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.
Citizens of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Spain, India, and Brazil must be glad they can stream high-quality music, albeit sometimes censored in those countries, compared with many of us who live in rural America and can only obtain substandard internet service. Bravo to Mark Zuckerberg trying to get high-speed internet offered for free in countries such as Myanmar (look what happened there), as well as the entire continent of Africa. Maybe I should move to SF again...But, in the interim, long live the CD, SACD and downloadable high-resolution music files!
Indeed, long live the CD and SACD. These formats are not going away anytime soon.  Happy Listening!
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