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Will the CD be defunct by 2015, and what next?

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Showing 1-25 of 586 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Feb 2013 17:26:29 GMT
JayJayDee says:
I have all but stopped buying new CDs (especially at full price). The companies seem to know that they had better churn 'em out by the dozen at a couple of £ a disc or face zero sales.

And since I despise Amazon's downloading mechanisms and bitesizes (sorry hosts) what are we buying next and how are we storing it?
Loft appears to be no longer required. For 2013 Xmas , Santa, a 5 TB hard drive the size of an encyclopaedia PLEASE.

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 17:39:30 GMT
I expect the CD will go on for many years to come but I can't remember when I last paid as much as £15 for a single disc, not even a new release. Storage is becoming a bit of a problem but I still keep buying them. I buy downloads from wherever takes my fancy, including Amazon (bought two yesterday). I store them on my PC (from where I play them); the PC is regularly backed up to an external hard-drive and I also keep a back-up of music on flash-drive. I have quite a lot of downloaded music backed-up on DVDs but have discontinued doing that. I also have a fair amount of stuff in the dreaded Amazon Cloud.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:51:45 GMT
JayJayDee says:
How does the Cloud work, Geoffrey?

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 18:01:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 18:31:58 GMT
JayJayDee says:
CD has been with us for over thirty years - which seems to be about the same period of dominance as held by the LP from c.1953-1983.
Naturally there's an overlap and always was. I didn't buy in to CDs until late '80s, but I suspect the demise of CD will be more dramatic- because of the rise of support for handheld technology among the under '30s. People won't be nostalgic about CDs like they were for vinyl because the attitude of people themselves has changed!
I just bought some £30 PC speakers and am astonished by the number of five star reviews that refer to their hi-fidelity credentials. Obviously those reviewers have become inured to the sound from free and tinny mp3 headphones and their mind is blown away by something that occupies a bit of space and goes below 100 Hz!

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 18:13:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 18:15:19 GMT
JJD: Once you register, every time you buy a download from Amazon they put it into the Cloud; it is effectively off-PC storage. You can download your purchases from their any number of times and you can also play them through your PC from there. You are also given 5GB of storage free of charge and you can upload other downloads not purchased from Amazon but you can only use it for mp3s or Kindle books (I think). You can also pay a fee and get a larger amount of storage. When you register they automatically put all your past Amazon purchases into the Cloud.

As I mainly buy mp3 downloads for historic issues or unfamiliar repertoire I don't find it a problem that you can't use the Cloud for flac etc, I store that elsewhere.

I have been looking for a decent pair of PC speakers, so far without any joy. Interesting what you say about the 5* ratings.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 18:27:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 18:37:26 GMT
JayJayDee says:
I only listen to my music through PC-linked speakers for monitoring purposes but recently upgraded from pathetical cheapos to the Creative T10s. For the simple outlay of the said thirty quidz. But I still won't use them for other than monitoring. Why would you do that when having invested in something very much more substantial for the real listening experience. But I now have to admit to doing more 'monitoring' than previously because of going down the downloading route.

I'd say that I listen to a CD as less than 5% of my listening experiences nowadays. Another 10-15% accounts for the downloading monitoring through the PC and then I return to the HiFi for the HardDrive Storage to access the other >80%.

My suspicion is that, as the market for it develops, I'll be getting a better PC HiFi Sound Card, link up the amplifier and go straight through the computer within less than five years.

As long as it ends up coming out of my B&Ws I don't really mind;-)

I don't plan on changing them anytime soon!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 20:59:23 GMT
Roasted Swan says:
I can't remember if I previously mentioned this; last Autumn I was talking to an independent engineer/producer. He uses a major CD manufacturing plant in Poland to produce the discs he records. They used to have 3 production lines working 24/7 to maintain supply. They now have just 1 line working standard "office" hours. The other 2 lines are mothballed to provide spares for the working line. when that line runs out of spares they will stop making CD's. The reckoning is that will be in 2-3 years.

I agree with Geoffrey that CD's as a medium will be around for some time if only through the Marketplace/reseller medium. How long new product will be appearing on CD as opposed to various downloadable formats: FLAC/Lossless/MP3 I suspect is much more debatable. I buy nearly all CDs but have everything copied onto an external hard-drive streaming via a dedicated good quality DAC to my hi-fi. That way I have the choice of CD quality when I want it and the ability to instantly compare discs/performances at other times.

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 21:43:04 GMT
A Pedant says:
I think there will be legislation in place soon soon to legalise the ripping of CDs to hard drive players and personal areas of the cloud as a legitimate use by a single user (not file sharers).
One thing that would concern me if I were to go down this road - or for that matter to buy heavily into downloads - is the possibility that the compressed bitstreams so many are buying or ripping may need work to ensure they are usable long into the future. Admittedly there might be an issue with the encoding on silver disc, but standards there have been more stable for longer to my mind will remain so giving a market incentive to support it.
If you've ripped and compressed and discarded the original encoding / carrier, you have destroyed some information and can't get it back legally without repurchasing it. Perhaps many don't really care because of the extra convenience of use on mobile devices, multi-room streaming and so on but it's not so long ago that people spent a lot of money on two channel sound quality.
I personally have a lot of CDs and add an ever decreasing number, mostly from marketplace sellers: there's little in the way of new releases of any remote interest, though just occasionally one of the "stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap" boxes does hit the spot. I despair of the industry and for that matter sales platforms like Amazon's feeble attempts to encourage me to spend more on new product: their recommendations are way off for a specialist collector and they call anything with a voice in it "opera" whether the repertoire is or not and whether the performer is qualified to perform it or not. All deeply sad.
Now I'm sounding old, so I'd better sign off. Regards.

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 22:22:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Feb 2013 11:52:51 GMT
JayJayDee says:
If there isn't legislation already in place that allows one to transfer one's CDs to a hard drive (or an mp3 player) for personal use then 'the law is a ass'.
I already bought a number of items in two or three different formats and see no reason why we shouldn't convert them into a domestically usable format that suits us in our own house.
I would accept that copying it by any means and selling it on for personal profit is a different matter...but that has always been the case!

What was that classic scene in Men In Black wherein Tommy Lee Jones lamented that he would have to buy the White Album all over again because some aliens had brought in a new music transport medium....?

Posted on 13 Feb 2013 09:02:17 GMT
Bruce says:
I only listen to Classical music on CD through my big "studio-monitor-style" speakers and nothing else comes close to realising the true sound of a large symphony orchestra, for example.

I think that for those who are looking for the ultimate sound quality, then CDs are the only choice and so "audiophiles" will continue to buy them and keep the market going.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2013 09:28:53 GMT
M. Elliot says:
Teufel are the greatest PC speakers I have heard.

Posted on 13 Feb 2013 09:43:18 GMT
M Elliot: Thanks I will take a look

Bruce: You ought to know that 'audiophiles' only listen to vinyl; digital media (all of it) is cold, sterile, synthetic,etc, etc, - every single digital recording ever made.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2013 19:17:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Feb 2013 19:25:38 GMT
JayJayDee says:
CDs are no different to flac, though, Bruce. And you can get flac downloads of the 24 bit recordings, where they were recorded with that level of resolution. See Chandos or BIS websites.
Since I commenced hard-drive storage it has been a very small step from transferring my own CDs to .wav or .flac files to downloading .flac files. Dispensing with the artifact altogether represents no loss when you can download the booklets and read them in proper size print on a backlit screen!
Surely the use of space consumed by our software has been continuously declining from the days of 78s, through 33s and then the 5 inch CD... and it's only a natural progression now for them to consume only data space on a ridiculously small hard drive?.
By the way it's possible to load a Walkman (16GB) .mp3 player with WAV files of true CD quality (not 320 kbps files). And listen to up to 24 hours of the music at CD quality through Sennheiser 650 -or similar- headphones, and get an almost perfect HiFi experience! With less than a kilogram of equipment.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2013 19:23:45 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Tongue how far in cheek, Geoff!
"Audiophools" is how I spell when that I hear that nonsense spouted! I saw a thread elsewhere on Amazon where vinyl-philes admitted making CD-R recordings immediately they bought a precious £20 vinyl (to preserve it from inevitable deterioration) and another comment where it was admitted that the 'vinyl-sound' can now be obtained from CDs by playing them through some software that (laughably) adds the colouration favoured by vinyl-philes!

Hi Fi it aint!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 10:23:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2013 10:24:56 GMT
Bruce says:
Quite the opposite! I remember vinyl - it was terrible for classical music - it sounded like you were listening behind a heavy curtain and when I got CDs it was like lifting that curtain!

Plus all my vinyl albums jumped or distorted in the loud moments with big choirs and orchestras! :-(

CD has a far wider dynamic range than vinyl and with classical, it sounds far more like the concert hall experience than vinyl ever did.

Vinyl is all about nostalgia by those who like rock music and yearn for the big sleeves and the analogue compression and distortion it imparted to rock albums - they grew up with vinyl and it made the music sound better when it limited the dynamic range - made the band sound "tighter". Classical musicians don't need any help like that, though!! ;-)

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 10:52:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2013 10:53:10 GMT
I'm still paying as much as hundreds of dollars on CD sets - largely due to the continuing expense of many older opera sets. They have a tangibility and fullness of documentation completely lacking in download. I like to see my collection even if it is taking up too much room.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 11:07:07 GMT
Bruce says:
I agree - but I am also sure that CD sounds better than any download.

What is funny is that I frequent musician's forums and youngsters are constantly asking questions like : who played bass on this? That's because they only have the download, whereas I know, as I own the CD! ;-)

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 11:24:25 GMT
My posting was made tongue in cheek. There has been several discussions in the music and mp3 forums on the subject and I eventually gave up on all of them.

A few days ago I previewed the download on offer from eclassical. It was an album of Mozart Piano Sonatas played on a fortepiano by Ronald Brautigam. The combination of the fp used and the recording quality made it a very unpleasant listening experience. This is the second time in a few weeks I have encountered this. The previous occasion it was a highly praised recording of the Diabelli Variations from Andreas Steier. I was very tempted until I heard a preview. With Brautigam the instrument sounded boomy, it was the opposite for Steier. I have Steier in other recordings (CDs) and find no problems there.

As a result of listening to the Brautigam I revisited my set of Mozart Piano Sonatas from Badura-Skoda and I have been working my way through them all week. They are on LP and the discs have been flawless; the sound quality is excellent.

Needless to say I have numerous LPs where the dreaded snap-crackle-pop rears its ugly head as well ones where the CD transfer has been a vast improvement. I also have recordings where the CD transfer has been greatly inferior, most notably the Davis/Berlioz series on Philips. Most of the disappointments have come from the early days of CD remasterings.

I suppose my point is that you can't make generalisations about either medium though I certainly wouldn't want to go back to the days of having to take roughly 1-in-3 LPs back to the shop because they were defective.

With downloads I try and get flacs for new or modern releases but I am usually happy with mp3 for historical issues or for exploring out-of-the-way repertoire cheaply. I have occasionally bought mp3 sets that have been a bargain, for example, the Vanska Sibelius Symphony cycle. I had a couple of CDs from that series and the sound is marginally better but if I don't think the mp3s are sub-standard in any way, certainly not to my ageing hearing.

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 11:39:03 GMT
I think before we know it streaming will be the way most people listen to music.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 12:03:04 GMT
Bruce says:
Not me!

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 12:14:37 GMT
D. Doronron says:
Personally don't know why minidiscs didn't catch on. Fraction of the size of a CD but capable of the same quality. Alas I'm sure we'll never see them again and in just a few years the only choice will be download or nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 12:17:01 GMT
Bruce says:
I do have a Minidisc recorder and it is great for musicians to get good quality recordings of rehearsals, classes, gigs etc.

I never use it for listening to pre-recorded music and only as a tool for becoming a better musician - as long as I have enough blank discs!! ;-)

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 12:35:13 GMT
Minidiscs didn't really catch on because they were rapidly made obsolete by ipods etc. I still have a MD player/recorder and two portable players. I used MDs a lot when I lived away from home and also travelled a lot by train where they were far less bulky than CDs and cassettes. I have a large collection of discs I made but they only get a hearing when I go on holiday.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2013 13:07:22 GMT
Bruce says:
I have a classic iPod, which I use on long train journeys - but it cannot record live music in digital stereo - which is what I use the minidisc for.

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 19:35:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2013 19:54:31 GMT
Larkenfield says:
I feel that the primary reason for compression on vinyl was so listeners didn't have to toggle the volume nob down during the loud passages and toggle it up during the quieter ones, and I happen to agree with it. Compression isn't distortion and it was used so the balance of the dynamic range of the music would be appropriate when run through the typical sound system. So there was a good reason for its use and the lack of it is why some listeners of classic CDs now complain about having to toggle the volume up and down as if electronically the entire soundstage of Carnegie Hall could be approximated through two puny loud speakers by comparison (or even 5) in one's living room. Every recording media has its strengths and weaknesses and I try to understand the thinking behind the engineering. Just because CDs have an enormous dynamic range advantage doesn't mean that it should necessarily always be used. But the high-enders usually complain about any compression at all and end up having their way because they have the equipment to handle it. Perhaps I notice the difference because I grew up during the era of the lp and feel that I understand the short-comings and advantages of each recording media. ♬
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