Perhaps because there are billions of CDs out there to be played. Records are supposed to be dead but you can buy better and more expensive turntables now than in the heyday of the LP.
Have you looked at high end turntable prices lately and that format is supposedly dead and buried. I actually wasn't aware that Walwart was the bellwether of the industry, all of hi-fi marketing is going to the internet anyway. One of the rules of marketing is the price goes up as the market contracts, the ultra high end illustrates this very well. There is no current replacement for CD, computer audio requires considerable expertise and commitment of time and resources and will never , in its present form, replace CD. God knows I would like a superior replacement myself but as the entertainment industry keeps illustrating that they can't find their marketing posterior with both hands I don't expect to see one in my life time.
Missioncoonery...is right in the sense that overall CD sales are declining year-on-year at the expense of MP3 sales and the iPod. That is certainly true at the mass market level. Remember though that our crazy hobby is a nitche market and to us the first priority is to squeeze every additional ounce of performance from whatever format we are using (CD, SACD, LP, digital downloads, etc...). We are also participating though in the overall trend of moving away from the optical disc to PC-/music server-based transports. One need only look at how many new USB DACs (whether standalone or integrated in CD players) are being featured at CES over the past couple of years and you may ask the question legitimately as to whether CD players as transports are going to be less prevalent than PC-based transports 5 years from now even in our niche end of the market. Here is an editorial on this at Soundstage.com that ponders these questions: http://www.soundstage.com/editorial.shtml
Lets see, the best selling vinyl album last year sold 32,000 copies (Beatles). There were 17 billion CD's sold. Downloads are still gaining ground, but will never kill off the CD. I think the future is Blu-Ray audio. Just think, the record companies will get to re-issue their entire catalogs, again.
3000 CDs and counting...use a MAC pro and dac/headphone amp for my headphone rig. CD dead ? - what a laugh. Its a format that will be around for atleast another 20 years in some way or another. If the downloading crap takes off bigtime with audiophiles... the ones resisting the change will still be able to buy CDs on Ebay and the net for decades to come if they are happy with the sound.
Here's what I found at this web page:
For 2009 in the US:
295,000,000 cds were sold
76,400,000 digital download albums were sold
2,500,000 vinyl LPs were sold
Single track digital downloads were 1.16 billion
So I'd say the cd is still doing OK.
tomcy6 et. al.: what the industry doesn't, and cannot accurately measure, is the number of free legal and illegal downloads--i've read guesttimates that these number in the tens of billions annually, which dwarfs cd sales. these free downloads are the exclusive source of music for entire generations, and many bands whose cd releases don't even register on the billboard charts are actually downloaded and circulated in the millions. add this to the fact that, walmart excepted, most of the big bricks-and-mortar cd sources have died (tower, circuit city, virgin, etc.) or on the verge of folding (e.g. barnes & noble) and it doesn't really bode well for future sales of actual, tangible cds. it seems inevitable that very soon conventional cd sales will become the exclusive province of a few big online purveyors and and the odd, tiny hole-in-the-wall local merchants and that downloads will be the overwhelmingly dominant source of music consumption. kinda sad--i'll really miss browsing in record stores.
I'm an ol'school LP & CD guy (who'dathunk CD's would ever be considered "old school?!). I certainly moan & miss the old days of plentiful physical outlets for buying music BUT....I think you may be not be seeing the forest for the trees, so to speak. While you absolutely are correct about the death of being able to buy music in stores, I wouldn't JUST single music out. With the advent of on-line consumerism, I believe that malls will be a thing of the past within a few generations. Look around, before I'd seen a dearth of stores closing everywhere, NOW I see whole malls not being used. We can discuss whether this trend is good, bad, or indifferent (personally, I think it sucks!) but it is what it is.
I just cannot imagine buying a high priced CD player especially one that does not have a digital input.
Audiohpiles just love to torture themselves! I used to be the guy sitting there loading up a single CD into a 45 lb player waiting for my SET amp to warm up before I could "really" listen. What an awful time in my life! This hobby had me by the b*lls!
The issue is not CD players really- it is more the fact that 16/44.1 sucks and always has. Okay- it has gotten better recently but when the clicking and popping LP is preferred you know there is just something inherantly wrong. Lets be honest!
Now SACD/DVDA and 24bit downloads- this stuff is good! Too bad the first two are also DEAD which leaves PCs that can properly ourput the latter as the only real option these days for those looking forward.
I totally agree w/Robr45.On a side note,Ive personally know of 2 local Walmart superstores that have pulled CD sales and placed prepaid phones in its place,So to the guy that states its a lie,maybe you need to be looking down the road for a new job!.From what Ive heard the download avenue blows away LP and CD.Sure there will always be the oldschool die hards that just love the turntable or their DCS players but they represent a very small number of market share
What about the guy (me) who inadvertently grabs an .mp3 of a 10 year old track from a CD that is out of print (Clipper from Autechre's Tri Repeatae), and absolutely MUST have the CD? In this age of high-tech, low-quality rips that are everywhere, how do I find lossless versions of this and other newly-discovered, out-of-production music? Searching the globe for an online store that has the CD!
CDs wont be dead until lossless downloads are available for EVERY song in EVERY genre. That is a lot of hard drive space. They say storage is cheap, but it ain't that cheap!
Maybe music stores are dying, or getting consolidated, but not the CD - not yet. Internet sales are affecting everything.
.m4a and .aac still are not as good as the lossless formats. And I don't have a 45 pound, $5000 CD player. I just don't have that kind of money. The most I would spend is $500 and I am going PC audio, with all the music ripped lossless from - you guessed it - CDs!
First of all, well engineered CDs sound great.
Second of all, CD is not dead but is declining in both sales and in daily usage. Personally, I buy my own CDs then rip to FLAC. But, I am pretty sure everyone I know download their music from iTunes or some other site. They either don't like the form factor or think it's not "cool" to use CDs anymore.
Third, I think a properly implemented PC based system can sound as good or better than a megabuck CD player for a fraction of the cost since the CD medium do have more demons to deal with.
So, it doesn't awe me a bit that CD player prices are so high. They simply have to be overbuilt to perform as good or better than LP and PC/MAC based systems.
As for myself, I will continue to buy CDs as my main method in building my digital music library to play in my CD-less hifi.
Realremo- the example you provide is exactly what one would expect to see when bridging from one technology to the next. Of course you are going to rip your CDs- but in the future iTunes and the like which get their samples from the master tapes directly are going to completely kill the CD. In addition- out of print music like the example you give will become more accessible because the economics of creating a manufacturing run of less than mainstream music onto a CD will not come into play. You dont need to worry about needing to sell x to break even as much because the costs are soo much lower to simply get the song on a server! Music wont go "out of print" because there is nothing to print!
CDs are antiquated only multiple levels and the writing is absolutely on the wall.
I agree the format is dying, but I wouldn't quite call it dead. The reason CDs remain relevant is that the amount of data on a CD still far exceeds that of a typical download.
As technology improves and all the detail of a CD or SACD becomes common to downloadable files, the CD medium will become obsolete and, with it, our big-rig CD players.
This does not mean that the rest of the system becomes obsolete - good wires, amps, speakers, set-up, placement, and all that stuff will still matter just as much. The box where the CD player now sits will merely look a little different. And, it will require regular backup.
For now, though, I would not call the CD format obsolete.
The idea that CD's are dead is really stretching it... Yes, sales are down - but lets look at the contributing factors = we are in a depression (yes, I said depression) and have been for some time (do you really believe the propaganda on TV?), MP3's have diluted the market considerably, and lets not forget that current music leaves a LOT to be wanted...
We are FAR from digital audio being able to supplant anything - no universal format has been agreed upon (need we remember VHS/Beta and SACD/DVDA), high-speed internet access in the US is only somewhere around the 40% mark, not easily transportable, not durable, no medium or standardization yet for real store purchase, and on and on.
Even though each of us may have our favorites (CD, digital, vinyl, tape, ect) and our own personal opinions, the fact is; until something is created that will be universally profitable (like vinyl, cassette, and CD) we will continue to be in this state of limbo (no clear winners, and the continuance of "fads" coming and dying) -- the reality is = nothing truly matters but profitability.
Now, we can speculate that the next universal medium will be digital based, but right now, at best, we can only guess at to what it may look/sound like.
until then (years, if not a decade from now) CD will remain viable...
If cds are dead, then why do I still want to buy them over a friggin' computer file? I'm not arguing the quality of decent files but there is something missing in the whole cd vs computer file argument...The tactile sensation...the artwork (maybe if you only like classical you wouldn't care about this so much), the plain presence of a physical product which explains in part why vinyl sales are up... Seriously...are dvds/blu-rays dead now too?? Who says that downloading movies wont kill blu-ray now? Will all the geeks(no offence) decide not to buy the special edition lenticular covers... boxsets or special editions then? That they'll too sell all their thousands of discs to have a hard drive as their collection?...I dont think so.
As to the question,why are cd players so expensive, how cheap do you want them to be?? You can get decent players for a few hundred bucks! Obviously you can spend more and get better!? Finally, if cd is dead? Why do you care how much players are? Your obviously not supporting or buying cds to support the format...
"Why CD players so expensive when the format is dead"
I think the question kind of answers itself. When things get near death, the price goes way up. U can still buy a cassette deck too, for some reason? If the op has been paying attention, red-book players have been off the market for about 4 years. (Im not talking about DVD players that do everthing.)The only CD redbook only players that remain are the high end models.
it's economics. restrict the quantity and charge more. within a small firm, like ayre, there are svereal obvious reasons why a cd player is expensive. mass market firms can offer a range of prices (nad, e,g, ?) .
anyway, it would seem that the format is not dead.
i assume the implication of the thread is one-box players, not dacs and transports, which are usually red book only. although perhaps not the implied subject of this thread,i believe there are dacs available for under $1000. as for transports, i am not familiar with their price ranges.
by the way, if a product is being discontinued, the price usuually goes down not up. in the case of cd players, there is no reason for a high or low price, it is purely based upon marketing decisions of firms. its a matter of microeconomics.
Thank you MRT, very good point! . . what I was slowly trying to get at, is that I see no particular correlation between the steady shrinking of the 32M CD pressing per annum with the admittedly high cost of the high CD playback equipment. The reason there appears to be no correlation, is that the price of playback equipment for our friendly yet diminutive Lazarus 1.5M pressings per annum format--that is that very vinyl sacred cow which every 'self respecting' audiophile is sworn to revere--appears to suffer of the same, if not superior--pricing extravaganzas, ranging from under $1K to galactic-sized figures. .
Hence, if we convert the above to logical propositions, we would quickly discover that they yield cute contraddictions. G.
"by the way, if a product is being discontinued, the price usuually goes down not up."
No it does not. I'm not talking about when product model x is replaced by model x.1. I'm talking about a technology CHANGE. When a technology is phased out and production levels fall to a tricle- the price goes way up.
Look at the price of a dial-up external modum, almost the price of a whole computer and needs to be ordered. You can still buy a cassette player and you can still buy a VCR, BUT look at the prices. You can still by LPs of most rock released, but look at the price - $30 for a record. You can still buy blank Metalic cassette tapes, but look at the price- 30 bucks for a blank cassette. You can still buy NOS vac tubes, but look at the price!
I just ordered a rare re-master of a Monolake's 1999 Interstate, on CD, from the UK. The format is not dead. Most people I know who enjoy music have tons of CDs, I only know 2 folks who are deeply into vinyl.
I do think high-end CD changers are dead. There are still plenty of cheapo changers and single-disc players on the market for the masses. Yamaha, Sony, and others are still selling them.
I will say the audio-only section of Best Buy has shrunken to about 3 shelves.
Robr45 - touche. Maybe sales of music on CD is not dead, just CD playback is. I am still on the fence regarding purchase of a used Rotel RCC 1055 in good condition, vs. spending a little more for the AE/DAC combo. I don't like being tied down to a laptop for playback, so the answer for me is probably to buy both! I still listen to my 15 year old Yami changer 3-4 times a week as I work at home in the evenings. I get nice, long, 1-2 hour listening sessions.
I think a big part of the reason why CD sales are dwindling and individual track purchases are up is that there's a serious lack of new talent in the mainstream. A lot of people got fed up with buying an entire album for $10-$15 to get one or maybe two good songs at most. The days of mainstream musicians writing entire and complete albums are pretty much long gone.
We also haven't have a new wave of musicians who've changed everything for a long time. The last one IMO was the Seattle grunge movement.
There are still a lot of very good mainstream artists. Very few new ones IMO. And even fewer new ones who are putting together complete albums with very few if any fillers.