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Are CDs obsolete

post #1 of 191
Thread Starter 
From all my years of audio enjoyment, I figure:
CDs are expensive. 700MB of a plastic disc for $15 is simply wrong to me. They're also quite fragile: The data side can be damaged in a number of ways, the disc itself can deform, chip, crack, or other.
CDs are not good storage mediums (for me). A 500GB ext. HDD costs around $150 and lasts for years.
But that's the disc itself. No doubt that CD audio is much better than mp3 if (when) played on a high-end, very revealing system. FLAC, APE and ALAC are very nice to retain your CD music in a digital lossless way.
However there is something new here: the highly-debated torrwnting. Files may be "shared". True, someone has to rip first. In this case, CDs should be much less produced. I didn't say stop (VHS tapes are still being made), but I think torrwnting is going to force digital releases (in "CD-quality") eventually.
I believe that in a digital age, analog will be inevitably replaced. Torrwnting accounted for 52% of all Internet activities in '08 (from what I read) and that should mean something.
This is probably much than $0.02.
Let's start discussing. Please keep it cool. Nobody wants flame wars, right?
post #2 of 191
I do not follow your logic: how will increasing levels of music theft make the studios want to release their tunes in even higher quality digital downloads?
post #3 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post
I do not follow your logic: how will increasing levels of music theft make the studios want to release their tunes in even higher quality digital downloads?
Torrenting =/= pirating. The OP was pointing out how most downloads these days are by torrents, and that they're becomingly increasingly common as a way to quickly and efficiently distribute digital stuff.
post #4 of 191
CD definately not dead. Any trip to the local music store will tell you that. Most music is still delivered in that format. I have many discs that are more than ten years old & play fine. Resonable care needs to be taken but no need to go to the level of care needed for LP's. CD sound that were dithered down from 24 bit sources at the studio have very good sound. Mostly indistinguishable from the 24 bit source. There are some that you might be able to hear the difference on really high grade system but those would be few & far beween.

All this is moot though if you don't take reasonable care of your discs in which case no disc format is going to serve you well. I've seen some real horrors in disc care & the people wondered why they wouldn't play. Even Blu-ray can be damaged by poor care in spite of the best efforts by manufacturers to make them more sturdy. Most music is not going to be delivered in Blu-ray format any time soon.

As far as downloading music (legally) most of the files use very low quality lossy compression so I do not download music even legally as I find the best way currently for me to get the quality I want is to get the CD & rip it to my computer in lossless format & convert it to high bitrate lossy for my media player to take with me when I am out & about.

Concerning recording quality lossy music files & pirating have done more damage to music than just the lower quality of the files themselves as recording studios are now mastering music that they know is going to be compressed for portable use & likely pirated in that format so they have no incentive to do better & saddle truely high quality formats with issues that make them not all that desirable in the end so everyone is hurt by these pirated recordings. When they master recordings they know will end up on portable devices the compress the h*** out of it to make it as loud as possible even allow relative high levels of clipping the signal so the sound doesn't get buried in the backgound noise inherant of the great outdoors & vehicles.
post #5 of 191
I still buy CDs because of the fact that they're just about the only digital delivery system that gives you "high quality" lossless audio. I don't WANT to buy lossy compressed digital audio, yet I have little choice in todays marketplace. 99.9% of the digital downloads that are made available to me are in MP3 format. Not acceptable. For music that I'm really interested in I'll buy the CD, rip it FLAC, and then store the CD away. If lossless downloadable content was more ubiquitous then I'd buy more music online.

As for pirating, IMO the quality of downloadable music doesn't affect it either way. Unfortunately many people seem to be completely happy with 128K bps lossy content. I don't think that making more lossless (read CD quality) content available online is going to make people more likely to fileshare. Illegally downloading music is driven by the economics of it, i.e. getting for "free".
post #6 of 191
I also still buy CDs but 6 months ago I got rid of my CDP and bought a Squeezebox, playing the ripped-to-FLAC CDs from my PC.
Heaven, I'll never go back to listening by album, listening to a genre or more albums from one artist artist or a self made playist feels more natural to me; probably because I commute and listen 2 hours a day to a DAP and gotten used to the freedom accessing my library my way instead of per album.
So as a music carrier CDs are okay, but I won't use them on a daily bases anymore.
post #7 of 191
CD will not die out. at least not until all music can be download lostlessly over internet in fast speed AND everyone has access to high speed internet. unfortunately most legal music site does not offer music in lostless format which people have to go either the physical disk or illegal route. It is understandable that legal site don't offer lostless because they have to store A LOT of data and ost of their customer don't care about music quality.
post #8 of 191
CDs are anything but obsolete.

If you ever get your hands on a rare promo from a classic or forgotten gem of an album, you have a collectors item. If you get your hands on a rare album, you have a collectors item. If you ever get your hands on an album and 20 years later everyone has forgotten about it, you have a collecters item.

Not to mention, downloading isn't something I do with music or any other type of multimedia. I buy my CDs for being able to hold your album in your hand is better than saying you downloaded it. Really owning a piece of music is more satisfactory plus it really shows appreciation for the artist.

Really, CDs are more than carriers of music and for that alone are anything but obsolete.
post #9 of 191
Most people who dl mp3 music legally or otherwise don't even know there is a loss in quality, or if they do know, they don't really care.

I could see certain bands offering digital flac albums though. In fact, just this morning I downloaded a new flac digital single album by John Wesley with the option to pay what I wanted. But he is just one artist with his own views on the digital dl age. On the other hand, he plays guitar on tour with Porcupine Tree. Steven Wilson (leader of PT) doesn't really believe in lossy at all, even though he still offers digital lossy dls of PT albums. He has been known to smash ipods with a hammer, etc. and even smashed one before the last show here in Portland, not because he is anti ipod, but because he knows there is more to be heard. It's more a symbol of the loss in sq.
post #10 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Funk View Post
CDs are anything but obsolete.

If you ever get your hands on a rare promo from a classic or forgotten gem of an album, you have a collectors item. If you get your hands on a rare album, you have a collectors item. If you ever get your hands on an album and 20 years later everyone has forgotten about it, you have a collecters item.

Not to mention, downloading isn't something I do with music or any other type of multimedia. I buy my CDs for being able to hold your album in your hand is better than saying you downloaded it. Really owning a piece of music is more satisfactory plus it really shows appreciation for the artist.

Really, CDs are more than carriers of music and for that alone are anything but obsolete.

Oh how so true...........of vinyl LPs!!

CDs are my second favourite medium. I love these obsolete questions like this one posted by the OP

Maybe the OP can only hope CDs will go more 'obsolete' to fuel the torrid torrwnt Macdonalds culture. Eat more fries with your torrwnt! CRAM! Cram it all in as much as possible in a short space of time, and pay LESS! Get more faster into your system! More high carbos and high fats! Shove they in your system like MP3s as fast as possible till bloating and look down on the lowly CD and 10 track album which represents the art of an 'album' delivered by an artist with closure! Start the shovelling of music as Burger King did with high volume cheap competition and seamlessly graze 24 hours a day with music which has no beginning...no end...just endless muzak replays winding interminably like err.....um..this post

Well, it seems that the art of listening to music is also being lost amongst some. As useful as 'convenience culture' of digital downloads can be, you wouldn't want it to be your only staple diet for music.
post #11 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule View Post
Torrenting =/= pirating. The OP was pointing out how most downloads these days are by torrents, and that they're becomingly increasingly common as a way to quickly and efficiently distribute digital stuff.
Let's not beat around the bush. He's talking about pirating, made obvious by his intentional mispelling of the word in the hope to go "under the radar" of automated and/or lazy moderators.

CDs arent obselete. Downloading will not replace them.
At best you can expect to see digital storage mediums (such as usb sticks) being sold.
post #12 of 191
CDs are about as obsolete as vinyl, a medium which has supposedly been dead for 15 years. I agree that the prices the record companies are asking are obscene, but the answer is that more artists need to embrace hi-rez downloads : if Apple can make the money they do from 256K (formerly 128K ..) AAC, surely there are enough serious music lovers out there to make 320K/FLAC/WAV downloads viable. For many of you in the US and Europe, bandwidth is cheap : its a bit tougher in other parts of the world, but if the downloads are priced competitively I would have to think we would be ahead over time.

As for the difference between 'sharing' and 'stealing', I really hope the OPs hands are never anywhere near my wallet if he cant make that distinction. The artists, and those who actually help them make the music, deserve to be compensated for their efforts : I dont have a single Lily Allen tune in my collection, but I agree with her when she says that there is little point in making music if the consumer no longer attaches a value to the product.
post #13 of 191
well i for one refuse to buy crappy low quality downloads. if an artists want my money i want it on a CD
post #14 of 191
CDs are probably obsolete but not for audiophiles.
post #15 of 191
and while im at it im really sick of americans whineing about woe is them cds (like everything else) are soooooo expensive. oooohhhh nooooo poor you, go have a look what the rest of the world pays.

most of the CD's i buy i end up buying from the US and shipping them over as its still cheaper than buying in the UK or even buying VAT free from Jersey
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