Are the Compact Disc's commercial troubles a good or bad thing for audiophiles?

Stereophile's picture
Its imminent demise has been reported for months by a variety of sources, from major labels to consumers. Are the Compact Disc's commercial troubles a good or bad thing for audiophiles?
Are the Compact Disc's commercial troubles a good or bad thing for audiophiles?
It's a good thing
15% (16 votes)
It's a bad thing
57% (59 votes)
Doesn't really matter
28% (29 votes)
Total votes: 104
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Comments
Jim Merrill's picture

I am concerned because I worry about what will replace CDs. I am loath to suffer quality erosion from compressed formats available through downloading. I am reluctant to embrace new hi res formats after getting the bum's rush from SACD and DVD-Audio. Not to mention other passing enthusiasms littering the wayside like HDCD and XRCD.

Casey's picture

Mutiny

Yiangos's picture

There is not enough room here to discuss this but the short version is yes, it is a bad thing! Personally, I'll keep purchasing LPs no matter what will replace CDs.

Tilmann Mahkorn's picture

Every disc concept will pass in the not too distant future, I'm afraid. The real bad thing is that one cannot download high-rez stuff from the Internet as the net will be the source to come for music and movies alike.

Erik Leideman's picture

It is bad since CDs are not selling well, nobody will really make a real effort with SACD, which should really be the way to go. But oh well, with the thousands of CDs, LPs and 78s I own, and a couple of hundreds of SACDs, to listen once again to all those will keep me busy yet a few decades, so should I really bother? It's those people who do not yet have a collection that will suffer and will have to try to keep up with MP3 sound quality.

Carter's picture

Bad, bad, bad. The next stop is MP3 downloads for most music and higher-rez downloads for a small percentage of stuff, or higher-rez downloads at much higher prices. This is to be feared. Long live "perfect sound forever."

Eric's picture

Right now it's better than several alternatives. The current state of digital downloads leaves much to be desired from a quality standpoint, and SACD and DVD-A have failed, so what alternative do we have?

Jim Tavegia's picture

It is a bad thing if quality matters. I went out to possibly buy a CD or two today and was totally turned off by the $18.99 price of many CDs from artists I was interested in. When I can drive less than thrity minutes into Atlanta and have 1000 retail ready CDs duplicated for $1 a piece this is ludicrous. No wonder downloading is winning the battle, but loosing the quality war...if any one really cares that is in the music business these days.

Perry Noblett's picture

If they come out with a better medium it will be progress. If they don't, the market will drive the industry to keep CDs available. Either way the consumer should benefit. It is, after all about parting us, the consumers, from our money.

Billy's picture

I think it's a bad thing in that the recording industry will likely have a knee-jerk reaction and likely chose an incompatible format, which might require new playback hardware. The other thing is that the majority of the public, whom is happy with lower-quality download recordings may influence the recording industry to release even lower-quality recordings.

df's picture

The music industry has been shooting itself in the foot for years, but ultimately it's the consumer that suffers. The CD is a fine format, and though it's great to download a song here and there, the demise of the album as a coherant collection of music would be a bad thing. I was thrilled at the advent of the SACD and DVD-A, but despite some really steller releases, both formats have flopped in the States. We need good artists, and despite our distate with record compnays, those artists need the money and distribution network to get good music out there. The problem is not if consumers will buy, but if the record companys will provide the consumer with what they want (good music at a reasonable price).

oliverstoned, progarchives.com's picture

What's bad is that CDs (especially rock ones) are over bumped (compressed) and so they are unlistenable if you have a subwoofer.

OvenMaster's picture

It's worse than a bad thing, it's a catastrophe, IMHO. What will the mass-market replacement for CD be that you can walk into a store and carry out with you? Will record labels start offering uncompressed music downloads without DRM that we can burn to a CD at home? If not, then the demise of commercial CD is a very, very, very bad thing.

Laine Browning's picture

Eventually a CD shop will be as rare as a great vinyl shop. Especially in smaller towns and cities.

Tom Warren's picture

I think good audio will always find a way.

Roland's picture

It's not bad for just audiophiles, though—it's bad for everyone who wants to choose what they listen on and, to some degree, when they wish to listen to it. I think things like the Squeezebox and other digital music servers illustrate that sound quality can be accounted for—it's a matter of availability.

Louis P.'s picture

There aren't anough audiophiles to make a difference to the big labels. Just as vinyl hasn't died out, the CD will be with us for years to come.

Dirk De Taey's picture

Today, the CD is the mass market medium for an artist to reach the public with a complete album. Downloading only the "best"—in other words the most accessible numbers of an album—will be a major hurdle for artists to develop and grow their creative abilities writing music which might sound more complicated at first hearings, but when taking the efforts to really listen further and thorough, really bring forward the magical qualities of great artists.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

The death of a medium, if it happens, doesn't mean the death of music, or the death of the music industry. It might even be the start of a cult following! Imagine looking back to CDs with nostalgia, like we do now with the LPs. On second thoughts, it sounds rather silly, doesn't it?

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