So long silver disc – is this the end of CD?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Ed Selley, Mar 21, 2018.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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    2. MarcoDB

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      CD's are now merely a convenient transport mechanism / archival storage for uncompressed FLAC files.

      Just wish that the likes of Amazon and Apple would hurry up and get on board with selling FLAC downloads rather than just mangled lossy audio.
       
    3. Hampy1972

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      Great in the day, being able to loads lots of tracks creating a *MP3* disc, in the car and off we went.
      Since USB is all the rage mostly down to the FLAC is far superior the 700MB available on the disc was coming to an end.
      CD sales are a trickle, downloads and streaming killed that one off.
      Don't know anyone that burns CDs anymore.

      Let me tell you how much times have changed:
      I was born in the 70s, I recently showed my son (12 yrs old) a old VHS cassette, Betamax, 8 track and a normal cassette. (I hold them for sentimental values)
      What do you think these are? I said, He said you had media on them.
      I replied, yes we did, he said *why are they so big?*

      He hit the nail on the head there.
      Who carries CDs anymore when a small USB can do the job and much more.

      Really enjoyed reading your review brought back memories, esp Bateman (Bale) in American Psycho holding that album...*Name that album?...

      CDs like vinyl will end up making a comeback in 20-30 years time...
      History tends to repeat itself.

      Peace.
       
      Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    4. DrHarvey12

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      Very interesting article.

      In the last couple of weeks I have seen articles from bands begging their fans to buy their LP's CD's rather than access their content through a streaming platform. It certainly seems like from these that niche bands aren't being compensated as well as they would like from streaming services. I worry that with the death of CD we may also see a lot less non-mainstream professional bands continuing to be able to put out well recorded music too.

      However, as noted above I would be perfectly happy to buy lossless music without the need of a CD as transport in theory. If however buying CD's is helping to support the bands I like keep making music then I'll continue to buy the physical media providing the price differential is not too great.
       
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    5. Flimber

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      "Perfect sound forever" though, right ? :lesson:
       
    6. Alan Bickers

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      Sadly, it never reached what it could achieve sound quality wise, due to the “Loudness War” mastering and now we the same thing going on with high res files.
       
    7. Ste7en

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      My last CD bought: Leonard Cohen The Complete Studio Albums Collection. 25/2/2018.

      I'm still buying them, I buy quite a lot these days. However, rarely any of it is 'new'. Mostly remastered catalogue titles I've bought 4 - 5 times already.

      The last 'new' title I bought was Beck's Colors, a few weeks ago.

      I rarely stream. Just at work, if I'm caught up on my podcasts.
       
    8. Astaroth

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      Last bought CD was probably 2 years ago when the Mrs bought one from a busker/street performer. The one before it was probably at least a couple of more years ago. On the otherhand I am increasingly buying vinyl which often now comes with a digital version too.

      I accept having to get up to turnover an LP for the same of how it sounds. I don't see the benefit of dealing with the physical media of CDs when I get the same sound from digital files.

      I'm not sure that CDs will have a comeback, but then I was surprised to hear that tapes are making a comeback too and I wouldnt have predicted that.
       
    9. The Dreamer

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      Well, being very familiar with Best Buy - I can honestly say I'm not in the least bit surprised. The CD displays they have are a mere fraction of the store space available, and have always looked rather incongruous among all of the washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and yes, tech and A/V too!

      BB is like Comet used to be, or PC World/Currys is right now - that's all. While I do buy Blu-ray and UHD discs from BB (I picked up the Coco UHD a couple of days ago), I have never bought a CD from them - and have never seen anyone else even look at the CD's on offer, their selection has always been meagre at best.

      I do still buy CD's, primarily from Amazon, or in-store, HMV.

      I don't think this spells the death knell for CD's at all - far from it. It is merely a big box-moving store streamlining what it does sell, which is kitchen/laundry whitegoods, tech. (think drones, fitbits, and stuff) and some A/V, (lots of big TVs, very little in the way of 'quality' stuff - though their Magnolia stores do slightly higher end A/V - but not really flagships stuff).

      Nothing to see here - move along now! ;)
       
    10. iainl7

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      They're neither one thing nor the other, really. They lack the physical presence of an LP, but nor do they have the convenience of data stored on either my NAS or the cloud.
       
    11. Mark.Yudkin

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      I used to buy lots of CDs in retail stores. For the last 10 years though, I've bought lots of CDs from Amazon and almost none from retail stores. It's not the end of the CD, it's the end of the CD retail store, as the article indicates.
       
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    12. Navvie

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      If only it was as easy to buy FLAC as it is CDs. Until then, all the time CDs are available I'll keep buying them.
       
    13. The Dreamer

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      ...but, they are more convenient to store than an LP, and easier to manage/play.

      Agreed that data stored on a NAS is extremely convenient, and can be of just as high quality as CD - however, I'm uncomfortable with building a large collection of 'cloud' based music (or movies for that matter), as it is very difficult to pass them on to someone else. As I get older, I feel the need to be able to pass things on to my older lad - I can do this with CDs, and eventually, when the inevitable happens, he'll inherit the lot. Try doing that with cloud based stuff - apparently doable, as long as you've set things up in advance, but I'd suggest that most people either don't bother, or don't realise that hoops have to be jumped through in order to preserve what you've bought, and indeed, pass that on to others.

      For me, physical media wins every time - if I truly like a film or piece of music - I'm not talking about casual listening to Spotify type stuff, but music I want to sit and listen to.

      You're probably right there. The likes of Amazon, and other on-line retailers, are taking over from physical stores in all areas - certainly, CD's, DVD's and the like are ripe for this business model - it's not like you need to hold a CD in your hand to know what you're buying - and you can listen to samples on-line to make sure it's the album you want. No actual need to go into a physical store - though I do still enjoy browsing - but the store needs to have a large enough selection to browse through! You can look through the entire collection in somewhere like Best Buy in about 5 minutes!
       
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    14. larkone

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      And he will inherit a load of media that he will have no device to play it on and/or CD rot has set in. Similar issue with a friend with a massive and continuously growing paperback collection, 'I can pass them on to my kids' -who will inherit a load of paperbacks that will be falling apart, degrading because of acid paper and I know will end up in the skip because they are all using Kindles - his kids have already hinted at that as they do not have the space to store them. They already have moved completely away from CDs to streamed music.

      Have you considered if the next generation wants your old, potentially, unplayable media. Creating a lot of music files on a NAS is not putting them in the cloud and a copy can always be made to ensure continuity of the media. Backing them up into the cloud does make sense though.

      Vinyl will continue in its niche market because it is a simple engineering problem to make a mechanical record deck . The same cannot be said of optical drives, it requires a significant manufacturing setup to make these and as soon as the big players drop out, it is extremely unlikely that there will ever be small manufacturing operations who could produce an optical drive or one at an affordable price.

      I have digitised my whole CD collection and now I have a portable player that can play FLAC and DSD and supports up to 400GB Micro SD cards - my whole CD collection is in something smaller than a packet of fags - SWMBO is happy to see the back of the racks of CDs and their accumulated dust.
       
    15. The Dreamer

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      It's possible - but if he has the physical media, he then also has the choice of what to do with it.

      I know. By 'cloud' tunes, I'm talking iTunes and the like - not stuff you've ripped to a NAS yourself, or even put into 'the cloud' yourself. I mean a 'cloud' account, that dies when you do - unless you pre-empt the event (and even then, change of ownership is not always allowed).

      Oh, I rip my CDs too - it makes them conveniently accessible on our Sonos system, or up/downloadable to our phones etc. So there is definitely a place for ripped music - but it'd be much harder to do with copy-protected files, that may, or may not be as higher quality as CD's in the first place. (I know copy protection can be by-passed, but just saying ripping a CD is easier).
       
    16. k-spin

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      Whilst undoubtedly declining, over 40 million CD albums were sold in the UK last year. Probably a little more than a "trickle" ;)
       
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    17. nobby

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      still a procurer of CD myself ... i still love owning a physical product, reading the inlay sleeves etc. you have something for your hard earned cash. yes like most collectors space can be an issue and a PITA to sort out!

      99% of purchases are done via online, i rarely visit record shops as most are rubbish and dont cater for my needs anyway.

      the article does not mention that in places like Japan CD sales are on the increase (this was a recent news story afaik)

      i do use the likes of spotify etc but when i generally like something i listen too i buy it
       
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    18. Khazul

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      I'm am not convince this is a CD issue, but rather a reflection of a general decline in retail.

      I cant remember the last time I went into an HMV store to browse CDs. For the past several years I have bought online (usually from Amazon) for the following reasons:
      1. More often than not they have clips of the track you can listen to.
      2. The generally have a far bigger selection and an item being out of stock does mean complete absence of the item as information about its existence is still there and also [1] above applies - I can still have a listen and choose it it elsewhere - without having to waste an hour driving to/from city center and paying a fiver or more in parking etc.

      Retail has been in general decline for years since due to parking and traffic restriction making physical access to store less convenient. Last year and so far this year many retail outlets have been having major financial issues.

      IMHO I think that is a result of a vicious cycle - too often you go to a store and it doesn't have what you want. Eventually you give up and start buying most things online and don't bother going to the stores at all (with traffic/time/parking etc only adding to the turn off). As a result, retailer suffers and need to cut the least profitable items whatever they may be. In this case - someone big decided to remove CD from their stores and that get hailed as the end of CDs. No - its just one of many stages of that particular store chain going into decline and eventual bankruptcy unless they also have a well stocked online business as well that can compete with the likes of Amazon.

      For me personally, I mostly cannot be bothered to go to physical stores - fresh food and clothes being about the exception and maybe the rare time that a local store is actually able to provide a demo of something I am interested in. Most of the time I have found stock management of retailers like currys/pc world/argos/maplin and many other to be beyond appalling make trips to them a frustrating waste of time and effort - so these day my attitude tend to be just buy the thing online with free next day delivery to home or work and save the hassle and frustration.

      I will continue to buy CDs (and anything else for that matter) online. Between overly punitive councils and retailers awful stock management I think they brought this upon themselves.

      Then take town centers - these days they are pretty much all the same in terms of shops - loads of (mostly womens) clothing stores, some café restaurant chains/franchises and the usual other female orientated stores and very little else. Mostly gone are the days when I could wonder around a decent hifi or music (instrument) shop or other more interesting stores. Even my wife says she cant be bothered to go shopping any more as she is bored out of her skull of the same stores wherever you go along with traffic, parking etc (Gone are the days you could park outside a shop to actually collect what you bought without an army of meter maids descending upon you to fight over who gets to stick you with a massive parking fine). About the only times when we go shopping are when one or other of us is desperate for new clothes for work or whatever and/or going to have dinner somewhere and/or cinema occasionally (and with a good AV system at home, that has become less frequent as well).

      So screw it - we buy online - far less hassle.
       
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      Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    19. Ste7en

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      Not the end? People are predicting it won't have a comeback! :D
       
    20. gibbsy

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      I've bought more CDs and SACDs in the first quarter of this year than I have done for many years, both old titles and new releases. It's such a shame that the vast majority of new releases sound dreadful because they are so highly compressed as to be almost unplayable on quality equipment. If music companies went back to the good early days of pressings it may tempt more buyers.

      CDs are my main way of listening to music after recently investing over £2.5K on new equipment and I'm really enjoying listening to and sourcing older releases. As I said shame about some really good new albums having such poor dynamics.
       
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    21. DIBSTER

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      I still buy CDs, not as many as I used to, but still buy certain artists releases.

      I've bought quite a few 2nd hand ones recently off Ebay from Music Magpie, all for about £2-£3 incl P&P. You can't buy a pint for that.
       
    22. Nostromo71

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      They will have to prise those shiny silver platters from my cold dead hands.
       
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    23. Flippoc

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      For me Itunes and the like has had a very negative effect on how I listen to music.
      Sure its convenient to store everything on Itunes but now I tend to just set it on random or play the recently added albums, guess its just being lazier.

      I would much rather play a cd as it encourages me to play an album in its entirety, in track order.
      And it was more fun to sift through the cd's.

      I also have two backup drives just incase an hdd fails and I loose everything. ( I know you can loose the cd's also)
       
    24. Cliff

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      There is a decline in CD sales and people who want to sit down and just listen to quality sounds. In the 90s it was easy to buy a CD player for a moderate price. Now you either have to buy a machine costing 100 pounds or more or a very cheap mechanism that is built into your toaster.
      It shows there no middle ground, and I believe that's because that market has moved to streaming.
       
    25. Pecker

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      CD will quite possibly die, not because of what people at this site think, but for what others think.

      I'd not 'done' streaming until recently. But I'm on Amazon Prime, so Amazon Unlimited was £7.99 a month.

      The kids (8 & 10) will doubtless grow up with streaming as the de facto way of listening to music, whether I like it or not, so there you go.

      As younger people grow older, and the rest of us disappear into the great unknown, it's probably one-way traffic, vinyl-revival-esque situations notwithstanding.

      And part of me doesn't care. It's not happening tomorrow, and almost certainly not this week. My CDs are going nowhere, nor are my lossless rips. I don't but as much music as I used to, largely because I'm an old git.

      I should be good for a while yet, and by the time I go through the CD menopause I'll probably be a lot more used to streaming than I am now.

      Bizarrely, the biggest problem with streaming is the lack of convenience. I'm limited on how easily I organise my music (playlist are far more difficult to create), and annoyingly I can't get everything I want. Some of my favourite CDs are not available to steam. And whilst I can get the streams on my phone, I can't on my DAP.

      I trust this will 'all come out in the wash' as they say, but I'll continue to have my doubts until they do.

      When I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, on my FiiO (okay, I'll have to buy a new player), I'll be happy. If it's all in lossless any argument will be over.
       
    26. cooperda

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      Don't know if my case is un-typical or not but I haven't bought a CD for a few years now as I have my 'basic library' of Classical music 'sorted' which, apart from a few movies scores, is all I buy/ have bought - oh! plus some 'audio' plays maybe.
      For casual listening I use either my DAB radio (which can also take a USB stick of .mp3s) or even use my TV Sound Bar - also using a USB input.
       
    27. Welwynnick

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      Wouldn't it be funny if vinyl outlived CD?

      Nick
       
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    28. Sonic67

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      "From the earliest technology demonstrations (although, contrary to the myth, nobody put jam on them) through the absolute dominance of the nineties and on to the ‘mature’ format of the present, CD has been a presence in the audio industry for decades."

      Orchardoo.com

      What confuses people is that when Compact Discs were introduced, there was many programmes demonstrating them, and breakfast television was no exception. One presenter was sitting down and used the items on the table to show how tough the discs were. As it was breakfast, he used honey and spread it on the disc.

      Stephen Fry's 100 Greatest Gadgets -...
       
    29. Sonic67

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      Oh and I'm still buying CDs. They get ripped to FLAC (and MP3) but still buying them. I use Amazon Music and other sources to find what I might like then use www.besteveralbums.com to find what others like, then take a punt on a CD then rip.
       
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    30. Sonic67

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      I had a look for a new car stereo, I'd like one that plays FLAC, my present one only supports MP3/WAV/WMA. Try looking for a car head unit that doesn't play CDs. What about all the DVD players, blu-ray players, UHD players? If it comes to it you can still get a cassette player and who makes the mechanics for them and why? I seem to see basic optical drives for games consoles, CD players etc for around £20 upwards. A record players mechanics? How much?
      Similar here.
       

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