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When will the last CD be pressed?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Doing some spring cleaning yesterday and came upon a travel container of CDs (i.e. a book with slots) that appears to have been frozen in time in about 1996, if I remember right. What I was listening to at the time: Pavement "Slanted and Enchanted"; John Lennon "Plastic Ono Band"; Prince "Sign O' the Times," Disc I and II; Matthew Sweet "100 Percent Fun"; Tom Petty "She's the One" soundtrack.

    The CD's, of course, were in a form that youth today would scarcely recognize. First of all, they were CD's instead of MP3s. Second, even if kids today do have a few scattered CD's, my guess is that they are home-made copies labeled at home with a Sharpie, not by a record company, and that they are solely for use to transport from one MP3 hard drive to another.

    When I thought about it, I was actually kind of surprised that CD's still exist in 2011. The iPod has been around for, what? Seven years now? Eight maybe? We all know how fast technology can change. The Atari 2600 was ubiquitous one day, relegated to the attic the next.

    It makes me sad to think about, because so much of my life for so long - as with a lot of us - was consumed by acquiring, listening to, and lovingly tending to our music collections, specifically our CD collections. Nothing like release day, when Pearl Jam's "Yield" could be placed in my tower right after "No Code." It was almost ritualistic.

    I have to imagine that we are coming to a day when it isn't even worthwhile, financially, to produce hard copy CD's any more, even more so than newspapers, since they actually have found ways to monetize MP3s (even though they aren't great at it because of pirating).

    When does the CD become a relic/museum piece? Within a year? Two years? Five years? Ten? It's coming, right?
  2. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Eventually but not imminently. For as commonplace as mp3 players are, there's probably still way more devices that play compact discs in people's possession. Plus not everyone has access to broadband Internet, and you're not going to be making a lot of iTunes purchases at 56K. And some people are always going to feel more secure having a hard backup for their music or computer programs, so they'll buy the CD to rip it to their laptop and entertainment devices (as will the dial-up users).

    Once downloading is universal, then the CD album will be phased out (I suspect the CD/DVD as data container might hang around a bit longer). Records will have a longer shelf life because of DJs and audiophiles (both real and imagined), as well as hipsters who think they're raging against the machine by listening to Rage Against the Machine on a downscale medium.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think we're a good 10 years from this happening. The biggest reason will be that cars have just in the last few years been hooked up for the iPod. I'm sure there are a lot of people like me who plug their iPods into the lighter and listen through a radio frequency, but I'm guessing a lot will continue to use CDs.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The other factor is it is dirt cheap to press CDs. That will keep them alive longer as well.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    My car has an auxiliary cable plug-in on the dash for an iPod. That was a huge selling point for me.

    And yeah, eventually the cd will fade away, but I'm not sure legal downloads even account for half of music purchases yet.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Rap and country CDs still sell very well.
  7. nmmetsfan

    nmmetsfan Active Member

    The bigger question is what on earth prompted you to pay money for Yield?
  8. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    I'd say 10 years, or at least once high quality downloads are readily available.

    I've actually gone back to buying only CDs (and the occasional vinyl) in the last six months. When ripped into a lossless file, I think the sound is exponentially better than some shit 256 kpbs iTunes file.

    And I missed having something tangible, something to hold/collect, especially when the cost between the two mediums is often the same. CDs are also nice to have as a backup in the event of a hard drive crash.

    Now get off my lawn.
  9. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    My paper recently ran a story in the features section about how some young people are opting to purchase vinyl instead of CDs and my first reaction at the budget meeting was, "People still buy CDs?"

    They'll fade out quickly, Mizzou. Look at how quickly the cassette player disappeared. It took less than, what, 10 years after CD players became ubiquitous? There's a new kind of dataport being offered in computers now that will phase out USB ports. It can transfer a full HD movie in less than 18 seconds. Waiting to burn a CD? Forget about it.

    Flash drives and MP3 players will be your only options by 2016 (except for any new advancements between now then).
  10. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    I was a promo man in the Gospel Music biz when CDs came in (actually, I was there when we still had 8-tracks) ... remember how excited DJs were to be able to cue up songs instantly with the new discs, and also how many we had to replace because of scratches ... Car I bought two years ago has a CD player and I've never used it ... not once ... the Net has been huge for distribution ... still, bands need to have something physically to sell when they go on the road ...
  11. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    CD/DVDs will still be used for a while, but I'm not sure record companies or movie studios will stick with the formats in the long term.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think tapes lasted about a decade longer than they should have because most portable CD players worked so terribly. You couldn't jog with one without it skipping all over the place.
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