The Long Overdue Death of Retail Compact Disc

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,264 21 9
#1
Memorializing the Compact Disc. Once upon a time, the CD was the ubiquitous music platform. Our story outlines how the disc-based music technology was adopted, loved and eventually abandoned by a generation that arrived a little too late to collect vinyl record albums. In its day, the CD weathered a storm of competitors that sought to usurp the audio throne by offering key improvements in storage capacity and audio resolution. But behind the inevitable fall of the CD is a story of how the music industry refused to read the writing on the wall. Now that the once dominant audio platform's days are behind us the question remains: Did you like CDs?

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Read: The Long Overdue Death of Retail Compact Disc
 
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MR.MAGOO

MR.MAGOO

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
252 9 9
#2
Yes, I like CD's, I've got about 1200 right now. Been awhile since I've bought any, most of my new music purchases are from Apple iTunes store. It is confusing to me in the 'early days' of CD, they'd put out a disc marketed as DDD or AAD and I wondered if there really was a discernible difference? At least when buying a used CD, there was less chance of getting a dud, not like buying a used vinyl LP which might be scratched by improper handling.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
447
#3
CD, and moreso now their hi res brethren SACD is largely how I listen and purchase music.

Admittedly, I have ripped many of these to a newly setup hard drive I added to my laptop and also enjoy the convenience of my created playlists mostly for whole house. I think once that job is totally completed and organized I might shift my critical listening pattern, but I'm in no hurry...I love my spinner.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,882 16 36
#4
I'll be fine with the CD's passing from retail establishments, haven't purchased one in such in ages anyways, actually very few of my CDs were purchased in one. Hopefully there will be good retail sources for at least cd quality downloads once manufactured cds pass on, at least hopefully better choices than I find now. I like having my own hard copy, though.

While internet is fine at home for access, I lose that as well as cell service pretty much at the city limits around here. Still have my vinyl as well as all my cds, fair amount of each (never went in for cassettes, tho). I don't listen to the CDs directly much now, though, now that I've got them all copied in FLAC and have a variety of ways to stream those around the house or simply put them on a usb drive or my phone for mobility....or just burn a cd for the cd changer I still have in one vehicle without any usb/aux input.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,152 14 4
#5
I'll keep waving the CD flag over here! I even get up and change discs! Might buy an Oppo 205 so I can find further enjoyment from them.

And then I can upload them should I ever feel like buying more hard drives....
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,406 6 2
#6
Hi. My name is Irv, and I'm an audio dinosaur. I buy my music only on CDs.

(I do occasionally listen to Amazon Prime Music on my headphones at the office, but only because the incremental cost to me is free, and the listening isn't serious.)
 
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GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,152 8
#7
My collection of CDs is over 600 now and I will continue to purchase them when/where I can. I still have the old mindset of needing to have a physical copy of my music. Admittedly, I will immediately rip each new CD to FLAC and play over Sonos at home (My 2 x 300-disc Sony CD changers are now just a CD library now),but I still take CD's on the road. I assume that won't be an option when I buy my next vehicle.

I still like read the liner notes.
 
rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,830 8 4
#8
I like CDs. I like having a tangible item to show for my purchase. I don't listen to CDs very often though. I rip them to FLAC using EAC (this, not this) because it's more convenient to shuffle through a directory of files than a stack of discs in most places. After ripping, the CD goes into my Sony 300-disc changer because it's awesome. For my truck, it's easy enough to convert those FLAC files to mp3 and copy to a 32gb flash drive. From a cmd prompt:
Code:
md MP3
for %I in (*.flac) do ffmpeg -i "%~I" -b:a 224k -map_metadata 0 "MP3\%~nI.mp3"
From PowerShell:
Code:
md MP3
gci *.flac | %{ ffmpeg -i $_ -b:a 224k -map_metadata 0 "MP3\$($_.basename).mp3" }
Easy peasy, right? Either will convert a full directory of songs while retaining ID3 tags, taking about 5 seconds per song (give or take, depending on length).

But if I have a hard drive crash, if I lose my flash drive, I've still got the original CDs. If I'm buying music, I want that CD to satisfy my OCD as proof that I have received something of value in exchange for my money.

CD quality is the standard. I don't want to pay for CD quality MP3s, because to me that's an oxymoron. I know if I rip a CD to flac, then burn a CD from those flac files, then re-rip to flac, I'll still end up with a bit perfect copy of what I purchased. On the other hand, if I burn MP3 to CD and re-rip, I'll have lost something. It might be audible or it might not, but it's still something lost, and it's no longer CD quality. Again, OCD. Whether it's reasonable or not, it's how I feel.

As far as CDs disappearing from retail stores, that's no big deal to me. I always considered CDs in retail stores as customer bait. Stores get CDs for people to browse, and while browsing they're exposed to 75" TVs, home theater demos, and other big ticket items. I prefer not to be exposed to all that or to sales people, so I buy CDs from Amazon.

If Amazon stops selling CDs, then I'll be upset, unless they then start offering an option to purchase albums as FLAC, WAV, or DSD files on flash drives. That would still be something tangible, and would satisfy my OCD.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Ratings
1,976 3
#9
I like CD's. I'm getting uncompressed PCM.

I like CD's. I own them.

I like CD's. I can sell them.

I like CD's I can rip them and then they simply become my backup.

I like CD's as they have no DRM.

I'll miss CD's.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,344 7 3
#10
I like CDs. I like having a tangible item to show for my purchase. I don't listen to CDs very often though. I rip them to FLAC using EAC (this, not this) because it's more convenient to shuffle through a directory of files than a stack of discs in most places. After ripping, the CD goes into my Sony 300-disc changer because it's awesome. For my truck, it's easy enough to convert those FLAC files to mp3 and copy to a 32gb flash drive. From a cmd prompt:
Code:
md MP3
for %I in (*.flac) do ffmpeg -i "%~I" -b:a 224k -map_metadata 0 "MP3\%~nI.mp3"
From PowerShell:
Code:
md MP3
gci *.flac | %{ ffmpeg -i $_ -b:a 224k -map_metadata 0 "MP3\$($_.basename).mp3" }
Easy peasy, right? Either will convert a full directory of songs while retaining ID3 tags, taking about 5 seconds per song (give or take, depending on length).

But if I have a hard drive crash, if I lose my flash drive, I've still got the original CDs. If I'm buying music, I want that CD to satisfy my OCD as proof that I have received something of value in exchange for my money.

CD quality is the standard. I don't want to pay for CD quality MP3s, because to me that's an oxymoron. I know if I rip a CD to flac, then burn a CD from those flac files, then re-rip to flac, I'll still end up with a bit perfect copy of what I purchased. On the other hand, if I burn MP3 to CD and re-rip, I'll have lost something. It might be audible or it might not, but it's still something lost, and it's no longer CD quality. Again, OCD. Whether it's reasonable or not, it's how I feel.

As far as CDs disappearing from retail stores, that's no big deal to me. I always considered CDs in retail stores as customer bait. Stores get CDs for people to browse, and while browsing they're exposed to 75" TVs, home theater demos, and other big ticket items. I prefer not to be exposed to all that or to sales people, so I buy CDs from Amazon.

If Amazon stops selling CDs, then I'll be upset, unless they then start offering an option to purchase albums as FLAC, WAV, or DSD files on flash drives. That would still be something tangible, and would satisfy my OCD.
Yup, you pretty well summed up my approach too!

I have that 100 disc old-school Pio CD player, had it for a long time and it serves me well, and that is 1 less CD notebook that I need for storage and it's easy to just select a random disc.

I also have a Parasound zCD for critical listening.

But, the majority of my listening is either from FLAC CD rips or online streaming.

USED CDs tend to be CHEAP! Same reason that I got into vinyl in the late 1990s.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,344 7 3
#11
I like CD's. I'm getting uncompressed PCM.

I like CD's. I own them.

I like CD's. I can sell them.

I like CD's I can rip them and then they simply become my backup.

I like CD's as they have no DRM.

I'll miss CD's.
No DRM is a huge advantage in my opinion!
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,193 8 22
#12
I like CDs. I own plenty. They were definitely an improvement over tape for convenience, space and quality, but still subject to possible damage. I have not been buying them much lately. Most of my listening is now digital media mainly for even more convenience.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,377 20 32
#14
My bottom line is that our world is quickly into rent, not own, where it comes to media.
Renting music concept by itself is not inherently evil nor necessary bad for the consumer, BUT RIAA sees streaming (ie: really renting) music in the same light as it looks as CD/iTunes track sales. These are absolutely not the same thing and they should not expect pricing/income to be anywhere near the cost of ownership of physical media with future release option. I am referring to constant pressure/lawsuits on Spotify to nearly push it towards bankruptcy.

As to point of the article - Yes, CD physical media has limitation and disadvantages.
I agree time to move on from CDs, but not necessary from getting music on physical objects just yet. For example, they could figure out to DRM USB and sell it on USB sticks.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,192 22 4
#16
CD Warehouse rules!
Because it is a "dying" format, the selection of used CD's is excellent, and a used CD is as good as a new one unless it is really scratched up (or corroded - but that seems to take exposure to heavily corrosive conditions)!
 
TechHDS

TechHDS

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
460 2 12
#17
As long as they are still putting music on CD's I will buy them. If I am going to spend my money, better to own it. Still have most of my CD's from the mid 80's. Same with Blu-rays.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Ratings
1,976 3
#18
Renting music concept by itself is not inherently evil nor necessary bad for the consumer, BUT RIAA sees streaming (ie: really renting) music in the same light as it looks as CD/iTunes track sales. These are absolutely not the same thing and they should not expect pricing/income to be anywhere near the cost of ownership of physical media with future release option. I am referring to constant pressure/lawsuits on Spotify to nearly push it towards bankruptcy.

As to point of the article - Yes, CD physical media has limitation and disadvantages.
I agree time to move on from CDs, but not necessary from getting music on physical objects just yet. For example, they could figure out to DRM USB and sell it on USB sticks.
I don't want DRM. I'm not a thief and I don't want to be treated like one. As long as I have an option to get music uncompressed, no DRM I'll be fine. The issue is that with electronic sales where is my market place that I can purchased used tracks legally?

A CD is a physical object that passes to me and confers ownership.
 
J

jayleaf

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
5
#19
I wonder if that will be the end of SACD discs as well. I know it never took off, but I have a couple of Pink Floyd discs and a few others that are a joy to listen to. I always hoped The Wall by Pink Floyd would get released in the 5.1 format. But maybe I can stop dreaming at this point. Otherwise I grew up with vinyl and don't have any great attachment to regular CD's
 
S

soundboy

Audiophyte
Ratings
2
#20
I wonder if that will be the end of SACD discs as well. I know it never took off, but I have a couple of Pink Floyd discs and a few others that are a joy to listen to. I always hoped The Wall by Pink Floyd would get released in the 5.1 format. But maybe I can stop dreaming at this point. Otherwise I grew up with vinyl and don't have any great attachment to regular CD's
The last 3 years have been big years for SACD, in terms of new releases. There were about 2,500 new SACD releases worldwide in those 3 years. Btw, those 2 Pink Floyd SACDs will be re-released later this year by Analogue Productions.
 

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