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back to article Compact Disc death foretold for 2012

The major record labels are planning to kill off the CD format by the end of next year to make way for digital downloads only. That's the claim made by music site Side-Line which says it heard whispers that the end of the CD is nigh from music industry insiders. That said, it has failed to get any official confirmation from the …

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Coat

It's rather fortunate then that 99% of all known good music was already released over 20 years ago. I can live without the remaining 1% !

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MJI
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Some is newer

My most recent CD is from 2010.

Errrr

But the music was from various demos in 1980s!

I have found that MP3 and heavy rock are completely incompatible.

My various NWOBHM singles, EPs and LPs all still work.

Been given some LPs and CDs recently (by the publisher) as the band featured were friends and the LP used a few of my photos from that era.

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Go

Yeah, yeah ...

... and small paper writing pads and pens/pencils will be finally gone in 2012 too. BFD

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The regular consumer side of things (not just music either) has been declining in quality for years now under the attitude of "yeah, so it sounds or looks worse, but it's so *convenient*". Dropping the "inconvenient" CD certainly fits into that pattern of decline.

Yes, convenience has its place. But sometimes, I'm willing to make a little effort in exchange for a noticeable quality increase. The record label which takes that option away from me won't get my business.

Though if it's major labels we're talking about, I'm not sure that would be any real loss to me.

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Acoustic, Classical

Doesn't anyone listen to classical music, or anything else using non-electronic instruments? A solo flute is close to a pure sine wave plus some white noise ... the non-harmonic artifacts that arise from compression are truly ghastly.

If they don't let us download uncompressed or losslessly compressed then I have zero interest. in downloading. Same reason that if they turn off FM transmissions I won't listen to music on (DAB) Radio. (Classic FM take note! )

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Stop

My CD collection I kept in prestine condition is mostly unpayable now

Most of the CD's from the 80's 90's I have are unplayable due to a vary degree or holes on the metal subract due to poor manufactureing back in those times casueing them to rust from the inside. These were discs's advertised as undestructable!

Now can I legals download those tracks for no additional cost so I can enjoy the music I paid for - most of which is unavailable digitaly alas. Or do I take the respective record companies to court for selling shoddy good's not fit for the purpose?

What is my legal position here, coz there are alot of people in this position.

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Happy

My oldest CD still plays perfectly...

and I'm listening to it right now.

Purchased in 1987 it has travelled with me to University, overseas and has moved house countless times. It's still in it's original jewel case with sleeve notes and lyrics.

Actually I can't think of any purchased music CDs that have become unusable.

As for downloads, I have never purchased any music that way, preferring CDs. One CDs may no longer be produced, but I doubt it will be in 2012.

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Modern players, YMMV

I burned a variety of tracks from FLAC to use in a listening test when I decided to get new speakers. Burn verefied just fine.

Once at the Hi-Fi shop both a £500 Arcam and a £300 Cambridge Audio player were having none of it. I had to resort to a pressed Gnarles Barkley's St Elsewhere that the shop had knocking about.

Back home my 15 year old £120 Technics CD player didn't bat an eyelid and played the disk perfectly.

As I said though YMMV as I'm just one bloke recounting one experience.

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My Genesis CD (creamy yellow, don't recall the title) bought back when I listened to that, had the label layer wrinkle up in a couple of years. It looked like it would fall off entirely. Still played okay, but I ripped a copy to CD-R just in case...

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Boffin

Tech fix

Most of my CDs of that age are still perfectly fine.

I did have one that started decaying. I found that I was able to copy it to CD-R without error using my computer, even though my audio player was unhappy with it. Methinks that modern computer everything-drives have much better optics and error-recovery, than audio systems. The CD-R plays fine on the audio system (although with older audio CD drives, that isn't guaranteed).

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Selling England by the Pound by any chance?

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Not my experience

As far as I know all my commercially-pressed CDs still play fine. I have, however, had a number of DVDs go bad, generally with adhesive leakage from between the layers. Sometimes you can clean this off but on other occasions it has become so crusted on the playing surface that it could not be removed without damage. I've also had a number of DVD +/- R disks become unplayable for no obvious reason - possibly they simply became insufficiently reflective over time?

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Possibly Trick of the Tail?

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It could actually be an improvement

CD's 16-bit quantising and 44.1KHz sampling are simply inappropriate for this century. They were as good as you could get 25 years ago, but why should we have to put up with it now? OK there have been various super-CD and DVD-audio attempts, but none has hit the mainstream due to equipment compatibility issues. Here is an opportunity for downloads that are close or equal to the mastering quality, often 24-bit 96KHz.

Of course DRM might kill it dead in the water. But I wouldn't mind having my identity as the buyer of the work embedded in the file, with an option of exporting it at lower quality without the "watermark".

I suggest you should pay according to the technical quality of the file: If 128KB/s is you forte, then you'll get off cheap and perhaps buy lots. I would prefer to buy less music at the higher quality, thanks.

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Meh

Overkill

In my experience only the most hardened audiophiles or people who work with audio on a professional basis listening on very expensive equipment can truly tell the difference between 16 bit 44khz CD quality and anything higher. I'm pretty sure the original developers of CDs could have set a higher standard if they'd wanted but it wasn't deemed necessary.

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Anonymous Coward

20Hz to 20KHz

... the normal range of human hearing. CD's 44,100 more than covered that (a Mr Nyquist explains that the highest frequency you can get is half the sample rate. I could not even begin to explain).

But there was more to it than that. It was something about some compatibility with film and, again, I mist refer you to google --- but they did pick a sample rate that suited them.

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Happy

They said that about phonograph/turntable records

Yet there is a booming, self-sustaining plastic stomping business in several countries.

Mind you, some of what passes for 'music' these days actually improves after it has been reduced to MP3 format.

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FAIL

When they stop making CDs is when I stop buying my music

You think I'm actually going to pay for all my music in a middling-bitrate LOSSY format which in small print is probably going to be licensed rather than sold, does not have any physical presence (the shiny disc) and no little booklet with info, pictures, and lyrics?

Quick fixes are downloads. Other music is on CD and converted to the format of my choice with the knowledge that I can make better, or worse, versions at whim from a lossless original.

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Anonymous Coward

Should about wrap it up for the MAFIAA then?

Well that should be about it then for the RIAA ? Their entire concept range is restricted to the sale of these silly discs. Giant tar pit awaits them.

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Tell that to all the bands releasing singles on 7 inches

Seems to have suddenly become popular to release singles and EPs on vinyl, I even saw some on tape at a recent gig.

People still buy them for collecting purposes even if they do not have a record player.

A store that only sells vinyl recently opened and is doing quite well with all the bands releasing singles and people wanting their services.

There are still some mad VHS collectors around the place also who are prepared to pay $100 for one VHS tape.

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MJI
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VHS collectors

Points finger at and laughs.

Now that was a format that needed to die. Worst format available and obsolete back in the 80s.

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I bought a CD on Sunday

A real, physical, actual CD, in a CD shop.

First I've bought in 2 years maybe?

Just an observation.

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Not for me.

I want to OWN the music in my collection. As in, pay money for it, then be able to listen to it when I want, how I want. The system they want to impose is one where I'm supposed to rent the music I want, and only for as long as they feel like renting it, and only on devices that they specify, only for times they specify, and so on. Oh, and for the same or higher price than I would have paid if I'd wanted to "own" the music in the first place.

That's not "purchase" or "ownership" by any stretch of the imagination. To me, that just spells one thing: "rip off".

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Pint

Yeah well....

Vinyl still sells so can't see CD's going away completely.

I still buy CD's, something nice about the band making the effort to decorate the cover with proper artwork not some piddly little embedded JPG in an MP3. Of course the best will always be double gatefold vinyl sleeves, you couldn't whack 'em!

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WTF?

Remind me again.....

......when was the death of vinyl supposed to occur?

Also in 2012: death of COBOL, year of Linux desktop, end of world, UN campaign to provide every forest-dwelling bear with a flush toilet.

"....music site Side-Line which says it heard whispers...". So not just bullshit, but rumoured bullshit.

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Physical, let's get physical

There will ALWAYS be a market for something physical, of whatever media you desire. Maybe the record labels are going to DVDs, or BluRay. Of course, when I want to go do something on my vehicle, I DO want something reasonable, as there is NO nice input jack the factory provides.

Compression: I've heard a little (1/10th) bit about it, and the lossy stuff isn't pretty!

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LDS
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One standard compared to tens of them

Audio CD has a great advantage. Is a single standard. You don't have tens of them with different capabilities and companies trying to impose their own one to control the market. And standard like CD were developed with time resilience in mind, with digital formats you mau find in a few year that that format is "no longer supported" and you may have to buy them again, and again, and again, and again.... exactly what they wuold like, sell you the same stuff over and over.

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Anonymous Coward

yeah, right

I'll stop buying CDs when I get rid of my FM tuner now that DAB has taken over. Oh, wait...

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Back up?

And when we want to back up our music files we put it all on a networked or external hard drive and some form of optical media, possibly even a CD!

The CD being dead is about as convincing as the PC being dead and that toilets are soon to be eliminated from all new house designs. If the studios kill the CD format then they are sillier than I would have given them credit.

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Happy

@ Barry Shitpeas

'I have never purchased digital music, nor do I want to'

I know how you feel bazza, neither have I - a decent VPN and a few good torrent sites is a much more preferable way of getting music.

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MJI
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Downloaded music

Easiest way to get it is by downloading from certain sites, much easier than installing crapware (Itunes) or playing hunt the credit card.

But the easy way is a good way to try new music to see if it is worth buying in CD form.

I found out that Def Leppard had released a new album, no idea if they were still any good, downloaded it, pretty good, bought the CD.

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not for me

I have a very nice and very expensive hifi. i love my music as long as they release back catalogue stuff fine. not interested in new stuff as there is only about 1% worth a damn.

My expensive CD player doesnt like ripped CDS so thats out and not overly keen on the ipod as my main source.

They drop CDS i stop buying there music i am sure the artists will have a say when they see there revenues drop.

I like tangible. What happens when my pc dies / ipod / Backup dies i lose my digital music Still got my cds for the insurance company if we have a fire etc.

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i don't mind if CDs die, but:

for digitial media:

- purchase in lossless audio codec either 16-bit 44.1kHz or 24-bit 96kHz (where original master is recorded in 24-bit)

- purchase/stream in lossy codec - for those who don't know how to compress music

for physical media - vinyl only

Reasons: I'm not keen to pay the same or more money for lossy format (I'm looking at you iTunes). I'm keen to keep physical media in form of vinyl because, well, vinyl is vinyl we all know why it's good

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Downloads & streaming won me over.

These days most 'new' music I listen to is streamed. Where I want a copy for my portable, I get a download. Sadly free, illegal ones mainly (sorry industry, but you don't have the content) except the occasional FLAC purchase.

I've also now stopped buying CDs and henceforth am only buying vinyl as if I want a physical product it may as well be a product that looks and sounds cool.

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"Where I want a copy for my portable, I get a download. Sadly free, illegal ones mainly (sorry industry, but you don't have the content)"

So, they don't have the content. But you like a song enough to download it but not to pay for it?

You may delight in "sticking it to the man", but you're also sticking it to the artist as well.

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JDX
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re:But fucking tricky to play in the car

If only they made car stereos that could play from USB/SD storage... oh... they do.

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Anonymous Coward

Hollywood giving up on blu-ray??

Do you actually believe that Hollywood would give up on a media that serves no other purpose than her own? Or do you get your backups done in BD-R, due lack of options? (What, no LTO tape, really? No portable HDD either?)

BD-ROM is dirt cheap to produce, a PITA to copy (what, didn't some guy crack it yet?), and the price of BD-Rs is high to the end consumer due obvious reasons. This is Hollywood wet dream. They almost had it on DVDs, but some spoil-sport ruined the show. < /snark.>.

No, really, CDs/DVDs/Bluray won't vanish over night, and:

- Blu-rays are the last DRM bastion of hope for Hollywood. As long they can hold on to it, it won't die.

- DVDs... well... they will last longer in computers as dirt-fast backup or sneaker net purposes, in case you dont have a pendrive at hand. And you still need it to blank-bootup the things. Microsoft still sells it (windows?) in CD/DVD only.

Or you download it, anb burn the ISO to disk, right? So does a few Linuxen?

-CDs are just so ubiquitous, you won't get rid of it. All cars with CD players would have to die first.

The 120mm reflective-coated plastic discs are going nowhere.

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FAIL

Side Line

Considering Side-Line is a genre mag supposedly dedicated to alternative/industrial/EBM etc. (and it's not even very good at being that) I'd be wary about taking anything they say (which was undoubtedly gleaned from "insiders" specific to a very small portion of the alternative music industry) and projecting it on to the larger music industry.

This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion to the credibility of the original story.

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Music had to be very carefully mixed to sound good on vinyl, and that is a black art that has mostly died out. Digital audio mostly uses a flat EQ, which is a very good thing, except when the source master was only available in a mix that was already biased for vinyl. I seem to remember Joe Walsh ranting about this exact problem on some early Eagles CDs, where they used the vinyl masters and the CDs sounded like they were playing from the bottom of a well out of speakers stuck under trashcan lids.

A perfectly mastered vinyl disc sounds absolutely wonderful, but you have to remember one important thing - it will never sound quite as good as it did the last time you played it. A while back (in the reg, I think) there was a story about someone trying to playback vinyl disks with a laser, which would then maybe make the argument at least a little worthwhile. For now you need a needle, and that means wear and tear that CDs never get unless misshandled.

There's a lot of unfounded nostalgia about vinyl. I still have the first CD I ever purchased (So, Peter Gabriel, 1986), and should I actually want to take it out of the case and play it, it would sound as good as the day I bought it, and of course the digital copy I carry around on my player is as good as the disk, which is another thing you could never do with vinyl - make perfect backup copies.

I have vinyl disks from the same era that I have not played since either, and they are very likely unplayable since they haven't been obsessively well-stored. Vinyl is a TERRIBLE archival medium.

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trying to play vinyl with a laser

Not trying. Succeding. They've been available for years, they're just not cheap or common. First saw them on Tommorow's World I think, el-reg didn't even exist then.

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Anonymous Coward

LD?

Laser-discs, I suppose. The ones crafted in CD material, but have vinyl size? I believe those were that kind, with grooves like vinyl, hence analogue, but the *needle* is a laser. (Well if it was like that, perhaps you could play it on a needle turntable too?)

When people first said DVD, I thought they would be like that. Looks like a CD, but has 12" diameter.

And yes, they were not cheap. The turntables were $10.000 USD a pop not cheap.

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Facepalm

[Obligatory] You don't "buy" any digital downloads from iTunes

Many comments above speak of "buying" tracks from iTunes.

Wrong.

You do not "buy" a track from iTunes. You actually lease a license to the file.

If you still think you have bought a track from iTunes I'll do you a deal. Sell me any single track of your choosing. Hell, to make it interesting, I'll pay you $5.00 for a $0.99 track.

Nope, there's no way to do it legally.

Ask yourself: If you cannot sell something on to someone else, do you really "own" it? And if you do not "own" it, did you really "buy" it.

I think we should just replace the phrase "buy from iTunes" with "lease from iTunes".

Not sure if the same reasoning applies to other music download sites. I suspect it does.

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Hello? Hello? Is there anyone there?

Are we talking here about the music industry that has just moved into the 20th century?

The same music industry that resisted downloads so hard and so bitterly for so long?

The same music industry that wants governments, indeed anyone, to protect its property rights rather than moving into the 21st century and updating its business model?

The same industry that seems to think it has a God-given right to massive profits for doing very little?

The same industry that is still kicking and screaming about DRM?

Nah. I'd say the CD will die in 2037 at the very earliest.

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JDX
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re:Hollywood giving up on blu-ray??

You realise the article was about CDs, not every kind of round shiny disc?

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Anonymous Coward

re: giving up blu-ray?

Yes I did realize the article is about audio CDs, but as long the same shape and size is under use, there will be still companies willing to press and sell Redbook* CDs.

Specially those that refuse to sell online. And audiophiles premium albums, etc...

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