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Vinyl is not obsolete, Will CD become obsolete ?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Disbeliever, May 1, 2013.

  1. Disbeliever

    Disbeliever pfm Member

    Will CD's become obsolete, I do not think so because there are so many millions out there and many new ones being released. , Classical ones reviewed every Saturday morning on BBC 3 CD review. Furthermore I have zero interest in PC audio. No downloads for me.
  2. Rasher

    Rasher Quadrophenia land

    Think how unimaginable it was that LPs could disappear when the CD was first announced. No-one had a CD player and everyone had a record player, and moreover no-one had ever changed formats in any media from books to art to music or whatever, so changing a medium was itself an alien concept. But it happened.

    The CD falls between two stools as neither being the digital access-anywhere-form-free media, or the tangible piece of physical art that the LP was so successful at. Good art, paintings, sculpture, antiques, demand careful handing and reverence, and that is why the LP stands as a piece of art - because it demands reverence and care, and will get damaged and worn, thus increasing its value as a personal item - not monetary, but personal.

    The CD doesn't have a role now. The CD will certainly become obsolete, if it isn't already. I myself most certainly will not replace my CD player, but end up transferring my collection onto a hard drive when the time comes.
  3. formbypc

    formbypc pfm Member

    One or two new releases on Radio 3 hardly constitute a review of the whole CD market....

    CDs are already dying. Look at the posts on this and other audio forums where some contributors have switched to streaming systems and are aghast that other contributors persist with physical media. Look at how mainstream retailers who've been shifting CDs in quantity for years have suffered (HMV? Virgin?)

    The nail in the coffin for CD is that the data upon the CD can be stored and replayed more efficiently from solid-state or HDD-based devices, and stored in more compact form. A single HDD holds many hundreds of CDs, for instance at the same resolution as the CD itself.
  4. awl

    awl pfm Member

    Agree with Rasher. Although...

    The only reason I still occasionally buy CDs is because I want to own a physical thing. Paying for a download is licencing rather than making a purchase of something tangible. That's why CD won't become obsolete in the near future, because there's really no alternative at the moment.

  5. Rodney gold

    Rodney gold Im just me...

    My 17 yr old daughter has maybe 5 cd's , all her music is on ipod , hd , cell and puter , to her Cd's are obsolete. She is typical of the younger generation and future music purchaser.
    Cd's are obsolete to me too to some extent , I have over 6000 cd's , all ripped to hd. I buy cd's only to get the music , rip it and then store the physical media.
    In time with ubiquitous and cheap bandwidth and storage , I have no doubt CD's will become somewhat obsolete.. the reason vinyl has had a resurgence is different , it sounds better than digital music to some.
  6. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    The CD certainly does have a role, now and probably for many years to come. For older music, the serial number allows you identify which mastering of the music you are obtaining rather than the crapshoot that d/l mostly offer. Ripping to HD doesn't make the disc obsolete - it's just a case of you storing the physical backup rather than it existing (for an unspecified duration) on a server somewhere. Isn't that what most of us who use computer audio are doing now? For new recordings, it's very hard to say what will happen given the way the industry is fragmenting. Most self-funding bands/artists seem to be hedging their bets and pressing up short runs of CD and Vinyl in addition to the download. Major labels obviously love the d/l to the extent that it slashes overheads, but then again the majors are drinking in the last chance saloon. I don't predict the end of CD any time soon, although sales will contract as the major labels gradually fold, merge and cease investment in new artists. I suspect the endgame will be one or two companies owning huge libraries of old music, to be licensed both for download and as boutique physical releases until the copyrights expire. Most new music will be issued independently as it is now and what passes for pop will return to the realm of the light entertainment industry as it was pre-1963.
  7. formbypc

    formbypc pfm Member

    .. And, as new houses in the UK are becoming smaller and smaller, owners are less willing to commit acres of wall shelves to CDs, maybe?
  8. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    I think this is true. Books too. The corporate future is a big flat screen telly on the wall, permanently switched on and connected 24/7 to the internet-as-shopping-channel, no books, no physical music media. I'm currently house-hunting and it's almost here already.
  9. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    It depends how you define obsolete.

    Cassettes are supposed to be obsolete but there is still a tiny minority choosing to use them and cassette user groups exist.

    The population at large regard valves as obsolete, but a tiny minority still use them.

    The operative word is tiny, and there is always a tiny group somewhere keeping 'obsolete' technology alive. Commercially it's a question of when this number falls sufficiently for production to become impractical for reasons of cost.

    I'm only referring to new production, so in the examples above you can still buy new tapes and tubes, with plenty of NOS for the latter. If it's no longer in production and NOS is depleted, something is then obsolete.

    When production of new releases on vinyl and CD stops, it's obsolete.
  10. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    The clock is ticking on optical disc drives in computers (tried ripping CDs on a tablet recently? Missed having a drive in it otherwise?). Get it and rip it while you can if you think you'll want it in future.
  11. Hook

    Hook pfm Member

    I don't mind buying used CD's and ripping them to a hard drive. At least this way, I know the provenance of the rip. With online streaming services, it is often anyone's guess which version of a popular album I am listening to.

    But having to store the physical object as a proof of purchase is a pain. I know how much space my 2000 CDs take up, and I shudder at the thought of 3x that. Still, I have little interest in downloads because, again, you never really know what you are getting. Too many upsampled CD rips masquerading as high rez masters, and their costs are way out of proportion with what you get (often 5-10x what I pay for a used CD).

    Seems we are in a weird, in-between time right now, and until things settle down, I'll continue seeking out best buys (used CDs and vinyl). But everything gets ripped, and streaming is 75-80% of my listening (with vinyl being the rest). If Qobuz or similar lossless streaming becomes available in the US, I think may habits will change rather quickly.

  12. Rodney gold

    Rodney gold Im just me...

    I suppose you can also justify DL's etc as being a lot "greener" than physical media....
  13. Mikas

    Mikas pfm Member

    Yes they do, in time. And never say never.
    First of all, it's not PC audio. It's the same CD technology i.e. digital audio.
    The main differences are:
    - Easier to buy/lend/borrow/steal
    - Highly portable
    - Easy to choose what to listen (through menus with search capabilities instead of shelves)
    - Lower resolution than CDs (bad), higher resolution than CDs (good) in fact, you can even get two channel copies of studio master recordings.

  14. stevea

    stevea Bearing Isolated Member


    I do think it will take a long time for CDs to finally die out though.

    Even after I replace my CD player with a hard drive and have coppied all my current CDs to it, there is a good chance that CDs will continue provide a significant part of the delivery mechanism for new music to my system. High res downloads will play an increasing part but availability and bandwidth (at least in these parts) are still issues to be resolved before that becomes a major source.

    Currently about 40% of music I purchase is on CD, the rest on vinyl.

  15. positive_energy

    positive_energy pfm Member

    Dont worry about it. You will disappear long before Records and CDs do.
  16. John

    John pfm Member

    I wonder what year and which format goes first?

    Cassettes, Betamax, VHS, 8 tracks, laserdisc are no longer produced with prerecorded data. CD's will likely last as long as ROM drives are used in computers.
  17. Disbeliever

    Disbeliever pfm Member

    Not worried, just curious I am unable to understand anyone having as many as 2000 CD,s especially Classical ones.
  18. Minstrel SE

    Minstrel SE These go to eleven

    Yes dont worry about it. The cd almost wiped out vinyl sales and is just facing a natural progression and competition with other ways of reading ones and zeros. Streaming and convenience downloads are playing a massive role.

    I understand why people want the track now and lossless high definition downloads will eventually become mass market.

    If cds were crap, Naim Rega and others wouldnt be making players. You cant write off 30 years of cd development as nonsense. With millions of used cds out there, Im in no rush to write off any music format. I even look for rare tracks and gigs only released on cassette tape.

    Theres a whole section trying to use the small vinyl revival as a way of saying I told you so. I think its pretty good at the moment with cheap music and plenty of format choice.
  19. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    I'm still buying CDs even though I now listen via HDD/Streamer. Even if reliable lossless formats are available to download there is one big problem with them. Licensing is granted only to the individual who buys the music, and expires when you do. Not transferrable at all apparently. Physical CDs can be left to your wife/children/whoever and even if they hate my taste in music I hate the idea that my "collection" dies with me!
  20. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Box-swapper extraordinaire

    Eh, why especially classical (let alone in general)?

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