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CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012

You read it well. The major labels plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012 (or even earlier) and replace it with download/stream only releases via iTunes and related music services. The only CD-formats that will be left over will be the limited edition ones, which will of course not be available for every artist. The distribution model for these remaining CD releases would be primarily Amazon which is already the biggest CD retailer worldwide anyhow.

3 weeks ago we heard it for the first time and since then we have tried getting some feedback from EMI, Universal and Sony. All declined to comment.

http://www.side-lin…"]CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012 - Industrial Music news at SIDE-LINE.COM[/]="http://www.side-lin…"]CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012 - Industrial Music news at SIDE-LINE.COM[/]

Personally I won't miss this one bit. Online audio is the best thing to happen to the music business since electronics. We are all connected now.


RemyRAD Fri, 02/15/2013 - 11:36

I have mixed feelings about that. People still like to have something in their hand. Though, as natural resources become more scarce, it makes perfect ecological sense. I've been talking about getting a USB memory chip duplicator to augment my CD/DVD duplicator. But being virtually out of business, no plans in the works for the USB duplicator. Though I've also thought about obtaining a low-power FM transmitter so I could actually transmit what's going on inside, from the truck? And where folks can tune into what's going on inside as they enter the parking lot. And when they come out for a smoke, they wouldn't miss anything if they hopped in to their car. And I have as yet to put that in place also? Maybe never?

Searching for a new shtick
Mx. Remy Ann David

dvdhawk Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:19

No big surprise there.

Bands that still do their own merchandising at live shows will be the last hold-out selling physical CDs I guess.

Ironically, I believe it was the CD format shift in the early 80s that hurt live local music in this area as much as any economic or regulatory factors.

Regardless of a person's like/dislike of CD sound quality - very few were DJ'ing prior to CDs. Logistically it was a lot more difficult with bulky vinyl LPs, and required more skill. And of course even when they dropped the needle in the right spot, there was only so loud they could go without the vibrations feedingback through the tonearm. Although I totally get the attraction of keeping las chicas dancing, I personally never had any interest in going to hear someone spin records. I could drop a quarter in the jukebox, or stay home and listen to the radio for that. But at least with vinyl, mobile DJ'ing took a strong back and a certain level of commitment to do it well. So, that part of it was something I could relate to on some level as a working musician.

CDs made it so any moron with a pair of speakers and a couple $50 Sony Discmans could get work as a DJ. Today the aforementioned morons can take their entire catalog of largely illegally downloaded mp3s on laptops and iPods and get paid about the same as a band - so the store-bought CD isn't even a part of that equation anymore either.

If I was strictly in it for the money, I'd take my very nice JBL club rig and break it into 10 mobile DJ systems and find 10 morons of my own to run them - stay home and cash the checks. Thank God I don't need the money that badly.

I know that was a bit of a tangent, but I do support live local music and buy their CDs when I like what they're doing.

kmetal Sat, 02/16/2013 - 00:27

cds were terrible, they were made to break. it was too easy to scratch one, i bought 'sublimes' sublime' cd 4 or 5 times for 15 bucks. i say humbug. i'm proud of my collection of cds. now it's fidelity. mp3..sells millions. wait till the 'cool kid' finds even 16bit 44.1 streaming practical. enter streaming match.. this is the duldrums of audio as were gonna know it i think (when i think it hurts), regular everyday computers can handle soo much more than cd quality. quality will avail, technology is just ctaching up. data compression won't be out of style, but the tangible element will, regardless of quality. no? the song is the same, the medium is different, no big deal. okay now it's thru space, awesome. i'm down w/ people being able to hear what i recorded instantly. since they are comparing my, and everything else they hear thru the same playback apparatus (phone laptop studio) it's a leveled playing field.

i don't hate my modest 5.1 cable feed. it's up to people to show why high quality is worth it, instead of bickering about which format the quality is achieved thru. Artists will still sell their packages, you are'nt digi tizing a concert tee, so touring is still a relavent thing, for some. i think it's a cool thing that a decent band doesn't have to give up their whole family life to be recognized.

why at his point, should a studio have to release something less than their quality. digital has certain standards, why veer from that, now that 'everyone' has the capability.?

Thomas W. Bethel Sun, 02/17/2013 - 03:06

I like to have physical media in my hand and not on some hard disk or even worse on some cloud server but that is probably just me.

I think the end of the CD will also be the death bell for a lot of smaller and medium sized mastering operations. People seem to feel that they don't need mastering if they are only putting up individual tunes on the WWW. One nice thing about going to a pro mastering engineer was that he or she could take a lot of individual songs that may have been recorded in different studios at different times and make them sound cohesive on the CD.

I also think that MP3s are really gross to listen to but again that is just me.

Only time will tell what will happen if the CD does become "extinct" but I really don't think it is a good thing to have happen.

anonymous Sun, 02/17/2013 - 04:45

I'm with Thomas on this one. Yes, uploading MP3's is a convenient and quick way to get your music to the masses. And I'm not even really against that part, either...

what I find discouraging is just what Thomas said in regard to the lack of mastering on so many of these uploads... and by "lack of mastering" I'm also including within this descrription the people who decide to forego a professional's touch and try to do it themselves. In many cases it would be better if they just left the track unmastered completely - as opposed to doing it themselves, with the limited-to-no knowledge so many of them have in regard to the craft of mastering, thinking that "mastering" simply means to just make it as loud as possible, or automatically reaching for a 30:1 limiter; squashing the dynamics and sonics into a cacophonous mess resembling the remains of a bug on a windshield. ;)

And, I think there are people who still like to hold a product in their hands. Bands at gigs are better off selling CD's right then and there if people are in the mood to buy right then and there, as opposed to waiting for someone to download it later - if they even remember to do so after the booze haze from the night before has lifted. LOL.


RemyRAD Sun, 02/17/2013 - 23:40

I think we'll see CDs around for quite some time to come. And here's why: it's obvious to me that there are a lot of people in the world today still enjoying vinyl. In some places, vinyl is enjoying a small resurgence. There are still people using and enjoying their cassette recorders. And there are still lots of people, who enjoy music, that don't use or enjoy using computers and are also not much on the Internet. And there is the physicality of holding and owning something you have purchased. And people still dig the printed J card inserts and/or vinyl album jackets. I know plenty of people that have framed many of those to hang up as art in their homes. It wasn't a download they needed to print out on photographic inkjet/laser paper on their printers. And while television may have gone digital, have ya noticed we still have FM and that original thing they discovered at the turn of the 20th century called radio? And that's still 100% analog. What's to keep the FM stations from simply broadcasting MP3/4 data streams instead of this nonsense analog FM audio? I mean that already exists under the trademarked moniker " HD Radio ". Of which there is nothing HD about it. But a trademarked name they hold a patent on. It's MP3 streaming data on that previous SCA 38 kHz subcarrier. The same subcarrier that used to carry Muzak by subscription. Today, Sirius XM don't need to be on that subcarrier anymore as they deliver by Internet. And then of course that HD Radio is still going to have high compression digital artifacting. And what makes that HD? A beautiful example of no truth in advertising. It's a trademarked moniker with a patented algorithmic codec delivery method. And so it's very easy for people to assume of course it is High Definition Digital, which it is not. And they would neither know or hear the difference if they fell over it.

And then there are all of those local bands working all of those local bars and they will be around for quite some time to come. They make additional income by selling their latest creations at their gigs. What are you going to do sell them a serial number to download? And they're going to walk out having spent their money with nothing in their hand and nothing to listen to on the trip home, to enjoy. So I think you are wrong in your broad ranging, assumptions because of your superlative and highly keen hearing and dedication of listening to and producing highly refined, state of the art and esoteric production techniques and monitoring? You're not really being realistic even on 99% of the publics own playback systems. I mean it's one thing to produce a product such as yours with your high level of integrity and delivery of only the finest product. And just because CDs are 16-bit, 44.1 kHz does not necessarily indicate its demise. As that specification still far exceeds that of most consumer playback systems. I mean 24-bit at 88.2/96/192 are simply the high quality masters you are producing for your clients. Nobody else gives a damn about audio except for you and a handful of engineers around the world. And where FM has not gone digital yet because there is no extra actual profit margin in doing so for any of the auto manufacturers. Making it even less of a reason for FM radio stations to convert to a format for which there are no receivers made to receive it. And where in a car, you're not even going to hear the difference between high definition or low definition highly compressed digital audio at 60 mph with your windows down on a summer day. And it sure as hell ain't going to make any difference to a 15-year-old with ear bug's plugged into their smart phone/iPhone/iPod/tablet. So why are you predicting what you are predicting while trying to force through your agenda? You know there is a point where good is in fact good enough. And so, with the world taking a more ecological view and a financial rollback, you're way maybe as readily adopted and embraced as 3-D television is today. Of which I think, I know, one person with a 3-D TV.

And while all of the manufacturers are pushing towards this Cloud nonsense and iTunes deliveries, with a strong emphasis and push for DRM (Digital Or rights Management), will be about as successfully protected as trying to copy code protect CDs or commercially purchased videos were. In fact it may actually make things sound even worse? Because people who will not be able to forever save what they paid a price to download and listen to for a finite amount of time, will quickly become savvy by getting an adapter cord, which they will quickly discover will allow them to plug this cord into the output of their soundcard and go right back into the input of their soundcard, to copy their music through the analog and highly professional sounding built in, $12 soundcards. And we all know what that's going to sound like. And they'll still get posted on the Internet through other people that don't quite follow the rule of law, in other countries. China and others comes to mind, of what little mind I have left. And just like the VCR destroyed the movie business. Funny how they keep producing those things? So Chris, I think all of that lead-based solder in your equipment, is starting to affect your mind? Just like those children like to eat the paint off of their windowsills in their bedrooms. And of course every one of those kids has gone on to become NASA rocket scientists or, garbage collectors and janitors. Most likely garbage collectors and janitors? So I think you're suffering from lead poisoning? I know I am. So I really didn't need any naturally born brain damage made any worse by my incessant soldering starting in my youth, starting at age 11 or was that 12? 9? Getting a little hard to remember stuff back then because of my additional brain damage from my lead poisoning, I think? I loved the smell of molten solder as I was creating things. And I inhaled it deeply, regularly, like a breath of fresh morning air. And would frequently holds solder with my teeth since I actually wasn't graced with 3 arms and hands. You probably get a little more lead holding solder in your mouth that is 60% lead, then you would from eating the paint off from around your window frame, of your single window, in your itty-bitty bedroom. So I should be really retarded. And maybe I am? I'm just too retarded to actually know or care just how retarded I am along with my other additional deadly brain damage. I'm a good troubleshooter, just like doctors are. And they cannot postulate why I am not a vegetable. Therefore, as a highly skilled and experienced troubleshooter, the only answer it can be, is the one least likely and impossible to be. Therefore it must be. And even a lot of rocket scientists don't know how to think that way. They can only follow the same path in which you are following based upon theory and acquired knowledge which obviously doesn't always cut it. We know that because we deal with tangible reality. The rocket scientists and others can only comprehend what they have been taught. What they know to be correct. And where we know it isn't always correct. And so it's those scientists and other engineers that ultimately know and understand we will try putting their theory into practice. And they rely upon our practice to bolster their theory, if the product is adopted and embraced by practicing professionals.

The record companies may be, like all other companies the world over today, downsizing? And of course with downsizing, they will only be stamping out stuff for which they have made their highest margins of profit upon. They still have people that make some good money and they are not going to stop releasing physical product. Maybe they want to just bankrupt their companies, to simply make it easier for them to outsource overseas? All they have to do is declare Chapter 11. It's like Ford dumping Mercury. Like GM dumping Pontiac. They're simply producing less product. And where what product they are producing is now under mostly robotic manufacturing technologies, overseas, with a lot less people involved in its production.

Of course all of this will impact all of us that are not major corporations under conglomerate rule. I mean even cassettes did not really destroy record sales. Those two formats coexisted for a long time and even after CDs were introduced. This is no different. There were also huge efforts to deny people the VHS & Beta Max, video recorders. But because of the greed and profit potential behind that, it still came to be. Yet people still go to movie theaters. And because they don't want to wait until it comes out on a consumable product. And when it does, it's a win-win for the movie company because those people go out and buy that movie when given the opportunity to do so. Of course, provided it was something they really wanted to have once they saw the movie. And where, perhaps, your scenario may work for those millions of people nowhere near or convenient to major shopping centers?

And think about this scenario. So now I get kids downloading all of this music. But their hard disk drive is all filled up. No problem. Lots of places like Drop Box and others, where you could store all of your music off-line. But when they find out that 1 GB is not enough for their record collection, along with a fee should you desire more disc space, will start having all of the use lemmings running out to buy their own disk drives that might be 10 times larger and 1/10 the cost of the Cloud storage nonsense fees over 1 GB, 2 GB, 5 GB, that's chump change size. And they'll have to be paying a monthly fee. And if these companies cannot make their greed profits as they thought they were going to make, all of those Cloud systems will start to fail, the same way everything else has been the record industry. Then they'll get out and close down their site. I mean half these companies come out with this nonsense, to keep their stockholders holding onto their stock. So they don't think it very companies your product is going to sell less than 1 million copies, there is no incentive for them to kick out physical product.

You're celebrating far too soon
Mx. Remy Ann David

Dr_Willie_OBGYN Mon, 02/25/2013 - 00:35

I have an excess inventory of comedy CD's (4 albums worth) that I absolutely can't wait to be done with. The way things are declining I think that CD sales will slow to a trickle and I'll wind up having to give away some CD's. I can report that about 1 out of 15 album sales of mine are CD's. NOBODY buys CD's any more. I'm sure that most of those 1 out of 15 would buy digital if there was no option to buy CD's.
Digital is great because I don't have to lift a finger to do anything as far as shipping, returns, etc. I just sit and watch the money fly in.

Kurt Foster Tue, 03/12/2013 - 00:32

Remy wrote: People still like to have something in their hand

Thomas W. Bethel wrote: I like to have physical media in my hand and not on some hard disk or even worse on some cloud server but that is probably just me.

DonnyThompson wrote: I think there are people who still like to hold a product in their hands.

i would rather hold an album cover with big graphics, maybe lyrics, band and recording credits ... but then i'm just an echo of years past.

it's the era of instant gratification and music is so dumbed down that it doesn't hold the importance i had when i was a youngster. "my" music used to mean something. today there's no value associated. it's a brave new world.

RemyRAD Tue, 03/12/2013 - 00:57

Really Kurt? Yeah... when we were growing up it was s e x and drugs and stop the war. We all have a purpose or a joint. These kids can't create good music because they are not taking enough drugs quite obviously. I mean isn't marijuana the universal Melody maker? And what you have without that? Nothing but disgusting fresh air. And what's that going to do for ya? Please... make me gag.

It's getting harder to get the older I get? What's with the supply and demand? It's probably because of all those lousy states legalizing it? It'll be regulated and taxed and become more expensive than gasoline. And then we'll be smoking that. And that might inspire some new hot music?

We can only smoke? I mean hope.
There I go again? The name is... is give me a moment.

anonymous Tue, 03/12/2013 - 02:56

it's the era of instant gratification and music is so dumbed down that it doesn't hold the importance i had when i was a youngster. "my" music used to mean something. today there's no value associated. it's a brave new world.

Well, LOL, I thought the same thing when the CD first came out.. "Now, how in the world am I gonna clean my herbage with this stupid little plastic tray?"

Double albums and fold out single albums were great for that. I loved Sgt. Pepper, The White Album, Frampton Comes Alive... yeah they were great records too, but ya open that album cover, put a little you know what on it, tilt that puppy back and forth for a few minutes and all the seeds ended up in the crease in the middle. ;)

These days my herb of choice is Earl Grey. No seeds. No fun.

And, anyone who has ever released their own CD knows that type-setting liner notes in Corel Draw means that by the time you thank everyone who needs credited, the font size you end up using to fit everyone in makes all the words as small as flyshit. LOL

My next album will be for download only. The 7 or 8 people who end up buying it won't have to worry about scratching a disc, and I won't have to worry about having 493 shrink wrapped coffee coasters in my closet.



pcrecord Mon, 03/18/2013 - 12:47

Kurt Foster, post: 402053 wrote: yeah really. at least with crappy mp3 downloads, a 57 is good enough for overheads. :rolleyes:

Oh no ! Enough with the good enough !!! I can't hear it anymore !! hihihi :wink:

Let's invent a device that puts the music directly in the brain, no speaker, no headphones.. It'll be so pure that everybody will demand for 24bit recordings. (The end with the loudness war. no more compressor and limiters.. hihi ;)) That way, they will pay engineers to record everything, ring tones, door bells ! We all get rich !! hehehe

Kurt Foster Tue, 03/19/2013 - 15:13

one can only hope. movement towards cloud tech will help. a lot of what we use currently is based on convenience and the ability to move data quickly from one station to the next. DSD would be a good thing although i still don't understand peoples reticence in using good old tape. i still think it sounds better and all the alignment and biasing and maintenance is still nothing compared to upgrading and tweaking and compatibility issues we are forced to deal with in the computer world. except for their word processing abilities, i really hate computers.

anonymous Wed, 03/20/2013 - 05:15

although i still don't understand peoples reticence in using good old tape.

Well, "good old tape" wasn't always good.

It was a phsyical medium, which meant that it had a finite shelf life.

Anytime you have friction involved - and you must admit there was plenty of friction - from the tape coming in contact with at least 4 separate points of pressure; from guides to lifters to pinch rollers and capstans to the contact with the head stack .... with that much contact, over time, you'll have degradation, not to mention storage...and what humidity and temperature can do.

I'm not against tape. I came up on it, cut my teeth on it as a rookie engineer... cleaning, degaussing, editing with a grease pencil and a blade... yeah, I've been there... I didn't start out in digital, and in fact I went kicking and screaming into the digital age. The only reason I did it was because I was in business and I needed to keep up (or down, depending on your point of view) with what my competitors were doing.

So I can totally relate to what you are saying.

But ...the world turns, and with it, technology as well, for better or for worse.

Yes... I find the current delivery method to be a joke. We take all the time with our knowledge and our gear, which costs the equivalent to a second - and sometimes third mortgage - to insure that we have optimum fidelity.

We have it professionally mastered by cats who also have thousands tied up in gear, and have the knowledge and experience to make our great recordings sound even greater...

We tell them to respect the dynamic range, to keep the sonic integrity, to not squash it flatter than a hooker on shore leave... and they do. If they are good, we don't even need to tell them.

And then? ....We dump it all down to an MP3 where the average consumer listens to it thru $10 Chinese ear buds that they bought at The Dollar Store.

Go figure.

And at that point it doesn't matter whether it was recorded through a Neve to a 2" 24, 30 ips machine, through a loaded PT rig, or through a Tascam Porta One.


Kurt Foster Wed, 03/20/2013 - 06:34

yeah tape wears out .. so do hard drives. digital or analog we are still dragging magnetic medium over a head. hard disks war too. solid state memory has a finite life as well with a limit to how many write re write cycles it can withstand. nothings perfect. my comments go to tape being simpler. i hate all the futzing and configuring compatibility issues and upgrade cycles we go through with computers. i liked it when i couldbuy a piece of hardware and it was just as viable 15 years after purchase an it was the first day i brought it home.

i have a stack of dead computers monitors and software out there in the shop ... but my dyna-mite still works perfect. computer really suck.

anonymous Wed, 03/20/2013 - 07:13


and I have stacks of 1" tape that I'm not sure would sound true anymore because I don't have the cash on hand to build a hermetically sealed and humidity / temperature controlled VAULT. ;)

There are pros and cons to each.

But the fact remains that regardless of what we track through, in the end it's all boiled down to an MP3 and listened to through $10 ear buds.

The days of people having those audiophile pieces of gear - Alpine turntables, high end 2 track reel to reels, Rockford Fostgate power amps and top shelf speakers in their living rooms are loooong gone.

And even if they do have top end audio in their cars, it's still MP3's that they are listening to.


JohnTodd Wed, 03/20/2013 - 08:33

Perhaps we are the "Monks" of "Real Audio"?

You know, back in the Dark Ages the monks preserved the accumulated knowledge of mankind until the 'darkness' lifted and people woke up again. The Renaissance, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment benefited from this preserved knowledge.

I think we should all start wearing brown robes in the studio.

anonymous Wed, 03/20/2013 - 09:53

Zilus, post: 402415 wrote: I dont think that CD's are dead, at least for another decade.

Personally, I'd say that's a stretch, Zilus. I don't believe it will take nearly that long.

But who's to really say?

Vinyl went away for years and is now reemerging, so who knows?

Maybe CD's will disappear for awhile and twenty years from now, some kid will buy a few from a vintage music store, dig out his dad's CD player from the attic, and listen with apt wonder to Motley Crue in glorious 16 bit PCM audio... ???

...Nah. ;)


anonymous Thu, 03/21/2013 - 02:53

I agree wholeheartedly about car audio, but Ya know what's funny, Kurt?

I was singing to a track once, driving my car at the time, which was a '96 Saturn Coupe, and man, to my ears, the tone of my vocals sounded awesome. LOL

I even thought about running a line out to my car behind my studio and doing a vocal take. I never did. I also never had another vehicle after that which gave me those awesome tones.

Maybe I shoulda kept that Saturn as an alternate vocal booth. LOL


anonymous Thu, 03/21/2013 - 04:00

Kurt Foster, post: 402492 wrote: didn't Michael Hedges record an album on an Otari 8 track with one track dead in the back seat of a '65 Rambler?

LOL....Well for one thing, I'm not sure that The '65 Rambler had a back seat, Kurt... or much of one to speak of... so I'm not so sure about that.

Maybe he had a Rambler Wagon. ;)

Kurt Foster Thu, 03/21/2013 - 04:12

no i remember who ever it was it was a classic 4 door. he put the machine on the front seat and sat in the back seat. he was living on a farm where he couldn't find a place that was quiet enough so he used his car for an iso booth.

ok so after some web search i found what i was thinking of ... not Michael Hedges but [="http://archives.nod…"]Ben Vaughn Rambler '65

[/]and here's another link that goes to a good bit about the "Rambler Studio"

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