--CA: good amps...
I'm sure labels would love us all to buy mp3s and save them the expense of producing CDs.
I've never bought an mp3 download and don't think I ever will.
Especially now, when there is so much music available through so many different streamed services at equal quality to a purchased mp3 (Spotify is great but it's just the tip of the iceberg). Why go to all the trouble of storing "your" mp3s and worrying about your HDD going up in smoke and losing your investment?
If there's something I particularly like, I'll buy the CD for (slightly) higher quality playback and backup.
The best thing about "the death of CD" is that they are now available from online retailers at realistic prices and often cheaper than the corresponding mp3 download. I'm buying more CDs than I did in the past and I see that trend continuing.
If there's a replacement for CDs, what is it? SACD/DVD audio has never really taken off. Hi-res downloads? Not for me at the kind of prices the industry wants to charge...mainstream labels can't even release well mastered 16/44 music, how will 24/96 help the listener? It's just another excuse for labels to charge more.
Sour grapes maybe, but I used to buy a lot of vinyl back in the day. At £5 or £6 a pop it was just about affordable from pocket money. When CDs came out, they were cheaper to produce and you didn't get the nicer artwork yet the labels tripled the prices to nearly £15 in some cases in a short period of time. If CDs had been £3 or £4 (like the Naxos classical range), everyone could have been happy. But as it was CD sales declined, hi-speed broadband came along, and everyone ended up ripping their CD collections and sharing them on P2P networks. The greedy labels were left crying about "lost" profits.
I think the idea of charging CD prices for mp3 downloads, or inflated prices for hi-res downloads is just another attempt at industry profitteering.
I'll be sticking to Spotify/iPlayer (and many, many more services) and buying reasonably priced CDs of the artists I really like.