Goodbye CD's

Seems that Borders by me is unloading all their cd's..They claim they are just not selling...Im sure this is just the beginning of the end in the retail stores for cd's...can it long before cd's are gone completely? Many Ive spoken with including some dealers have mentioned this and said "the writing is on the wall" for cd playback..

I have been on the fence about going to a file data system for music, and have been eyeing a Squeezebox duet and setting up my hard drive to take the plunge..maybe now its that time??

Or..maybe just Im just a geezer in my heart of hearts and should just look for old and new Vinyl to keep me going...hmmm..I could be very happy with a mainly vinyl set up ;-)
can it long before cd's are gone completely?

It can be long before CD's are gone completely - just as Vinyl has not completely gone...
I hope thats the case. My thoughts are that while the mid fi/ mass market retail chains do away with them since the kids are not buying them as much..the Hi end places such as AA and MD for ex. will continue to sell to us Audiophools ;-)
I too have noticed Borders CD stock dwindling, at least you can get some good deals if you are a member of their Rewards program. Just today I got three of the new Lyrita CD's for 40% off the $15.99 regular price. I've been watching the change for a while and was surpised they got the Lyrita's since they are a new release. Like Kiwi says, CD's won't go away, but I sure hope they don't double or triple in price like most LP's have! Might be forced to buy from the internet now, but it's just not the same as a brick and mortar store....
I loved borders selection but I didn't like the $18.99 for a cd that retails for $13.99... pricing... Best Buy doesn't have any selection anymore, Circuit City is a mess for selection... looks like Amazon is going to win on this one..
In its new stores Borders is testing burn your own CD kiosks. Compared to Best Buy or WalMart, Borders had a good selection, but in absolute terms there was never much depth to their in-store catalog. And that's coming from someone who lives in the city with their flagship store.
The writing on the wall a this time may not be the demise of the CD but the demise of buying them in retail stores. It's all shifted online.
Drubin is right. Who wants to waste gas driving to a retail store to overpay for CD's!
High rez downloads will be the death of commercial CD's, store or internet bought. There will be no reason for them. The only viable physical media left will be LP's. Amazon and Circuit City both have extensive online LP catalogs now.
As for the Squeezebox, coupled with Rhapsody, it is a great source for music, though still lacking in even CD quality resolution. I still use my SB extensively and sounds pretty good in my system through a high-quality DAC. It is certainly enjoyable and saves me from buying CD's if I don't care for the music. It also hooks up with Pandora, numerous internet radio stations around the world, Live365 and other services. Considering the price, it's a no-brainer.
Does the MP3 crowd realise that there's going to be less music going forward?

Noticing this thread, I've gone out to get all those CDs that I've long wanted to get. Some labels are already gone and originals are harder to find.

I've also noticed that some bands have gone back to releasing...vinyl! Bless their souls!
This is truly a shame. There are still so many fantastic high end CD players out there being manufactured and now SACD seems to be moving forward. I will admit CD's are a pain in the ______ to keep clean. They do skip from time to time or the CD players just pauses due to imperfections, dust, etc. But if the next gen is true progress, whatever that will be, we must consider it and go forward. But I do agree it will be a long time before this format dies out completely. Will the same thing happen to DVD movies?
why not?
used market exchange will probably bloom...
i've still got lots to listen to on cds and need more headroom v.s. new market.
I would suggest to anyone new to this hobby to move towards an HD based music system from the start. For someone that already has a nice CD player..I would enjoy it for what it is, but slowly transition over to the HD based system as well.

Chances are once you cross that threshold you most likely won't be going back. The convenience is just unbeatable.

Being able to hear a recording on your system before you ever buy it is a god send for me. I've been bit several times listening in the store with headphones only to find the recording terrible at home. Over dubbing and too much compression just kills otherwise good music.
That's good with me. If I can buy hi res downloads I'm all for it. Cd players will continue to be produced and improved for many years to come, just like turntables.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, of total album sales for 2007:
vinyl makes up about 0.2%
digital downloads are 10%
cds are 89.7%

If turntables continue to be produced with 0.2% of the market I think we'll see new cd players for a while.
I heard on the radio yesterday that Archive's CD sales were up 30% last year. I'm guessing CD sales on classical will have some staying power, since classical sales in the US and Europe are still holding up well.

On the other hand, it appears that little sister is moving to MP3 to play her fuzzy warbles.

The same thing was said about vinyl in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, I sure wish CD prices would come down!!

Currently I have 5 CD's coming to me from various mail-order sevices. I rec'd a 40% discount coupon from Borders so I went in yesterday to pick up the new Pat Metheny (Amazing!!) and was surprised to see the CD section severely reduced, and the racks they did have were 1/2 empty! The writing's on the wall, retail CD sales is gasping it's last breaths right now. Now if the mail-order services start to slip, THAN we've got a problem!!
No computer based system sounds better then my AA Capitole yet. Plus, I have five six-foot tall by three-foot wide bookcases filled with cd's.

Simply, when would I have the time to burn 100 sq.ft. of cd's? And, if I did have the time, I would be doing something else.
Can't wait till my neighborhood Borders start to unload...
ironically, borders is taking a different approach with music, as opposed to their strategy with books. when tower closed they didn't seize the opportunity to position themselves as 'the' destination retailer for catalogue music. they decided instead to follow the bath of best buy and target, which anyone knows, won't attract any halfway serious music buyer with some time and money on a regular basis. it may be they have a distain for the industry, or perhaps they don't believe in music like they do in the written word.
Jaybo...that is an interesting thing..After I heard that Borders was taking this action, my very first thought was "well...they are a book store afterall".


Interesting...I watched a buddy "burn" a few cd's on his system...I was so intimidated and lost interest pretty quick. I too would rather stick in a disc, than take all the time and fiddle with my computer and HD...besides, I too think the CD sounds darn good from a high Quality machine, like yours.
I'm sorry to see Borders selection diminishing! In retrospect, I've probably contributed to the problem. Of the approximately 180 CD's I bought last year, only about 30 of them were from Borders. I'm sure there are lots of folks like me who predominantly purchase music CD's through online channels, often directly from artists themselves. I'm sure that's the main issue for Borders, not so much the emerging market for downloads (dominated by iTunes).

Regarding downloads, I don't think Borders ever had the youth market. The kids never seemed to buy their CD's at Borders where I live, they were buying them at the mall CD stores. Most of the teens in my life have iPods full of downloads, and haven't bought a CD in years. So the cutback is more likely to be a response to loss of business among traditional Borders customers, rather than new customers they never had.

Not that I'm representative, but I know I'm buying more music than ever. So far, electronic music storage hasn't reduced my purchasing of CD's. After a Christmas bonus, I invested in a ModWright Transporter, and my music listening has been accelerated! It's the best digital I've heard in my system, and I've had some fairly high-end CD players from Resolution Audio, Musical Fidelity, McIntosh, and Lector. It's been an encouragement to me to buy even more CD's, whereas the majority of my listening used to be vinyl. Not that my case is typical: how many people are only now discovering CD's can be high quality, like me? Talk about the tail of the curve!.

Anyway, IMHO High res digital downloads are still just a wish, for the most part--at least I haven't found much music to buy that I want. Also, despite having ripped over 1,000 CD's to hard disk, I still like to have the insurance of the CD as an archival medium. I'd love to see my favorite music via high-res downloads, but I still like to have the CD too. Maybe I just don't want to believe that people can really live with MP3 quality for all their music??

A long-winded way of saying I think it's the internet CD business, not electronic downloads that's killing the Borders business.
Not for me...

Vinyl, CD's and cassettes all have great sound and the joy of owning a PHYSICAL PIECE OF PROPERTY! Nothing wrong with downloads but the day will come when your hard drive becomes corrupted and crashes and/or your flash drive too becomes corrupted and all that music you (report-ably) bought will be lost. Now of course you can make hd backups but who's to say the backup wont fail especially if left sitting unused for the most part.

Something about having piece of carbonate plastic (for CD) beautiful 12 inch black disc (for vinyl) and the simple hand held magnetic tape (for cassette). Yes, these formats can all suffer through age but if properly stored especially vinyl and then CD and even a nicely stored and occasionally exercised cassette can last a lifetime if not longer. I even have CDR's that are over 10 years old and still play perfectly, vinyl can last forever and I have some cassettes that are over 20 years old that still play well even if not stored perfectly.

Downloaded music may become unplayable with a future operating system or for whatever reason.

I'm not against HD music and even portable MP3 players etc. but I will not ONLY trust my music to these. There is something also about paying for something you have no physical copy of that I don't like. Yes I can have a CD go bad or and LP and cassette but not my whole library at once. HD downloads are fine and can sound great but WHAT IF!?!?!
Not even close to replacing my cd's,,all the more so with the most of the music that comes out today is trash,I mean one or two good songs out of 50 mn of music.
On this topic, can someone explain to me if we're now getting past MP3 file types for downloaded music and moving on to high resolution files? Are these not compressed like MP3 files are? Are high rez files available today and are they on the same par as a CD you would purchase at a retail store? What are they called? Sorry if I sound naive on this. Can you give the entire picture?
Well Pdn..yes there have been downloads with higher resolution than MP3 for some time now. And it is growing by the day.

Are high rez files on par with CDs bought in store?..Yes.
In some cases they have more resolution than a store bought CD.

For example, you can download a CD quality file in Flac.The file sizes vary depending on the sample rates and recording lengths.

We'll use the "Just like a woman - hymn to Nina" by Barb Jungr download from Linn records as a reference.

Let's say you have a standard redbook CD of this recording. That's 16 bit 44.1 kHz. That file size is 293.00 MB. The Studio Master sampling rate of this file is 24 bit 88.2 kHz.The file size of that same recording is 1,053.1 MB.

So as you can see we have a downloaded recording that is more than 3 times the size of a store bought red book CD.
After all a standard CD will only hold up to 700 MBs of information.

Just as the difference in sound between MP3s and red book are undeniable. The same goes with red book verses the Studio Master.

A downloaded Studio Master or Hi Rez is similar to 2 channel SACD.

Here's a few sites you can look over.Try some of the samples on both sites. Even with basic computer speakers you can hear the difference in quality.

Linn Records
Here's a totally free site of thousands of live recordings from venues all over the country.Some of the recordings are HiRez as well.
I can't remember the last time I bought a cd in a store. I once or twice bought one in Best Buys but typically buy 100 or so on the internet. I could care less whether local music stores go the way of local audio dealers.

Gmood1, thanks for a nice thorough posting. I do think that high definition downloads will ultimately satisfy those who cannot stand MP3s. The is even some rumbling about 192/24 downloads, although I hate to think of how long such downloads might take. I have heard some 192/24 performances on a server; it would be worth the time to get them on my server.
Updating Gmood1's list, here are a few more websites currently offering either high resolution or lossless standard resolution for download. Some are wma only (but convertible to wav via software such as dBPowerAmp), others are flac, some aiff, many have user-selectable formats.

In addition, many bands, orchestras, and indie artists have high quality downloads at their sites. A few such bands are listed at the sourceforge website for flac:

If you know of others please add to the list.
I haven't bought a CD in a physical store for quite some time, so I can't say I'm surprised. My listening is 95% classical, and there are no stores near me that have ever had a selection that went past "Best 50 Romantic Classical Hits of All Time" and Beethoven anthologies from the god-awful early days of digital. H&B has been my sole source of music for years.
I went to HD music source about 1.5 years ago and have never looked back. So convienet, so nice!
When the needle hits the vinyl.....I must be getting old because I remember as a kid my mom not wanting to spend the extra dollar for the "stereo" version of my favourite Beach Boy album. We enjoyed those LP's, then reel to reel tape,4 track, 8 track, cassettes, and KABOOM--the CD was born, SACD (still awesome) DVD Audio, MP3 doesn't count, and now Hi res downloads. Surely they are working on he next big thing as I type. But, we all know, if it sounds good to you in the moment---that's as good as it gets. And sometimes it doesn't even have to be heard on each of our own awesome systems. When it sounds right-live or reproduced-you will know it.
It's funny, because I remember that sale. What's also funny is that this thread was started about five years ago and CDs still seem to be pretty common. Personally, I can't remember the last time I listened to a CD.
Perhaps I am just nostalgic but I still buy lots of CDs. I rip them to my server then I store the CDs away. I never sell any of the CDs I have ever purchased (even Milli Vanilli or Debbie Gibson), keeping it like a bit of personal history. Maybe one day my kids will go through my CD stash and have a good laugh.
Considering the music offered today, I can see why.
Yes Tboooe!

I think of it like this

CD = Physical
Physical = Collectable
Collectable = potentially valuable

Some of my CD's / SACD's are now very valuable.

For those that doubt this - this this exercise.

Go to

Check out the price of the following CD's.

Thriller, Michael Jackson. SACD New = US$350 Used = $100

Avalon, Roxy Music. SACD New = US$500 Used = $100

UP, Peter Gabriel. SACD New = US$150 Used = $100

La Luna, Sarah Brightman. SACD New = US$650 Used = $335

Golden Years, David Bowie CD 24k collection = US$1000+

What are downloads worth? Nothing right?
Wow, that is cool Kiwi

I just got my two Eddie Money CD inserts signed personally by him. His Greatest Hits and Can't Hold Back.

Can you get your downloads signed either.
Kiwi...sadly I dont think my Debbie Gibson or Twisted Sister cds are worth anything. It wont stop me from buying cds though.
Kiwi, I think your point is well made. It is ever so. Ether is just that......
I don't think there is a single 'non physical' thing that is collectible-or so far I haven't heard of one having value, unless we want to talk about one of the 3 unmentionables, where-if not value- there is certainly a lot of wealth......
Perhaps I am just nostalgic but I still buy lots of CDs. I rip them to my server then I store the CDs away. I never sell any of the CDs I have ever purchased (even Milli Vanilli or Debbie Gibson), keeping it like a bit of personal history. Maybe one day my kids will go through my CD stash and have a good laugh.
sorry about the double post folks...not sure how it happens.
i burned all 1900 of my cd's to wav and flac, however holding them cause every once in awhile you find the rip had "noise" in it and have to do over

I use EAC for rip. I resisted PC audio for long time but given the state of outboard DAC's these days (which i was only using CD as transport anyway) why not? and to those who think 24/96 is voodoo, if it is just remaster, it is still a revelation in some recordings (i.e. check out Talking Heads in 24/96 compared to cd)
Love the irony of this post. Started in 2008 "sky is falling" no more CDs and they are as plentiful as ever, just not in B&Mortar stores. But no trouble getting any on Amazon.

Pretty much the same as vinyl. No as plentiful as the 80's but you can still get much of it on Amazon. Even stuff like Enigma, on vinyl!

I have all the vinyl I ever owned (but not played that much), and all the CDs. Computer storage is great but HDDs fail and software gets obsolete. Ever wonder what happens to all your old photos stored on the Windows 95 computer? Do you ever really recover all your old stuff when an old computer goes bust?

Re-ripping a CD collection would be a pain, but at least you have the backup if you need it. Downloads how do you replace them?

I do like the current digital players like the Bryston simply because bit perfect rips of my CDs (via dbPoweramp) sound BETTER than any CD deck south of Esoteric and even memory players. Given the costs, a decent computer, a USB thumbdrive, and the BDP-1 are hard to beat.
Well, I started this thread back in 08...and to date, I have NOT gone to a file playback system..I still like the physical cd and Lp medium. I also feel that the current Vinyl playback systems have really matured and become much better at high fidelity sound today compared to yesteryear. Cant say the same for CD playback however, many new cd players are very transparent to be sure, but to me they are just OK for sonics..the same for file playback as well. The recording is still the make or break sound of the CD to me and SACD just doesnt cut it, many cd's just sound more rich and textured by comparison, although they may not have the ultra transparency of the sacd, the best cd's to me still offer the more visceral and pleasing sonics. I went back to a now vintage CAL Tercet and Icon and cannot believe the sound. Its blows past my recently sold Oppo 105 in every way and is has much more bass drive and mid presence...although the highs on the oppo are a bit is still not as satisfying to listen to as the Cal units.

Im staying cd's!
Kehut, you are a lucky man.
Kehut -

keep it real! I, too, will never abandon CDs.
I am kind of in between on this. I will continue to buy CDs as long as they are available but perhaps for different reasons than others in this thread.
#1 - I rip my cds to FLAC, most download sites like Amazon and itunes do not offer lossless downloading.

#2 - I like holding the cd and reading the liner notes

#3 - you never know if your hard drives are going to fail and you lose all your digital music. At least with the actual cd you can always rerip.

#4 - I am old geezer
#3 - you never know if your hard drives are going to fail and you lose all your digital music. At least with the actual cd you can always rerip.
Just back up your music? Just drag and drop if not automated.

External USB drives are cheap. 1 TB USB 3.0 for $79 shipped, 3TB $130 ... What happens when your transport goes especially a CD Player is the more complicated and $$ issue IMO.
Knghifi, I have a RAID 5 as well as another NAS that is synced to mirror the RAID 5. I've had a RAID that completely fried itself taking some of the data with it. Perhaps I am paranoid but I feel better knowing I have the original music in case something happens. BTW, in your example if the cdp goes, my music is still safe. I can simply rerip it or get another cdp. If a HDD craps out you would be lucky to be able to recover the data.
Tboooe, That's the point of backing up, if one goes, it's backed up on another drive. For backing up, just use an inexpensive USB drive. If you are paranoid, backup on 2 drives. :-)

I had one died but it was backed up so no big deal. Now my music is running off my internal hard drive but still backed up on one USB external drive.

Of course you have cds when cd player dies but it will be an expensive repair or replacement.
I slowly burned my CD collection to disk and now I have the daunting task of what to do with them? Take them out of the case and store in multiple CD towers that you buy blanks in or keep them in the jewel case and use multiple rubbermaid type tubs.

eitehr way "Goodbye CD's"
Tboooe, I have a TuneBank RAID 5 with two drives external to the two in it with one not in my home. Nevertheless, every once in a while I have gotten new versions of discs or even ways why I might treat the cds and rip them again.