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Do CD's Still Make Sense
Old 25th July 2007
Here for the gear

Do CD's Still Make Sense

I was talking to someone today who is starting a label, and she said she will not be doing anything with CD's or any hardware medium (vinyl...) at all, they will just be doing digital, spending their resources marketing digital downloads.

Obviously a trend. Do you think making an actual CD is passe?
Old 25th July 2007
Lives for gear
Greg_KPX's Avatar

Personally I love cd's! They are a great backup and you can rip them to mp3 yourself if you need to...

I'm not completely happy with downloads only but it works... I've bought quite a bit of music online. Just have to make sure to keep all your tracks organised and keep backups.
Old 25th July 2007
Lives for Jesus
stevep's Avatar
Why limit yourself to downloads ?

I know lots of artists, bands that sell there own CDs at shows and the web;
they sell lots of them and dont have any label to pay off

I just finished a project a few months ago that went to Vinyl and these kids were all under 18

dont limit yourself

Old 25th July 2007
Gear Maniac

The future of music is most likely neither in physical mediums (CDs, vinyl) nor in downloads (mp3, aac etc). The future of music fruition is most likely in streaming... There will be a day when bandwidth won't be an issue anymore and instead of having to own (and store) files you will just be able to stream from the web... We will be online everywhere we are and we will pay a service fee for unlimited access to a huge database of music. Why own when you can hear anything you want anytime you want without having to own anything?
Old 25th July 2007
Gear Nut
Luko's Avatar

^^ interesting outlook on the future there mate

its certainly within the realms of possibility I will say that

but i would also say that while poeple still fall in love with bands and artists they still want to 'own' a piece of them and to most thats getting the cd or LP from the store

even now, I find myself (as a 100% downloader these days) that when i ask my friends this question they surprise me by saying they still buy all the cd's of their favourite artist's

definetly still viable as the best way to promote yourself at gigs etc..
Old 25th July 2007
Lives for gear
Beermaster's Avatar

It never ceases to amaze me that as our industry is gearing up to higher resolutions of recordings with 96K upwards becoming more the norm that the consumer end of things is gearing DOWN to MP3s !

Give me CD every time then I can make an MP3 for my pod when and If I need to. The problem with only MP3 distribution is that the consumer is stuck with that one format. Yeah you can put it on your pod but how about taking on a journey in a friends car ? How about taking it to any other number of places that don't have HiFis with Aux inputs for your ipod output.

Above all - Where's the artwork and sleeve info about the band and where it was recorded, who plays on it and who mixed it and the lyrics etc . Isn't it great to be listening to tracks and reading up on the sleeve notes who's playing and when ! ?

MP3 download - cheap an cheerful but not much to it for the price.
Old 25th July 2007
Lives for gear
Strobian's Avatar
The dance music market is a tough industry, and most new labels will go under doing vinyl these days. It still sells well for some labels, but most kids are downloading MP3 now. I personally like the WAV files or CD, yeah the artwork is cool, hardcopy etc...I like that. However, when I started my label up a year ago, I went all download. Depending on what you are doing, hardcopy sounds the best to me, but the Wav file option is just the same really. Its harder to fall in love with a download, but times are changing and i've only had a couple requests for CD's along the way, but they are viable still I believe. How can you resist the artwork, packaging, etc etc...
Old 25th July 2007
more of a nitche market these days. audiophiles, collectors, true supportive fans.
until some other physical medium surpases it in sound quality & popularity I think it will still be a valid format for people who make & buy albums.
Old 25th July 2007
I think the lady shows a lot of business sense.
Tower Records went under. FOP, a major UK chain, just went under.
The reality is, music is selling much less, and when it is selling it's being downloaded as one or two tracks, not a whole album.
I love CD's, but there is a vastly different reality out there.
Old 26th July 2007
Lives for gear

As long as the CD player is still widely used, there will be a use for CDs, I think many people would not bother putting all their downloaded tracks to CD. Flash memory players are pretty cool as long as they don't rely on compressed data formats to the detriment of sound quality. I suppose in the near future the next hi-resolution audio format CDs will probably exceed realtime internet streaming sound quality, but that could be eclipsed at a certain point with the bandwidth, then everything will likely be surround sound, etc. who knows. .

Also the flow of a full album is a nice thing to have, but I suppose all the artist has to do is present the tracks together in a certain order, then the listener has to figure out how to work their media player correctly. The delicate nature of the CD optics and the wastefulness of all that discarded plastic won't be missed too much I suppose.
Old 27th July 2007
Lives for gear
The Architecture's Avatar
I can't warm up to buying downloadable music. for one, why should I pay a dollar a song if its sound is inferior to CD quality?

If CD's don't make sense, then I wouldn't be concerned about working on a good quality cd then.
Old 28th July 2007
Gear Maniac

I keep wondering when a hi-fidelity storage format is gonna come out for audio. Even DVD's compress the audio. I remember back in the 90s they were promissing DVD-Audio to come out, but it never did.

I would be content if we had Universal DVD players that played ISO CD-ROMs with 24 bit .WAV files at a variety of sampling rates.
Old 28th July 2007
Lives for gear

I believe that a new medium should be used... Something like a usb pen...
Old 2nd August 2007
Gear Head

I'd say it all depends on the market. I live in a college town where a good many of the kids are art students, music business, or music engineering students. Most of us have an iPod and a turntable. Many of the engineering kids, like myself, rip CDs through lossless codecs, because we've been trained to hear the artifacts produced by an MP3. I notice fewer artifacts in bitrate-reduced streaming radio that I listen to, though. If I were in a big city where all the music consumers had MP3 players in their phones or whatever, my answer might be different.

Because of the cost of production and the market penetration of CD players, I would still go with CDs right now. One of my favorites (which I've mostly seen on big label releases) is the vinyl record with a free digital download attached via a card in the shrinkwrap. Of course, I listen most in my car, so I still buy CDs, predominantly.
Old 2nd August 2007
Here for the gear

Well, it is kind of depressing, a little bit.

In LA, lots of the great stores closed... aarons, tower, hear music (bought by starbucks)... leaves you basically with virgin, best buy, and borders...

None of those places even stocks my genre, so, what good would a cd do me anyway?

I just spent $300 bucks getting a tune mastered by the top cat in the uk... I guess that was a waste of money, considering probably the only person who can hear the difference between the mastered version and the unmastered version is me, and then only if i play back the original 96khz file on the monitors it was mixed on.

Certainly there is no way you could catch it on myspace or streaming or download...

There is ONE thing i would like to say that bothers me about downloads, though.

Back in the days of vinyl, you could order, say, 1k vinyls, ship them to the distributor, and call in 90 days or so and say, hey, i sent you 1k units, i've got the shipping receipt right here, where's my money?

Now, though, you upload a track to a site... how in the world can you track the actual number of downloads the site sells?

I mean, seems to me they can just pull an arbitrary number out of the sky and unless you go and see their billing records, you can never tell for sure...

Another way for the musician to get screwed? looks like it.

We released a tune that was a mini-hit and we haven't received a penny on it... not one cent... despite the fact that it can be downloaded everywhere...

Who's got time / money to chase down these sites?
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