Unfortunately, it seems inevitable. I would think CD's and DVD's will still be available, though, for a good many years. A substantial share of music listeners and movie viewers are not going to be willing to learn a new trick (downloading), and until the quality of downloaded music improves, there will be a market for better quality software on CD and DVD.
How many people have a fast connection at home right now? I doubt a high percentage of people will have it in the future unless prices fall even further. 5 years from now there will probably HD-DVD and you can't tell me they're going to try to pipe HD when they're having trouble now. But who knows, 5 years is a long time and something will be found by then probably.
No need to worry. Soon they will be telling us that MP3 is just as good as CD and is "perfect sound forever". Then there will be hordes of "audiophile MP3 players" for us all to enjoy. Sort of like 1982 all over again. Come on now, let's get into the 21st century. No sense using any anacronistic little shiny discs, when you can have low-rez downloads, right? And look on the bright side. You won't even have to get up to put on a disc. You can just sit there in your chair and press buttons, and get any music you want. The most convenient format ever.

Then we can see the questions being posted on Audiogon, like "Is CD really better than MP3?" or "What is the most CD-sounding MP3 player?", or my favorite, "If I get a tube preamp, will my MP3 sound more CD-like?". And the answers like, "But I can't get my new music on CD, but downloads are cheap and easy to get.", and "I don't have to clean and care for my downloads like CDs, and downloads don't take up much space".

Thank God I have my vinyl and a good record player.
Don't worry about it. I've seen the future and so have most of you. That is, when you watch movies set WAY in the future, what are they listening to ? That's right, "antique" vinyl : ) Sean
I just reponded in a similar thread... here goes.,.

After the .com and telecom collapse, the remaining companys are struggling to keep thier networks running right now. I work for a T1/t3 high speed provider for small businesses.

Let me tell you, this is a load of crap. The networks are not nearly strong enough to deliver HD TV to even 1/5th of the avergae consumer market, hell, they cannot even deliver DSL or high speed access to most of the country.

Combine that with the economy and the very very reserved spending that companys have adopted in order to keep operating. No company will invest in such aoutward push to deliver a product that brings in such little money with so much ferver.

networks are not exactly popping up anymore, and the remaining networks are very very picky about what they do.

That being said, most people do not have access. They wont for quite some time. The networks are simply too expencive to create, and too expencive to maintain to make it cost effective.

plus, people like thier cd's. people like thier dvd's.
You dont have to be an audiophile to realize this is a massive step back in quality.

this artical is crap. I have absolutly no faith in the conclusions.

Remember what they said the year 2000 would be like back in the 80's?

this is wishful thinking

the decline in sales is because cd's are overpriced for the quality.
you get higher quality on DVD's for roughly the same price, Consumers realise this and it pisses them off. They feel they are overpriced and would rather stream it and get lower quality audio because then they feel like they arent getting ripped off.

i hate to say it, but the value of a product is determined by the consumer demand. The demand to pay 15 bucks for a cd is declining. Basically, they just arent worth it anymore.

If they want to salvage anything, they need a format that is as good as CD, flexable with the content, and cheap.

this does not mean CD's will go away, because not enough people have access to systems to get streaming audio.

From Boston Globe:
No. 1 record firm Universal Music looks to get sales back in groove

"The music company, a unit of Vivendi Universal, lowered its suggested retail price on CDs to $12.98, from $16.98 to $18.98. Universal cut suggested prices on cassettes by its top-tier artists to $8.98."

Supply and demand is a beautiful thing.

Full Article:
Whenever cable providers convert to digital television completely there will be enough bandwidth to handle all this and more. If I still have a cable connection at that time I'm sure I would enjoy the background music sometimes because that is what it will be in my life, background music.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict the shiny little disks will go the way of everything else but I doubt that it will matter. The niche market that all of us here are in will be catered to in one way or another. And, it may be for the better. If the shiny little disks are only sold to the audiophile community maybe they will be packed with the best two channel digital available instead of layer upon layer that defeats the potential of the medium.

I'm in the Twl camp being vinyl based and knew from 1982 until today that most of the promotion was a scam. That being said, I also believe that if the goal of digital was high quality two channel only, the results would be great and satisfy almost any audiophile, me included. The home theatre movement has hurt the gains that should have occurred by now.
Really??? I thought TT's were history! Yet, I am enjoying my TT like never before. Looks like the word "Obsolete" has become obsolete.