Author Topic: CDs are Dead....Almost!  (Read 15222 times)

Julio Di Benedetto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 532
  • Life is a privilege, not a right!
    • View Profile
    • Digtalvoices
CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 06, 2011, 09:21:19 PM »
This is a forum topic over at 12k......One forum member by the name of Leaf post this on 12/30/10 which I have pasted below. I feel this is well worth posting here.  It has inspire me not to give up on cd releases, which I have never intended on doing, nevertheless, with free downloads and artist cutting cd prices just to be able to share without much profit, if any..... manufacturing CDs today in our community requires a lot of passion & belief in what we do as musicians and needs a greater, more powerful sustained voice from the music lovers that listen!

ATB.....Julio


i made some adjustments as i wanted to keep my reply simple.

I see and experience the only cd market left for obscure and small labels as Limited edition cds in good packaging.

I was selling 1000 cds about 3 years back in 1.5 years.Now i am down to 300.I always sold these as limited editions and for me its the only option.

I do not like files , i like to feel , see , have art , a package and i collect cds.

So do at least 300 people worldwide and as labels phase out cds it simply means those who do them will become more rare and sort after.

There will always be a % who want cds.

I see a day when cd in collectable art packaging will be worth alot more maybe an audio cd / flac data cd / art , package .

As eno has just done.

Instead of slowly eroding your art into a cheap and worthless digital commodity return it to art , do the opposite , dont follow trends make them.

There is no future in selling cheap mp3 via itunes , or cheap music for artists.For mass produced labels maybe but as musicians we really have to consider our worth.

As an artist selling his own music on limited cd ( glass master with full art etc ) for 5 years now and with about 8 releases i can say for me its now about limiting my sales , not maximising them , about selling less , distributing less and making my art and label more collectable , making it harder to buy it and making it so each buyer is a collector and supporter of me as an artist.Sell less , charge more  , return music to a valued work of art.

I end all digital distribution ( via  a major network and on every major digital retailer ) in 2011 and you will only be able to buy my work direct from me , on my site .I also end all distribution with pile it high and sell it cheap retailers .

The future for me is selling 100 / 300 limited works of art , of music / flac and in good packaging and making it so you have no choice , you buy the work as a work of art from me direct or you go buy or download some free musical commodity.

Sorry but many are heading in the wrong direction as artists , devalueing their work , piling high , selling cheap and really being sucked into and endless spiral of worthlessness.

The future is in becoming small , self suficient , offering good creative art , nice packaging and a mixed medium of cd , flac , wav and above all cutting out pointless middle men  , deal direct as artist  / label with the music buyer who supports you as an artist.

We must return music in peoples minds as a work of art.


Selling digital files does not equate to a  living for small labels.Its a trap and the trend is killing music and the idea musicians can make a living.

Its an erosion of creative spirit in music by market forces and consumerism trends that suit mac and the rest of  ' the corporation '

Digital only sales will in the end kill music i feel as art and all we will have left is a load of watered down labels selling files for 1 cent and a few highly collectable artists labels doing to exact oppsosite .

Do the opposite form the pack i say.I invested my time in collecting all my customers contacts , selling direct.I sell more direct than via distributers and retailers  now , way more.

We have to step back now , make efficient and above all work as a painter selling his work to a buyer.

Take a pro active step , force all sales through your site , all mediums controlled by the label and artist ( if an artist run label ) Price the works at a good value and remind the buyers anc Colectors ( the key ) that theya re supporting art and artists , not itune and the rest of big business.

Educate and appeal to the listeners heart and thank them for direct support.

Its a  worthless relationship that sees a listener want to pay as little as possible for your work.They dont emjoy it so much and value it less and you ? you make no living.

Mp3 via distribution is a  trap as are cheap file sales.

doombient

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 02:36:06 AM »
Unfortunately, I´m experiencing the same thing (and I´m sure I´m not the only one). This is something I find really annoying but that´s the way life (and market) goes.

On the other hand I firmly believe that the CD will be a valid medium for ages to come. Some twenty years ago the vinyl LP was pronounced dead, and now it´s back from the graveyard with a vengenace. An expensive collectors´-only medium but it´s still there. Same thing with CDs. What we´re going through at the moment is just a general decline fired by so many factors. Once we´re through we´ll witness CD sales picking up again, and someday or other people will be fed up with mp3 downloads, too.

I consider CD releases as part of the art of making music, and I firmly believe that people who are serious about their art will always stick to a medium which demands for some responsibility (i. e. money you have to invest which in turn makes even more diligent about your work) rather than just a throw-away commodity.

I might be wrong.

Stephen
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 02:39:15 AM by doombient »
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 10:48:31 AM »
A very interesting topic. I think everyone has some idea that the music market is eroding, but I believe many think it's a matter of "out with the old, in with the new," in which CD sales decrease, but download sales increase by a similar amount, and that's not true. The past ten-plus years have been a gradual dropping away of music sales in general. First people said, "well, it's CDR copying," then people said "it must be Napster," then "people are spending less post-911," then it was the increase in the legal mp3 market, then it was bittorrent, then the economy.

As the late Gilda Radner said, "It's always something."

The bottom line is that things are changing in a way that is uncomfortable and difficult for everyone who was at all accustomed to the old, traditional ways of the music business. By that model, recording artists made music, possibly with the help of engineers and producers, which was picked up by a record label and made into records, tapes or CDs, and mostly sold through wholesale distributors in retail record shops. There are still groups and individuals making music, but just about all other aspects of that old model have changed.

Record retail is almost completely gone. Imagine if, in the mid-nineties, someone had told you "In less than 20 years, Tower Records will be gone, Camelot Music will be gone, Sam Goody will be gone, Musicland will be gone, Virgin Megastores gone, probably 9 out of your 10 favorite local or indie record stores that exist now... all will be completely gone."  You would have thought that person was insane. Now, just about the only people selling CDs in quantity in retail stores nationwide are Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and Best Buy... not exactly record stores.

Record distribution is likewise completely transformed, with most of the traditional players vanished. It used to be that mid-sized distributors would help small independent labels find their way into record stores. You used to be able to find CDs by labels like Hypnos and Soleilmoon and Dorobo and Multimood in Tower Records, at least. Now I would be very surprised if more than a couple of weird little independent local stores stocked CDs by labels of this kind.

Most labels that existed back then have vanished. New labels that have come up since follow a completely different model.  At first, the idea of a "download only" label seemed absurd, not a "real" label at all, just a way of playing at the record label game without really making an investment. Now, it's become viable. What's more, there are many "net labels" which deal entirely in free product, and many independent artists without means of connecting with a label simply stick their album releases up on the web for free download. The perceived value of the product offered by the more traditional record label decreases as the lower barrier to entry allows more players, many of whom offer their material free of charge.

Not only is there a lot more listening material for the music-lover to choose from, so much of it is free that a great number of people simply don't have the time or inclination to buy as much music (CD or download) as they did before. A person who used to buy 100 CDs per year might now, a decade later, actually consume MORE music than they once did... but they might only buy a dozen CDs and two dozen downloads per year, while they downloaded a number 200-300 net freebie releases during the same time. Wow, such a great abundance of new stuff to listen to.

I honestly can't blame the listener for making such choices, nor can I blame the artist who would rather reach more people for free than try to grab a couple thousand dollars a year from their work. The world is changing.

I'll say more later about what this has meant for Hypnos, and what it's likely to mean in the future. We've been slow to get fully behind the download trend, not because we don't understand it or don't think it's likely to end up being important to us in the future. We'll get there, but we've had to adjust what we do with CD releases in the mean time.

Like I said, an interesting subject.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

hdibrell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 621
    • View Profile
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 02:06:56 PM »

The bottom line is that things are changing in a way that is uncomfortable and difficult for everyone who was at all accustomed to the old, traditional ways of the music business. By that model, recording artists made music, possibly with the help of engineers and producers, which was picked up by a record label and made into records, tapes or CDs, and mostly sold through wholesale distributors in retail record shops. There are still groups and individuals making music, but just about all other aspects of that old model have changed.

Record retail is almost completely gone. Imagine if, in the mid-nineties, someone had told you "In less than 20 years, Tower Records will be gone, Camelot Music will be gone, Sam Goody will be gone, Musicland will be gone, Virgin Megastores gone, probably 9 out of your 10 favorite local or indie record stores that exist now... all will be completely gone."  You would have thought that person was insane. Now, just about the only people selling CDs in quantity in retail stores nationwide are Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and Best Buy... not exactly record stores.

Like I said, an interesting subject.
I think this is true in many other businesses, as well. I was talking to someone recently about musical instrument stores that I used to visit in San Antonio when I was younger. They were all independent. Now it is all chains for the most part. I used to make a day out of visiting the different stores in the area. They also carried different brands. Now we have Guitar Center and Sam Ash. There are still a couple of independent guitar stores and one drum store, but that's it. If I need to buy a shirt or jeans I almost have to go to a chain store. Same with hardware stores and just about anything else I need. I still try to find independents to shop at and eat at, but it is getting increasingly difficult and depressing.  :(   I should note that online there are plenty of independents around for most items, but that is just not as satisfying to me as browsing through actual storefront.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 02:20:24 PM by hdibrell »
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 02:21:52 PM »
Five or eight years ago I would have hated this guy Leaf's suggestion of intentionally limiting his release editions so as to create a sense of scarcity, but now I think it's reasonable. I see a lot of examples where this works, creating a collectible edition and telling people "if you're ever going to want this, you'd better buy it right away or it will be gone," and charging a higher price for a nice, special edition in unique packaging. I've seen book publishers go to extremes with this, with super-limited leather-bound slipcase editions for $200, that kind of thing.

If the number of people likely to purchase a CD edition in a small genre like ambient music is in the 200-300 range, rather than 1000-2000 as was true not too long ago, labels have three options to deal with this.

1. Just keep on pressing CDs just like before, and reconcile yourself with waiting a while to break even, and an even longer while to show a small profit (this is basically what Hypnos has done so far)

2. Give up pressing CDs and focus on downloads (possibly supplemented with CDRs)

3. Focus on serious fans and collectors and create special, limited collector's item releases

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2643
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 02:43:40 PM »
By this point - I think everyone here knows I went with Mike's option #2 for Relaxed Machinery.  (Well, ok - I run it even weirder than that - the artists pays for their releases and keeps all the money - I'm more of an exception rather than the rule... I make money from my releases (so far I've released zero) and the compilations (which was really nice of the artists to volunteer to do)).   And I'm grateful to Hypnos for providing an avenue for rM to release cdr's.

A few too many parenthesis in that paragraph.

John
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 04:54:56 PM »
Anybody else getting tired of whining how the genre's dying, and nobody's buying CDs any more? I'm tired of whining. Halfway through my big, long whine-fest (which wasn't reeeeally meant to be a complaint, but more of an observation) I felt like stopping. I mean, people buy what they want to buy, and artists and labels saying "but... I liked how it was before!" doesn't really amount to much.

We just need to find a way to release music that people will want to buy, one way or another. If it's in fancy, hand-made packaging with an art-object quality, or if it's regular CDs inexpensive enough for people to buy on impulse, or if it's some permutation of downloading.

I've said it before, but Hypnos will be OK -- I worry more about the newer, less established labels, or the people who'd like to start up labels but decide not to bother. 
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 584
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 06:02:42 PM »
It didn't seem like you were whining at all, Mike. I certainly would like to hear more of your ideas in relation to these topics.

I think I'm tending to agree with Leaf's post. But Mike also makes a great point in saying that if the music is something people truly want to buy, they will buy it, in whatever form.

It is interesting that publishing seems to be going in the same direction (though there are many dissimilarities as well). I really feel that the digital world plays a crucial role, and that the high quality packaging will become stronger to appeal to the holdouts. As someone who makes books, I don't feel threatened by mass market paperbacks going digital, in fact I think it's a good thing. It could very well end up strengthening the world of very high quality (though admittedly possibly prohibitively expensive to many consumers) book making and publishing. The same thing could happen with music. Though I do have some reservations with the cd format itself, which never quite seems to be an object built to last, and is inherently a mass produced, soulless factory object. The packaging can pick up this slack however. I've thought a great idea would be to just sell beautiful packaging in the form of booklet or poster, and just include a download code to obtain the actual music. And allow those who just want to download the music do so for a reduced price.

Altus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
    • View Profile
    • Altus - aural journeys for the mind's eye
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 07:51:03 PM »
I'm in the group that believes audio CDs will be around for a very long time.
Personally, I will be very happy once the MP3 format isn't used anymore.  Bandwidth is at a point where lossless files are acceptable, and at least those who are only downloading music get a CD-quality equivalent of the recording.  If only Apple products supported FLAC.
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
www.altusmusic.ca

richardgurtler

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 438
    • View Profile
    • My Discogs profile and shop
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 02:10:42 AM »
As one of the Hypnos customers and big collectors I am in the 200-300 range mentioned by Mike, so I really hope the CDs will be around for ages to come even if the labels or artists can make only a smaller profit. Therefore the otions 1 and 3 are much more prefered by myself, but it's also depended on the prices with option 3. If the prices will go to some extremes, then this product might be available only to some rich collectors. Most likely in this case I will be forced to make decision what to buy and what to leave. Hopefully this won't happen and I will be able to afford this product or most of them as a serious fan and collector. Regarding the option 2, I agree with Mike/Altus, but I hope I won't be forced to deal with this option in the future. In any case, I am very thankful to Hypnos and to all other labels and artists who keep on releasing music on CD format and trying to find the best possible way in this situation. Thank you so much for all your passion and belief, and please keep on going!!!

Richard

Julio Di Benedetto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 532
  • Life is a privilege, not a right!
    • View Profile
    • Digtalvoices
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 06:55:22 AM »
Thanks for the informed posted Mike.....came across to me as upbeat and realistically positive.

The leaf post is inspiring for me and I hope others......artist & music lover!

I have great faith in the cd format and do not see its demise until something physically better comes along......itunes & mp3's are not the toll of its death bell.  I choose Option #1  

To further this discussion.......below is part of a Robert Rich interview that Mike posted a link to recently on this forum.  A great artist's perspective.





Synth ME: How has the Internet impacted your work both in content and context? How are you approaching the uncharted future as an artist?

Robert: Of course, we live in a quickly changing and contradictory landscape of info-culture. I happily adapted to the Web quite early, and I have held my own domain names since 1996. It's a blessing for independent artists like me to be able to control our own image, our own distribution, and to be able to contact listeners directly. In this regard, the Internet is a tool of empowerment. I love the fact that people can share their own music with each other immediately.

On the other hand, the ease with which people can share free bootlegs has undercut not just the mainstream music business, but also the independent scene. It has rendered the music disposable in many people's minds, which can get discouraging for someone who spends a year or more on a new release. People don't realize that someone like me might only sell a thousand copies of an album, compared to tens of thousands of free copies shared. I console myself that file-sharing is a form of marketing, and that the people who get the music for free would not have purchased it anyway. The only way to survive in "free culture" is to remain enough well-liked by the listeners who follow one's artwork that they *want* to pay for music as a show of support, as a vote of confidence. Without those few supportive listeners, it would get rather discouraging.

So while independent musicians are empowered with greater visibility, and novices have a better chance of getting heard by a handful of people, we are simultaneously rendered incapable of sustaining ourselves financially through recordings. Artists have become marginalized in a propaganda battle between "free culture" proponents and their perceived nemesis the "recording industry." This means we artists have to find different ways of surviving, whether by keeping a day job, or by repurposing our art. For these reasons and others, I think music is becoming increasingly subservient to image, as more musicians rely on "work for hire" corporate jobs like sound design for film, television, computer gaming, and other multi-media outlets that remain commercially viable in this information-saturated culture.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 07:00:05 AM by Julio Di Benedetto »

doombient

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 07:09:48 AM »

On the other hand, the ease with which people can share free bootlegs has undercut not just the mainstream music business, but also the independent scene. It has rendered the music disposable in many people's minds, which can get discouraging for someone who spends a year or more on a new release. People don't realize that someone like me might only sell a thousand copies of an album, compared to tens of thousands of free copies shared. [...] The only way to survive in "free culture" is to remain enough well-liked by the listeners who follow one's artwork that they *want* to pay for music as a show of support, as a vote of confidence. Without those few supportive listeners, it would get rather discouraging.


Very much spot-on observation by Robert.

What I find even more appalling in this context is those supportive listeners who, in the end, upload your stuff somewhere on the web without wasting a single thought on what detrimental effect it may have on your own work.

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

Dave Michuda

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 459
    • View Profile
    • Low Light Mixes
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 08:19:29 AM »
Just thought I'd re-post a comment made recently by Brian Eno that is applicable to this discussion.

"I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn't last, and now it's running out. I don't particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you'd be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it."

 - Brian Eno from an interview in The Guardian

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 09:55:49 AM »

On the other hand, the ease with which people can share free bootlegs has undercut not just the mainstream music business, but also the independent scene. It has rendered the music disposable in many people's minds, which can get discouraging for someone who spends a year or more on a new release. People don't realize that someone like me might only sell a thousand copies of an album, compared to tens of thousands of free copies shared. [...] The only way to survive in "free culture" is to remain enough well-liked by the listeners who follow one's artwork that they *want* to pay for music as a show of support, as a vote of confidence. Without those few supportive listeners, it would get rather discouraging.


Very much spot-on observation by Robert.

What I find even more appalling in this context is those supportive listeners who, in the end, upload your stuff somewhere on the web without wasting a single thought on what detrimental effect it may have on your own work.

Stephen


I was about to quote exactly the same section of Robert's remarks, until I saw you did already!

The key here is that if you give listeners something truly special, as Robert does, they will love it, and appreciate you for giving it to them to such a degree that many of them will want to support you. Given a chance of downloading your music for free, or purchasing it from you, many of them will prefer to guy it from you (possibly along with a t-shirt). Many will understand that by doing so, they're giving you encouragement to carry on and release more music.

It's up to us as music-makers, whether we're artists doing our own thing, or small labels working with multiple artists, to give people recordings they feel strongly enough about to break through the large amount of music readily available, often free.  If we can't do that, then we shouldn't blame net labels or the mp3 format or convenience or ipods or cheap CDRs.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 10:06:56 AM »
It is interesting that publishing seems to be going in the same direction (though there are many dissimilarities as well). I really feel that the digital world plays a crucial role, and that the high quality packaging will become stronger to appeal to the holdouts. As someone who makes books, I don't feel threatened by mass market paperbacks going digital, in fact I think it's a good thing. It could very well end up strengthening the world of very high quality (though admittedly possibly prohibitively expensive to many consumers) book making and publishing.



My thinking about what may need to happen with special, limited edition music releases has been very influenced by what I've seen from specialist publishers such as Centipede Press, Subterranean Press, PS Publishing, and a few others. They deal mostly in more expensive, extravagantly printed and packaged books, in very limited editions, at higher prices. The limitations are such that people who feel they may want, say, the new Caitlyn R. Kiernan or Thomas Ligotti collection want to purchase it right away and don't so much mind that it may be $60 for a single book.

Here there's also a sense that many people are buying these as speculation, not because they actually want to read the book. That part, I don't like so much. Scarcity for scarcity's sake, that's kind of manipulative and not really serving the material, if you're selling all your copies to people who are going to store them in a dark cellar like wine and try to sell them on Ebay 3 years later for $150 each.

Still, I feel there's something to be learned from what's happening in horror/weird/fantasy small presses. Some beautiful books are being made, some small presses are flourishing in a way that would not be possible with, say, trade paperback editions of 2,000 for $15 each, or whatever may have been the default small press output before.

I have a feeling I need to work on screenprinting and letterpress, and perhaps a few years down the road our CDs will be available in special, hand-made editions with artwork and so on, limited to 200 copies or something, at a premium price. It's something we'll at least experiment with, at some point. For now, the digipak thing is working OK.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2011, 10:09:40 AM »
Just thought I'd re-post a comment made recently by Brian Eno that is applicable to this discussion.

"I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn't last, and now it's running out. I don't particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you'd be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it."

 - Brian Eno from an interview in The Guardian



Those who banked their millions in the past couple of decades, as Eno did, can well afford to say "Ah well, t'was nice while it lasted, wasn't it, old chap? Shall we sally forth and hunt foxes today, or ride a carriage around the estate and then sip port wine beside the fire?"

The rest of us are trying to figure out what's next, and how to justify our own continued existence, while Eno lives off the interest income from what he made producing U2 records.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

doombient

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2011, 02:21:32 PM »

I was about to quote exactly the same section of Robert's remarks, until I saw you did already!

The key here is that if you give listeners something truly special, as Robert does, they will love it, and appreciate you for giving it to them to such a degree that many of them will want to support you. [...] It's up to us as music-makers, whether we're artists doing our own thing, or small labels working with multiple artists, to give people recordings they feel strongly enough about to break through the large amount of music readily available, often free.  If we can't do that, then we shouldn't blame net labels or the mp3 format or convenience or ipods or cheap CDRs.

That´s very well put. A download can impossibly be something vaguely "artful" because how do you want to download the artwork that comes with the medium and makes it an entity? I for one very much appreciate the idea of selling a piece of "art" to my listeners rather than a commodity.

There´s nothing bad about being a bit more "artful" in the future, just to be different from the rest which isn´t (or doesn´t care to be).

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

zzzone.net

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 299
  • a numbers station ||| zzzone.net
    • View Profile
    • zzzone.net
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2011, 06:41:14 AM »
I remember buying my first CD in 1983.  Since that time it's been quite a ride.

However, vinyl was an overlappping obsession until approximately 2000 when I stopped buying dance music as my dj side-career dried up.

In 2005, I lost most of my vinyl via Hurricane Katrina. 

In about 2007, I realized that I was starting to choke on the physical space requirements of CDs ; however, I continued to order CDs from Hypnos and many others.

At about that time I began converting my music collection to .flac files for a home music server (Logitech Squeezebox), and since then many more music stores and independent artists have been offering music in .flac or .wav.  As a result, purchasing files (and, yes, usually entire albums with included album art) allows me to skip a step to make the music available for the server and saves the space necessary for storage of the physical CD.  As I have mentioned before, redundant backups are critical.

I do like special editions, and I have plenty of them, but the reality is that on the server, I now have much easier access to all my music.  It's playing constantly when I'm home.  Whether it's a special edition or a set a files, it all sounds and looks the same on the server.  Here's my interface: server

So, it's all good for me.  I even buy occasional vinyl, usually things that I treasured before the loss.

I think all the forms of musical distribution are alive: cassette (ugh), vinyl, CD, and files.  It is unavoidable that as files become more popular that other formats will take a bit of a drubbing.  As I mentioned somewhere before, there's nothing quite like reading about some good music, searching for it, finding it at an online store, purchasing it, and listening to it just a few minutes after reading about it.

Whichever format is preferred by the artist is cool.  However, personally I won't buy a cassette so that I can listen to tape hiss and watch it break someday.  As far as special editions go, I hope the artist won't make it so special and limited that when I decide I want one, there are none to be found.

Julio Di Benedetto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 532
  • Life is a privilege, not a right!
    • View Profile
    • Digtalvoices
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 08:50:14 AM »
I do like special editions, and I have plenty of them, but the reality is that on the server, I now have much easier access to all my music.  It's playing constantly when I'm home.  Whether it's a special edition or a set a files, it all sounds and looks the same on the server.  Here's my interface: server


I think this is the the preset future of playback.....what started the process of ripping my cd collection into itunes @44/16 was I wanted to take advantage of my mastering grade digital to analog converters and monitoring system in my studio.  Playback on my plextor external drive or computer drive is just to noisy.  I think if music @44 or 96/24 bit was made available by artist and playback of such files was only capable via computers, Im not sure if any hardware plays back at 24bit, the idea of a cd doesn't  work because it cant store a 96/24 file, well not much of what we come accustomed as the standard length of 74 mins.  Dvd could be and option.  I think it will be usb flash drives or something of the like, they are to expensive right now to make it a viable option but I think we could be really close.  With the large store capacity of some of these drives, music, artwork, photography & video
could be available.  Im not sure about downloading......I dont know enough about flac to be able to say if it could handle 96/24 or even 192/24.

I dont think receiving a flash drive in the mail equates that of receiving a beautiful packaged digipack......however what I describe above perhaps would change how I feel.

Heres a link to software that can playback 192/24 bit files  http://www.amarraaudio.com

zzzone.net

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 299
  • a numbers station ||| zzzone.net
    • View Profile
    • zzzone.net
Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 09:26:12 AM »
 I think if music @44 or 96/24 bit was made available by artist and playback of such files was only capable via computers, Im not sure if any hardware plays back at 24bit, the idea of a cd doesn't  work because it cant store a 96/24 file, well not much of what we come accustomed as the standard length of 74 mins.  Dvd could be and option.  I think it will be usb flash drives or something of the like, they are to expensive right now to make it a viable option but I think we could be really close.  With the large store capacity of some of these drives, music, artwork, photography & video
could be available.  Im not sure about downloading......I dont know enough about flac to be able to say if it could handle 96/24 or even 192/24.

I dont think receiving a flash drive in the mail equates that of receiving a beautiful packaged digipack......however what I describe above perhaps would change how I feel.


One of my players supports sampling rates up to 24 bit / 96 kHz, the Logitech Touch.  I don't have much music at those sample rates but HDTracks.com sells it.  And, yes, those hi-res files come as .flac.