The Daily Observer

A blog of urban issues, travel to obscure places, amateur photography, and blatant self-promotion.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

When will CDs die?

"When will CDs die?" It's a question I've been asking myself a lot recently. Cassetes replaced vinyl. CDs replaced cassettes. Now we have MP3 players and such so why are CDs still so popular?

Not that I'm upset about this. I much prefer CDs anyway.

So here are the Top 3 Reasons Why Music CDs have Staying Power:

  1. Industry Influence: There are a lot of organizations that are keeping CDs alive. The Recording Industry (music labels, etc) force music download sites to keep the music bitrate at 128k. This is lower than what you can get from a CD. Then there are the brick-and-mortar music stores (Indigo, HMV) that make money from selling CDs, not MP3s. Finally, there are the blank media companies (Maxell, etc) that sell blank CDs. MP3s don't need to be "on" a medium, they need to be "in" your MP3 player

  2. Hard Copies: Although many people percieve MP3 Players to be more "portable", the full ability to move individual albums around has not yet developed. The MP3 has no hard copy, it is just information stored on flash memory. You can take a(n inexpensive) CD around with you and pop it into a computer, diskman, or stereo. With MP3 Players, the music is not as transferable. You can't carry the music. You can only carry the device in which the music is stored.

  3. No Refunds: In music stores, one can listen to entire tracks of music. If you don't have time to do this, no worries, you can always return the CD for a refund if you don't like it. "Online Music Stores" have no such policy, because there is no way to return songs once you've bought them. These "Online Music Stores" offer 30-second "previews" of their songs. These clips are often unhelpful, and if you haven't heard the song before, you don't know if this clip in from the beginning, middle, or end of the song.
Long live solid media! Long live the CD! (Maybe music DVDs will be common soon)


  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Also cd's represent 'albums'. Sure, probably your mp3 player has the cd in correct track order but what bit rate is it at? (always clone the master cd I say!). If coverting to mp3 to a pc, I suggest that you make sure bitrate is at 320kbps (should be easy to choose in the 'rip' options of a pc program').
    Anyway, where has the love for 'albums' gone?
    Cd's have art. People used to moan to no end about cd ruining the art side to vinyl album covers when it first took over vinyl being so small in comparison.
    I guess now those people are rightly shaking in their graves.
    Cd is a lot better sound than mp3 quality. 'Mp3 revolution' has been a big step back in quality.
    Me, I'm still listening to and buying sealed old stock vinyl. If not I'm listening to cd's mostly, as vinyl is good but so is digital high quality. But never low bit rate mp3's as they ruin music. especially older music that has a respect for dynamics not like most of todays stuff that is slam compressed and probably hardly worsened when put to your shit mp3


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