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The End of the CD


LesPaul
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CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012

Posted on 23/10/11

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You read it well. The major labels plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012 (or even earlier) and replace it with download/stream only releases via iTunes and related music services. The only CD-formats that will be left over will be the limited edition ones, which will of course not be available for every artist. The distribution model for these remaining CD releases would be primarily Amazon which is already the biggest CD retailer worldwide anyhow.

 

3 weeks ago we heard it for the first time and since then we have tried getting some feedback from EMI, Universal and Sony. All declined to comment.

 

The news doesn't come as a surprise to those who have been working in the business. In a piece that was published in a q&a with the Alfa Matrix people back in June 2011 in the 1st issue of "Matrix Revelations", our chief editor Bernard Van Isacker said the following when asked if a CD would still exist in 5 years: "Yes, but in a different format. Normal CDs will no longer be available because they don't offer enough value, limited editions on the other hand will remain available and in demand for quite a few more years. I for one buy only limited editions because of the added value they offer: a nice design, extra bonus gadgets, etc. The album as we know it now however will be dead within 5 years, if it isn't even sooner. I predict that downloads will have replaced the CD album within the next 2 years. I don't see that as something negative, it just has run its course, let's leave the space to limited editions (including vinyl runs for bigger acts) and downloads instead."

 

It's a move that makes completely sense. CD's cost money, even when they don't sell because there is stock storage to be paid; a label also pays money to distributors when CDs get returned to the labels when not sold and so on. In short, abandoning the CD-format will make it possible to just focus on the release and the marketing of it and no longer focus on the distribution (since aggregators will do the work as far as dispatching the releases to services worldwide) and - expensive - stock maintenance. In the long run it will most surely mean the end for many music shops worldwide that only stock and sell CD releases. In the UK for instance HMV has problems paying the labels already and more will follow. It makes the distribution of CDs no longer worth it.

 

Also Amazon will benefit from this as it will surely become the one and only player when it comes to distribution of the remaining CD productions from labels. Packaged next to regular album downloads via its own Amazon MP3 service it will offer a complimentary service.

 

The next monument to fall? That will be printed magazines as people will want to consume their information online where they also read most of the news.

 

What are your feelings? is it a move that you like or not?

 

Update: We were approached by several people working with major labels, who indeed re-confirm that plans do exist to give up the CD. We keep on trying to get an official confirmation, but it seems that the matter is very controversial, especially after Side-Line brought out the story

 

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

 

 

 

I better able to get my music in a physical form. Hopefully it'll just mean vinyl will become more popular again.

 

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Quicker than I expected, and it seems a lot more formalised than I thought it might ever be. Interesting.

 

There is something quite nice about buying physical casettes and CDs etc., but in truth I haven't bought them in ages. Love receiving them as gifts, mind you.

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Naive, possibly daft question but what do DJs use these days? I assume they don't just plug in their iPod and stick it on shuffle?

 

They basically do. They just bring a laptop with iTunes/whatever and play songs. Turn on crossfade, go for a quick wank, have a few pints, do some coke and then head home.

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Naive, possibly daft question but what do DJs use these days? I assume they don't just plug in their iPod and stick it on shuffle?

 

They basically do. They just bring a laptop with iTunes/whatever and play songs. Turn on crossfade, go for a quick wank, have a few pints, do some coke and then head home.

 

Fucking hell, I'm in the wrong job! I could probably do that, although someone would have to download the songs for me, other than that though.

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Naive, possibly daft question but what do DJs use these days? I assume they don't just plug in their iPod and stick it on shuffle?

 

Depends, some use CDs, some still use vinyl. Hell of a lot use programmes where it's digital format though.

 

 

 

This is shit as fuck btw, love CDs.

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I like a physical copy.  :'(

 

Vinyl and tapes. The only thing that matters. CDs' a boring, boring format anyway.

 

I'm more than happy to see the death of physical media, but you've got a point, it's not like CDs were anything interesting anyway, they're just another way to transfer files.

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MP3s are horrible like. They're great to put on your iPod and listen on the train, bus etc. but when I want to properly sit down and listen to music with a decent set of headphones I want decent quality not a crappy compressed digital file. Can you download FLAC files from itunes? None of this 128 KBPS shite.

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Don't buy CDs anymore unless it is a special band. But CDs gets ripped then put away, tapes and especially vinyl is something I can pick up just to look at, or when I am truelly gonna enjoy meself some good music.

Others of course doesn't care about vinyl and tapes but love CDs, but I don't get that. But I guess we're different and blablafuckinbla. :aww:

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MP3s are horrible like. They're great to put on your iPod and listen on the train, bus etc. but when I want to properly sit down and listen to music with a decent set of headphones I want decent quality not a crappy compressed digital file. Can you download FLAC files from itunes? None of this 128 KBPS shite.

 

You can get Apple version of FLAC. Something like that.

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MP3s are horrible like. They're great to put on your iPod and listen on the train, bus etc. but when I want to properly sit down and listen to music with a decent set of headphones I want decent quality not a crappy compressed digital file. Can you download FLAC files from itunes? None of this 128 KBPS shite.

 

That'll be your problem.

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Don't buy CDs anymore unless it is a special band. But CDs gets ripped then put away, tapes and especially vinyl is something I can pick up just to look at, or when I am truelly gonna enjoy meself some good music.

Others of course doesn't care about vinyl and tapes but love CDs, but I don't get that. But I guess we're different and blablafuckinbla. :aww:

Tapes are shit but vinyl is great. Still the best way to listen to music.

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Don't buy CDs anymore unless it is a special band. But CDs gets ripped then put away, tapes and especially vinyl is something I can pick up just to look at, or when I am truelly gonna enjoy meself some good music.

Others of course doesn't care about vinyl and tapes but love CDs, but I don't get that. But I guess we're different and blablafuckinbla. :aww:

Tapes are shit but vinyl is great. Still the best way to listen to music.

 

For the first time ever, I agree.

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Don't buy CDs anymore unless it is a special band. But CDs gets ripped then put away, tapes and especially vinyl is something I can pick up just to look at, or when I am truelly gonna enjoy meself some good music.

Others of course doesn't care about vinyl and tapes but love CDs, but I don't get that. But I guess we're different and blablafuckinbla. :aww:

Tapes are s*** but vinyl is great. Still the best way to listen to music.

 

For the first time ever, I agree.

f***... what do we do now?

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Tapes are s*** but vinyl is great. Still the best way to listen to music.

 

I disagree. Still buy tapes and still loving it. Mostly demos, though. Both old and new demos as long as I like the band. Superb stuff.

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Yeah, it's weird isn't it that unlike almost any other product the quality of music media has steadily declined with each technological "innovation" that has occurred. :dontknow:

When you look at Tape to DVD to Blu-Ray they're all advances on what came before but music just seems to get lower in quality. I guess the general public just doesn't know the difference in sound quality. Everything is compressed to death in the mastering stage nowadays anyway.

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Yeah, it's weird isn't it that unlike almost any other product the quality of music media has steadily declined with each technological "innovation" that has occurred. :dontknow:

 

Blame Internet speeds & archaic Music Industry executives.

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Tapes are s*** but vinyl is great. Still the best way to listen to music.

 

I disagree. Still buy tapes and still loving it. Mostly demos, though. Both old and new demos as long as I like the band. Superb stuff.

The problem with tape is the quality is damaged every time you play it. We have some original U2 tapes from the early 80s at home and all you can hear is the lower frequencies. Damaged over the last 25-30 years.

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The problem with tape is the quality is damaged every time you play it. We have some original U2 tapes from the early 80s at home and all you can hear is the lower frequencies. Damaged over the last 25-30 years.

 

One can't argue about that. And that sure is a negative thing, but I don't play my tapes very often. Just on very rare and special occasions. But that's life, I guess.

But if the CDs die I guess more and more bands will release vinyl. Been requesting this for many years now. The world needs more vinyl releases.

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