Sunday, October 23, 2011

CD format: end of an era?

This morning I came across an interesting article via Side-Line CD format to be abandoned by major record labels by the end of 2012. I admit I was initially flabbergasted but at the same time I felt like the story needed to be researched before I came to a final conclusion. Sadly there really wasn't anything other than the Side-Line article. None of the major record labels have commented about the issue so really it sounds like pure speculation however I would not be surprised if this occurs. My friend Renee made a very excellent point when she said that there will always be a market for CDs because some countries don't have access to iTunes and Amazon downloads, plus for bands they can't just autograph USB sticks (unless bands design their own USB sticks that allows room for autographs). Then there are people like my parents who aren't technologically inclined and buys cds. So maybe the solution could be print less cds, set lower standards on album sales, and be a bit more frugal on promoting music. Look where Heidi Montag's alleged music career went after sinking a million or 2 into her crappy album....roughly 400 copies sold (those poor people ;)). Besides independent artists or those on smaller, lesser known albums have mastered using the internet to help promote their music and for free courtesy of various social networking sites.

On to the music industry...it is their own damn fault that sales has been going downhill for years now. Their business model is so outdated. As much as I am not crazy about mp3s and the whole digital industry (I like my cds thank you very much), it is obvious to me that digital is the next progression in music. I am getting two different signals from the recording industry when it comes to digital music...the labels wants to eschew the CD format but yet don't like it when people file share music online. C'mon. Make up your bloody mind folks.

Two...the music industry is not interested in nurturing and sustaining an artist's career. Artists/bands today are here today and gone tomorrow. The industry wants to make an easy quick buck ASAP. I can't fathom to see the likes of Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj having a successful career spanning as long as the likes of Paul McCartney or Stevie Nicks. People are so sick of being force fed such generic crap that is riddling pop music today.

To a lesser extent, I often feel that way about  the much beloved (and occasionally aligned) Metropolis Records...signing just about anyone with a pulse or the current hottest act in the scene. I was at the Electric Fetus today. I saw a slew of new releases from Metropolis Records. To be honest I could not get excited enough to buy any of them. I ended up buying the new cds by Statik Sky (signed to Vendetta Records) and Necro Facility (from Artofact Records/Storming the Base). I can't lie and say that I haven't bought any music with connections to Metropolis Records or promise that I won't ever in the future. All I am saying is that I would like to see a more diverse sound from Metropolis Records akin to Out of Line (like signing bands whose sound can't be easily pegged like Kirlian Camera or Javelynn). Guess that would be expecting a lot :\.

Finally...after all these years (since the 1980s), one would think the cost of CDs would go down. Oh no! The cost of CDs is still overpriced. Any wonders why the music industry is losing money on album sales? People don't want to pay $15 for crap. This is why file sharing exists, or at least one of the reasons it exists. I should note that I am a firm believer in supporting my favorite artists by buying their music. I don't really want to condone illegal file sharing but when it comes to music I despise, then go for it ;).

If this Side-Line article on the end of CD format for major record labels, I think the labels have no one but themselves to blame because of the reasons I just listed. I have no sympathy for the industry. They continue to put out crap for way too much money therefore people are not willing to spend money on their products. My big question is alleged decision to end the CD format will this affect small, independent record labels and independent artists? I do know that there are a few small labels and artists who chose the digital route due to costs but I think that's understandable since they don't have the money that the big major corporate labels have, plus the music they put out are high in quality. Given the lack of meat to the Side-Line article to back up their claim, all I can say is to wait and see what happens in 2012. 

3 comments:

  1. indeed, wait and see.. we still want to print CD's for some fans - we see that it has value for them. We like it too ofcourse. But the most sales & revenue (if any - because brekaing even is what it's about) is from online sales.. Recent years (2 yrs) online sales have really taken off and are still growing.. I include spotify with his..

    But, as you said, wait and see indeed!

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  2. I read a lot of comments on Side-Line's FB page and website, I think there could be a happy medium to satisfy both fans who prefer one format over another. I also think it is unrealistic to stop progress. Obviously digital is the norm nowadays. Pandora's box was opened when Napster was the go to for file sharing. The more I think about it, the more curious and excited for the new year just to see if this article comes to fruition. Oh and thanks for stopping by! I am so looking forward to your new album :).

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  3. For enthusiasts like me and some of my friends, that would be absolutely horrible. They would either need to distribute the same PCM stream as the CD contains, or give us CDs. I know this will never happen, it'd take up too much bandwidth and server space, so they need to learn how to use FLAC and ALAC, and offer 128 MP3s alongside the lossless versions for the hapless masses who don't listen to music, but rather use it as background noise.

    I'm not kidding when I say I will NEVER buy 128 MP3s, they sound like a layer of dirt and distortion was put in front of the music. Also, they're still overcharging for music now, files of that bitrate should cost 10 cents at most. Yes CDs are expensive, but at least you're getting something relatively close to the master tracks, and it's still 44.1/16, which is the highest sampling rate/frequency range we can differentiate between as humans.

    It's all wishful thinking on my part however, audiophiles are not the majority, most people couldn't care less what bitrate their MP3s are encoded to. Hell, most are using those abominable iBuds, no wonder they can't tell the difference! It's unfortunate, listening to music has ceased being something people do for enjoyment, and the ones who still do sit down and listen to music for hours, without doing anything else, are considered weird. Anyway, sorry for the wall of text, you run a very interesting blog here, very in tune to my interests. :P

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