Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


This just in – CD’s going away

Filed under : Music
On March 3, 2009
At 10:30 pm
Comments : 6

I know, you heard it here first. But seriously, you know how much I am a champion of the actual physical CD. The better sound quality, the artwork, the way your friends can see your cool taste all on the shelf, the way you can’t lose them even when your iPod falls into the subway tracks (no, actually, I back up, thank you, Jebus). And yet, I’ve had several indicators recently that I will soon stop buying most CD’s. Ladies and gents, my evidence:

1. I moved offices this week and realized I never listen to any CD’s at all. Most were actually unreachable and I never noticed. My computer is hooked up to my stereo at work, and I just listen to stuff on my PC or hook up my iPod. I told the facilities people not to bother installing CD racks in my new office. I may regret this as I still get most of our new music on CD. But whatever.

1a. I shipped the CD’s I wanted home. They arrived today…. there are over 300 and I have no idea where I will put them. Since my shelves at home are full as it is, I will probably rip them onto a hard drive and throw them away.

2. Today, there was a special deal at Amazon where U2’s new album was available for $3.99. I used to be a huge U2 fan and had posters all over my walls at about War and Unforgettable Fire time. Achtung Baby is still one of my favorite albums. I even liked Pop. I wasn’t so hot on the last two CD’s but I still own them. The only thing that made me hesitate in buying this one was that it might blow. I didn’t worry at all about not having the physical specimen. So strange for this Gen-X’er.

3. Tower closed. Circuit City is closing. Borders is vastly reducing their music inventory. Now, both NY Virgin Megastores are closing. Soon, Best Buy will be the only place anywhere near me to actually buy a CD. I’ve already bought one download album because of it, Animal Collective. I wanted it the day it came out and knew Amazon would take two days (I have Prime) for free shipping. Where the hell else would I be able to get it? At 11:59pm the night before release, I refreshed and refreshed, until the mp3’s became available, and then I had my own midnight sale. Remember those? Remember record stores? It honestly makes me cry, but y’know, I’m glad to have the Internet. I don’t think I’d trade.

In conclusion, the new U2 album is worth four dollars.

U2 – Get On Your Boots


6 Comments for this post

  1. jane says:

    I played “Get On Your Boots” instead of doing a real jobsite safety meeting this morning.

    Also, the last 2 Rosanne Cash albums were in my hands the day that they came out. I am a Prime member and I pre-ordered. Don’t know if those were just a fluke, they are the only CDs I bought in CD form in years. They both arrived by 9 am on release date.

  2. Becca says:

    They don’t have that for all CD’s, unfortunately, and they didn’t deem Animal Collective to be in Harry Potter territory, alas. I did try.

  3. sarpon says:

    And you know, if you really want a CD, you can burn the music to a CD. Yeah, I know, sound quality, yada yada yada. But CDs don’t sound as good as vinyl (according to what I’ve read; my records were always scratched somewhere and I never had a really good stereo so I never got that whole reverence for vinyl thing).

    Someone in some nursing home is still mourning the passing of the Victrola, I’m sure.

  4. Becca says:

    That defeats the whole purpose! Who can see your cool taste in music on one of those blank CD spines?

  5. Mike says:

    CDs will be around for awhile. Instead of buying stuff from the iTunes store I buy them used for $4 and rip them, then dump them (or keep good ones). Think of all the free collections people are going to give away in the next few years. I remember when people literally could not give away entire LP collections. I remember my uncle begging me to take his 500 LP record collection which I did. My friends thought I was nuts. Now, half of those records are worth over $100 each (if I wanted to sell them).

  6. Becca says:

    Oh definitely, they will be around for a while. I didn’t mean today or else I’d probably be unemployed as unlike many people at record labels (I did say “record” labels), my job description does depend very much on physical product.

    But we’re talking about apples and oranges here. I’m talking about CD’s being produced in a factory and sold and you’re talking about CD’s which already exist. Nothing will happen to the latter, although they will probably degrade over time.

    I meant, fewer and fewer will be created. And that’s why LP’s can bring a lot of $$ on eBay, because so few are being produced right now.

    For hard evidence on this, rather than my anecdotal tripe, you can see this article:

    but it can be summed up with this line, “NPD’s Digital Music Study, an annual tracking study covering the music industry, also revealed that there were nearly 17 million fewer CD buyers in 2008 compared to the prior year.”

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