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Are Music CDs Dying? Best Buy Stops Selling CDs (complex.com) 295

An anonymous reader quotes Complex magazine: The future of physical music isn't looking good. According to Billboard, consumer electronics company Best Buy will no longer carry physical CDs and Target may be following suit in the near future. Best Buy notified music suppliers that they will cease selling CDs at stores beginning July 1. The move is sure to hurt the already declining sales of CDs as consumers are switching to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal in large numbers. CD sales have already dropped by a sizable 18.5 percent in the past year, Billboard reports.
Billboard also reports Target has given an "ultimatum" to music and video suppliers. "Currently, Target takes the inventory risk by agreeing to pay for any goods it is shipped within 60 days, and must pay to ship back unsold CDs for credit... Target has demanded to music suppliers that it wants CDs to be sold on what amounts to a consignment basis..."

"If the majors don't play ball and give in to the new sale terms, it could considerably hasten the phase down of the CD format."
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Are Music CDs Dying? Best Buy Stops Selling CDs

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  • by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot.jawtheshark@com> on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:42AM (#56065251) Homepage Journal
    Last DRM free media: there are music executives opening bottles of champagne...
    • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:46AM (#56065265)
      I just have no need to drive to a store to hope they have a CD I want and pay more for. I'll buy on-line. I don't need to hold it in my hand before purchasing. I'll buy on line.

      But I tend to buy used CDs, rip and stash. So I'm only only indirect support for the new CD market.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

        just have no need to drive to a store to hope they have a CD I want and pay more for. I'll buy on-line. I don't need to hold it in my hand before purchasing. I'll buy on line.

        Yeah, I tend to buy online too....BUT I don't want to see CDs go away....

        How else will I get my music in a DRM free, lossless format?

        Streaming just doesn't provide high enough quality for my home stereo system, which I've built over the years for real listening times.

        mp3's are fine for the gym or car which provide horrible liste

        • I agree. I stream but its not always convenient. I like my USB in my car full of my own collection. No data costs, no fumbling on my phone, etc. More lossless download options would be nice.
        • I know that Linus Entertainment [linusentertainment.com] lets you buy albums, and songs, from the artists that they manage in FLAC format. They don't have a huge number of artists compared to the big production companies but there are some known Canadians. Every December they have 12 days in which they give an album a day away in digital format (FLAC/MP3).

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @09:03AM (#56065303) Journal
      Huh? iTunes and Amazon have been selling DRM-free MP3 and MPEG-4 AAC downloads for about 10 years now. The music industry was fairly quick to realise that DRM gives control to distributors at the expense of producers. The TV and movie industry is a lot slower.
      • The music industry was fairly quick to realise that DRM gives control to distributors at the expense of producers. The TV and movie industry is a lot slower.

        Consumers weren't yet willing to sign up to multiple services to get media when music became available for legal, paid download. Now they are, so the studios are gearing up to be the distributors. Doubtless everyone is watching the mouse quite closely.

    • I don't know of any music at all that has DRM anymore. Are you living under a rock???

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @11:12AM (#56065713)

      There's no DRM on the music* files sold in the iTunes Store.

      * videos are another story.

    • to get DRM free MP3s. eMusic comes to mind. Hell, didn't Apple remove DRM? They might have added it back. And besides, CDs aren't going away, but you won't be able to buy them at Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Good. That'll drive people to independent record stores and to concerts. Folks still want physical media. If only for the collectability. Hell, it probably won't even raise prices given the amount of profit built into a CD.
    • Huh? You can download flacs of albums from sites like 7digital.com and hdtracks.com. with NAS and backups, these will out last your CDs.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @01:49PM (#56066449)
      Unless something has changed recently, MP3 doesn't support DRM. In fact most of the audio sound formats I've encountered don't support DRM. It's not like the case with movies, where the "video file" format is actually a container containing a video file, audio file, subtitle files, chapter index, etc, and you can insert all sorts of funny ways and conditions to play it. Pretty much all the music audio file formats I've encountered are just straight audio files - compressed, but not encrypted.

      The bigger loss is that CDs, being a physical format, carried with them a perpetual license. You could bequeath your CD collection to your children upon your death. The license agreement terms for most online music/movie purchase services grant you a non-transferable license [marketwatch.com]. That is, your "ownership" of the content you've "purchased" expires upon your death. The only way to allow your heirs to inherit your music or movie or ebook or game [eurogamer.net] collection is to break the EULA and share your login and password with them before you expire.

      I expect this will be hashed out in court over the next 40 years, as the "loss" of a loved one's or relative's online media collection upon their death becomes more commonplace. People will challenge it, and the courts will have to decide if that's really how we want online "purchases" of copyrighted media to work. In the meantime, you can completely bypass the content industry's attempts to erode our ownership rights of things we've paid money for by purchasing CDs. (Or by pirating stuff - though "pirating" is probably not the right word when it's done to take back rights we should have had from the beginning.)
  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:43AM (#56065259) Journal

    ...come with a CD drive anymore, this is to be expected.

    Let's face it, you don't see anyone with a CD (Discman) anymore, unless it's the obscure retro-freak that just likes to show off old toys (like me), but seriously - most people have their music on their cellphone today, just look at all the hi-fi equipment in the store, those that are regularly sold - has a "iPhone" or some other cellphone docking feature to them. At the very least - their own streaming services and possibilities.

    It's just an impractical format today. It had 30 good years, now it's all memory - literally. CD is dead - long live the CD

    Even Blu-ray kinda died because of that, no one wants that clunky old format when you can store it all on an harddisk or simply stream it from the cloud. I gotta say - I do miss collecting DVD's for the sake of always having a hardcopy of my favorite movies, and yes - I still do have them, and a few players just in case they're unavailable in the future.

    There's both a good and bad side to this. I like services like Netflix where you can basically just browse trough a huge library of movies, no need to physically find them there and then, and just select it for viewing here and wherever I want to play them. It's very convenient, especially when it's AD free. It's not even expensive for that kind of access.

    What is sad tho, is that they can remove our favorite movies at will, some months these movies just aren't available, in cases like that - a good private collection can't be beat.

    As for music CD's, since we have perfectly good streaming services available, with pretty much every tune on the planet available on those services, the CD as a musical medium is pretty much gone.

    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @09:18AM (#56065335)

      ...come with a CD drive anymore, this is to be expected.

      Let's face it, you don't see anyone with a CD (Discman) anymore, unless it's the obscure retro-freak that just likes to show off old toys (like me), but seriously - most people have their music on their cellphone today, just look at all the hi-fi equipment in the store, those that are regularly sold - has a "iPhone" or some other cellphone docking feature to them. At the very least - their own streaming services and possibilities.

      It's just an impractical format today. It had 30 good years, now it's all memory - literally. CD is dead - long live the CD

      Even Blu-ray kinda died because of that, no one wants that clunky old format when you can store it all on an harddisk or simply stream it from the cloud. I gotta say - I do miss collecting DVD's for the sake of always having a hardcopy of my favorite movies, and yes - I still do have them, and a few players just in case they're unavailable in the future.

      There's both a good and bad side to this. I like services like Netflix where you can basically just browse trough a huge library of movies, no need to physically find them there and then, and just select it for viewing here and wherever I want to play them. It's very convenient, especially when it's AD free. It's not even expensive for that kind of access.

      What is sad tho, is that they can remove our favorite movies at will, some months these movies just aren't available, in cases like that - a good private collection can't be beat.

      As for music CD's, since we have perfectly good streaming services available, with pretty much every tune on the planet available on those services, the CD as a musical medium is pretty much gone.

      Let me sum up what all of this really means.

      No one likes privacy anymore. The only people who want to watch or listen to their form of entertainment while not being tracked, profiled, packaged and sold are those retro-freaks who still care about privacy and maintaining the concept of ownership.

      And "not expensive"? The death of physical medium is just another cut out of 1,000 cuts. In the end, this will be converted to yet another monthly rental cost that you will be forced to pay in order to access another form of entertainment. $9.99/month is cheap, right up until you realize you're paying that out to a dozen content owners every month.

      • No one likes privacy anymore. The only people who want to watch or listen to their form of entertainment while not being tracked, profiled, packaged and sold are those retro-freaks

        Or instead of flimsy obsolete physical junk or bandwidth-wasting streaming, get their music via Cpt. Anakata or via one of specialized sites [metal-tracker.com]. I then try to find a way to support the band in some way.

        Specifically: band, not that "content owner". I do consider copyright to be a crime against humanity, those lobbying for it are not going to get a single cent from me. It's the artist who needs to get financial benefits from their work.

      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday February 04, 2018 @11:08AM (#56065699) Homepage

        No one likes privacy anymore.

        Plenty of people still like privacy. There's a big difference between, "I don't care if a particular company knows what music I listen to," and "I don't care if my emails are public."

        If you buy your MP3s from Amazon or you buy the physical CDs from Amazon, they still know what music you own. The medium doesn't make a big difference in that case. Even when people bought their albums at brick-and-mortar stores, going to the same Tower Records and buying CDs with your credit card meant that the store could be tracking what music you'd purchased. People weren't only paying in cash or avoiding patronizing the same store twice out of fear that the store might compile a list of what albums they owned. People didn't care.

        And that's all it is. People don't care if Amazon or Apple or Spotify know what music they like. They want those services to know, in fact, because one of the services they offer is music recommendation-- if they know what music you like, they can tell you what other music you might like. But there's still a wide chasm between that and "not liking privacy".

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Let me sum up what all of this really means. No one likes privacy anymore.

        That would imply that they once did, but I doubt that. Offer anyone from the past century access to Netflix and Spotify and I think most people would use it, just like today. It's the technology that wasn't there yet. And I doubt most vinyl freaks care either since it started while it was competing with equally untraceable CDs, it's mostly about doing it retro style like shooting film instead of digital cameras. I don't think the past you imagine ever existed.

        And "not expensive"?

        Spotify + Netflix standard = $21/month = <3 h

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @09:19AM (#56065341) Journal
      DVD's and Blurays are still convenient for stuff (especially series) that aren't available on streaming services here. But that's more of a shortcoming of the streaming services... or rather, of the outdated regional licensing model. And that's where we need to go back to our (Dutch) old law: pirating content was allowed if there was no reasonable legal way to obtain it. "Reasonable" meaning on prevailing formats at comparable prices and conditions. Not selling your content here or holding out? Too bad, citizens may avail themselves of the material as they please. Now I don't condone piracy, but I do think it is a legitimate form of pressure on distributors to get their act together.
    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      "Since laptops and new computers does not......come with a CD drive anymore, this is to be expected."

      No, but they often come with DVD or Blu-Ray drives, which much to your surprise, read CDs.
      • No, but they often come with DVD or Blu-Ray drives...

        ... and they often don't. More and more, manufacturers are making computers with no optical media drive, or where the optical drive is optional. More importantly, I'd bet that most of those optical drives are going largely unused, even when they're there.

        • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @12:15PM (#56066003)

          And for approximately $25, you can buy a USB3.0 BD-ROM + DVD+/-RW drive the approximate size of a CD jewelbox that can also do CD-R(W).

          You don't buy CDs to listen to directly... you buy them to get a clean source that can't be arbitrarily taken away from you {n} years from now because some company decided that "for life" means "the life of our product, as we define it" (e.g., Zune), shuts down their DRM servers, and leaves you with either nothing at all, or (at best) one final, fragile copy that'll be gone forever when the shit electrolytic capacitors (or glued-in battery) dies 2 or 3 years later.

          This past Christmas, I spent a day playing with my old C64 & Vic-20. Both worked perfectly, and so did my old 1702 monitor. My old Odyssey2 (Videopac, in Europe) and RCA Studio II worked, too. It was a sobering experience when it sank in that there's probably not a single goddamn computer or game console you could buy today, put (shrinkwrapped) in a closet for ~35 years, and have ANY reasonable hope that it will actually WORK (and be usable "for real") when you power it up for the first time. Even a goddamn Nintendo 3DS refuses to let you do anything with most games until it connects to the internet & updates... once Nintendo shuts the servers down someday (like they're doing with the Wii's e-store this year), bye-bye system. Try doing anything useful with a Logitech Revue, a Zune, or a "WMV-HD" disc from ~10 years ago (Microsoft shut down their DRM servers & said 'fuck you' to customers, so they're now unplayable). This is why I'll NEVER spend money on full-priced content tied to Microsoft devices or services again, and why Google will probably never convince me to take their future media devices seriously. I'll throw down $7.99 for a used game, maybe, but never more than $29.99 (very rarely, more than $19.99), because I now assume anything I buy will be taken away 3-5 years from now & devalue it accordingly.

        • by msauve ( 701917 )
          Whoosh. The GP claimed they don't come with CDs anymore. That's not true - it's a buyer's choice.
    • It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *Compact Disc is dying

      One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *Compact Disc community when IDC confirmed that *Compact Disc market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *Compact Disc has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *Compact Disc is collapsing in complete disa

    • just look at all the hi-fi equipment in the store, those that are regularly sold - has a "iPhone" or some other cellphone docking feature to them. At the very least - their own streaming services and possibilities.

      3 or 4 years from now when those iPhone attachments and streaming services will be obsolete, I will still be able to listen to music on my CD player.

      Before you peep up saying that my CD player will stop working, I have to inform you that it's a rather old CD deck, produced before planed obsolescence engineering was as developed as today.

  • Heh, not in Japan... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theNetImp ( 190602 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:47AM (#56065269)

    That really depends on where in the world you're talking about. It still thrives in Japan because people still want the psychical medial . We still have Tower Records here and CD rentals as well.

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:48AM (#56065273)
    The reason CD sales are declining is cos because most of the content is rubbish. People are not going to buy music, if, after listening to it once, they never want to hear it again. If you look at the comments on Youtube, the 50's and 60's music gets tons of comments saying "This is amazing - I which I had been around in those days" while the new stuff has loads of views but few comments.

    Personally, I go to lots of live stuff instead of buying crap CDs that die quick.

    • Yeah, mostly this. I haven't heard any new music that I've liked enough to purchase in a couple of years. I don't see much evidence of that changing. I ripped the few thousand CD's I had and keep:

      FLAC versions around for playback on the fancy home audio system
      USB fobs with high bitrate mp3's in the cars
      A select subset of the high bitrate mp3's on my mobile phone

      The physical media is in a dusty box somewhere in the attic and will likely just get chucked the next time we move.

      • Your physical media is the proof of ownership of the license. You should not throw it away.
      • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @11:28AM (#56065767)

        Maybe I'm an old timer, but I think part of the reason for the decline in modern music is the insistence by the media companies of the solo artist, and I use the term "artist" quite loosely. A band has several personalities and they contributed to a more interesting form of music because of the different takes they had on their instruments. Modern solo artists are mainly backed by machine, who cares about machines. A band like Deep Purple (only finally finishing up, by the way, albeit with personnel changes) were masters of their instruments. Not all the old groups who lasted should have, the Rolling Stones are still a garage band.

        Even solo artists were better back in the 60's. Take someone like Sammy Davis, Jr. He could dance, sing, well he wasn't a great actor but he could get by, he played drums, he could play piano. He was a multi-talented person who was interesting because of it. Now we have Lady Gaga...who can, well I'm sure she does something, and I even like one of her songs. But she's basically boring. Any of the hip-hop "artists" are interchangeable, singing the same rhyming verse of something we are to take to be social commentary. Nothing special, it had been done to death 20 years ago.

        The only music mediums that are still interesting producing new music are progressive rock and jazz.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's called getting old. Time filters out the crap from your youth and those times seem better than they were.

        Most music was always bad, throwaway crap you wouldn't want to own. As you get older there is less and less good stuff to discover.

    • Most music made back then was rubbish too, the good stuff survived. Ease of making a and distributing music today means a flood of crap, I agree, but I still find good artists and new music I enjoy thoroughly.

      My biggest gripe with CDs historically has been pricing. They decided on a very narrow price range, regardless of the quality of the content or artist. A production of painstaking effort for months from accomplished musicians cost about the same a garage band banging out 3 chords. Makes you not want
      • Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I think back then the good stuff tended to make it into the charts, whereas today the good stuff is to be found in the fringe. The "Top 40" radio shows where they'd play the chart in reverse order were actually worth listening to. Today's chart contains at best rather forgettable fluff, at worst it's crap that makes me switch stations.
        • Well, I was never much into the charts I guess. Good news is it is so much easier to find new and good artists these days, because so much stuff is a click away.
        • It's not that there wasn't always crap. It's that the new crap is indistinguishable from the old crap, so why not buy the cheaper, older crap?

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        The thing about CD pricing.... they are still cheaper than buying digital albums, especially if you try to buy high quality files.
    • Yeah, no. Any audio content can be distributed on CD that (at least 3 9s) of human ears can hear. I have yet to see a band, from Radiohead, to Phish, to bands that only play local ~100-person venues, that doesn't have a CD of everything they've ever made.

      I love live music, but unless you have a massive and/or high-quality PA system, expert mixers who've tuned to the venue, bartender, and at least 20 friends to enjoy it with you, CD is just plain better, usually even when it's a live show. And it's always av

      • I love live music, but unless you have a massive and/or high-quality PA system, expert mixers who've tuned to the venue, bartender, and at least 20 friends to enjoy it with you, CD is just plain better, usually even when it's a live show. And it's always available. Maybe there's a niche where that's not common, but that niche isn't going to kill the CD.

        Of course live music will never be as refined as something studio produced or even live recorded and mixed. But there is nothing comparable about a live performance by a true entertainer/artist and a CD listening experience. The CD can't replicate that live experience. Of course, there are those bands that can't perform live worth a crap.

        Live performance is where the money is made these days. So at least in that vein the truly talented entertainers are making some decent money.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      This. I have plenty of CDs and DVDs, and buy them all the time... used, and very cheaply. I just don't get to choose from a full library. But there are still tons of CDs not worth having, because of all the rubbish out there. It's worse now, though, there's been almost no new music in the western world that I am interested in for at least two decades. Ditto for movies, though not quite as bad, I barely have time to watch the few that I both care about and find.

      I also have hardly been to Best Buy in over a

    • The reason CD sales are declining is cos because most of the content is rubbish.

      Oh, not this "music is bad now" horseshit again.

      People are not going to buy music, if, after listening to it once, they never want to hear it again.

      There is plenty of music from the last year that I want to hear again and again.

      If you look at the comments on Youtube...

      Oh my god.

      If you look at the comments on Youtube, the 50's and 60's music gets tons of comments saying "This is amazing - I which I had been around in those days"

  • Is this news for nerds?
    Haven't we all gone digital yet?
    Uh, iTunes? Spotify?
    I think I bought a total of 1 CD in the past 22 years, because the artist was so obscure I couldn't find it online.

    • Is this news for nerds? Haven't we all gone digital yet? Uh, iTunes? Spotify? I think I bought a total of 1 CD in the past 22 years, because the artist was so obscure I couldn't find it online.

      Died 20 years ago? Is that the reason your brand new car still comes with a CD player?

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:55AM (#56065289)

    Unfortunately, there are some of us who despise renting access to music via (yet another) never-ending subscription, and don't wish to have our entire listening activities measured, tracked, profiled, and sold to any bidder, which is exactly what happens with every other form of digital music. This is just another cut out of 1,000, leading to the Death of Privacy.

    I do find it odd that we managed to bring back to life a medium that people now pay 3x what it should cost, and often with no ability to play it (vinyl), and yet we're talking about killing CDs.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      My friend wrote a little web app that lets him search for and queue up YouTube videos of songs and play them in a background tab of his browser.

      • My friend wrote a little web app that lets him search for and queue up YouTube videos of songs and play them in a background tab of his browser.

        How do the commercials sound? Or did he pay to avoid those on that "free" service...

      • Your friend wrote last.fm?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is one good reason to always buy physical media - it can be transferred.

      I can rip my own MP3s, move them from device to device, and leave the original media to my children. When people subscribe to music services, they lose all of these rights that come with ownership.

    • The only people who like vinyl are the retro hipsters and "audiophile" douchebags who swear they can hear the difference between a $2,500 pair of Monster speaker cables and a $5 lamp cord (even though decades of double-blind listening tests conclusively prove that they cannot). Completely disregarding the absolute inability to play records while mobile, it's an inferior audio technology in terms of dynamic range, distortion, and any other measurable audio metric versus modern lossless digital formats (yes
      • "audiophile" douchebags who swear they can hear the difference between a $2,500 pair of Monster speaker cables and a $5 lamp cord

        I suppose that next you're going to tell me that my $120 ceramic cable elevators don't really make my music sound better.

        https://www.reddragonaudio.com... [reddragonaudio.com]

        • Not as much as this $10,000 "audiophile" Ethernet cable does! https://arstechnica.com/staff/... [arstechnica.com]
          • No, those $10,000 audiophile Ethernet cables don't make your music sound better, but studies have shown that they will improve your scores on Overwatch by making the bitstream more coherent and reducing lag caused by ambient gamma radiation. But you have to make sure you hook them up in the proper direction.

    • See here [apple.com]. Then there's eMusic. The music industry gave up on DRM because it wasn't worth the tech headaches. If you want lossless though you'll pay a premium, but there's no shortage of options out there for audiophiles.
    • by geek ( 5680 )

      "Unfortunately, there are some of us who despise renting access to music via (yet another) never-ending subscription"

      Dumb. Look dude, its no different than the radio. I pay the subscription to not hear the ads and the ability to change the song to whatever the fuck I want, whenever the fuck I want.

      Cling to your CD's all you like but don't try to pull this high and mighty "I'm so fucking right and you're all so fucking wrong" bullshit.

      • "Unfortunately, there are some of us who despise renting access to music via (yet another) never-ending subscription"

        Dumb. Look dude, its no different than the radio. I pay the subscription to not hear the ads and the ability to change the song to whatever the fuck I want, whenever the fuck I want.

        You don't control the content. They do. Much like Netflix, if the radio station or the artist chooses to remove their content, you've instantly lost the freedom to play "whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want." If those limitations work for you, so be it. But don't try and tell me that it's "no different" than owning the content, along with owning the player.

        Cling to your CD's all you like but don't try to pull this high and mighty "I'm so fucking right and you're all so fucking wrong" bullshit.

        There's no high and mighty bullshit here. Feel free to argue the benefits of the Death of Privacy all you want. I see it differen

    • This is just another cut out of 1,000, leading to the Death of Privacy.

      If you think that. you missed the funeral.

      We were fine with losing our privacy from paying cash for goods when we realized the immense convenience of streaming. But then we realized that if we connected our phones to the internet, we could stream anywhere we went. Then we realized that if we connected our cars to the internet, we could to it there too. Then we realized that if we were connected to the internet, we might as well be able to look things up and buy things. Then we realized that we didn't always

  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @08:58AM (#56065297)
    No, not another shiny disk. Perhaps retail store purchases of music albums, books, films, computer games and other digital content could come on a cheap-to-manufacture read-only memory (ROM) card that holds the relevant data and is about the size of an SD card, or larger, if that is cheaper to manufacture (data-density et cetera). You would get the feeling of "buying and owning something physical" that you can take home with you, loan to others, sell second-hand and so forth. But it would be a little ROM card, not a larger CD, DVD or Bluray disk that takes up a lot of shelf space and packaging. Of course you could just as easily put digital kiosks into a store that you insert a USB thumbdrive into to get your content data when you have paid for it. But a small ROM card would allow you to pick up the product, pay and leave like in the old days. It would also be kind of cool to collect such ROMs, like we used to collect floppies, especially if they are built to last - say - 50 years without losing the data. A major bonus would be PC and console game distribution in developing countries. Internet connections are seriously slow in developing countries, and many people have internet with a 25 - 50 GB a month data download cap. Downloading 30 - 50 GB games in such countries takes many hours - sometimes more than a day - and often results in blowing your monthly download cap, causing the ISP to throttle your internet speed until the beginning of the next month, leaving you with slow internet. So if somebody COULD make cheap ROMs that hold 20 - 30 GB of data a piece, game buyers in a lot of countries would definitely go for that. Another bonus could be games that don't require installing at all - just pop the ROM card into your laptop's card slot and play the game immediately. Steam downloads are horrendously painful if you have 2 - 8 MBPS internet only. ROMs would be a much quicker way to play the game you have bought. What would you rather do? Wait 22 hours for DOOM to download on a slow connection, or pop over to the local game store to get it on Mini-ROM, taking perhaps an hour and a half of your time? ROMs also solve the problem of buying an ever-growing quantity of digital content data for your home. After a few years of digital games, digital films, digital photos and smartphone video, you wind up having to keep Terabytes of data somewhere - on multiple USB harddrives for example. It might be neat to instead have a little plastic box with all your game, music, film, TV show and other ROMs in it, just as we used to have for Amiga disks or PC floppy disks for example. What you want on your PC, you copy from ROM. What you only access occasionally, you just keep in ROM form, and pop the ROM card in when needed.
    • That totally makes sense. If you really want physical media, CDs are pretty outdated. These days, you can fit an entire collection with several hundred albums on a single micro-SD card. And that's with a lossless codec. CDs are a waste of material and space.

      Part of the appeal of CDs once upon a time was that they would last a long time. They scratch easily, but if you took care of them, they were supposed to last hundreds of years. However, things didn't really work that way. Instead the industry made cheaper CDs that only lasted a handful of years.

      If we were going to stick with physical media, it'd be nice if someone were to produce a standard for cheap, compact, durable, long-lasting media that would be suitable for archival purposes. It seems to me that ideally there would be no moving parts, but also no physical connectors to wear out or break. Having enormous capacity and quick write speeds could take a back seat to redundancy and durability.

      Basically, if I'm going to pay for data on a physical medium, I want a medium that you could throw out the window of a moving car, go swimming with it in your pocket, or just stick it in a drawer for 20 years, and still have a reasonable expectation that it wouldn't lose a bit of data.

    • I imagine a single high-capacity encrypted media player with two copies of the files would work - one high quality copy with analog outputs and one lower quality copy for direct digital access that (presumably) you'd expect owners to pirate.

      It could hold music and music videos, album playlists, etc., and music stores would have the required equipment to add another song or album. And if I were doing it, I'd have the tracks and videos re-encoded at purchase with the purchaser's credit card information as a

  • I for one *do* purchase CDs (especially for artists who have died) Granted, they may have passed on, but hey, in my time of need their voice was there. Whether it be Cobain, Chris Cornell, Pennington, or Layne Staley or Bowie, my purchase must mean something to the rest of their respective bands, or their families or estates.

  • I suspect in the longer term, physical media for CDs will be available only on demand for those who do not want the sound of lossy music. The main reason for the popularity of non-physical media is convenience. The question is: will those who like streamed music acquire a sense for higher-quality music sources, and will there be enough of those people to support distribution of that higher quality music source? There's a reason for the resurgence of vinyl records.
  • They died years ago.

  • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @10:04AM (#56065497)

    There is nothing quite like a good well-structured album. That's one of many things that is missing from the top 40 today. Artists make collections of songs. They don't make albums.

    • Why would they bother when the music won't be experienced as an album? Users can buy only the tracks they're interested in, order them as they see fit, or put them on a play list mixed with other music. Artists made creative use of the limitations imposed by LP's and CD's. Now that those limitations have been removed there's no point in putting the effort into structuring the material for formats it won't be experienced in.

      As an old-timer I understand what you're saying about the album experience, and I mis

  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @10:31AM (#56065591)

    WalMart is likely the targets CD retailer in the US (I saw likely as I cannot find hard data but they have been in the past IIRC) what they decide is likely to have a major impact on CDs in the US. At any rate, CD sales are declining along with overall album sales in any media. Digital represented about 505 of sales in 2016 vs. 34% for physical media. Of digital, 59% was streaming, the first time it was greater than 50% and drove the 18% increase in digital sales. It seems buyers are more interested in buying songs rather than albums in most cases; with album purchase dominated by older titles; which makes sense if you look t US retailers shelves you see a lot of older albums and a few new ones, mostly from big names.

    What's old is new again, as buyers have streamed to single songs, harkening back to the old days of 45's.

  • Maybe it's different in the US, but here in Canada, Best Buy has evolved into a chrome plated appliance store with phones, video gaming, cameras, computers, audio (in that order) with any technology at least a year old and marked down.

    They do know *their* market, but I don't see any indication that they're working to a trend, instead they're looking at floor space and where they can make the most money.

  • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @11:13AM (#56065717)

    MP3s tend to have inferior sound quality to a CD. It is noticeable. The heavy compression throws out a lot of data. You have lossless formats such as FLAC or Wavpac which never caught on. Wavpack is nice because you can split the file into a lossy file you can copy to a device and an additional smaller file that contains additional data for lossless play. As others have mentioned the decline of CD has other problems relating to DRM. Will audiophiles keep CDs alive. Lets hope so.
      There was a resurgence in record sales due to perceived characteristics of that platform, hopefully audiophiles will also keep the CD alive in a similar manner.

    The other factor in all of this is that there is not much, I would say, no music that comes out of Hollywood these days that even warrants a poorly encoded MP3, not to mention CD, since such music is not worth listening to at all. Nearly all mass market music produced out of hollywood belongs in the trash, or the recycle bin directory to make room for more valuable data. Of course, there is still older music such as classical music, jazz, beatles etc where the use of CDs is still very important for people being able to get a quality recording of such masterpieces.

    Some have said vinyl doesnt have the same nostalgia of CD. But the fact is CD has long been an audiophile choice because of the high fidelity and the resistance to mechanical abrasion and wear. A stamped CD will last for decades of continuous use whereas a record will suffer from wear and tear. Remember that audiophiles have invested big bucks, we are talking a thousand dollars, in high end CD players such as Pioneer Elite and Marantz for high end CD play. Even on an el cheapo $30 player, the difference in CD quality from vinyl and MP3 is real and noticeable. You dont get the same dynamic range and the same lossless, artifact free play back from an MP3 to drive your tweeters and subwoofers.

    • I've got literally one mp3 where the CD was noticeably better, out of... lots. mp3s are good enough to where playing them on a better stereo or with better headphones will reveal detail you've never experienced in the song, I have that experience all the time here. I wear Sennheiser HD420s hooked up to an M-Audio Mobile Pre, on a filtered USB port...

  • There's also new kinds of artists, such as Wintergatan [youtube.com], who's like a modern Da Vinci.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @11:34AM (#56065787)
    No, they're not "dead". I buy them regularly. I've never bought a CD at "Best Buy", so I really couldn't care less what they sell or don't sell. Best Buy is clearly a poorly run business run by people who make poor decisions.
  • by rjnagle ( 122374 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @11:59AM (#56065915) Homepage

    I hear you that cds are a technology past its due date.

    But public libraries can buy, store and lend physical media easily and not have to deal with DRM or licensing restrictions.

    Patrons can check out CDs and then decide to rip from them in the privacy of their own homes. Totally legal too.

    Ironically, the ripping habit (which I admit I have) leads me to buy a lot of digital music that I never would have learned about otherwise.

    Even if CDs stopped being sold tomorrow, there are still lots of indie/fringe CDs out there which aren't being sold digitally anywhere. Don't believe me? Go to a garage sale or used CD/DVD store and count the number of CDs still unknown to most of the musical world.....

  • napster ist the problem npot thes E millential kids using modern downloadin and streamin services. napster is the probmelm. RESIST FELLOW EXECS RESISTS
  • It couldn't happen to a sleazier bunch of shitbags.

    Yes, it's not a panacea to consumers.

    But there's just SO! MUCH! SCHADEFREUDE! at how these greed, grasping fucksticks have basically painted themselves into a corner in the last 40 years.

  • Like, I know!

    I was SO upset when they stopped selling wax cylinders for my Gramaphone, now it's CDs!

  • by knorthern knight ( 513660 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @01:30PM (#56066369)

    The rock/pop music market was dominated into the late 1970's / early 1980's by kids buying "hit singles" on 45-rpm format, for approximately $1. Then the corporations got effing greedy and told you that you could only get the one popular track by paying $20 or $25 for a CD that had that track... plus a dozen other pieces of crap you didn't care about. "Music sales" cratered. Well... like... dohhhh. Let's blame piracy.

    It wasn't until Apple came out with 99-cent single tracks that music-buying picked up again, beacuse kids with limited allowances could buy a song, rather than having to purchase "the bundle".

    This is very similar to cable TV today. Try getting just your favourite channels, without paying for a bunch of crap that you don't want. That's the CD equivalant. Specialized streaming services are the equivalant of single tracks on Itunes or Google Play.

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Sunday February 04, 2018 @01:37PM (#56066401) Journal
    There are still music stores around, they sell CDs, why would you go to Best Buy for that anyway?

    However I have been and will continue to be of the opinion that all of you who pay for 'streaming' services are fools. You're encouraging a world where you OWN NOTHING. It's not just media, if you haven't noticed: Barriers to owning a home, and not just financial; things like HOAs making it difficult to impossible for the average person. Car 'leasing' instead of purchasing (and you're still paying for maintenance). Shit companies like Microsoft, pushing 'subscriptions' instead of letting you own a copy of software. And so on. Don't deny it's happening like so many of you deny so many other things that you said would never happen, only to find a few years later they did.
  • But, I miss the lossless DRM free no bullshit format etched on them. I've never bought any music online, most of it is low quality lossy and some even DRM.

    But there must be some demand for this? I came across "Tidal" for streaming which looks promising, but is there anywhere you can actually buy lossless stuff or am I relegated to piracy in an age where everything where the whole pipeline is designed for shitty earbuds and iPhones?

  • But reality is different. There have been times that I wanted to listen to some music that I own on CD or vinyl, and I was at work, so I just downloaded it. Sigh

    Apple wins this round.
  • Vinyl will outlive CDs

  • Seriously, I go there every now and then to buy the latest Pixar (or Disney, if it is worth it) Blu-Ray. Last one was Cars 3 a couple of months ago.

    The shelves (all the shelves, not just media) are bare. Product is arranged in a manner reminiscent of a bad comb-over. You can tell at a glance it's a sick store. Has the same desperate air of death as the local R/C store before it died.

    I get it, CD and Blu-Ray are not the primary method of content aqcuisition for Most People.

    I wager those who read here are

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