of people who remain unconvinced about digital and like owning actual product, especially since you can make mp3's out of the product and put it on an ipod anyways. I'm tired of people forgetting the hundreds of thousands of us out there who don't liken buying a mp3 off Amazon or Itunes to being the same thing as getting in a car and going to a store and buying an actual product.

What do others think?
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Old 02-18-10, 07:56 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I'm somewhere between the second and third options. I am aware that less people, especially younger, are buying cd's compared to ten years ago. But at the same time, there's the question of ownership, when people stopped buying vinyl for CD, they saw it as a sonic upgrade (even though many people still argue the quality of vinyl over CD) but mp3's are more for convienience than quality, just like watching something on YouTube instead of the DVD or bluRay.

I just hope there's always the option for physical out there because I will always argue that physical cd's give you more for your money than the mp3 album as I am a nut for the whole experience, looking at the booklet, learning the lyrics, reading liner notes, having it on the shelf, etc....

Last edited by nothingfails; 02-18-10 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 02-18-10, 09:04 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

CDs will remain for a quite a while longer but will decline in sales even further.

Digital downloading will continue to gain sales, but I don't think we'll ever totally get rid of physical media - it'll just change form. I strongly believe solid-state is the future for computers, portable devices and for music/movie/video game/software media.

Solid-state will get to the point where it's cheap enough and fast enough that we can purchase something as large as an 1080p HD movie or Hi-Rez recording to be put on a small USB-like key. It's extremely fast and cheap to replicate the software on production lines, a lot less prone to physical wear-and-tear, has faster read-access, sucks up a LOT less power and generates a LOT less heat and takes up less room (you can imagine the advantage to computers and video consoles as well as HD video players).
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Old 02-18-10, 09:41 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

convenience will win over quality. I don't know if they will go the way of 8 tracks and cassette tapes but they're going to be made in small quantities eventually.

the advantages of vinyl are usually that the material wasn't tampered with- brickwalling/amplified to the point of distortion (losing pretty much ALL dynamic range), or on some older music the true recordings opposed to the cd versions (mono being turned to fake stereo, remixing and things like that.) The large cover art is nice as well. The disadvantages of vinyl is the hassle of turning a record over, portability, and the wear over time. I think cds will be seen as their smaller brother and become a niche like vinyl is now only not as respected or nostalgic.

Last edited by statcat; 02-18-10 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 02-18-10, 10:25 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I recently bought a turntable & have begun buying new music on vinyl just because I like buying physical copies of music & CD's have begun to seem worthless. You buy them, rip them to your PC, and then have a cheap looking jewel box to store. And for all intents & purposes, they don't sound all that different from MP3's.

For the CD to survive, it really needs to evolve into something that can compete with MP3's. For example, they should just keep brickwalling the shit out of downloadable music if that's what they think people want. But release the CD with a mix that people can actually enjoy listening too. Or better yet, bring back SACD and maybe this time around....I dunno, release some music on it.

But as long as CD clings to it's 16 bit 44.1 khz 80's standards & are mastered to sound no better than MP3's, there's really no reason for it to survive.
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Old 02-19-10, 07:43 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by Coral View Post
Solid-state will get to the point where it's cheap enough and fast enough that we can purchase something as large as an 1080p HD movie or Hi-Rez recording to be put on a small USB-like key. It's extremely fast and cheap to replicate the software on production lines, a lot less prone to physical wear-and-tear, has faster read-access, sucks up a LOT less power and generates a LOT less heat and takes up less room (you can imagine the advantage to computers and video consoles as well as HD video players).
Agree 100%. Solid state will win out because people value convenience over quality (and vinyl DOES sound better than CDs, in most cases). Also, I have several commercially pressed CDs that have rotted and/or otherwise become unplayable, which basically forces me to archive my plastic to mass storage anyway.
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Old 02-19-10, 08:41 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by ResIpsa View Post
Also, I have several commercially pressed CDs that have rotted and/or otherwise become unplayable, which basically forces me to archive my plastic to mass storage anyway.
Really? I've got CDs over 20 years old and have never experienced this.
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Old 02-19-10, 08:46 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I have 2000 CDs many reaching 20 years in age and have never seen this either. I always thought it was a myth.
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Old 02-19-10, 09:26 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I amassed about 800 cd's in about a decade. Every Tuesday I was in the store buying the new release for $13 on average. I havent bought a cd in about 8 years now. I definitely seeing it going the way of vinyl. Some people will buy it for nostalgic and for sound quality, but 90% of people will just go the way of mp3. The #1 reason people dumped tapes for CD's was you didnt have to rewind a cd and you could jump right to a song instead of fast forward, fast forward, fast forward, rewind, rewind play. Im on to MP3's because I don't like all the clutter of 800 cd's and switching cd's in and out
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Old 02-19-10, 09:53 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Personally, I still buy CDs because they cost about the same as a digital download, and I can rip it in any format I want. And re-rip it later if my computer crashes. Think of a CD as a backup to your digital download.
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Old 02-19-10, 03:15 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by Heat View Post
Personally, I still buy CDs because they cost about the same as a digital download, and I can rip it in any format I want. And re-rip it later if my computer crashes. Think of a CD as a backup to your digital download.
I agree with this.


I do wonder one thing if CD's do join vinyl into being that niche format some people collect while most people have forgotten existed. Right now CD's are cheaper than ever (which makes it better for those who buy physical), but I remember when vinyl was starting to be eclipsed by CD's that they were also cheaper, and now a vinyl copy of something can cost anywhere from $5-15 higher than it's CD and digital counterpart. The latest Lady Gaga EP can be found for $8-10 on CD and mp3 everywhere but yet the vinyl of it was $17.99 at the local indie shop that stocks vinyls. Will CD's be jacked up if they go the way of vinyl? Because IMO it was the concept of paying $17-20 for a CD that led to people downloading for free to begin with because 17-20 is an outrageous price to pay for a single album.
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Old 02-19-10, 03:55 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by ResIpsa
Also, I have several commercially pressed CDs that have rotted and/or otherwise become unplayable, which basically forces me to archive my plastic to mass storage anyway.
Originally Posted by Snowmaker View Post
Really? I've got CDs over 20 years old and have never experienced this.
Nor have I....
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Old 02-19-10, 04:17 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by 12thmonkey View Post
Nor have I....
Me either it is a myth...on top of that I still have the first CD I ever burned over 10 years ago and it still plays fine...

One thing that could change this the car business. If they start putting Mp3 players in newer cars it could affect CD's. Or if all you have to do is plug in a USB or microsd card into your car that might do it as well. But I just bought a new vehicle last year and it had a combo CD and tape player so I doubt this will change anytime soon.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:27 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I personally hope physical cds stay around. I love looking at artwork and the booklet (I still find it fascinating to see who the band thanks, especially when a few bands try to be funny with it). Also my computer crashed a few years back and I lost everything on it. If my music had all been downloaded I wouldn't have had it anymore and there is no way I could of repurchased it all. So cds definitely helped in the regard, however now whatever I do download will eventually get burned to a disc just in case of computer failure.

Another thing that bothers me is that with people downloading more, less people (especially the younger generations) won't appreciate full albums but instead will be all about singles. That's one of those things that will always bother me because even today there are great albums coming out, but less people will hear them or give them a shot.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:39 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by 12thmonkey View Post
Nor have I....
Here either, I have stuff I bought 16-17 years ago that still play just fine.

I think it all depends on the care you take of them. My dad for instance leaves his cd's hanging around and doesn't put them back in their case and he has several cd's that skip all over the place. I am too OCD to have random discs out of their cases hanging around gathering dust. They go back in the case and back on the shelf when I'm done listening.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:41 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by House13 View Post
Another thing that bothers me is that with people downloading more, less people (especially the younger generations) won't appreciate full albums but instead will be all about singles. That's one of those things that will always bother me because even today there are great albums coming out, but less people will hear them or give them a shot.
I agree with this last paragraph. I know that this is the main reason The Beatles and Kate Bush (her first two albums are available online, but none of her thematic later work) have been withholding their music from iTunes. In both cases, their albums are meant to be devoured as an entire work of music and too many people just want to download Come Together or Running Up That Hill on its own when you truly need to hear the entire albums to appreciate.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:54 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by nothingfails View Post
I agree with this last paragraph. I know that this is the main reason The Beatles and Kate Bush (her first two albums are available online, but none of her thematic later work) have been withholding their music from iTunes. In both cases, their albums are meant to be devoured as an entire work of music and too many people just want to download Come Together or Running Up That Hill on its own when you truly need to hear the entire albums to appreciate.
They could just stipulate that you have to download the entire album, not individual tracks. Some artists do this with greatest hits. All the really big hits are "Album only". The recent best of Sammy Hagar cd that includes songs from his Capitol albums is on itunes but you can't buy just "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" as a track. The soundtrack to the Heavy Metal movie you have to buy and dowload the entire album.

Anyway, even with physical cds people can rip and burn just certain songs to a mix, rearrange the order,etc. and put the original in a box in the basement just listening to their burned cd.

Last edited by rw2516; 02-19-10 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:59 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by d2cheer View Post
Me either it is a myth...on top of that I still have the first CD I ever burned over 10 years ago and it still plays fine...
I assure you that it is not a myth. Do a google search and you will see many examples and explanations regarding disc rot. I have close to 2000 discs, with about a dozen discs sitting on a junk shelf because they are only semi-playable due to disc rot. Most of my bad discs seem to be from obscure or semi-obscure bands/labels, so I am guessing poor manufacturing is to blame. The one that hurts the most is the Abecedarians disc that I bought when it was first released. It has since become quite rare and valuable. The loss of that disc (and others) has made me paranoid about the longevity of discs in general.
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Old 02-19-10, 05:01 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by d2cheer View Post
Me either it is a myth...on top of that I still have the first CD I ever burned over 10 years ago and it still plays fine...
I've told this story before in other threads with fear mongering about burned recordable media. I burned a cd and buried it in the back yard. Just dug a hole and threw the disc into the dirt with no case/protection. Left it out there for a year in the cold, snow, rain, frozen ground, and heat. Dug it up, washed the dirt off under the faucet, dried with a towel, and it played fine. Been recording dvd-rs for nine years and have yet for one to go bad.
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Old 02-19-10, 05:20 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I think vinyl's will be around longer than CDs. Once everyone can download tracks, CDs will be obsolete, but vinyl will still have those collectors. I know sales for vinyls have been up lately, and that's probably because a lot of them are having download codes included.

That won't happen for atleast 10 years though.
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Old 02-19-10, 05:46 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by ResIpsa View Post
I assure you that it is not a myth. Do a google search and you will see many examples and explanations regarding disc rot. I have close to 2000 discs, with about a dozen discs sitting on a junk shelf because they are only semi-playable due to disc rot. Most of my bad discs seem to be from obscure or semi-obscure bands/labels, so I am guessing poor manufacturing is to blame. The one that hurts the most is the Abecedarians disc that I bought when it was first released. It has since become quite rare and valuable. The loss of that disc (and others) has made me paranoid about the longevity of discs in general.
It is not a myth that there is shit recordable media, and quality media. Also some software used to create a cd-r is not universally compatable with all players. I buy a lot of obscure stuff from labels that specialize in this stuff and have my suspicions that a portion of it is burned not pressed. These are legit, licensed cds. When in doubt I make a backup to a media brand I trust.
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Old 02-19-10, 06:30 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

I think CDs (and BD audio discs) will stay a niche format. Labels like Audio Fidelity have a base of fans who want the physical product and quality mastering, but quite a bit of music may only be offered for download. I could see it ending up like SACD was in its prime (if you can call it that), where some key catalog albums and a lot of classical and jazz would get released, but mainstream music was largely ignored. Hopefully by that time, the majors will have lossless downloads as the norm.
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Old 02-19-10, 07:17 PM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
They could just stipulate that you have to download the entire album, not individual tracks. Some artists do this with greatest hits. All the really big hits are "Album only". The recent best of Sammy Hagar cd that includes songs from his Capitol albums is on itunes but you can't buy just "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" as a track. The soundtrack to the Heavy Metal movie you have to buy and dowload the entire album.

Anyway, even with physical cds people can rip and burn just certain songs to a mix, rearrange the order,etc. and put the original in a box in the basement just listening to their burned cd.
I can understand the idea about having to buy the whole studio album, but I disagree with soundtracks. With a lot of soundtracks out there, there might only be three or four artists out of 12 someone likes. If say, I wanted to download the Killers track off that Twilight sdtk (I love Killers, hate Twilight), it would really suck if I had to buy Paramore and some of the other tweeny emo bands just to get the one song by the one band on there I like. Same applies with various artists albums that aren't soundtracks. I can understand the "if you want Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, you should hear the entire Sgt. Pepper album" mentality, but not the same with soundtracks with numerous artists.
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Old 02-20-10, 07:23 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by nothingfails View Post
I can understand the idea about having to buy the whole studio album, but I disagree with soundtracks. With a lot of soundtracks out there, there might only be three or four artists out of 12 someone likes. If say, I wanted to download the Killers track off that Twilight sdtk (I love Killers, hate Twilight), it would really suck if I had to buy Paramore and some of the other tweeny emo bands just to get the one song by the one band on there I like. Same applies with various artists albums that aren't soundtracks. I can understand the "if you want Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, you should hear the entire Sgt. Pepper album" mentality, but not the same with soundtracks with numerous artists.
They know people only want THE song(s) off a soundtrack and rig it that way. It's frustrating. You can get it now because they offer the original album, but for a long time to get "How Long" by Ace you had to buy an entire movie soundtrack it appeared on. I want "Take A Ride(Heavy Metal)" by Don Felder but you have to buy the entire album, which is good, but I have the other good stuff I want on other albums. They have a Dave Edmunds best of cd for download, all tracks available seperately except "I Hear You Knockin'", Album only. Same with the Van Morrison best of, several tracks aren't available individually "Domino", "Wild Night" and few others are designated as Album Only.
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Old 02-20-10, 07:57 AM
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Re: What will happen to CD's?

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
They know people only want THE song(s) off a soundtrack and rig it that way. It's frustrating. You can get it now because they offer the original album, but for a long time to get "How Long" by Ace you had to buy an entire movie soundtrack it appeared on. I want "Take A Ride(Heavy Metal)" by Don Felder but you have to buy the entire album, which is good, but I have the other good stuff I want on other albums. They have a Dave Edmunds best of cd for download, all tracks available seperately except "I Hear You Knockin'", Album only. Same with the Van Morrison best of, several tracks aren't available individually "Domino", "Wild Night" and few others are designated as Album Only.
I have to agree with a few folks here. I LOVE my CD collection. I think I have about 1500 altogether - altho I've had more, but have really thinned out the herd over the years by ripping and burning my own "greatest hits" collections by combining songs off of certain artists albums I had that I liked and adding songs I've downloaded from online (altho not saying where!).

I recently made my own Van Morrison "greatest hits" CD of 17 songs, and have the two above mentioned on it, and including "Blue Money" which wasn't on his regular "Greatest Hits" CD.

If I don't have all the artists songs on various CDs in my collection. I usually go on Amazon, check out their albums with the songlists there and write up a list of the extras I don't have (and/or) sound good and download the extras I want to add on to my CD.

I'm one of the last hold-outs without a MP3 player, and consider myself "old school" by just listening to my CDs - and tapes!
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