CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the e

An article was posted on the Sideline a month ago. The main content of it is in the sentence from the 1st to 2nd line of the article below that 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.

If this happens, how will we listen to music forwards? What changes will happen to source equipments? I'd like to know them.

The following is the explanation of iTunes from the Wikipedia.

iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

iTunes can connect to the iTunes Store to purchase and download music, music videos, television shows, iPod games, audiobooks, podcasts, movies and movie rentals (not available in all countries), and ringtones (only available on iPhone and iPod Touch 4th Generation). It is also used to download application software from the App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. iTunes has been criticized for not being able to transfer music from one portable device to another.

iTunes was introduced by Apple Inc. on January 9, 2001.[3] The latest version, which is currently version 10.5, is available as a free download for Mac OS X v10.5 or later, as well as Windows XP or later. In June 2010, Apple released a new privacy policy pertaining to the capture and collection of users' real-time location information.[4] The information had been included in various device-specific EULAs since 2008, but was not included in Apple's general privacy policy until 2010.[5] In 2012 Brazil will be the first country in South America to have a local version of the program.

Thw following is the link of the article.

The following is the the full text of the article.

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

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.
This is the 'Chicken Little' sort of announcement.

""The sky is falling! The sky is falling...""

Tons of posts in many forums from ONE repeat ONE person's opinion in one spot.
Gee if I knew how easy it is to create rumours i would have planted thousands...
So if one person has the scoop, then CDs are over, if one person is full of it, then CDs will still be made.

So it is clear (I hope) what I think of one doomsday blurb..
Nice job Elizabeth. I hope you are right as my CD player sounds better then the computer front ends I have tried. It is all about the sound quality for me. I may have to go to records soon:-)

The computer audio thing is still a little difficult with so many twists and turns on the right way to do this and that. I know it will end up being fantastic, but right now its still too cobbled up for me. I want a one box solution with one best means to rip,store,stream,hook-up and play. It is a mess to me right now. I do have a Apple/Squeezebox/DAC front end, but the sound is not as good as my CD player. Sure I love Spotify and Pandora, but getting itunes to sound as good as my player is a black hole of never ending combinations that is both confusing, and at this point, sonically behind my CD rig.
What Grannyring said, couldn't have said it better myself.
As long as people want to buy CD's, somebody will make them.
I do not think CDs will go away for awhile. If I were musician I would have real hard time making new music and selling it on I-tunes for nothing and watching people sharing files. Music file sharing is a real problem for all musical artists, and I think here we are going to watch history repeat itself here again just what has been going on for the last few years with artists releasing and re-releasing their music on vinyl and embracing analog but now with compact discs. If Sony would not have been such a pig with SACD and the licensing I think we would have seen that resurgence of compact discs sooner. I noticed even with the Ipod MP3 crowd that the quality of sound is becoming an issue and these young people are wanting higher resolution.
I think I remember hearing something like this several years ago about vinyl. Go figure.
CDs will not go the way of the Do Do. Maybe the price will finally come down to what it should have been all along, allowing more people to get in on the act, forgoing/postponing downloads. Way to shoot themselves in the foot. Both formats can co-exist as long as its handled in a proper way, marketing and bottom line be damned.

As much as I prefer the sound of my Mac over my CDP, I still like to get the CD and rip instead of downloading. Go figure. Like Elizabeth says, its chicken little or ducky daddles all over again. Count on articles like this to pop up every so often as their ulterior motives are to convince you to go the download path. This is not "reporting" as I see it.

I heard this about vinyl in the early 90's, I'm still waiting to see it happen.
Eventually CDs will go the way of vinyl, it's inevitable. But not by 2012, or even 2022. Well maybe by 2022 if things keep progressing at the rate they are now.
FWIW, I prefer the sound of my cdp to my Mac Mini, but not by a lot. Also, I buy cds to rip and have yet to download a single song.
11-26-11: Timrhu
Eventually CDs will go the way of vinyl, it's inevitable.

Which way is that Timrhu?
As long as there is a profit at the end of the CD tunnel, we will have CD's.
Hi guys,

I hope Elizabeth is right too because my Digital front end sounds much better then the computer front ends I have tried.

BTW no problem, I have so many CD that I could listen music for a lot of time without boring me ;-)

The CD is dead. Long live the CD!

Best regards,
I have some CDs that already sound like Do Do. LOL
Theo's got it right. CD's are still a major profit source and as long as it continues to be, so will CD production. It doesn't appear as though that is going to change for some time to come.
Which way is that Timrhu?

Of course I'm talking about the real world, not the world Audiophiles live in. I feel like a Prophet! See my other responses to this subject. The article is spot on coming from the
Manufacturer's (Horses) mouth. Their plan is to sell cheaper Downloads (MP3) at less cost to themselves than making CD's. Eliminate the CD, thereby forcing everyone to buy MP3 due to largest selection. Then start pumpimg up the price of MP3 Downloads. High Resolution Downloads will evaporate with no selection-only a hook to lure everyone into Downloading. Pull the rug from under High Rez. and YOU ARE STUCK WITH MP3 FOREVER! Boy-sold out for a song!
As playback gets more sophisticated and easier to implement, there will no valid reason not to offer better quality downloads. MP3s might be de facto in the here and now but as things progress and get easier, they too will give way to better formats that all can appreciate. Costs will invariably come down across the board and all that will remain is just how much money you're going to put into your rig for playback, which leads us right back to where we are now: squabbling over which amp and speaker are better.

My crystal ball (a hand me down) says that even though downloads will become standardized to a very high quality, tinkering will continue to extract the most info one can. Its in our nature to do so and as long as there are a few of us with that talent, it will continue.

Someday, I'll be stating that my present format is good enough only to be amazed, again, at what I'm hearing.
Wake up the cd party is over. No Shipping no returns, nadda. Do the math. With the lp uprising we'll still have a hard copy. This is what is to be makes more sense then cd replacing the lp. Does it not!?
I would welcome a transition from cd to higher rez downloads. I don't see why labels wouldn't offer higher rez when they know they can charge a premium for it.

As for cds, they will be available long after I'm gone. Just check out Amazon and Ebay's used cd listings.
you can always find sources for cds on line and at various stores located throughout the us.

so, if production ceased by the end of 2012, there would still remain sources for used cds for a significant period of time.

also, consider that many owners sell their cds and they are available on amazon. there is also arkivmusic and tower, among other on-line sources.
Thank you all for your replies. They are much helpful to me.

If this happens, how will we listen to music forwards? What changes will happen to source equipments? I'd like to know them. I make a request for it.
believe it or not... there are still many consumer/purchasers of new CD's, but have not and will not ever own/use a computer. Some still even "dial" their phones! A dying breed, I realize.
The basic problem with the music business lies with the artist themselves. There is a severe lack of talent. This applies to rock, pop, R&B and Jazz. People are tired of paying up to $20 for one song and a lot of filler. Classical music is somewhat immune because they play the same repertoire, but the technology gets better and the performances can be better as time passes. Most of the CDs I buy, are by artists long dead.
Yes, there is a serious lack of talent being put out by the major labels. Ever since videos became the main format for getting out the sound, as opposed to just listening on the radio, perception took over reality (talent) and really great artists got pushed to the way side.

I thought that videos were kinda cool, at first, but it soon became apparent that if you didn't translate well to the tube, if the camera didn't like you, then your musical career took a nose dive. It became more important to promote image over substance, and the "music" industry took a sharp turn for the worse.

Very comprehensive analysis. I was going to get into that mayself on my next post. Appearance over substance. You nailed it. It's a good thing all the great Jazz Divas made their careers before the video age.
Thank you all for your replies.
Gee, maybe all my discs will become more and more valuable as collectors items. I better get a safe.