Then I won't be buying...
As I have never purchased digital music, nor do I want to.
I want the CD, and I will rip it in the format and quality that I want...
Digital download music sounds shit, just like streamed movies look shit.
The major record labels are planning to kill off the CD format by the end of next year to make way for digital downloads only. That's the claim made by music site Side-Line which says it heard whispers that the end of the CD is nigh from music industry insiders. That said, it has failed to get any official confirmation from …
Don't get me wrong; I think it's good that the music business has finally woken up to the fact that a lot of people just want to click "buy" on their iPod and buy a digital download, and that they now allow it instead of forcing people to torrents.
However, I don't think I'll be paying for any digital downloads, thanks. There are those who like the hassle, especially trying to play their tunes after re-installing their PC from a backup and being told that they are not authorised. I'll stick to CDs.
If the labels kill CDs and force me to download, then maybe I might, but I certainly won't pay for crippled downloads, so would probably download without paying. (If you don't sell what people want to buy, they won't buy it)
"There are those who like the hassle, especially trying to play their tunes after re-installing their PC from a backup and being told that they are not authorised."
Are there any music stores left that use DRM? Amazon and iTunes now just include a tracking ID in the metadata, linked to the purchaser's account on their system, so it's possible to track a leaked file to who leaked it. The music is completely unencrypted, though, so will play on anything (that's licenced for the format) and no matter how many copies have been made.
"Are there any music stores left that use DRM? Amazon and iTunes now just include a tracking ID in the metadata, linked to the purchaser's account on their system, so it's possible to track a leaked file to who leaked it. The music is completely unencrypted, though, so will play on anything (that's licenced for the format) and no matter how many copies have been made."
My wife buys her music from iTunes. It won't play on the digital TV, nor on the digital set-top in the other room, nor the MP3 player in the office (although it plays fine on her iPod and her Mac). When transfering her iTunes from her old computer to her new one, it moaned like hell and she had to talk to Apple help to get it sorted because it had been authorised too many times, and she couldn't play any of the recent stuff anymore (and in fact even lost it off her iPod).
Meanwhile, I keep taking CDs off the shelf and playing them in various HiFis and the car, no problems. Also the CDs I've ripped play on everything, including her Mac and iPod. Oh and I also have a lot of CDs (even from this year/last year) that don't appear on iTunes / Amazon / MS database of CDs.
Maybe that's why they don't want to sell them any more.
They have finally realised, after years of being told by everybody else, that downloads are good for the industry. Physical formats can be easily converted/updated and profit is diverted to manufacturers, distributors and retailers. They can make more money out of cheap digital downloads because they can sell them over and over again without ever losing control of the product and the distribution channel is dirt cheap.
But fucking tricky to play in the car (my primary listening environment) unless you burn it to disc (laborious and the end result sounds crap!) or fiddle about trying to hook up your phone/mp3 player (which still sounds crap, and potentially kills you whenever you try to change tracks)!
Of course this report IS just bullshit: there's still plenty of profit left in the old silvers discs for a while yet...
The hint is in the acronym--'L' for .. (you guessed it) "Lossless".
The flac program has variable setting for how hard it should try to compress the file. It is not a "quality" setting.
Wavpack, on the other hand, does have a hybrid lossy/lossless mode, so seeing a .wv file doesn't necessarily mean lossless there--you'd need the corresponding "correction" file (.wvc) to get back the original file losslessly if hybrid mode was used. I'm a big fan of flac, but wavpack's hybrid mode could make it quite attractive to music vendors since they'd only have to create one master set of lossy/lossless (.wv/.wvc) files for each track and then sell each separately. It would also make it very suitable for mobile players, since you probably don't need the full lossless file for those devices and space is at a premium. Having the data split into lossy/lossless parts also makes it a lot easier for syncing since you don't need to do any transcoding--just copy the smaller .wv file across (assuming your device supports wavpack, of course).
Oh, and "mild DRM"? You're having a laugh there, right?
a) Searching for and buying music using the Amazon 1 click buy button is just as convenient as any download store I've ever used IMHO.
b) People still like to have physical media when they've paid money for it. You can't put a downoad on display on a shelf and a hard copy is always more secure / robust than a download. Ok, it might not be the mainstream for much longer but CDs aren't going anywhere for a long time. FACT*
* the kind of fact I just made up to try and add emphasis
The only major site that sells lossless downloads, AFAIK, is iTunes, and it seems impossible to tell from their site which tracks are actually available in lossless format. And it sells ALAC, not FLAC. And it's iTunes, which means it's hermetically sealed and you can't run it on Linux. So yeah, please back up the assertion that you can just buy lossless, because I've never found anywhere I really can, which is why I don't buy downloads.
...you have a broadband connection. A considerable number of people who buy music on CD don't have broadband.
I'm fairly sure that current CD sales will not translate into the same number of digital downloads. The CD market might not be dominant, but it is still money worth having if you're in the music business. Though I can see them becoming something you can get only by mail order.
For the few people who asked this question (and couldn't be bothered to do a web search themselves):
This isn't a complete list. There are quite a few independent labels and some bands (groups) that offer flac downloads. You'd have to go to their websites to check for yourself. There seems to be a lot more electronic artists whose catalogue is available in Flac format as compared with more mainstream/pop artists. Check out bleep.com for a pretty decent selection in this genre. FLAC costs more than MP3, but that's totally understandable.
yeah, I don't want a wiki page to research ten different tiny stores, none of which stock any of the bands I listen to anyway. I want a single store which sells everything, because that's what record stores do. if I have to surf around ten different sites every time a new album comes out and only have a small chance of finding it anyway, why the hell would I bother doing that instead of just going to a record store? how well did ebooks sell when they had that kind of model, before Amazon and Sony and Apple came along and did it right? hint: not very fucking well.
Without some sort of physical token of ownership, you don't really have any means to prove that you have any right to a particular digital file. Even without DRM, you still have the problem of "proving that it's yours". Screeching fanboys that like to paint anything not purchased from Apple as piracy are a great example of this problem.
You buy it from Amazon, then how do you prove it when someone tries to say otherwise?
The world often assumes someting is easier becuase it involves a computer. Compare 2 music purchases:
Suppose you bought a Cilla Black LP in 1973. Total effort involved: You walked to Woolworths and spent 10 minutes buyung the LP. Every couple of years you clean it with an anti-static cloth.
Suppose you bought a Stone Roses CD online in 2003. Total effort involved: you spent 20 minutes buying the music online including PC boot up time. After it arrived in the post, you spent half an hour ripping it onto your PC. Every week you spend 45 minutes backing up the ripped music along with all your other data. In 2008 you realised the bitrate was too low and you spent 2 hours reseraching psychoacoustics and re-ripping your CDs at a higher VBR bit rate. In 2010 you got a new NAS and spent several hours transferring over the Stone Roses along with all your other data. In 2011 you realised the music was in an out of date format so you spent several hours transcoding your whole music library. And this is without DRM.
Now to listen to the Stone Roses you have to boot up your digital telly and associated ecosystems, make sure your network is fired up, boot up the streaming server in your attic, fiddle with a interactive menu for 2 minutes before retiring to an armchair only to discover you have the wrong remote control.
In 2016 mp3 and other compressed formats died when disks became big enough to render them obsolete. You spent 5 hours re-ripping your whole CD collection in lossless FLAC.
In 2020 you bought a new PC, formats and technology changed again and you had to re-rip/transcode again, before uploading the music to your cloud locker. 7 hours.
By 2025, loudspeakers had become so small that artists (who are mostly amaters because illegal downloading killed professional music) don't even bother to add any base line to the music at all. You scoop your whole digital ecosystem into a skip, fire up your old 1974 hi-fi with the 15" woofers, locate your CDs and get the ****ing Led out. Ahh that's better.
...or you just spent a few minutes to rip a CD when you bought it. It might have been in the 90s or it could be in the oughts. The only real difference is how long you had to wait for the ripper to finish before you could play your music. You still spent a whole 5 minutes on the process.
Backups just happen.You automate something that sorts you out in general and backups of your music are "free". Any time you manually copy your music to some device (like your phone), that is yet another backup with a marginal cost of zero.
You don't futz with stuff because you realize that if one ancient format (like vinyl) is good enough than you don't have to constantly move between less ancient formats.
It helps to only use what seems suitable to begin with.
Although video is an entirely different kettle of fish...
But I think this 'news item' is bogus...
There are way, way too many people who listen to music, who don't even use computers!
Sure, maybe that's mostly older folks 40 and up, but there's still enough of them alive, it would be absolutely retarded not to offer their music on CD's anymore.
Maybe they'll stop offering that god-awful top 40 crap on CD, which would be completely shrugged off by my aunts, uncles and grandparents...
But if they couldn't buy their Jazz, Classic Rock and Classical music in a store anymore, they'd be annoyed. They're also 'computer resistant' I was never able to convince them to bother, not even with the promise of free phone calls through skype.
I play CD's in the car. Even some new cars aren't coming with USB ports that can take music devices. until more car manufacturers fit this, I can understand teh CD continuing on.
Also, some segments of the older generation haven't (for one reason or another) got to grips with digital downloads; a report said that there is a good section of the population that doesn't want to get on line. For these people, CD will still likely be a primary method to consume music.
The music industry would be alienating a not inconsiderable portion of the population if they did kill off the CD.
My old and expensive hi-fi, my expensive car, neither will be updated this year, next, or probably the next 10 (for the record main car is already 8, eldest is 51, other cars in the middle, most are 'main cars' kept). On average I dont' bother replacing a main car with another main car until it is at least 20. Frankly theres no point.
"Even my car has one of those."
But neither of my cars (2005 and 2007) do. A bit daft on the part of the manufacturers if you ask me, but there must be a lot of cars on the road that can only play CDs. (And that's the original CD spec, not a disc full of mp3 files.)
Perhaps the real plan is that only the music aimed at people under 20 will be download only and the old farts have nothing to fear. It seems hard to believe that an industry under pressure would willingly cut off precisely that part of the market that *isn't* pirating them into oblivion. But then, this *is* the music industry we're talking about.
You forgot one step:
Stop every 20 minutes or so to retune FM transmitter to a frequency that isn't being used now you've driven over a hill and now have fuzzy echoes of a distant station intermittently blocking out your signal.
Tried using one of these in Italy once, couldn't find a single free channel that worked for more than 5 minutes, and this transmitter worked across the whole range from 88 to 108MHz in 0.1MHz (or maybe 0.05?) increments, not one of the common ones that just have 4 presets.
Some good points about in-car options, but remember that metal boxes aren't that good for listening to music in anyway, so quality can take a back seat (hah). Anyhoo, FWIW, I have a 6CD multi-changer thing in the boot and a cassette deck on the dash (yep, and it's a 53 plate!). I got one of those magic cassettes with a jack-plug on it and use my MP3/phone/walkman* to listen to whatever I want.
Of course, the biggest problem is trying to hear the fugging thing when some twat in a 'hot hatch' pulls up next to me at the lights, gunning the bejeezuz out of his crappy 1.4 engine and vibrating my poor little Xsara to death with shitty drum and base!
*The MD Walkman - not the cassette one. That would be just plain daft!
"HMV, for one, has said its future lies in selling hardware and music merchadise as packaged media - CDs, books, DVDs and games - is slowly replaced by downloads."
HMV perfectly demonstrates WHY we're all going download only (and why piracy exists for that matter); their astronomical mark-ups on everything are a frankly insulting extortion of their de-facto market dominance.
HMV are one of the few high street music chains who deserve to go down, if they set fairer prices they might just see a bit more business but try telling that to a capitalist these days...
Yes that's true. Going out of business? That's true too. So basically, it would appear no-one is falling for it, and they are essentially screwing themselves. They have a right to do that if it floats their boat.
And what's up with all the ludditry in response to this story? Physical media is dead. Not having realised that ain't going to change it.
20 years ago, if you walked into a major city centre HMV, the range of CDs was massive. I could always walk in, spend a couple of hours flicking through and usually find several CDs that fit my (somewhat dubious) musical tastes. I very often would blow 100 quid in one go and was happy to do so. Today, my major city-centre HMV (I won't say who) has the front-half full of cut price stuff (mostly mainstream movies and CDs (...if I wanted the Lady Gaga backcatalogue, I'd have bought it already)). The main CD selection has collapsed to a couple of rows right at the back, squished between computer games, teeshirts and mp3 player accessories. In trying to be all things to all people, it ceased to be an exciting place to go hunting for music and just ended up as a rather soulless high street vendor. That....is why I tend to buy CDs online these days. HMV destroyed itself in a glut of ill thought out diversified marketing initiatives instead of sticking to what it was good at.
So what the f**k is someone who actually cares about audio fidelity supposed to listen to music on after that? Mp3 is crap, so is AAC , and FLAC is too much of a faff to get it to play through a proper hifi rather than shitty PC speakers.
Just goes to prove the music business doesn't give a flying one about quality.
What's a "proper hifi" ?
Did you manage to find some sort of digital speakers which digitally control the position of the cone of the speaker so that using a CD produces better results than using audio streamed from the a mini PC using TOSLINK to a stereo decoder? Also, how hard is it to open Nero and drag and drop FLAC files to a CD or DVD-AUDIO disc for burning?
Using a D/A connected to a MOSFET AT THE SPEAKER, hell they can embed it in the speaker if they wanted is the only way you can create a proper HI-FI. I can make a much higher quality stereo amplifier for $10 a speaker than any company you name can for $1000 a speaker by simply eliminating analog up to the last several millimeters before the speaker coils. And then, I could improve the quality far more by reversing the relationship between the coil and the permanent magnet.
The point being, even if you had solid gold wires forged in a vacuum by a Greek god of old upon his forge of celestial bronze, and shielded in the bra cups of Valkyries reforged by the ghost of Faraday himself, your HI-FI isn't so high... well maybe hi.. but not high. That's like half high.
Quit giving the audio codecs crap... AAC at 24-bit 192Ksamp/sec at 512Kbit/sec produces a SnR far higher than will survive over those crappy ass speaker cables you're using. But of course, even that's bloody overkill unless you're a pretender who thinks they can hear the difference.
High bitrate mp3 (256k+) are adequate for all but the best listening environments. Certainly they are more than sufficient for noisy situations like cars & trains & planes. I don't use AAC but I assume it is similar.
FLAC is easy to get into a decent hifi - a squeezebox, sonos or any one of a number of inexpensive streaming solutions connected to a cheap fileserver or a reasonable NAS will produce excellent results. Quite a few modern amps have USB inputs (mine does but I've never used it) and many good hifi companies are providing dedicated streaming solutions. Having your music online so that you can get anything you want more or less instantly has many advantages - I can route my collection to lounge, bedroom or kitchen without carrying disks around.
Having said this, all my music purchases are physical CDs. I then rip them to the format(s) I want and the original disk forms my primary backup and proof of purchase. I might buy downloads if they were in a convenient lossless format but I won't buy lossy music - you can't get back what isn't there. However, for me downloads are less convenient so I would expect to pay significantly less for them than for the physical disk.
TBH, I think this article is probably BS anyway. There was a report on this site yesterday that said CDs will still bring in more revenue than downloads through 2015 and I can't see the big labels voluntarily cutting off more than 50% of their revenue stream.
Not sure I fully agree with that - its analogue. Any digital format is only ever an approximation of the analogue value so is always lossy - even dvds.
Personally I'm always amused by people that think that dvd/cd's et al are somehow immune to dirt and scratches that used to blight vinyl - I don't have more than about 2 cd's that still play in the car - and they have all been kept in their boxes (which are hardly robust either).
You might want to replace your car stereo then. My CD collection works fine in the car, every single one. I've had some of those discs for 15 years and they've picked up their share of smudges and scratches in that time. CDs have got pretty sophisticated error correction built in. I've never come across a vinyl record that had that ;)
This is quite an interesting question. Hanging out with computer muso friends, we've had interesting discussions on releasing their music as downloads, or as a homemade CD. If you just get someone's music as a download, do you place the same value on it as you would with a lovingly designed tangible 'thing' that you can look at and leave on a table or in your huge stack of music CDs on your shelf. There's some kind of psychological connection between the music you hear and the wacky booklet that came with the package, that you don't get by squinting at some piss-poor pdf on your laptop screen.
Perhaps it's just an age thing. Like flicking through (and reading) a physical book is a much more satisfying experience than using an e-reader.
Yes, it's cheaper. Yes, it's convenient. But overall, is it as satisfying?
Such utter codswallop. So the CD is dieing, just like vinyl? They'll always exist, there's means to publish smaller numbers for niche / cottage labels via duplication (as opposed to replication of pressed discs in a plant) but that tipping point of 1,000 discs will always mean there's a market for CDs. Once you get into low thousands, cost per unit is so comparatively minimal (like oldskool DVDs) they'll remain a viable distribution method for some time. Unfortunately it's the warehousing aspect which incurs most cost; we could almost halve the cost of our CDs if we could minimise the warehousing aspect free, it's what sucks up most of the wholesale price and results in us getting a very small return.
CDs are just so darned cost effective when you scale... Also, do not underestimate the twofold demand through by scarcity and the (more and more) 'deluxe' sensation of having full artwork, a CD and packaging to fondle. Intangible MP3s just don't get me excited like a hotly-anticipated CD album arriving in the post. (even though I might download it beforehand)
Sauce? I work at a record label. If anything, we're increasing the amount of CDs we're pressing over the next 12 months.
vinyl actually nearly *did* die; it's had a renaissance lately almost entirely because fans of certain sub-genres decided LPs looked cool (and like turntables). that's it.
CDs have none of the advantages of vinyl - they're not analog so they have no unique sound, they're no easier for a DJ to manipulate than a download, and they have zero cool factor. so I don't think you can reasonably compare CDs now to vinyl 20 years ago, no.
There's no reason you should have to go to the store and buy a CD... just buy the uncompressed... or higher quality than CD version online and burn your own disc.
I used to work for a guy who also owned a warehouse which contained on average 25 million DVDs and 15 million CDs at any given time. The massive number of discs that were thrown away each month would be enough to make Greenpeace cry.
It's about bloody time this happened... books are SOOOO next.
If they don't offer lossless they can f*** right off. Having said that, this could be a great move. What's the point of writing the stereo mixdown files form the studio onto optical discs, packaging and distributing these discs, only for people to copy the files onto their PCs when they get home? Seems rather resource-inefficient...
But they haven't yet finished putting all the old stuff from vinyl onto CD yet.
How will I preserve my CD collection (which is nearly as old as the format) when the format becomes extinct? Do I wrap th CDs in foil and bury them deep enough to avoid CD-targeted neutron flux? ;-)
When CDs came out, we were told that they'd last a century. Or something like that.
CDs will go the way of cash I guess. You don't need a login to buy a CD legally. You walk into a shop, pick something that you like, pull some change from your pocket and pay for the CD. Nobody need ever know that you're an ABBA fan.
Compare that to downloading... suddenly a million people know what music you like and will keep pestering you with offers until well after the last shovel of sod fills your grave.
Now when you leave the store, they say "Buy! Buy!", not "bye bye".
And all those songs you paid for downloading ... they're in the player somebody just took from your coat pocket.
The majors make way too much on 'breakage' on physical media and I don't believe the expense of running a building full of lawyers at full steam has yet outweighed the cost of changing business model for them.
As said above though, fuck paying anything over bottom dollar for a lossy format. Mind you a good chunk of the crap that gets churned out is probably made with MP3-Super-Fly-Guy-Deck-DJ Free Edition and 3 crap VST plugins anyway, so it's lossy to start with ;o)
What's the betting they developed some godawful arcane DRM thing they're expecting manufacturers to fit to their gear to support it, demonstrating they STILL don't get life in the 3rd Millennium.
This post has been deleted by its author
You know, I've always wondered why no bricks and mortar shops have changed to embrace a physical shop to sell digital products; I think I would still have use for a shop where I could wander in with my mp3 player of choice, find music arranged competently* by genre, etc and be able to purchase said music for an appropriate** price, having the transfer to the digital device as part of that process.
I fully appreciate that the concept of multiple devices, formats and connectivity would not be the easiest thing in the world to set up, but I certainly don't think it's insurmountable, indeed you could probably ensure it's largely automated to prevent incorrect file formats being purchased.
*Music shop employees are, on average, quite competent, able to suggest appropriate other artists (if you want) and quite capable of assisting in the buying process, which I feel is sometimes lacking in the online methods of song purchasing we have today.
*An Appropriate price would be say, more than itunes of spotify (since they're running a shop) but less than CD's (as there is no physical product)
You know if something like this was created I would buy things there, just as I do with other music.
"You know, I've always wondered why no bricks and mortar shops have changed to embrace a physical shop to sell digital products;"
The reason they haven't is Apple. I worked for a company a few years ago building kiosk solutions for burning mix CDs and albums in store, we had the major labels and most of the big Indies on board, we knew the CD solution wasn't a long term solution and also had a product to deliver digital to devices through a kiosk ready and waiting for deployment. 40,000 albums worth at the time in a simple, relatively cheap solution.
All the mp3 player manufacturers were on board and working with us apart from one. Apple refused point blank to deal with us, and for that reason the product was dead from the start. Apple don't want point of sale, they want Itunes and the control it gives.
Unless the brick and mortar music stores are also planning to shut down by 2012, or the digital downloads start costing much less than they cost now, I'm not convinced CDs are going to die anytime soon.
In Amazon UK the latest Justin Bieber (don't shoot please, it's only an example) is at £8.99, while the digital download is at £7.49. If (god forbid) I were a Bieber fan, I'd never consider bragging about being the first in the gang to download his latest album - after all who is going to believe me? The excitement of camping outside a music store to be among the first to get the new release is priceless (much more than the £1.5 of the price difference). Same applies to Harry Potter physical books vs e-books. Shopping thankfully is still a social activity and we like most to do it in groups and later on to enjoy our purchases in good company.
To sum up, downloading an album is not an experience - it's a dry banking transaction.
Imagine a world without Apple stores, where people could purchase iToys only electronically... Apple would certainly not have become what it is today.
Having worked for a brand management and PR company, I know first hand that most of those people "camping out" the night before are being paid to be there. £50 (ish) and the hope of some press/TV coverage. Having been involved at a major department store I can still remember seeing some *actual* sucker come to the end of the employed queue... epic fail.
CDs... stick one on the atheist arc as I don't believe they'll last.
Quite simply, the market is becoming polarised between lossy downloads and high-resolution multi-channel audio. This would be an example of that trend continuing. I think I'll continue with my DVD-Audio and Blu-Ray audio discs, ta, and so will a pal who's getting into the SACD/DVD-A/BR-A side of things.
I'll add my voice to the clamour of "well then I won't buy any music". I think I bought one MP3 track from amazon, once. But apart from that, all my music comes on CD.
There's just no replacing the tangibility, or the tantalisingly interesting look of a shelf of CDs. But then, I bet similar things were said by vinyl fans in response to predictions of that medium's death. Enthusiasts might've decried CD (or perhaps, tape) for its lacking the warm, rich, sometimes scratchy sound of a record. And of course vinyl is still, in a smaller way, with us.
The thing that strikes me though is that CDs have special value as a complement to a live performance. Every gig I've ever been to has had a merchandise stall. And they can't really sell downloads there, can they? Not to mention up-and-coming bands who may be able to strike a deal for a studio session, and a CD production run: for to flog from the back of a van in the pub car park after their gigs. I doubt many of these will see uploading their work to the itunes store, for a meagre pecentage of the pence per track it's sold for, as a good alternative.
And finally of course many CD purchases are made for gifting. It really wouldn't be the same to unwrap the paper and find a plastic gift card for an online download in there.
No I think there will always be a place for physical media. And since CD is so prevalent, and so widely accepted as a good format, why change it?
I'll second that. Plus a lot of Prog Rock that I have in 12in format are simply not agailable for digital download.
I'll buy CD's as long as I can. When they are no longer available, I'll simply stop buying Music.
Music Industry? Are you listening? Pah probably not.
I'll get me coat as I'm off to see a prog rock cover band. (Ex Army Greatcoat naturally)
The 2012 date is just an attempt to exploit the 30th anniversary of CDs going prime time. The message will inevitably be that the format is now 30 years old, which makes it ancient, decrepit, worn out, obsolete and simply not as good as state-of-the-art digital formats.
This will cause a stink, forcing the spin doctors to argue that 'not as good' means you have the hassle of going to a shop and dealing with physical media rather than just clicking on a file. They'll focus strongly on this aspect to deflect the complaints about actual sound quality.
The Apple religion will really back the campaign because handling CDs is soooo uncool.
One word of warning though. These have been good times for downloads. But once CDs are finally gone, the price of downloads will rise. The download 'labels' will become as duplicitous and contemptuous toward their punters as record labels ever were. Except at least record labels did something to bring new talent to the fore. Download 'labels' leave all the hard work to the artists themselves and just scoop their profits. Reminds me of the dialogue in Goodfellas where after a business goes to the Mafia for help, all they ever get in return is "f**k you, pay me".
--- But it should be of at least CD quality, if compressed it should be lossless (eg FLAC)
--- There should be no DRM Gotcha. We buy the music, we do what we want with the music
--- There should be no nasty tie-in with iTunes, uTunes or anybodyelseTunes
--- There should be no charging extra for higher-definition digital audio, especially when it is just a rehash of the same CD-quality recording from the old analogue tape.
--- Artists should get a fair royalty, which many did not when vinyl gave way to CD.
I don't trust the music industry on any of these counts
If they drop the CD and only allow downloads (likely heavily DRM encumbered), I think the labels will soon face a major customer backlash, especially after the first time one of their DRM servers crashes or they decide to shut down the service, resulting in a lot of people losing their property. Also, it will make loading on different players a serious problem - something that downloaders are already discovering. At least with a CD you can easily make a backup copy (a burnable image on a storage drive or CD-R) or rip the contents to a variety of formats such as Ogg, mp3, flac, etc.
So, no CD's, the labels will get no $$ from me!
I'd be rather happier about the idea of moving decisively from CDs to downloads, if the entire music industry adopted the model used by Bandcamp.
If you buy a download from BC, you get the choice of format you want to download in (320K MP3, VBR MP3, FLAC, Ogg and others, and all DRM-free) - I go for FLAC, personally, so I can re-encode to MP3 for non-FLAC-friendly devices. Also, if the artist has included it, your download also includes artwork, printable CD inlays and anything else they've seen fit to throw in.
The artist roster is mostly independents (though some enterprising folk like Imogen Heap and Sufjan Stevens have released material via Bandcamp), but at least a higher proportion of the sales goes to the musicians, and the pricing is often very attractive.
This said, I'd still buy a CD of music which isn't available via lossless formats, and where the sound quality loss of a 128K MP3 would grate (classical, jazz, etc.). Mind you: aren't Amazon MP3s 192K or something?
Once again the Syco bullshit model of hyped music sales is being forced on us by the copyright mafiaa. Of course they want us to buy downloaded music, but only with their software (I am loathsome to use the word, but I do) app, that will no doubt snoop all over your storage looking for what they think is pirated music!!! Didn’t see that one coming did you….
Meanwhile the Syco model of music promotion continues, take a band/group/artist, give them a big advance^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hloan to make as 12-track record, sorry CD, promote the tile track which will sell well while the other 11 tracks languish on whatever download service has it, then after a few months when Syco have made their profit and recouped their costs form the artists sales, drop them from the label telling they sorry your CD didn’t sell, repeat Ad nauseam.
Meanwhile bands, i.e. real musicians will struggle to make a living, but not because of downloaders.
Those of us who like to hear every note of the music will still buy CD's
Lossy formats are OK if you are listening through the tinny headphones of your media player but garbage through a decent Hi-Fi system. The record labels know that and I'm quite sure I will be buying them for years to come.
My most recent CD is from 2010.
But the music was from various demos in 1980s!
I have found that MP3 and heavy rock are completely incompatible.
My various NWOBHM singles, EPs and LPs all still work.
Been given some LPs and CDs recently (by the publisher) as the band featured were friends and the LP used a few of my photos from that era.
The regular consumer side of things (not just music either) has been declining in quality for years now under the attitude of "yeah, so it sounds or looks worse, but it's so *convenient*". Dropping the "inconvenient" CD certainly fits into that pattern of decline.
Yes, convenience has its place. But sometimes, I'm willing to make a little effort in exchange for a noticeable quality increase. The record label which takes that option away from me won't get my business.
Though if it's major labels we're talking about, I'm not sure that would be any real loss to me.
Doesn't anyone listen to classical music, or anything else using non-electronic instruments? A solo flute is close to a pure sine wave plus some white noise ... the non-harmonic artifacts that arise from compression are truly ghastly.
If they don't let us download uncompressed or losslessly compressed then I have zero interest. in downloading. Same reason that if they turn off FM transmissions I won't listen to music on (DAB) Radio. (Classic FM take note! )
Most of the CD's from the 80's 90's I have are unplayable due to a vary degree or holes on the metal subract due to poor manufactureing back in those times casueing them to rust from the inside. These were discs's advertised as undestructable!
Now can I legals download those tracks for no additional cost so I can enjoy the music I paid for - most of which is unavailable digitaly alas. Or do I take the respective record companies to court for selling shoddy good's not fit for the purpose?
What is my legal position here, coz there are alot of people in this position.
and I'm listening to it right now.
Purchased in 1987 it has travelled with me to University, overseas and has moved house countless times. It's still in it's original jewel case with sleeve notes and lyrics.
Actually I can't think of any purchased music CDs that have become unusable.
As for downloads, I have never purchased any music that way, preferring CDs. One CDs may no longer be produced, but I doubt it will be in 2012.
I burned a variety of tracks from FLAC to use in a listening test when I decided to get new speakers. Burn verefied just fine.
Once at the Hi-Fi shop both a £500 Arcam and a £300 Cambridge Audio player were having none of it. I had to resort to a pressed Gnarles Barkley's St Elsewhere that the shop had knocking about.
Back home my 15 year old £120 Technics CD player didn't bat an eyelid and played the disk perfectly.
As I said though YMMV as I'm just one bloke recounting one experience.
Most of my CDs of that age are still perfectly fine.
I did have one that started decaying. I found that I was able to copy it to CD-R without error using my computer, even though my audio player was unhappy with it. Methinks that modern computer everything-drives have much better optics and error-recovery, than audio systems. The CD-R plays fine on the audio system (although with older audio CD drives, that isn't guaranteed).
As far as I know all my commercially-pressed CDs still play fine. I have, however, had a number of DVDs go bad, generally with adhesive leakage from between the layers. Sometimes you can clean this off but on other occasions it has become so crusted on the playing surface that it could not be removed without damage. I've also had a number of DVD +/- R disks become unplayable for no obvious reason - possibly they simply became insufficiently reflective over time?
CD's 16-bit quantising and 44.1KHz sampling are simply inappropriate for this century. They were as good as you could get 25 years ago, but why should we have to put up with it now? OK there have been various super-CD and DVD-audio attempts, but none has hit the mainstream due to equipment compatibility issues. Here is an opportunity for downloads that are close or equal to the mastering quality, often 24-bit 96KHz.
Of course DRM might kill it dead in the water. But I wouldn't mind having my identity as the buyer of the work embedded in the file, with an option of exporting it at lower quality without the "watermark".
I suggest you should pay according to the technical quality of the file: If 128KB/s is you forte, then you'll get off cheap and perhaps buy lots. I would prefer to buy less music at the higher quality, thanks.
In my experience only the most hardened audiophiles or people who work with audio on a professional basis listening on very expensive equipment can truly tell the difference between 16 bit 44khz CD quality and anything higher. I'm pretty sure the original developers of CDs could have set a higher standard if they'd wanted but it wasn't deemed necessary.
... the normal range of human hearing. CD's 44,100 more than covered that (a Mr Nyquist explains that the highest frequency you can get is half the sample rate. I could not even begin to explain).
But there was more to it than that. It was something about some compatibility with film and, again, I mist refer you to google --- but they did pick a sample rate that suited them.
You think I'm actually going to pay for all my music in a middling-bitrate LOSSY format which in small print is probably going to be licensed rather than sold, does not have any physical presence (the shiny disc) and no little booklet with info, pictures, and lyrics?
Quick fixes are downloads. Other music is on CD and converted to the format of my choice with the knowledge that I can make better, or worse, versions at whim from a lossless original.
Seems to have suddenly become popular to release singles and EPs on vinyl, I even saw some on tape at a recent gig.
People still buy them for collecting purposes even if they do not have a record player.
A store that only sells vinyl recently opened and is doing quite well with all the bands releasing singles and people wanting their services.
There are still some mad VHS collectors around the place also who are prepared to pay $100 for one VHS tape.
I want to OWN the music in my collection. As in, pay money for it, then be able to listen to it when I want, how I want. The system they want to impose is one where I'm supposed to rent the music I want, and only for as long as they feel like renting it, and only on devices that they specify, only for times they specify, and so on. Oh, and for the same or higher price than I would have paid if I'd wanted to "own" the music in the first place.
That's not "purchase" or "ownership" by any stretch of the imagination. To me, that just spells one thing: "rip off".
Vinyl still sells so can't see CD's going away completely.
I still buy CD's, something nice about the band making the effort to decorate the cover with proper artwork not some piddly little embedded JPG in an MP3. Of course the best will always be double gatefold vinyl sleeves, you couldn't whack 'em!
......when was the death of vinyl supposed to occur?
Also in 2012: death of COBOL, year of Linux desktop, end of world, UN campaign to provide every forest-dwelling bear with a flush toilet.
"....music site Side-Line which says it heard whispers...". So not just bullshit, but rumoured bullshit.
There will ALWAYS be a market for something physical, of whatever media you desire. Maybe the record labels are going to DVDs, or BluRay. Of course, when I want to go do something on my vehicle, I DO want something reasonable, as there is NO nice input jack the factory provides.
Compression: I've heard a little (1/10th) bit about it, and the lossy stuff isn't pretty!
Audio CD has a great advantage. Is a single standard. You don't have tens of them with different capabilities and companies trying to impose their own one to control the market. And standard like CD were developed with time resilience in mind, with digital formats you mau find in a few year that that format is "no longer supported" and you may have to buy them again, and again, and again, and again.... exactly what they wuold like, sell you the same stuff over and over.
And when we want to back up our music files we put it all on a networked or external hard drive and some form of optical media, possibly even a CD!
The CD being dead is about as convincing as the PC being dead and that toilets are soon to be eliminated from all new house designs. If the studios kill the CD format then they are sillier than I would have given them credit.
Easiest way to get it is by downloading from certain sites, much easier than installing crapware (Itunes) or playing hunt the credit card.
But the easy way is a good way to try new music to see if it is worth buying in CD form.
I found out that Def Leppard had released a new album, no idea if they were still any good, downloaded it, pretty good, bought the CD.
I have a very nice and very expensive hifi. i love my music as long as they release back catalogue stuff fine. not interested in new stuff as there is only about 1% worth a damn.
My expensive CD player doesnt like ripped CDS so thats out and not overly keen on the ipod as my main source.
They drop CDS i stop buying there music i am sure the artists will have a say when they see there revenues drop.
I like tangible. What happens when my pc dies / ipod / Backup dies i lose my digital music Still got my cds for the insurance company if we have a fire etc.
i don't mind if CDs die, but:
for digitial media:
- purchase in lossless audio codec either 16-bit 44.1kHz or 24-bit 96kHz (where original master is recorded in 24-bit)
- purchase/stream in lossy codec - for those who don't know how to compress music
for physical media - vinyl only
Reasons: I'm not keen to pay the same or more money for lossy format (I'm looking at you iTunes). I'm keen to keep physical media in form of vinyl because, well, vinyl is vinyl we all know why it's good
These days most 'new' music I listen to is streamed. Where I want a copy for my portable, I get a download. Sadly free, illegal ones mainly (sorry industry, but you don't have the content) except the occasional FLAC purchase.
I've also now stopped buying CDs and henceforth am only buying vinyl as if I want a physical product it may as well be a product that looks and sounds cool.
"Where I want a copy for my portable, I get a download. Sadly free, illegal ones mainly (sorry industry, but you don't have the content)"
So, they don't have the content. But you like a song enough to download it but not to pay for it?
You may delight in "sticking it to the man", but you're also sticking it to the artist as well.
Do you actually believe that Hollywood would give up on a media that serves no other purpose than her own? Or do you get your backups done in BD-R, due lack of options? (What, no LTO tape, really? No portable HDD either?)
BD-ROM is dirt cheap to produce, a PITA to copy (what, didn't some guy crack it yet?), and the price of BD-Rs is high to the end consumer due obvious reasons. This is Hollywood wet dream. They almost had it on DVDs, but some spoil-sport ruined the show. < /snark.>.
No, really, CDs/DVDs/Bluray won't vanish over night, and:
- Blu-rays are the last DRM bastion of hope for Hollywood. As long they can hold on to it, it won't die.
- DVDs... well... they will last longer in computers as dirt-fast backup or sneaker net purposes, in case you dont have a pendrive at hand. And you still need it to blank-bootup the things. Microsoft still sells it (windows?) in CD/DVD only.
Or you download it, anb burn the ISO to disk, right? So does a few Linuxen?
-CDs are just so ubiquitous, you won't get rid of it. All cars with CD players would have to die first.
The 120mm reflective-coated plastic discs are going nowhere.
Considering Side-Line is a genre mag supposedly dedicated to alternative/industrial/EBM etc. (and it's not even very good at being that) I'd be wary about taking anything they say (which was undoubtedly gleaned from "insiders" specific to a very small portion of the alternative music industry) and projecting it on to the larger music industry.
This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion to the credibility of the original story.
Music had to be very carefully mixed to sound good on vinyl, and that is a black art that has mostly died out. Digital audio mostly uses a flat EQ, which is a very good thing, except when the source master was only available in a mix that was already biased for vinyl. I seem to remember Joe Walsh ranting about this exact problem on some early Eagles CDs, where they used the vinyl masters and the CDs sounded like they were playing from the bottom of a well out of speakers stuck under trashcan lids.
A perfectly mastered vinyl disc sounds absolutely wonderful, but you have to remember one important thing - it will never sound quite as good as it did the last time you played it. A while back (in the reg, I think) there was a story about someone trying to playback vinyl disks with a laser, which would then maybe make the argument at least a little worthwhile. For now you need a needle, and that means wear and tear that CDs never get unless misshandled.
There's a lot of unfounded nostalgia about vinyl. I still have the first CD I ever purchased (So, Peter Gabriel, 1986), and should I actually want to take it out of the case and play it, it would sound as good as the day I bought it, and of course the digital copy I carry around on my player is as good as the disk, which is another thing you could never do with vinyl - make perfect backup copies.
I have vinyl disks from the same era that I have not played since either, and they are very likely unplayable since they haven't been obsessively well-stored. Vinyl is a TERRIBLE archival medium.
Laser-discs, I suppose. The ones crafted in CD material, but have vinyl size? I believe those were that kind, with grooves like vinyl, hence analogue, but the *needle* is a laser. (Well if it was like that, perhaps you could play it on a needle turntable too?)
When people first said DVD, I thought they would be like that. Looks like a CD, but has 12" diameter.
And yes, they were not cheap. The turntables were $10.000 USD a pop not cheap.
Many comments above speak of "buying" tracks from iTunes.
You do not "buy" a track from iTunes. You actually lease a license to the file.
If you still think you have bought a track from iTunes I'll do you a deal. Sell me any single track of your choosing. Hell, to make it interesting, I'll pay you $5.00 for a $0.99 track.
Nope, there's no way to do it legally.
Ask yourself: If you cannot sell something on to someone else, do you really "own" it? And if you do not "own" it, did you really "buy" it.
I think we should just replace the phrase "buy from iTunes" with "lease from iTunes".
Not sure if the same reasoning applies to other music download sites. I suspect it does.
Are we talking here about the music industry that has just moved into the 20th century?
The same music industry that resisted downloads so hard and so bitterly for so long?
The same music industry that wants governments, indeed anyone, to protect its property rights rather than moving into the 21st century and updating its business model?
The same industry that seems to think it has a God-given right to massive profits for doing very little?
The same industry that is still kicking and screaming about DRM?
Nah. I'd say the CD will die in 2037 at the very earliest.