Author Topic: CDs, bye-bye  (Read 4305 times)

Anodize DB

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CDs, bye-bye
« on: November 07, 2011, 11:10:55 AM »
Not sure if this is under the appropriate forum heading to post this (change it at will, Mike!); regardless:

http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=46980_0_2_0_C

Not unexpected news, but that doesn't make it any less distressing.

After reading this, I'm not exactly sure how I want to respond; I could go on for a couple thousand words how I feel about this, but have little desire to do it on a forum (perhaps in a more 'formal' venue).

Suffice to say, I think it sucks if/when this moment comes. To those of you who are happy with the faceless download, where music becomes simply nebulous, artless data (I could care less whether it's FLAC, wav, aiff, whatever), with the dissolution of its reach, power, and mandate as a completely audio/visual synergistic art form, where it becomes just another disposable commodity to be digested without passion, I have little commonality.

I know this is a hugely divisive issue. Regardless of my opinions on this matter, as someone who believes fervently that an actual TACTILE OBJECT, an actual SOUND CARRIER containing true sound dynamics & a visual presentation, design & style (and I'm referring specifically to the CD, though I will include vinyl as well) needs to exist (much like an actual paper-based magazine or book, or a painting on a canvas), I know I'm in the minority, and despite such a position, it sure as hell isn't going to stop the CD's demise.

(And, to reiterate, I don't want to hear about lossless files or the ability to print artwork...why that remains a 'selling point' is beyond me. Don't want to build my own car; why should I want to construct my own art for a recording I purchased? Again, I know my ire will draw various perspectives across the spectrum, and from far & wide, but so be it.)

So, when the manufacturing of the CD finally goes the way of all flesh, I will thus continue to enjoy my existant 20,000+ CD library 'til my end of days, technological 'evolution', or whatever, be damned.

That's my op, for what it's worth.

Back to our regular scheduled program, already, regretfully, in progress...
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 12:58:30 PM by darren bergstein »
DARREN BERGSTEIN
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mgriffin

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 11:36:30 AM »
The article, even if true, allows that "limited edition" CDs will continue to be released.

Since 99.9% of what I listen to on CD is pretty much "limited edition" anyway, this news doesn't trouble me much. If vinyl and cassette haven't fully died out after so long, I hard a hard time believing the compact disc with vanish utterly just over a year from now. At the very least, we at Hypnos will keep on making CDs.
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ffcal

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 11:43:51 AM »
Though this sounds ominous, I suspect that what major labels have in mind is to turn releases into "limited" editions that cater to a particular fanbase or demographic.  Even the Beatles' label did this when they reissued their CDs in the early 90s with individually numbered copies.  Considering how fragmented the listening audience is becoming, this trend doesn't seem surprising.  We are already starting to see the phenomenon of multiple versions of new releases.  If CDs are truly being phased out by the major labels, I think the listening public will be the poorer for it (though large segments may think that it's no big deal).

Forrest
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 12:38:53 PM by ffcal »

Seren

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 12:24:51 PM »
I think it sucks.

multinationals going for easiest profit and lowest common denominator.

On the radio recently someone was speaking about how the public 'consume' music - sorry I listen, consider, think and maybe even learn, I do not consume.

APK

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 12:30:46 PM »
Looking over at movies, it seems that blue ray did not exactly take the world by storm, and that 'on demand' movies are probably going to win the race. Maybe physical releases will again exist primarily as expensive special editions.

Its understandable that big labels like downloads, they are cheaper to produce and the trend is to pretty much charge close to the same for them, which is a big win for them. Wouldn't be so bad if the downloads had added value, like lots more images or a big pdf of interesting stuff, and maybe also outtakes, movies etc.. But no, the downloads tend to be a poor imitation (often impoverished) of the CD release.

Another danger for the CD is when they stop adding a player to computers (like the new mac mini) and basic cd players become hard to find in stores. With more wi-fi and bandwidth available more people turn to streaming technologies, and even basic players now come with the ability to stream as well as play physical media. The change is coming.

I don't think of the "tactile" as glowingly as Darren, but I certainly agree that for many people the download is a disposable that so often lacks any personal value; it is briefly consumed then overlooked because it is now buried invisibly on your mass media device and you have moved on to some other download. But maybe this is an issue of personal education and personal restraint, and maybe it will improve when people learn to ignore the industries drive to shove more and more media out at an ever-increasing rate. I actually have little reverence for the physical Cd over a good download edition, but I do have reverence for great music. It is the music I come back to and its usually off my hard drive.

I do think there are a lot of ordinary-looking releases out there that won't suffer from being only downloads. And I do think special editions that have the value of art objects (because of the time and quality of the work that went into the package) will last a lot longer than regular CDs. Merely coming out with a "limited edition" and throwing in a couple of extra photos or baubles won't do it though.

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hdibrell

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 01:47:13 PM »

On the radio recently someone was speaking about how the public 'consume' music - sorry I listen, consider, think and maybe even learn, I do not consume.
I would hate to see the end of a physical product. I enjoy having something in my hand or that I can touch whether it's a CD, vinyl record, book or painting. I don't usually experience my art at the computer. My stereo is in another room where there is no computer as are my books. I use to resist downloads, but I do download some now. Being a dinosaur, I then burn them to CDR and take them somewhere else to listen.
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

phobos

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 03:24:46 PM »
Its another way for the majors to make money fast, why bother making a cd when people( the younger generation) only want a track or two. My kids who are 20, 18 and 16 buy downloads, but they don't buy downloads of whole albums, no its a track here and a track there!! My wife and I buy them Cds in the hope that they will "learn" but to be honest its lost on them. I showed them a vinyl lp a few months ago,
ooh thats cool, what do you do with it?
Well you play it on this ( a turntable) and you sit and listen to it.
What do you do while your listening to it?
Nothing, you SIT and LISTEN
Don't have time to do that
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anodize DB

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 04:23:00 PM »
A further bit of addendum I would like to add regarding this topic:

There's no way of confirming the veracity of the piece on the Sideline mag website - it has not yet been 'corroborated', so it must therefore be viewed with more than a modicum of salt. :)

However, this whole thing with the CD's demise, imminent or not, has been coming for some time, and undoubtedly that will occur. Sooner than later, who knows?

Also: of course, the 'majors' (meaning, big industry labels) ceasing CD production doesn't spell outright demise for indie labels (such as Hypnos, or even Periphery, for that matter). In fact, such labels might well prosper, as the already splintered niche market for electronic/experimental musics is small anyway, and many buyers like myself will continue to prize the CD as their format of choice.

I don't think this is all doom-and-gloom, but the writing is getting clearer on that proverbial wall, to be sure; still won't stop me from supporting the ideal format, as far as I'm concerned, for sound, art, and the marriage of the two.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 04:25:21 PM by darren bergstein »
DARREN BERGSTEIN
> Anodize / tactile visual audio /  www.anodizesound.com / www.otperiphery.com
> Groupthink / wayward electroacoustic murmurings / www.groupthinksounds.com
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drone on

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 04:24:05 PM »
Darren, I couldn't have said it any better myself.  Nice one.

Mark Mushet

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 05:52:37 PM »
I was just in a record shop yesterday and stood by as several 20-somethings bought up vinyl records. I continue to see beautifully done CD packages produced on a small scale by those who weren't even around for the peak of CD consumption. So, not too worried really. As long as players are made...

Though I will say that cassettes really can and should disappear!




mgriffin

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2011, 06:03:44 PM »
I'm not worried if music on CD becomes a niche thing, since the ambient scene is already a niche thing and already has been. As long as a dedicated, small of people are interested in still finding good sounds on CD, a few labels will keep on supporting that.
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jdh

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 07:22:55 PM »
I for one,at the age of 44 with some 2000 CDs and 1000 LPs,do not care if the CD goes away,as long as I get the highest audio quality from a download.I am listening to more music now with downloads than ever before.Yes,the youth prefer to download single tracks and in rock and roll,hip hop,anything but ambient and classical,most of the music on a full length is rubbish.I also prefer to buy singles in those genres.As far as CD players going away,not in my lifetime.In any given audio mag,you can count dozens and dozens and dozens of CD maunufactures. If you look at Best Buy,no you will not find it there.Well said APK.

einstein36

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 07:34:40 PM »
One thing I think that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that any streaming or downloaded file will not have the full spectrum of audio glory that one can hear on a true cd. I know that people say with .Flac and other losseless bit of audio that can be downloaded or streamed, but to my ears as a mixing and mastering engineer, I truely think people are going to end up losing a lot of the audio depth one can enjoy from a cd or for that matter if DVD-audio had taken off, the true 24 bit full audio one could enjoy from DVD with complete surround sound:)...
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SunDummy

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2011, 09:55:20 AM »
I find that I care less and less about the physical format as time goes by.  I recently bought 7 or 8 Roach CD's that I have been meaning to pick up for ages.  I promptly ripped them to my music server and filed the CDs on a shelf.  Unless I have a catastrophic HD failure (all backups, too), I will likely never touch the CD again.  I can now enjoy these tunes on my rec-room system, my main-floor system, my ipod for travel, even my iphone, at the touch of a button.  It seems to me that if I only use the CD to deliver the sounds from the producer to my HD, I might as well just eliminate a step and download straight to the server.  This level of convenience more than offsets any loss of sound quality.  And I have to be honest with myself:  As much as I'd like to think I'm a suave audiophile, immersed in the minutia of every blip and bloink in the music spectrum while I sip cognac in my turtleneck with the lights down low in my echo-free listening chamber, the truth is I put on some tunes, go chop some garlic or tune some skis or clean my bike or play with the dogs or hang some sheetrock or talk to friends or ...  or ...  (insert distracting, noisy activity here.)  Sound quality is nice, of course; but I just can't get too worked up about it.

I think the whole movement toward downloads (music, books, movies, whatever) is a good thing, in the long run.  Seems like a huge savings in packaging resources, fuel for shipping, etc. 




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Mark Mushet

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2011, 10:17:42 AM »
I think the whole movement toward downloads (music, books, movies, whatever) is a good thing, in the long run.  Seems like a huge savings in packaging resources, fuel for shipping, etc.

Unfortunately there is a grim parallel to the photo industry here. People thought that the near-death of film would be better for the environment. Bzzzzt! It meant that even more mining and orgiastic production of gadgets took its place. And instead of film sections in photo and drug stores we now have massive racks of batteries. 

All those Chinese e-waste peasant worker-bound obsolete Kindles, iPoos etc. need replacing at ever increasing rates. All of this, of course, eventually relates to our corporate overlords' need to ensure supplies of heavy and other metals from sources in Africa and, in China's case, the sea floor. The political ramifications are obvious. This is why the US has forces in central Africa right now, not for Obama's stated reason of doing the right thing vis-a-vis the excesses of the Lord's Resistance Army or whatever.

And in terms of packaging, one only has to look at the layers of plastic even the smallest gadget accessory comes embedded in.

In short, we are doomed as a civilization. Meanwhile I am grateful to Amazon for keeping Canada Post alive with all the *individual* CD shipping needs necessitated by the demise of bricks and mortar outlets.

OK, now to put on the new Harold Budd CD and pretend there is nothing wrong in the world...  ::)

ffcal

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2011, 10:27:28 AM »
I think the whole movement toward downloads (music, books, movies, whatever) is a good thing, in the long run.  Seems like a huge savings in packaging resources, fuel for shipping, etc.

Unfortunately there is a grim parallel to the photo industry here. People thought that the near-death of film would be better for the environment. Bzzzzt! It meant that even more mining and orgiastic production of gadgets took its place. And instead of film sections in photo and drug stores we now have massive racks of batteries. 

All those Chinese e-waste peasant worker-bound obsolete Kindles, iPoos etc. need replacing at ever increasing rates. All of this, of course, eventually relates to our corporate overlords' need to ensure supplies of heavy and other metals from sources in Africa and, in China's case, the sea floor. The political ramifications are obvious. This is why the US has forces in central Africa right now, not for Obama's stated reason of doing the right thing vis-a-vis the excesses of the Lord's Resistance Army or whatever.

And in terms of packaging, one only has to look at the layers of plastic even the smallest gadget accessory comes embedded in.

I'd have to agree with you, Mark.  Serial gadgetdom is not green.  The example that came to mind was email.  Who seriously thinks now that email saved us from clutter!;)  At least this hardly seems to be the case in the business world. 

Forrest

mgriffin

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2011, 10:33:03 AM »
In my office (day job, I mean) there are at least 3 employees who immediately print EVERY email as soon as they receive it, and only then read it to determine what to do with it. If they email out a joke to 20 people, and 10 of them email back "Ha!" or "that was funny!" they print out all ten one-liner emails individually, read the printouts, then throw them away. The crazy thing is that two of these individuals don't have a printer at their desk, so they print these messages to a networked printer and have to walk across the office to retrieve the printouts (or more often, leave them sitting there until someone else delivers the printouts).

What was that joke about, "Get me a hard copy of the internet, please?"
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SunDummy

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2011, 11:34:19 AM »

I'd have to agree with you, Mark.  Serial gadgetdom is not green.  The example that came to mind was email.  Who seriously thinks now that email saved us from clutter!;)  At least this hardly seems to be the case in the business world. 

Forrest

Hmm...  I'd love to see some stats on per-capita trash volume.  I suspect that the packaging for ipods, etc. (and the materials to make them) is not greater than the materials for cds, LPs, etc. but I could be wrong.  And while it's true that we've replaced film with batteries, is it more or less per person with respect to volume of stuff produced?  Yeah, we're filling landfills with old ipods and obsolete PCs; but weren't we filling them with Walkmen and CRT TVs before?  Isn't part of the increase in crap a direct result of the increase in people?  That's why I'd like to see per-capita numbers.

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ffcal

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2011, 11:40:41 AM »

I'd have to agree with you, Mark.  Serial gadgetdom is not green.  The example that came to mind was email.  Who seriously thinks now that email saved us from clutter!;)  At least this hardly seems to be the case in the business world. 

Forrest

Hmm...  I'd love to see some stats on per-capita trash volume.  I suspect that the packaging for ipods, etc. (and the materials to make them) is not greater than the materials for cds, LPs, etc. but I could be wrong.  And while it's true that we've replaced film with batteries, is it more or less per person with respect to volume of stuff produced?  Yeah, we're filling landfills with old ipods and obsolete PCs; but weren't we filling them with Walkmen and CRT TVs before?  Isn't part of the increase in crap a direct result of the increase in people?  That's why I'd like to see per-capita numbers.

One difference is that there is serious problem now with people in impoverished areas of the world such as rural China coming into contact with toxic metals contained in old computer circuit boards as part of the "recycling" process.  I doubt this happened to such a degree prior to the computer/gadget age.

Forrest

Mark Mushet

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Re: CDs, bye-bye
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2011, 12:35:21 PM »
I suspect that the packaging for ipods, etc. (and the materials to make them) is not greater than the materials for cds, LPs, etc. but I could be wrong.

I can't imagine we could get a complete data overview at this time but it would certainly be helpful.

There is no contest between, say, a CD digipack in a light wrap vs. virtually any hard plastic encased, plastic insert nestled iPod. Even the little ear buds are way overdone in terms of packaging. Then there's the retail floorspace now dedicated to the marketing of such things.

Now, as CD/DVD sales move online, more packaging is required and more transportation infrastructure and energy is used in the music retail industry equivalent of the single occupancy vehicle multiple trip model!