The CD is Dead Long Live The CD?

The president of EMI is proclaiming the death of the cd.

Is he right? Or, like Mark Twain, is news of its demise premature?
It's very sad to me, all this business of record stores closing, cds dying. How can downloads possibly be as attractive as a physical disc of some sort? :(
sony is already planning blu ray audio to replace sacd, and all 'but sony' are going to peck away at other media.....only 15% of the music business is downloaded, so its gonna be a few days before the cd goes away.
One can only hope...

The medium has always sucked, but vinyl still seems to be going strong... Didn't the pundits say something about the death of vinyl a few years ago???
Yes, sometimes change can be hard. Thanks to the Internet there will always be a nich market for us types.

The really sad part is, where are all those Kids who used to work at Tower Records going to find jobs, where the boss lets them hang chunks of metal from there faces.
I just can't see it happening in the near future. Do classical and jazz music companies expect their clientele is going to completely convert to music downloading? It's just not gonna happen. They might as well drop an A-bomb on their entire market demographic and kiss their recording sales goodbye...and with symphony tickets going for an average of $90/each (and much higher for a seat in the actual hall), the classical music industry needs to sell recordings.

There will continue to be a physical music delivery system, whether it's a silver disc is another question, but downloads will not be the only method of buying music.
If I sell you a cd,there is an intermediate step for a wholesaler,who must make a profit. Because I know that two persons will record your copy,the final price will reflect that.

In addition to the two copies you give away,I have to consider piracy,and the wholesaler has to determine how many to order,and we(I and the wholesaler) must deal with defects and returns of unsold software.

If I put my cataloge in cyber space,you can get a Sony Nero dual layer dvd-cd burner,and download it,either in a good format like redbook 44.1(assuming you have a good dac),or MP-3,if you don't mind the dynamic compression.

Because I don't have to charge you the price of wholesaling,copying the master,defects,and returns,I can charge you a price that doesn't make piracy that much cheaper---so there is less incentive to commit piracy.

I'm not sure the cd is dead; all the hardware out here have drives that fit the standard size disks,with all the dvd and cd combination available,plus the USB flash drive MP-3 possibilites,so my guess is that cd will live for those of us who prefer good software,as long as computers have the disk size drives.

Yes,more and more music will be downloaded from cyber cataloges,and more of it will go into MP-3 players,but we can still copy it in 44.1 to disks if we choose.

When optical drives become affordable,with storage in three dimesions,something the size of a baseball will be able to copy the Library of Congress,but that will require the disimination of hardware to play it.

You may know technology, but you know nothing about capitalism:

Because I don't have to charge you the price of wholesaling,copying the master,defects,and returns,I can charge you a price that doesn't make piracy that much cheaper---so there is less incentive to commit piracy.

Yeah right! Since when have manufacturers of anything passed cost savings on to the consumer -- especially when they have a monopoly!!
"One can only hope..."?
"Vinyl still seems to be going strong" That statement hasn't been true for a quarter century.
There may be a niche market but "strong" is definitely not the correct descriptor.
I think we might want to project into the future on this.

The kids that are 15 today will have lived with ''downloads'' for 10 years when they get to be 25 in 2016. It is not that far away.

How many of them will have become ''audiophiles'' to the point where they will spend for a 5 inch plastic disk only to be transferred to a pea-sized I-Pod in their ear canal?

The cd will probably keep improving as the LP records have also been improving.

But it is irrelevant. Cd's and LP's will be in niche markets dedicated to relatively few audiophiles who will kid themselves that music is more important than audio-lust and audio jewellery, the only reason left to fuel purchases of expensive cd players and turntables and insanely priced cables and the like. Music SHOULD be more important than the gear of course, but I feel that this is not what high-end audio is about. And there is nothing wrong with that. There can be immense pleasure in the pride of owning electro-mechanical works of art (okay let's call this your average kilobuck amplifier or cd player). Same goes for photography, boating, or antiques.

The rest of the world will be enjoying good sound quality, if maybe not the absolute best, but certainly good enough, with infinitely more convenience, on equipment that will cost an infinite fraction of what is being spent today.

Given the choice between listening to music and artists that I do not enjoy on cd's or LP's that produce spectacular sounds on a megabuck system, and the choice of listening to music that moves me on an I-Pod, I'll take the I-Pod any day. And this is where, by natural choice and just the sheer amount of music out there and the ease with which it can be readily enjoyed anywhere, most are heading, I feel.

There will still be, for some time to come, the warm glow of tubes, a record or CD of your favorite music that you can actually hold in your hands, for us to enjoy with a glass of beer or wine or whatever. But only if we have time to enjoy it.

But we will be like audio-dinosaurus on an exressway, so you WILL grab that I-Pod most of the time.
In response to some questions regarding LPs. The album is the only musical medium that has been increasing in market share of almost five years now. Music sales are down across the board except for the LP.

I have a hard time believing that the CD would have ever really caught on if it were not for the fact that record companies pulled ALL the vinyl off the shelves and force-fed a gullable public this inferior medium!

There were more rooms using vinyl as their main (or in some cases, ONLY) source at RMAF last weekend, yeah I know, that's ancient history. That wasn't just the TT manufacturers either. There were dozens of new TTs shown for the first time too. SOTA is working on a redo of almost their entire line which will bring them to the next level too. Teres showed to completely different designs than anything they've done before. What do they know. There were few new CDPs. I didn't notice anyone selling CDs their, but there were about 12,000 LPs for sale...

The EMI President's comment is taken out of context here, and unless one reads the full article it's easy to get the wrong intent. What he said was that the CD "as we know it" is dead, but there is a need for physical content versus downloads. This is a significant difference.

Here is a more compete quote from the article.

The CD as it is right now is dead," Levy said, adding that 60% of consumers put CDs into home computers in order to transfer material to digital music players.
EMI Music is part of EMI Group PLC (EMI.LN).
But there remains a place for physical media, Levy said.
"You're not going to offer your mother-in-law iTunes downloads for Christmas," he said. "But we have to be much more innovative in the way we sell physical content."
Record companies will need to make CDs more attractive to the consumer, he said.
My pet peeve about CDs (OK, and cassettes too), from the very beginning, wasn't to do with the disc itself, or even the sound per se, but the fact that there was no way to included additional (printed) content/lyrics/notes/artwork -- at least that could be enjoyed with the naked eye! And we who had come to enjoy that content as an extension of the album itself felt cheated of the missing info, photos, and liner notes.

Where do young people today get all the backup info on their favorite artists/albums? Don't they care? I'm sure it's online, but do they actually slow down long enough to take the time to go get it? Anybody? (I don't have kids.)

I would be very happy if CDs came packaged in 10x10 booklets that had some real content. Could that be what Mr. Levy was referring to. I hope so. I remember how much fun it used to be to buy a new LP and sit reading the lyrics and liner notes while listening to it for the first time.

I just bought the new Dylan CD. It took about ten pages to print out the lyrics, which I first had to find online (no photos or production notes of course!) before I was ready to settle down and listen -- so NOT classy!!
Ahh yeah, those were the days. I would get bummed when I bought an album that had no lyrics or very little art work to look at while listening. But, those WERE the days.
Now my daughter has tons of music on her ipod. No lyrics, no liner notes, as far as I can tell. But she is constantly finding new artists and seems to know the words to songs I've never heard. She also has quite a bit of information about the bands which I'm sure she finds online. I have gone out and purchased CDs after hearing music from her ipod. The latest artist she introduced me to is Regina Spektor, wonderful singer/songwriter. She even tried the lp thing (cool) but once the newness (been there done that) wore off she went back to her ipod.
It's a crazy new world. I personally am resisting the move to put all of my content on a hard drive for various reasons. I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
the increased marketshare of the lp is too small to mean anything.....even the beat selling lps are 2000 pc globally. many don't reach procuction runs of 1000, and the limited manufacturing facilities are beginning to show flaws in the quality of pressings. creating a new lp with a first class analogue master(and getting a license to do so) is not cost effective, even at the incredibly high retail prices.
CDs are being used as storage transfer devices. Highend audio will follow this as well.

You should try a computer setup as transport($1k). It simply excels as a transport feeding usb (e.g. bel canto dac 3) or with a output device, spdif, etc.

Any money spent on traditional transports is a waste. Computers are significantly better and cheaper. Software is largely opensource.