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

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

Cihangir Güzey's picture

As the prices of CDs will drop more, it will be possible to purchase more and more albums for achival purposes.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

I think an audiophile takes whatever format in fashion and refines it. If CDs fall out of common use, audiophiles will tweak the media that follow. And conservatives will stick to their superior CDs !

Tony P., Arlington, VA's picture

If the CD stops being commercially viable, the only remaining possibility for the record companies would be to embrace online distribution wholeheartedly and attempt to make it profitable. But there are still some of us out there who like packaging, and who like to read the liner notes on paper while sitting in our listening chairs, not on a computer screen at our desks.

Nodaker's picture

I don't want the stinking downloads. They better keep putting out the hard copy or I'll stop buying new stuff. I have enough CDs and LPs to last a lifetime already. I will never purchase a download. Period.

One crying in the wilderness's picture

Commercial troubles are always a bad thing for both businesses and consumers. It's certainly not good for those of us that appreciate this format and spent big bucks on our CD players/Transports/DACs. It's not good news for those high-end designers that are trying to sell their highend transports, DACs, and players when that format may disappear. A CD costs a buck to make; How is it that they can't make money on this product? Maybe the cost of video is killing the audio! I think if we go download only, it's not good for artists either because instead of selling an entire CD of their work, they may have one or two songs from their concept album downloaded while the other ten songs are ignored. Before Tower records closed, their CDS were priced around $16.99 to $18.99. I need to know why? If we can't vote on it, then who cares? We'll have to survive and prosper with our MP3s until the next revolution.

MIke Agee's picture

DACs have finally improved to the point where the sound is viable by most any standard. Funny that that would coincide with the supposed end of CDs, or maybe sad is the better word. Do the majority of serious music lovers really prefer scrolling through bland cuneiform columns of digital files to getting up and perusing growing rows of beautiful cover art, laying their hands on the chosen one, and forever associating the images, graphics, and weight with the message of the music? This one doesn't, any more than he wants to entrust his collection to the whims of a hard drive.

Dave in Dallas's picture

I think "imminent demise" is a bit hysterical. It's not as though your CDs, or records for that matter, will suddenly stop working. The challenge for audiophiles will be transferring CD or record collections onto media servers in a high-quality file format. That can be a time consuming undertaking for anyone with large collections of music. The challenge for the music industry seems to be providing music in high-rez formats at a price point attractive enough to create significant demand.

Chris V.'s picture

The vast majority of music available to consumers is only on CD (made up stat, probably true). New, higher quality formats (SACD, DVD-A) have stumbled. The viable alternatives in the current market are inferior. Ergo...

Al Marcy's picture

Bidness ain't Music. Thank heaven! My wax cylinder record/playback restoration becomes more interesting ...'s picture

People will have their music they way they want it.

Peter Burchell's picture

Sounds okay for about five minutes, then loss of interest. Musically uninvolving, I would rather listen to an old analog cassette on my car stereo.

Jared Gerlach's picture

I feel that the CD/music industry down slide is a bad thing. The compact disc is such a ubiquitous part of my music collecting and habits that, even if high-rez downloads become more common, it will be very strange for me not to go to a "record" store and flip through discs.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I suspect that so long as a medium can be sold, it will be. I suspect a mixed bag. We may get more software in high res formats as CDs go to the specialty markets, but prices will inevitably rise.

tommy's picture

Does it really matter? Judging from last week's question, a very small percentage have great performances on great sounding recordings. If that's really the case, then why do we obsess so much over our equipment? Is it so that we can hear how bad our recordings and performances are?

Wes's picture

I think the death of a physical medium would force record labels to pursue the Internet as a primary avenue of distribution. This would hopefully result in full resolution downloads instead of the rubbish MP3s being foisted upon us now.

Aden's picture

I don't think it matters. Audiophiles will find a way to have ultimate sound quality, no matter what the source.

Glenn Bennett's picture

A lot of good music is still available. It's just not new music. The problem with the music business is that there is very, very little good music for adults to buy. Look what happens when someone like Nora Jones comes along. She appeals to a large adult audience and sells a zillion copies! You would think it would start a trend. Why hasn't that happened?

craig's picture

It has had a 26 year run so far but I hope any reports of its demise are premature. A well recorded CD, not always easy to find, meets my needs for a quality listening experience.

Andrew Maher's picture

I recently read that the Philadelphia Orchestra is preparing for the day when computer technology will cope with 24/96 downloads. If download technology goes in the direction of higher quality material, the passing of the compact disc should not be a problem.

Peder's picture

A true audiophile listens to vinyl anyway.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

New services like PressPlay, MusicNet and the revamped, commercialized Napster aim to give consumers all the convenience of current file-swapping technologies, with the addition of digital rights management (DRM) technologies to prevent unauthorized copying, not to mention a healthy monthly subscription fee. Once the first-generation file-sharing services are sued out of existence, case closed.

amplitron's picture

There is no replacement of the CDs at this moment. With the demise of CD there will not be a standard format for recorded music portable between the devices.The prices of music will go up. Audiophiles may be happy, but music lovers will suffer.

fredh's picture

I don't see any basis for the "demise" of the CD format. The recording industry has not been able to generate broad support for any suitable replacement format. SACD, DVD-A, and now Blueray? I foresee only limited success for these. Since the inception of the CD format (in the early 80's?) it has taken 15-20 years for the music industry to get the most out of the CD, and even then, it has been the small labels (Chesky, Pope, Mapleshade, etc) that have most fully exploited the medium. Would that the major labels would take full advantage of a new, high-rez format's potential? Or would they take a bottom-line approach based on uninspired talent, low quality recordings, and higher-than-ever prices? Their track record here has been lousy.

Diss Moed's picture

Good thing, bad thing, doesn't matter? Are these the only possible outcomes? I'll still have all my LPs whatever happens.

Dave M.'s picture

I think the biggest drawback to the current trend in music is its all driven by singles. We seem to be in danger of losing the "album." How many times has your favorite song on the LP ended up being something other than the single?

IRV's picture


AlexT's picture

Afraid that we will end up with low quality MP3 with built-in DRM for one hand and Blue-Ray or HD for the other with corresponding high price and inability even to share in your own home between multiple systems.

Phil's picture

Either way there will be a format for recorded music.

Pierre Laliberté's picture

Within a few years, music on a physical support will be something of the past. Youth, the big consumer of recorded music, prefers to listen to inferior downloaded music; the time is near when it will be possible to download the equivalent of SACD. That will be the end of the CD.

Brett's picture

still too many cd's in existence. keep it around