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back to article Last Xmas for CDs, please, researcher tells music biz

Market watcher Gartner is playing Scrooge for the music industry - or at least that part of it that is still in love with the CD as revenue generator. The research company this week called in the music biz to leave this old optical technology behind - the CD has been on sale for more than 26 years - and fully embrace downloading …

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Please no...

Sorry, I like physical 'things'. Means I actually get something for my money and they can look pretty on a shelf.

And are only slightly cheaper (in theory) than the download alternatives. (In reality I can often find the physical media cheaper than a legit download)

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Stop

....Pfft

So once CDs have gone, maybe we could have reasonable prices for albums rather than 10-15 quid.. Don't understand how they can justify the keeping the same cost of a downloaded album as a CD album - they should really revamp their 'old record business' model and bring it into the 21st Century (and Beyond!)

Stop icon, because I know they still won't listen..

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Coat

Also...

if he squeezes the stone really hard he may get some blood, but only because the stone is a broken flint and the blood is his own from being stupid enough to squeeze something with razor sharp edges.

Metaphor, extended.

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No thanks

Until I can get DRM free, CD audio quality tracks available in non-MP3 formats - I'll stick to CDs thanks.

I've never really understood why you would want to pay good money to apple et al for crappy DRM'd 128Kbps stereo downloads from iTunes to play through your very expensive 5:1 surround sound system when you can so simply rip your own from cheap compilation albums.

I still don't think the iTune fanboys have actually realised that in effect they don't actually own their music downloads, and if they want to deTune themselves it's gonna cost a whole lot of time and money.

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Right.. not just crap then?

I don't have a MP3 player linked to my sound system. I have a DVD player, a CD player that does not have gaps between tracks inserted for no reason and a digital box connected to it. My portable mp3 player is good but not the same as a CD.

I've not brought a new CD for many years now.. Why? nothing out there i'd pay money for that is not already repeated to death on the radio or TV channels. All my CD's are on the computer as MP3's now anyway. note the difference between my sound card and the portable MP3 player make mp3's on the PC sound better, though i'm not connecting the PC to the other sound system, different rooms, different useage.

so in my view the main reason sales are down is its mostly pap at the moment and nothing i've listened to recently rates as a "keeper"

reducing the price is not going to help legal MP3 downloads.. free vs a few pence and having to set up an account, giving payment details etc. or FREE.. don't underestimate the power of FREE.

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Title

I know I won't be the first to say it, but this won't work. The minimum requirement for a music distribution route to be successful now is that it provides the end user with music that they have chosen to buy, they can backup, is of decent quality, can be used on any device they see fit and sold on when no longer wanted. Audio CDs and DRM-free digital tracks (whether legal or not) are currently the only formats that meets these requirements.

Kill off CDs and the end user will move to the only other useful format, which generally means even less money as it's mostly pirate copies.

If the music industry is serious about getting rid of CDs, then they have to get rid of any form of invasive DRM (which probably means all of it), and, shock-horror, start selling *quality* music at a reasonable price, most of which which demonstrably goes back to the artist (that's my pet hate - I want to pay artists for my enjoyment of their work, not hear that my cash is being snorted up some nameless record executives nose). Or come up with a new business model, such as giving away the music and selling the gigs and merchandise instead.

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Boffin

Ehh?

"...once the source file is encoded, production costs cease no matter how many or how few are sold."

"...down to Apple and iTunes' willingness or ability to load up the servers with limited-interest content "

Well then, boys - which is it?

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Anonymous Coward

No!

...but I LIKE CDs!!

The problem I have with downloads is....

- They are not a physical thing. And if I'm going to spend money, I like to have a "thing" in exchange for it.

- I need to buy something else to play them on

- There are too many "standards", all incompatible and needing different players

- DRM (Need I say more?)

- Crap sound quality (ditto)

I think that sums it up. I'll stop now.

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Why would consumers want that

Unless they are receiving above CD quality with no DRM then I cannot see why anybody in their right mind would swap CDs for the current digital formats available. I haven't spent money on decent audio equipment to be limited to where and how I can play my music. People who have bought streaming systems from Linn and Naim aren't going to be happy with what iTunes offers.

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Stop

Quality that endures

Perhaps when one can download tracks at much higher quality I might switch from CD's.

But I have 40-50 year old LPs that still sound great and 20 year old CDs that still play fine - yet my oldest working hard disk is about 5 years old - I'm not sure I would entrust 100's of albums to that.

Still, one could always back it up to CDs...

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A

CD = dodo

This is the first year I don't have any CDs on my Amazon UK wishlist; nor does my girlfriend, nor my brother.

The reason? 7digital.com. Reasonably priced MP3 tracks at up to 320k. For those whining about DRM and low bitrates, may I suggest you check it out?

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Anonymous Coward

Some problems with downloads

There are several problems with even the download model, versus the CD model:

1. The article suggests that once the file is encoded, "production costs cease no matter how many or how few are sold" - not entirely true, since there will still be bandwidth costs payable.

2. For a long time it was not particularly easy to copy CDs, but since the advent of the cheap disc burner it's been trivial, just like when tape-to-tape became viable. Downloading does not actually solve this problem. It's even easier to do.

3. Making it cheaper does not guarantee people will buy it. Remember Radiohead and their "pay what you want" scheme? Many people opted to pay the least amount possible.

4. DRM is an issue, but right now no-one has anything better to suggest. People don't want DRMed files since they might move then around between hardware/multiple PCs/portable players etc, but non-DRM files are easy to copy.

5. Safeguarding your purchases is also a problem. If you lose your hard drive, bye bye downloads. And as for backing them up, DRM can make this difficult, and there is an argument that a copy even for backup purposes is not necessarily legitimate. CDs on the other hand don't have quite the same propensity to wear out.

6. Regarding Matt's comments - the gap between tracks is a software phenomenon caused by the MP3 file format's limitations. It can be corrected readily enough in software by a crossfader plugin to media players which will resolve it with a few artefacts that most people wouldn't be able to hear if set up right. But the mindless pap is only too true, I'm afraid. We are at a time where we aren't seeing much new material, more reinterpretation of old. And guess what, with very few exceptions, it just doesn't work. I bought some CDs recently - one of a 1983 album by Iron Maiden and one that was a film soundtrack from some years back.

7. Setting up an account is a pain but a necessary one for the music business to survive. There is something to be said for 'free' however, since even if the cost is trivial, and the music is conveniently obtained, free can still win. The real solution is to move to a subscription model to acquire new songs.

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But I want CDs!

Because I can rip them, store them in any format, or formats, that I want and have the security of the physical copy as a permanent backup.

To me, download only is far too much of a will o' the wisp thing where a disk crash could rob me of the thing I've purchased.

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Coat

Ah bugger it!

I am 31 and still use my cassette tapes and Vinyl.. Hell I hope the new prodigy album comes out on Vinyl again next year so I can play it on my 1210's! If I then want an mp3/wma or whatever quality for my ipod then I have Wavelab for that... I have that choice.

I can see alot of people not being happy about losing the ability to purchase music the old fashioned way, me for one also! Nothing like cold hard plastic/paper in a hmv plastic/paper bag.

Give it another 10 years .. The highstreets changing now! so we shall see...

Mines the one with the Sony Cassette walkman in the pocket.

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High prices killed the CD

The reason so many people flocked to Napster in the first place is the same reason why home taping was so common, because the price of a legitimate CD was far too high. At that time, the ability to play an MP3 was very limited, so there was no argument for convenience. You used your desktop computer, because there were no iPods, no MP3 support in DVD players, etc.

I have to say I will only purchase a physical object. I own a large number of CDs, but have reached the point where I rarely buy any more, solely based on price. If it's not already too late, it's time to cut CD prices in half, and then figure out how to cut them in half again. The manufacturing costs are negligible. The royalties are negligible. As far as distribution, if dollar stores can get items from the manufacturer to the store shelf for a dollar, maybe the music industry can take a few pointers.

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Unhappy

Yep, I want CDs as well.

The comment that CDs are 26 year old technology and should be replaced is like saying the spade is a 10,000 year old technology and should be replaced.

If something works and is understood then keep the damn thing....

Personally I prefer a physical item that I can store and use as backup if my computer storage system goes titsup!

Also - haven't been tempted by Amazon etc offerings of MP3 versions - If they're serious about Hi Fi (That's High Fidelity or as true to the original as possible) then they'll provide a Lossless format like FLAC.

Supplying in MP3 suggests that they think their customers are a bunch of cloth eared dolts....

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One thing they haven't considered...

...is that there are situations where a download isn't going to be possible.

For example, most jazz musicians (and probably other musicians as well) take boxes of CD to sell at their gigs. Often they can sell enough to make almost as much extra cash as they're being paid for the gig.

I don't reckon they're going to be able to sell downloads, so the total demise of the CD will just spell more domination by mainstream (crap like Take That, Girls Aloud, etc.) "artists" and less availability of proper music.

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I like having a physical object

That said, I can be persuaded. The problem is, CDs are still the best way to distribute high quality audio. That's not because the technology to distribute said audio over the net doesn't exist - it's that the morons running the record companies won't embrace it. Current downloads are:

*Too restrictive (I play OGGs, you don't sell OGGs, get it?)

*Too low quality (I haven't ripped in 128kbps since I was 14)

*Too expensive. Way too bloody expensive. There is no sodding way they can justify a download being the same price as a CD, let alone more.

Until these big three are sorted, I'll keep buying the CDs cheap and making high quality rips.

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@AC

"I need to buy something else to play them on"

You need to buy a DAP to play digital files on? Scandalous! After all, CDs are played merely by holding them up to strong sunlight...

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no, No and NO

Gawd, how daft are they? They get paid? Who pays these people?!

- downloads are not physical, you cannot touch them, put them up for display, wrap them nicely as gifts, or feel like you own them (which you do not anyway), this is were the discussion ends for regular consumers.

- downloads do not come in a open, lossless, DRM-free format, this is were the discussion ends for the tech-savvy people who appreciate quality.

- downloads offer much less value for money (no physical product, limited rights, limited quality) but they cost pretty much the same as the physical product when it comes to albums, this is where the discussion ends for the rest of people and those who actually spend a seconds though on "what they are paying for".

Sadly, it can be observed that there is an incredible demand for low quality, disposable content (say ringtones) from the mindless consumer hordes and teenagers, but removing the ability to actually get a quality product for your money alienates a demographic you do not want to mess with, namely affluent opinionated adults.

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the answer is obvious

In the summer of 2008 i bought 104 Cd's shopping centre retail for 104 GBP. A few turned out to be turkeys ( ie bands/tracks not CD quality ) but most are excellent.

At these prices i would buy many more, as would many others.

Note : None of this new crap, established artists, well known albums, obtained a few to "backup" my vinyl collection.

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Alert

In the world of the DJ....

.... cd's and vinyl are very much still alive and kicking and won't die.

I have a cd rack full of CDs, and I have two metal cases for djing with full of the latest and oldies.

Yeah I have laptop too, but it doesn't beat a CD, with its crisp sound, and gapless playing. Crossfaders in software can't match that at all.

Keep the CD, it works, people use it, end of.

Sod DRM, makes life hard, drop the prices and give us freedom. An easy way to cut piracy too.

All of my music is CD ripped to MP3, even the non-legit stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

@Greg

"I need to buy something else to play them on"

But I already have several CD players (as do most other people). WHY would I want to spend more cash on a new player, especially when the formats it can play will probably be declared obsolete in a couple of years? Whereas the CD player I bought 15 years ago still works with ANY CD, no matter how old they are.

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rant

I don't buy a lot of music these days because 99% of it is total sh*t.

Poxy girls bands, poxy boy bands, talentless bimbo's who look good but can't sing, lyrics predictably about sex or how much money the 'artist' (Ha!) has got or how many f*cking car's they own and what dumb wheels they've put on it, and then to cap it all they go making up words because they're limited vocabulary prevents them from using real words to form a rhyme.

It's all b*ll*cks.

How the hell do you turn off the Twat-o-tron once its engaged?

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Stop

And what about...

the millions of people with no Broadband connection, let alone a PC and / or MP3 player...

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Flame

If they want to get rid of CDs

Can they make a start with those bloody awful `compilation` CDs churning out the same dozen or so fucking Christmas songs year, in year out?

Just how many times do we need to hear this shit for fuck's sake?

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I'm cool.

I've got a load of CDs, but I use 7digital on occasion; now that it's 320kbps DRM-free stuff and a reasonable price.

I cannot see CD dying completely for a while, but it would be nice to see the backside of CD singles like the Xmas number ones that will only end up in landfill or the countless compilations that serve no purpose I can see and are of equally dubious quality as the digital downloads people bemoan.

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Boffin

Allofmp3.com had it absolutely bang on.

Some thoughts...: YouTube and myspace are apparently able to subsidise what must be massive streaming bandwith costs on the basis of on-site adverts (cough - adblockplus - cough). HMV have racks and racks of select CDs and DVDs for £3-5 but want still want to punt on back catalogue CDs for a whisker under £15. And iTunes Store & co still want 70p per track (i.e. £8.40 for a 12 track album)?! Insanity.

I still exclusively buy CDs, rather than paying over the odds for an intangible MP3 download or delving into the murky & choppy waters of P2P. But 90% of my purchases come from Amazon Marketplace (shipped! from the US!) for less than the price of a download. So neither the artist or the label get a penny. I get a tangible artefact. No need to faff around with shared folders on a home WLAN and diligent backups. And the private sellers have probably ripped the CD before selling it (if they've got any sense). Supply and demand, innit? (admittedly a little skewed by those that buy, rip, and sell on).

FACT: Allofmp3.com had it absolutely bang on. Choice of quality of the download from a range available and pay accordingly. Cavernous back catalogue. A realisation that a. downloaded. album. of. 12. MP3. tracks. is. worth. no. more. than. £5. and. more. like. £3. I repeat: a. downloaded. album. of. 12. MP3. tracks. is. worth. no. more. than. £5. and. more. like. £3.

Amazon downloads, aside from the their few headline £4 albums are still too expensive. As are 7digital, et al. - assuming what you want is even available as an mp3. If it is, it's nearly always cheaper to buy the CD either direct from play/amazon or via amazon marketplace. A sorry business model indeed.

emusic are almost there at (allegedly "as low as £0.20 per song"), but you're apparently limited to 30 tracks a month - i.e. 2 and a bit albums worth. Heaven forbid you should want to get more than one new album per fortnight. An absolute nonsense on both counts. That and the fact that their catalogue is noticeably "merely adequate" rather than "fully comprehensive".

And all of this is before I've considered the issue (and cost) of backing up or making it available across a home network.

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Downloads are good where the shops and post aren't

I've generally resisted downloads for many of the reasons mentioned here -- principally that it seems stupid to spend as much as a CD on a lossy copy I have to back-up myself. Admittedly, in the last year, I've copied all my CDs losslessly onto a whacking great hard disc (backed up to another whacking great hard disc), which has made my music much more conveniently accessible to me; with storage becoming cheaper, the use of the CD itself as a final backup medium is becoming less important to me.

What IS important to me is that I no longer live in the US or UK but in South America, where even the biggest shops in the capital city have a very limited selection and though it's theoretically possible to order CDs from outside, the postal system is very unreliable (especially when it comes to, ah, "desirable" items like CDs!) and the chances of your order arriving are dodgy at best -- and the package would be long in a-coming, if it did arrive. In contrast, there nothing wrong with my internet access or speed down here, and so I find myself in the bizarre position of being effectively cut off from legally purchasing many physical CDs that I could very easily get lossless digital copies of via file trading. This is surely not the situation in which music vendors want to see potential customers! Nor is it really a good situation for this potential customer, either.

So I find myself looking forward to the death of the CD and some system in place (more user-friendly than iTunes, which rigidly locks music to national borders) that allows me to buy whatever music is available as a full CD-quality (at least), DRM-less digital download -- exactly what I can commonly get right now from or as a pirate, but legit. This seems like such a blindingly obvious thing to offer the consumer that the fact that it doesn't exist right now is surely further proof (if any were needed) that the music industry is run by a bunch of hopeless idiots.

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CD's rule

Iknow this sounds wrong for the iPod generation but I download music (legitematly) but I too prefer toown a CD, you get tracks you would'nt have bought if you're buying song by song.

Much more importantly , my parents whilst tech savvy will never download, my Granparents will certainly never download, neither will my 89 year old great uncle (both of these last two have webpages BTW so it's not a fear of technology). my wife will only buy CDs and my parents in law get scared by the idea of giving card details online.

So if the solution to musics lack of sales is to make it impossible for all of these people to be unable to buy music then there might be a problem (a serious one if my parents are anything to go by (my dad'll go into HMV for a specific CD and come out with £100+ worth of "bargins" and things he thought he should get the new version of-not the customer you want to alienate really)

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A letter to Gartner

Dear researchers, Gartner et al:

I like CDs very much, and do not appreciate digitally compressed, DRM-laden files available only on intangible media.

I hereby respectfully request that you leave CDs alone, and fsck off.

Thank you for your attention.

-dZ.

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downloaded music no more

Im a huge fan of CDs because almost all the music I downloaded and paid for is now unaccessible because my OD2 subscription has expired and I can't download the licenses to play them unless I top up an account.

Only the tracks I converted to wav are the ones I can play. whereas I can rip a CD as many times as I want.

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Linux

download < £5 an album

If I can buy the download for the same or often more than the CD I'll buy the CD everytime

Now cheap FLAC tracks would be more interest for me. I doubt I'll be the only person backing them up to CD/DVD anyway.

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No CDs =

No music purchases.

End of.

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They're sort of right

Three years ago I bought six people CDs and one person a DVD. The rest got other stuff.

This year I bought three people DVDs, two people CDs and the others got something else.

Combined CD/DVD spend - about the same each time. Only the ratio has changed

Bet the same is true for a lot of people.

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Compressed media

While MP3 and their ilk are fine for iPods and car stereos, as soon as you start playing it through quality equipment they you can hear the flaws (yes I encode to 320kbps). Until I hear something that surpassed my CD and Vinyl setups in terms of quality I won't be paying for music downloads.

What the music industry fails to understand (or perhaps they do too well) is that if you get rid of recordable media (CD, tape, MD etc) then you are effectively killing off grass roots music. Selling your own music via the web is out of reach of the average musician - why would they want to spend time creating and maintaining a website when they could be be practising.

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Coat

Are CDs dead or is CD Audio dead?

People want physical tactile assets dont they? If I hold a CD in my hand I know I can step into most friends homes, cars, even hotel rooms and be pretty confident I can play and share the music experience. You dont get this with downloads and I think thats most consumer's gripe.

However, the music industry is bobbyshafted and the CD Audio format for sure has a short life line ahead simple due to the bottom line on DLoads over Physical CD sales. THe industry also really (really) needs a new strategy on distribution as the number of duplicates for any one track is crazy. Digitally they are trying to reproduced somethine physical so for any one track you will see a CD Single Release, iTunes Release, Extended iTunes bonus GTi release etc etc. My friends in catalogue management tell me most track now have eight releases and they are pretty much identical.

So, my crystal ball can see the end of CD Audio, being replaced with CD Data - i.e. DRM Free MP3 / eAAC+ files on disk or solid state devices. I can retailers burning disks and labelling them at the point of sale. I can even see subscription music servers being served from retail outlets.

CD Audio may be out, but I cannot see how you can eliminate the physical tactile nature of distribution with something as evocotive as Music.

And I'm not getting my coat, thats someone knicking my iMusic along with my music collection, not that Im bothered as I'll rip them from CD again - ah oh hang on...

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Anonymous Coward

Earth Calling Gartner!

Does it occur to these dickheads in their ivory towers that there are plenty of people out there who do not have, and do not want, access to the internet?

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You can't fall in love with zeroes and ones

I refuse to buy downloaded music. It’s not music : its data. You can’t fall in love with a data file. You can’t admire the artistry of a sleeve on your iPod. An album maybe a ‘dying concept’, but it is a work of art, and humans will always need art.

I refuse to pay £7.99 for a string of highly compressed, low quality, DRM’ed-to-hell rubbish. If the CD disappears, the idea of seeing an interesting name on a shelf, or a intruiging cover in a sale, and picking it up cheap and taking a risk is over. The random purchase will cease. Many times I have picked up great records cheap in sales and loved them forever.

Ten years ago, I was advocating that labels should release everything instantly, without restriction, at 20p a song. They should have sales and bargains and operate in a retail environment where slow shifting stock is marked down and cheaply available.

And also, I am insulted by the RIAA thinking a single song can be worth thousands of pounds when it’s leaked by filesharers. If a single song is worth so much, how come most artists – even those at reasonable levels of success – earn peanuts from their recorded work and only make money touring? How come a downloaded song at 79p results in an artist getting about 2p? It’s mass corporate hypocrisy. Rather than line the pockets of corrupt and inefficient labels, I frequently buy direct from the artist and see the shows. Trent Reznor has this business model succinctly captured. (As indeed does Prince, who made more money from the a small selling independent release with a 50% royalty rate than he did from a 1,000,000 selling album on Warners)

As it stands, I buy the stuff I want on a physical format because CD’s don’t have Hard Disk Crashes and don’t have DRM authentication errors. I like the idea of owning what I buy. Whatever it is. In a durable format that won’t expire when the provider decides to switch off servers, or a hard disk crashes.

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CD, I see

RIAA does not like me; I buy my music on CD. I buy them used and next to free; RIAA does NOT like me.

My dialup line is far too slow To download music don't 'you know? My radio is on the air, For online music, I don't care.

And in my player, decades old, I've folk songs, klezmer, Russians bold.... With obscure labels yet untold, My carousel is quite enrolled.

RIAA does not like me; I buy my music on CD. I buy them used and next to free; RIAA does NOT like me.

RUM tiddle iddle iddle RUm tim tum! RUM tiddle iddle iddle RUm tim tum! RUM tiddle iddle iddle RUm tim tum! And now my little rhyme is done!

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Anonymous Coward

Last xmas for me buying music then

If the music biz stops selling CDs, then I will totally stop buying music, as my preferred source of music will be closed down.

I want to buy music that is as high a quality as possible, and MP3s are not a suitable replacement.

But the systems involved with selling music online are also totally unaccpetable to me. I like my privacy, so I do not ever give organisations information about myself. Even if a service starts tomorrow selling FLACs or copies of the source WAVs I won't use it because there will be EULAs involved and no matter how nice the seller pretends to be, they will still be hoovering up unique information from me. And of course I can't pay without identifying myself.

That, and if a product has next to 0 production cost I am willing to pay next to 0 for it. Of course, music sold as downloads is only marginally cheaper than a CD equivalent, and the only reason that there is profit to be made currently is because most consumers are consumers, not customers, and will give their money to whoever flashes the brightest lights and makes the loudest noises.

People need to wake up and realise that IP is imaginary property, and that using a finite resource (the money in your wallet) to obtain a piece of an infinite resource (a copied music file) is a false economy. BY PAYING FOR DOWNLOADS YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY.

If they won't sell us what we want to buy, then fuck 'em and download it all. That leaves more money in my wallet for spending on finite resources, like a concert performance. This also has the benefit of doing a bit of an end-run around the greed of the record publishers, and getting more money to where it should be: the artists wallet.

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Anonymous Coward

Credit crunch is gonna get you

Surely given the number of real companies doing/selling real things that are struggling these days, 2009 should hopefully see the end of these FUD peddling PR whores posing as "analysts" .

Let me give you the benefits of my analysis as to why record companies keep selling these CDs ... BECAUSE PEOPLE KEEP BUYING THEM .

Phew, that was hard work- all I need now is someone to pay me to propagate spurious headlines across gullible tech news sites.

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Paris Hilton

You can take my CD...

...LP/Open-Reel/Cassette tapes when you can pry my cold, dead hands from them. I have 50 year old Big Band/Jazz/Symphonic along with newer Jazz/Rock/Blues/Alternative music recordings that beat the living HELL out of 99.5% of any thing recorded today (Rhianna? Who the heck IS this person and who decided SHE has talent. Not like Ella or Aretha!).

The only sound massaging I have performed is converting my old tapes and loaded them onto a CD. Other than that, the older mediums are still a huge improvement over what is available from the iTunes store. I have an MP3 player, but it is used only when I go to the gym and I decide to drown out crummy covers by the likes of Taylor Dane/Hansen Brothers/Nellie.

Paris becuase record executives make her look like a rocket scientist by comparison.

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Lossless

Until they're outputting in a lossless DRMLess format, ideally higher quality than Red book CD's, and either FLAC or APE, formats properly supporting gapless where appropriate.... then I'll stick with our shiny round friends. Which get stored as above on my HD :-)

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Anonymous Coward

I am the ghost of

fixed css backgrounds past.

And I bring a css warning, lines like:

body{background:#272727 url(/Design/graphics/std/black_hatch_tile.png) repeat fixed 0 0;padding:0;font-size:14px}

ensure the hyper-scrolling on a free wheeling mouse, and just plain scrolling, is really quite jittery.

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Go

MP3s are so last century...

I spent many years building up a huge MP3 collection. I ripped CDs I bought, ripped my old vinyl and tapes, friends and colleagues gave me CDRs stuffed with MP3s, I used Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, DC++ and torrents and bought MP3s online and you know what?...

I've not touched them for over year now. A friend of mine put me onto Jango (similar idea to last.fm / pandora) and I've never looked back. It's nice to not have the backup/storage/labelling overhead of maintaining a large collection of files, you get exposed to lots of new music and the artists get paid, lovely :-) Interestingly I bought my first CD in couple of years recently after a Jango recommendation. Really couldn't be arsed going back to the old way of doing things.

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Coat

It's not CDs that are bad, it's the PRICE

26 years of CD sales and they are STILL £15 for a chart album?!?!?!

The (biggest) reason people are downloading for free is they are sick of lining record company execs pockets.

I personally haven't bought a CD in many years, but I own £1000s worth of them. I got 'fed up' with it, starting making the odd dodgey download and found that, never mind downloading being free, it was a much better way to buy music (AllOfMP3.com, whatever you thought of it, was a great website - enormous choice, great interface, samples available, whatever format you wanted (including lossless), download file management, "you might like" suggestions, genre cross-referencing, peer reviews, etc, etc).

Also, people are sick of increasingly bland, over-hyped music and have started actively

avoiding the marketing machine that is the modern music biz.

Also, you guys posting that CD is a great medium: with an alternative of 128Kb MP3, then yes, it is, but there you are the music biz's monkey, because they *intend* that comparison to be drawn. They know as soon as they start offering the kind of choice and quality that people actually want (lossless download from websites with good library/comparison/search/sampling functionality) that next to noone will want CDs and they are afraid to release their stranglehold on those CD sale profits and are perhaps too lazy to change their ways / business model. They certainly seem to rather inconveniencing (DRM) and even attacking (threatening/suing) their customers to responding to demand.

I'll even help the lazy b@stards out: -

Short term: CDs: Make them £5 for a new album. You may more than triple sales.

Mid term: Develop websites with fabulous library interfaces where folks pay one-off track prices or a monthly (£10? £100 per year?) subscription for unlimited downloads. Make available lossless formats with nice album art and other materials. Make the lossy formats cheaper and DRM free. Make it easy for folks to burn their own CDs for backup.

Long Term: Move on guys! There must be a way to go DRM free for lossless formats and still make money, because, let's face it, you cannot control SOUND.

What is happening to the music business is nothing short of a consumer revolution: a rising up of the discontented masses. Am I saying that to make myself feel better over the copyright theft I may have perpetrated? No. As I said, I have £1000s of CDs. I have more than paid my dues to the industry, in fact I still feel a little taken for a ride, as much as I was a CD collector by choice.

Wow - big post. You know why I'm really so annoyed? Because I used to be a music lover, but the music business have beaten it out of me and then blamed me for it's decline. Bitter? Yeah, quite a bit really. A shame, innit?

Mine's the one with my whole music collection in the pocket any time I want it. (160GB Archos)

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Anonymous Coward

We want CDs!

As someone commented - when you buy an album to download it just doesn't feel the same as the physical one. I just bought my first download on New Years Day. what a hassle. They were in FLACs. Not everthing burns FLACs. So I converted to WAVs. I could of bought the slighly cheaper MP3 version, but it leaves gaps [it's as live album, BTW].

It's only available for download. So I don't have much of a choice. the only bright spots when you download is they give you PDFs for the cover, inlay and usually labels - but you still have to print them [and get labels]. And there is no booklets.

Only thing I don't like of late is this bonus track(s) editions. In most cases I have yet to see those sam albums without a bonus track.

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