The Future of CDs

DistortedVision

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Feb 18, 2008
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I've been thinking about the future of CDs. I just find it really strange that hfi is using a technology that is 25 years old when digital technology keeps advancing in every other area. Sure I am a big vinyl enthusiast as well owning a Michell Gyrodec SE but the majority of my collection is still on CD.

SACD and DVD-Audio are both failed formats so it leads the question to where the future lies. Some would argue that all music in the future in the future will be digital downloads only. Does anyone else find this prospect rather depressing? As an audiophile I've always liked owning something physical not to mention the artwork etc.

I'm interested in your thoughts please!
 

mikegtar

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Jun 16, 2008
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Yes, digital downloads only would be a depressing outlook for me and they are not the way I see my music collection growing. I use them for music I can't easily find on disc in the shops/online, e.g. some trance music tracks which are good for listening to in the gym, whilst out for a run or driving in the car but not necessarily during a hifi listening session. I do prefer collecting CD's to rifle through rather than pressing a button to sort and select tracks and playlists. I've ripped a few hundred of my CD's to Windows media player and I listen to music on that when I'm surfing the net, but that's for convenience.

There's a certain amount of exitement about getting a new CD rather than a download. To me it's like opening a present (as opposed to receiving a voucher). I agree awith your point about the artwork, and also the packaging and liner notes make it more appealing than a download. The physical nature of the product gives it a greater perceived value, not just in money terms but in how I feel about the collection I own.

As far as how the market will change, I think there will always be a mixture. Downloading digital content will increase, but it will not replace physical formats.

Because of the massive ownership of CD players throughout the world, and the "inertia" against change that causes in the majority of the market, I believe it is likely that CD will be around for a good few years yet. I'm quite sure that I'll still be able to browse a huge range of CD's on Amazon both new and old in 10 years time. The move toward SACD is probably stalled rather than dead, and we may see an increasing number of hybrid discs being sold in the coming years. The difference in quality to most members of the public between CD and SACD is not sufficient to warrant a change in hardware, so a gradual change using the hybrid technology seems to be quite a sensible way to go in the general move towards "HD everything".

I think that vinyl will always be a niche/hobbyist section of the market, albeit with an increase in popularity at the moment. I might even try it myself when funds permit, but CD in whichever form will always be my main format.

Enjoy the music.

Regards,

Mike.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I can't see things changing any time soon for a number of reasons:

The major labels are all dead set against the internet or so it seems. Artists seem split but the majority are with the labels. So I think CD is here to stay for a while as it's a saleable commodity. (I know that's an old, some would say out of date, consumer model, but there you go.)

Most people can hear the difference between MP3 and a lossless (or nearly lossless) format like CD but fewer can hear the difference between SACD and CD.

A lost of folks, as had been said, like to own the physical object. - It does seem to give it more value somehow.

Nobody really trusts HDD's so a lot will see CD as a backup (not unlike most business back-up strategies if you think about it)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
DistortedVision:
I've been thinking about the future of CDs. I just find it really strange that hfi is using a technology that is 25 years old when digital technology keeps advancing in every other area. Sure I am a big vinyl enthusiast as well owning a Michell Gyrodec SE but the majority of my collection is still on CD.

SACD and DVD-Audio are both failed formats so it leads the question to where the future lies. Some would argue that all music in the future in the future will be digital downloads only. Does anyone else find this prospect rather depressing? As an audiophile I've always liked owning something physical not to mention the artwork etc.

I'm interested in your thoughts please!

IMHO the future of music will be cds and downloads. The failure of many other physical digital formats -like minidisc, dvd-a & sacd- shows us how hard it is to get a new format in to the public and make it mainstream.
For this reason, I think downloads are the future of high quality playback. The great benefit of the internet is that any small company with a recording studio can start a high quality download service at not much cost. Linn records being one of them.
Only thing you need is a device being able to play them. There the outboard dac comes into play; which is the reason I'm dying to see some dacs being reviewed in the WHF mag as the promised to do here:
http://whathifi.com/forums/3/113441/ShowThread.aspx
 

Alec

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Oct 8, 2007
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Clare Newsome:Be patient - budget DACs test is scheduled, plus the bigger HDD vs CD shootout.

Careful please, the excitement isnt good for me!

Incidentally, my impressions of the m-audio 2496 and beresford dac coming soon.

i know - exciting innit?

take a few deep breaths and have a milky drink and a coupla custard creams, or whatever floats yer boat. itll ease the tension.
 
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Anonymous

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Clare Newsome:Be patient - budget DACs test is scheduled, plus the bigger HDD vs CD shootout.

New pic Clare?
More smiley than pensive like the last one!
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Now my new Rega is set up and running, I think I have bought my last CD (with the exception of an occasional classical one).

I will not be duplicating my CD collection on Vinyl so I will be playing CDs for a good while yet, but I see the future of my music as high quality downloads and vinyl and FM radio.

A friend of mine who is 44 years old, bought a good turntable 6 months ago - the first one he has owned since he was 18 years old, and has not played a single CD on his Rega Apollo since then. He has often complained (since getting his TT) that he feels he has been 'conned' for the whole of his adult life by the whole CD phenomena. I cannot disagree with him.
 

daveh75

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Jul 31, 2008
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i much prefer cd to downloads etc, although i have ripped most of my cds aswell, but thats mainly for conveiniance, i,ve also recently found out, that if you were to lose your collection, for what ever reason, i.e, theft, fire an damage etc, most insurance companys dont cover you for downloaded/stored music as it doesn't physically exist, where as cd's do, so are covered,
 

survivor

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Mar 31, 2008
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chebby:Now my new Rega is set up and running, I think I have bought my last CD (with the exception of an occasional classical one). I will not be duplicating my CD collection on Vinyl so I will be playing CDs for a good while yet, but I see the future of my music as high quality downloads and vinyl and FM radio. A friend of mine who is 44 years old, bought a good turntable 6 months ago - the first one he has owned since he was 18 years old, and has not played a single CD on his Rega Apollo since then. He has often complained (since getting his TT) that he feels he has been 'conned' for the whole of his adult life by the whole CD phenomena. I cannot disagree with him.

Some interesting thoughts there chebby.

Putting FM radio aside for the moment in terms of collecting music I agree with you that downloads (first) and vinyl (second) will be the two main formats. I think it is likely the cd generation will by and large be reasonably happy to just download as they haven`t really had it that good as regards album artwork and therefore wont be so attached to that side of their music collecting.

Die hard vinyl collectors will of course stand by their turntables. Those of the cd generation who do like to have something to hold/read/look at may well buy themselves a turntable and indeed it seems many already are.

Whilst saying that I imagine that the cd format will still be around for awhile yet. So many millions of people have one or indeed several cd players and with the prices of cds seeming to be getting cheaper all the time (most major releases end up in the two for £10 section six months after release in my local HMV.) Some companies are selling most of ABBA`s back catalogue at £2.98 each! Whatever your thoughts on ABBA that`s an astonishing price for one of the best selling groups of all time.

It will be interesting to see how it all develops over the next few years.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The inevitable(?) cracks, pops and noise turned me to CD in 1986. Whilst I do not doubt the warmness with a decent TT, it would worry me.......

The general lack of availability and now increased cost of vinyl would put me off too.

I still miss the covers and lyric sheets etc. though!

*drools for triple fold out import Rush 'All the World's a Stage', 'Hemispheres', '2112', 'A Farewell to Kings' doubles...........and Genesis 'Seconds Out'.

Showing my age again
 
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Anonymous

Guest
survivor:

Whilst saying that I imagine that the cd format will still be around for awhile yet. So many millions of people have one or indeed several cd players and with the prices of cds seeming to be getting cheaper all the time (most major releases end up in the two for £10 section six months after release in my local HMV.) Some companies are selling most of ABBA`s back catalogue at £2.98 each! Whatever your thoughts on ABBA that`s an astonishing price for one of the best selling groups of all time.

And that is exactly why I can't wait for blu-ray to become mainstream. Quality dvds for peanuts, yes please! Bought Pulp fiction dvd (great picture transfer, dts sound) for 3 euros!
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Clare Newsome:Be patient - budget DACs test is scheduled, plus the bigger HDD vs CD shootout.

Wow! Seems like it's really gonna happen. It'd be cool if the forum could influence the DACs selected.

I'd like to see a USB capable device, specifically the stello DA100, as one of the DACs under review. The winner of the DAC group test could then progress to take on the CDP champion (Cyrus?).

Those concerned about losing their music need only backup to an external HDD. These are as cheap as chips nowadays. Maplins are doing the 750 Gb Seagate FreeAgent for about £80. That's a bargain if ever I saw one. In fact I bought one.

Have to say that CDs will only die when lossless downloads are widely available and download speeds increase.

As for the mid to distant future, once all/most media devices are web enabled, I wouldn't be at all surprised if all media was accessed from a central point and you pay for each listen / viewing.

Have to say though, the web will become saturated as more and more devices are accessing larger and larger files....where's the bandwidth gonna come from?
 

JoelSim

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Aug 24, 2007
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PJPro:Clare Newsome:Be patient - budget DACs test is scheduled, plus the bigger HDD vs CD shootout.
Wow! Seems like it's really gonna happen. It'd be cool if the forum could influence the DACs selected. I'd like to see a USB capable device, specifically the stello DA100, as one of the DACs under review. The winner of the DAC group test could then progress to take on the CDP champion (Cyrus?). Those concerned about losing their music need only backup to an external HDD. These are as cheap as chips nowadays. Maplins are doing the 750 Gb Seagate FreeAgent for about £80. That's a bargain if ever I saw one. In fact I bought one.Have to say that CDs will only die when lossless downloads are widely available and download speeds increase. As for the mid to distant future, once all/most media devices are web enabled, I wouldn't be at all surprised if all media was accessed from a central point and you pay for each listen / viewing.Have to say though, the web will become saturated as more and more devices are accessing larger and larger files....where's the bandwidth gonna come from?

ÿ

Pay for each listen or viewing? Not a chance I would ever do that.ÿ
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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It's the silver bullet for piracy and file sharing.

I'd be surprised if the likes of sony, etc haven't considered how they can move the market towards a model where they hang onto the media.

Personally, much as yourself, I want my own copy to do with as I please.
 

Alec

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Oct 8, 2007
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JoelSim:
PJPro:Clare Newsome:Be patient - budget DACs test is scheduled, plus the bigger HDD vs CD shootout.
Wow! Seems like it's really gonna happen. It'd be cool if the forum could influence the DACs selected. I'd like to see a USB capable device, specifically the stello DA100, as one of the DACs under review. The winner of the DAC group test could then progress to take on the CDP champion (Cyrus?). Those concerned about losing their music need only backup to an external HDD. These are as cheap as chips nowadays. Maplins are doing the 750 Gb Seagate FreeAgent for about £80. That's a bargain if ever I saw one. In fact I bought one.Have to say that CDs will only die when lossless downloads are widely available and download speeds increase. As for the mid to distant future, once all/most media devices are web enabled, I wouldn't be at all surprised if all media was accessed from a central point and you pay for each listen / viewing.Have to say though, the web will become saturated as more and more devices are accessing larger and larger files....where's the bandwidth gonna come from?

ÿ

Pay for each listen or viewing? Not a chance I would ever do that.ÿ

me neither.
 

JoelSim

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Aug 24, 2007
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PJPro:It's the silver bullet for piracy and file sharing. I'd be surprised if the likes of sony, etc haven't considered how they can move the market towards a model where they hang onto the media. Personally, much as yourself, I want my own copy to do with as I please.

ÿ

People won't put up with it. It's a non-starter.ÿ
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Don't people do it right now for films? I'm thinking Apple Tv and XBox HD downloads, where the film self destructs after one viewing or so many days.

I know it's not the same, but I sometimes hire DVDs from my local corner shop.

Music/films. It is different I grant you. But once you have the principle out there and the pay per view culture grows, I wouldn't be surprised if you were to see the likes of Apple, Microsoft or Sony piggybacking pay per listen on the back of their film services.

Just a thought.
 

Ajani

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Apr 9, 2008
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PJPro:Don't people do it right now for films? I'm thinking Apple Tv and XBox HD downloads, where the film self destructs after one viewing or so many days. I know it's not the same, but I sometimes hire DVDs from my local corner shop. Music/films. It is different I grant you. But once you have the principle out there and the pay per view culture grows, I wouldn't be surprised if you were to see the likes of Apple, Microsoft or Sony piggybacking pay per listen on the back of their film services. Just a thought.

I don't think the future of downloads is pay per viewing... I suspect it will be more along the lines of what some of the US music sites such as Rhapsody offer... which is either the standard itunes (pay to own) or unlimited music/movie access for a flat monthly fee...
 
A

Anonymous

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Imagine your favourite CD album and impression when you got it and put it on.And now imagine the same album downloaded from the net...

Mp3s for convenience and a walk but CDs for artwork and lossless sound..
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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I'm not talking about MP3s here. I'm talking about lossless files/codecs direct from the studio without the errors which are introduced during CD pressing....so better than CD quality.
 
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Anonymous

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PJPro:It's the silver bullet for piracy and file sharing.

I'd be surprised if the likes of sony, etc haven't considered how they can move the market towards a model where they hang onto the media.

My best guess would be that sony's plans are to follow the way apple set out. Sony's equivalent of itunes, ipod, aac anyone? That way you can keep control - read: lower quality than available on disc and copy control.... and marketshare by linking products to a certain software. Which in turn works best with one store. Brilliant marketing, if I may say so.

The fact that sony backed out of atrac and sonicshare (or whatever it was called) means nothing more than athe quick rescue move it was. The aim has always been to get a good share of the market, and they will try again. Any market analyst -or consumer- can see the only way up is the itunes way.

Anyway they'll go, it'll be fine with me. When more download sites come, I bet loads of people want to get rid of their cds. ;-) New releases don't concern me as most of the artists from nowadays can't stand in the shadow of the former greats.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
JoelSim:
PJPro:It's the silver bullet for piracy and file sharing. I'd be surprised if the likes of sony, etc haven't considered how they can move the market towards a model where they hang onto the media. Personally, much as yourself, I want my own copy to do with as I please.

ÿ

People won't put up with it. It's a non-starter.ÿ

The beauty of the net is: you can always count on at least one IT-er who happens to think the same way. And that someone does something about that. "Pay and listen/view 3 only times"?. I don't think so!
 

PJPro

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Don't you think we could see the rise of smaller, independence studios offering a download service (by the way, I've moved on from the pay per view/listen aspects of this thread). I would guess that it is a lot easier, given the internet, to gain a sufficient market share to make this profitable......even with a relatively small customer base.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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PJPro:Don't you think we could see the rise of smaller, independence studios offering a download service (by the way, I've moved on from the pay per view/listen aspects of this thread). I would guess that it is a lot easier, given the internet, to gain a sufficient market share to make this profitable......even with a relatively small customer base.

If such outfits start becoming successful/profitable then they will either get bought out or shut down by the major players (and their hordes of lawyers).

Only a relatively small number of major artists get royalties and, more often than not, they are getting shares of royalties from lots of small bands and artists who hardly see a penny for their efforts due to the iniquitous way that royalties are calculated. These major names are very litigous and guard their royalties jealously, even when they are not their own! Any serious trend away from this model will be challenged and driven out or bought out.
 

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