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EMI Exec Says 'The Music CD is Dead' 528

Anonycat writes "Alain Levy, the chairman of EMI Music, made a speech at the London Business School declaring 'the end of the music CD as it is.' He went on to say that most CDs are simply used for ripping onto digital audio players. Levy adds that by the beginning of 2007, all EMI CDs will come with additional material to make them more attractive to the consumer. Revenue from CDs still outranks revenue from downloads by better than 6 to 1. Would it take 'additional material' to get you to keep buying CDs? What material would you like to see?"
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EMI Exec Says 'The Music CD is Dead'

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:38PM (#16612724) Journal
    Would it take 'additional material' to get you to keep buying CDs?
    I think that EMI executive found his way into one of his recording artist's 'secret stash' because his perception is not only different from statistics (6 to 1 is still a large advantage) but also different from what I desire as a consumer.

    There are three letters that keep me buying CDs: DRM. As long as the only legal route to purchase music online is DRM encrypted music, I won't take part in it.

    Granted, there are a ton of people out there that don't realize that they rely on iTunes to decrypt their music for them, I don't know how people can spend so much money without physically receiving anything. They aren't even getting a guarantee that they can play that file for the rest of their lives! They would have to burn it to a CD to ensure that.

    I'll appreciate the added content to a CD but you don't need to do that to convince me that I should keep buying physical media. Hell, if you want to win back people, maybe you should get the word out that the iTunes TOS is downright shady []?

    I will admit that the first thing I do with a CD when I buy a new one is CDex [] it to high quality MP3 format. Then I put it on the shelf never to be played again. Why? Because that's my master copy that won't ever be scratched or stolen or lost. I may use MP3s to play my music, but I don't distribute or download them illegally. I'm well aware that I am copying them without consent but the only person that ever uses those copies is myself so I'm not afraid of a court case. Not one bit.

    If the CD format is dead, you're going to have to figure out some way to get a physical master copy to me or I'm going to be upset mighty fast. I think if you remove this from people, some will start to miss it. And the second people realize that Apple's 99 cent deals were set by Steve Jobs & guarantee you nothing, I think there will be quite the demand for the 'ancient' physical media.

    Is this just a case of 'I have it so hard! We need to change our business model, please feel sorry for us!' or am I the only one that thinks this dude is crying that the sky is falling?
    • by sugapablo ( 600023 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#16612804) Homepage
      The CD will not be dead, so long as people still wish to hear a higher quality than they can get from compressed audio.

      Or until record companies stop producing them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by troll -1 ( 956834 )
        But you can still have the same quality in an audio file without compression. The problem with CDs is that with the advent of the Internet they're a very inefficient and expensive way of moving data.
      • by handsome b ( 834703 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:30PM (#16613892) Journal
        Yeah. Or until somebody creates a Free Lossless Audio Codec... That would be sweet. I wonder why nobody has done that yet?
    • by no_pets ( 881013 )
      My sentiments exactly. Wish I had mod points.
    • by rob_squared ( 821479 ) <.moc.derauqs-bor. .ta. .bor.> on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:49PM (#16613006)
      Or he would if CDs were actually dead. DRM'd music files are the wave of the future, after all. They get all the "buying multiple copies" syndrome that they did with Vinyl/cassette/CD that they did before without actually having to produce anything physical. Did you buy music from napster/rhapsody or whatever and now want an ipod? Great! Now buy it all in FairPlay format!

      It looks like the record execs finally found a way to profit on this new business opportunity that everyone was saying to evolve to. They did, but only because they found a way to squeeze us a little harder.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 )
        Lessig told a story in one of his books -- I think it was the Future of Ideas -- about one of the early videocassette models. It had a lock so you had to pay again each time you wanted to watch the tape. Studio guys apparently said this was unacceptable, because there was no way to know how many people were watching the tape each time. They wanted a mechanism that could charge each individual present for each viewing. They still want this. And with all this exciting technology, they might yet get it.
    • by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:51PM (#16613076) Homepage Journal
      Since Weird Al put videos on his music CDs, and I discovered mix mode discs in my CD burning software, I've thought that most audio CDs should come with data tracks. That's before DRM was common on music CDs though, and I've nearly changed my mind, thanks to malicious companies like Sony Music who release rootkits to damage your computer.
    • They aren't even getting a guarantee that they can play that file for the rest of their lives! They would have to burn it to a CD to ensure that.

      Just a nitpick, but you aren't guaranteed that you'll be able to play music for the rest of your life no matter what the format is. The CD format, just like any other format, is not going to be around forever. The industry is going to march on, and eventually consumers will follow. How many people do you know who have a large cassette tape collection that is

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
      The only media that you can be sure will be playable in many years is vynil. If you have an unscratched master CD, but there are no CD players, how will you do it? You can make a working record player out of a motor, some gears, and something pointy on a moveable arm. to hear better, you might consider some sort of amplifier, and I'm not talking about the electronic type....think low-tech cardboard megaphone.

      Links for the do-it-yourselfer cd_cool_thing_pa []
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DeadChobi ( 740395 )
      I do the same thing with my music CDs. That's what makes them attractive to me. Sure, it's a little piece of plastic, but it's also a hell of a lot more resistant to damage than a CD-R, less of a data-integrity worry than a hard drive, and competitively priced when you take the lyrics booklet, discography, and shiney case into account. Not only that, if a better-quality form of compression becomes available, I can just rerip from my originals instead of paying another dollar per song. At that rate, to repla
  • Novel idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:38PM (#16612726) Homepage Journal
    Record companies will need to make CDs more attractive to the consumer

    Instead of including a pile of other useless stuff that I don't care about with the CD, how about charging less than $20 for something that I (as someone who buys music online) consider to be worth at most $6, and can probably download for roughly that amount? This is of course assuming I actually want all of the songs on a given CD, which is rarely the case.

    They keep calling themselves record companies, which pretty much explains the problem: just like records, they are trapped way back in a time before the age of the internet.

    • Or, go the other direction, and sell more compilations, of artists that don't suck, along with material that is interesting to fans.
      Oh, wait: that would be a quality over quantity argument.
    • CDs only have a few decent tracks on them(no more than 6...hence being worth $6). The only benefit they have is being an archival copy of the song, which I can rip from over and over again.

      The other benefit to a CD is I can "discover" an artist's other music(the "whole CD is artwork argument), in addition to the popular stuff I hear on the radio/Sirius. However, with notable exceptions, the fluff that takes up the other 8 - 10 tracks on current CDs is not worth the extra $12 over the $2 for the two songs
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by couchslug ( 175151 )
      The prices for music CDs have gone UP since they were first available!
      I remember how happy I was to have an option better than vinyl or tape, but that was a long time ago.
      Price them at say five bucks and CDs will fall into the "impulse purchase" zone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      They keep calling themselves record companies, which pretty much explains the problem: just like records, they are trapped way back in a time before the age of the internet.

      I have to admit that I still use the term "record" all the time. I don't think another word really describes an audio recording as nicely. I guess I'm just unable to associate "record" with LP the way most people are. When I wish to say "LP" or "cassette" or "CD", I do.

      When I hear someone correcting me for calling a CD a "record",

  • by revlayle ( 964221 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:38PM (#16612736) Homepage
    $100 bills would be pretty frickin' cool
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:39PM (#16612758) Homepage
    Yup all cars now have ipod capable stereos and NOBODY uses CD's in a car stereo anymore.

    I guess the guy is either mential or chooses to ignore the millions of people that make below $40,000 a year and cant afford a new stereo with ipod and ipod adapter or mp3 player plus rf transmitter...

    Most everyone at my kids highschool still uses CD's in their CD player.
    • ?
      MP3 capable audio cdplayer have taken over the classic "cd changer" niche over the last years over here.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pope ( 17780 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:40PM (#16612770)
    All I buy are CDs, so that I can listen to them in my nice home stereo. I can't at this point see myself buying a music download from, say, iTunes. CDs are convenient, sound good, and last a long time since I take care of my stuff. This exec is either living in the future or is out of touch with the average music buyer!
    • iTunes purchases are alright if you don't really give a damn about audio quality (which, considering I rip all my music into 128 AAC, I don't) and you don't mind not being able to play them at full quality on a loud stereo if the mood takes you (which is why I like CDs better). The DRM doesn't really affect me all that much, to be frank; I must have reinstalled Windows about twice and have never gone over the 5-PC limit (deauthorising and reauthorising helps).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stevey ( 64018 )

      I too buy CDs, but only ever second hand.

      That way I can get an album for a cheap/fair price, and don't feel like I'm supporting a company which has the idea of value-add meaning "Won't play unless you install our windows-only rootkit".

      I'd pay more for albums from companies who would stop being so litigous, such as not suing people who post lyrics online, for the rare time when I hear a track I like on the radio and miss the name.

      I like music. I listen to music almost 24x7 when awake, but I won't suppor

    • All I buy are CDs, so that I can listen to them in my nice home stereo. I can't at this point see myself buying a music download from, say, iTunes. CDs are convenient, sound good, and last a long time since I take care of my stuff. This exec is either living in the future or is out of touch with the average music buyer!

      Everyone, at least under 25, pretty much uses an Ipod or other MP3 player for listening to music on a daily basis. This is the main target audience for most CDs, and this executive is dead

  • by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:40PM (#16612788) Homepage
    Can we mod his comments -5, No Shit; or how about -5, Too little too late?

    These ivory tower execs should have realized almost 7 years ago with the advent of Napster that the CD was dying. Frankly, I don't think the iTunes Music Store should have ever happened, they should have realized the market then and adapted, now they'll have to play catch up to those innovating the non-physical media market.
    • Goodbye, EMI. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > These ivory tower execs should have realized almost 7 years ago with the advent of Napster that the CD was dying. Frankly, I don't think the iTunes Music Store should have ever happened, they should have realized the market then and adapted, now they'll have to play catch up to those innovating the non-physical media market.

      Only 7 years? Heck, almost 30 years. The music business doesn't require an economy based on artificial scarcity, but the record business certainly does.

      With an unlimited sup

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by darkrowan ( 976992 )
      If ever you find yourself in a position of absolute power and untold sums of cash, only to that power and money flow disrupted overnight (at least it felt overnight to them)... let me know how you ract. The Recording industry did, amittedly, have it coming. They had, with the advent of each new media format (Record, 8 Track, Cassett, CD) they still had ultimate control because of the fact there was physical media involved. When the first CD-Rom came out, everyone was like 'what is the hokey piece of cr...
  • by woodsrunner ( 746751 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#16612792) Journal
    Today I bought my first CD in over a year and it had big FBI copyright warnings all over it and a mail in questionaire with many survey questions that could be seen as incriminating and a good lead for the RIAA to follow up with a lawsuit.

    If this is what they see as value added, I think they got the eqation backwards... it's supposed to be value added to the consumer's experience, not the record company's legal squad.
  • Simple: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hawthorne01 ( 575586 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#16612796)
    "Unrevocable permission is granted by (insert name of record label here) to the purchaser of this CD to store the contents thereof in the digital medium of his or her choice in perpeturity and to use said contents without altering their length, content or intent for any non-commercial purposes the user so desires.", or something like that.

    And while I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony.

  • by onion2k ( 203094 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#16612798) Homepage
    "The CD as it is right now is dead," Levy said, adding that 60% of consumers put CDs into home computers in order to transfer material to digital music players.

    If they realise that 60% of CD purchasers are ripping content then why on Earth are they trying to make it more difficult? If this guy is correct then increased anti-piracy measures will alienate more than half of their target audience.

    Either he's wrong (I doubt it) or the music industry is trying to commit business suicide.

    But I suppose we already knew that when they signed Ashlee Simpson. ;P
    • If they realise that 60% of CD purchasers are ripping content then why on Earth are they trying to make it more difficult? If this guy is correct then increased anti-piracy measures will alienate more than half of their target audience.

      They're making it more difficult because they want you to rebuy all your stuff on iTunes and the like, not rip stuff you already have. They want to consumers to get frustrated and say "Guess I'll have to buy The White Album again." Though I agree that alienation is more lik

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phanatic1a ( 413374 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#16612802)
    Lyrics and sheet music. Or tab. And a flash drive with properly-tagged high-bitrate mp3s on it.
    • In Canada several music labels have started doing this: CDs, with mp3s on them, and even mpegs of music videos. There was a re-release of numerous Tragically Hip titles in this way last year.

      I don't buy popular music anymore so I'm not up-to-date on the latest trends, but I thought it was a cool idea. HMV's biggest Toronto store has pretty much moved all the music upstairs -- the mainfloor is 95%+ DVDs now. I think this is the best sign that CD sales are in jeopardy.
  • Good music? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fluch ( 126140 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:42PM (#16612826)
    How about to put some good music on the CD? For a change...
    • So in all of the history of music from the whole world that has been released on CD, you have exhausted all of the good stuff? Amazing. Where do you get the time?
  • 1. I will pay to download music that I like.

    2. I will avoid DRM where possible.

    3. I will REMOVE DRM when found.

    HEY EMI GUYS, read these statements in your heads. Customers are like me. Forget about the people who pirate things because frankly they're the minority anyways.

    • Re:statements... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by planetmn ( 724378 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:02PM (#16613338)
      Customers are like me.

      I don't think they are. The average person on Slashdot may be, but not the average consumer. I think a more accurate set of statements for most customers is:
      1. I will pay for music that I like.
      2. I do not know what DRM is.
      3. I do not know how to remove DRM, and don't know why I would.
      Probably the biggest boon for the record companies right now (at least in regards to DRM) is iTunes. For most people, iTunes just works. It's easy, it's cheap, they can listen to their music on their iPod which connects to their car and home stereo, etc. Most people don't have the issues with iTunes that are pointed out on Slashdot all of the time. And as long as iTunes works, the record companies can point to it as a successful, consumer-friendly implementation of DRM.

      My wife doesn't know what DRM is. My mom doesn't know. Neither do most people I know. As long as the average consumer can access his/her music the way they normally do (via iPod/iTunes or on a CD), they won't know and won't care about DRM.

  • by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:42PM (#16612844) Journal
    CD's are in a weird limbo, because their adoption of a fricking solid digital format is still hanging fire. The only formats record companies agree on are awful...No good to consumers at all. Consumer unfriendly formatting pretty much keeps me buying CDs.

    Besides, I'm not sure what CD profits being 6 times online profits actually means...I buy one CD, that's going to cost the same as what? 10 songs on iTunes? At least? So, maybe it's just that online sales, being mainly single songs, are exposing the obvious fact that most albums only have one or two good songs.
  • by jenkin sear ( 28765 ) * on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:43PM (#16612862) Homepage Journal
    Wasn't the last additional material we found on a CD a rootkit []?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by ( 782137 )
      EMI didn't ship a rootkit.

      Please check your facts before you post idiotic crap like this.
  • When the main motivation for piracy (semantics nazis get off my back) is that piracy involves almost no direct cost to the consumer, it won't do much else.

    Sad, really.
  • by Dr. Zowie ( 109983 ) <(slashdot) (at) (> on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:44PM (#16612880)
    To keep me buying CDs (or, rather, get me started again) the industry would have to lower prices drastically. When the CD of the "Bride and Prejudice" soundtrack costs twice as much as the movie itself, there is a serious problem with pricing.
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )
      Agreed! I buy CDs to hear the music... I don't think I ever even looked at the "bonus material" they've included on some of my music CDs in the past. (EG. Windows screen savers and wallpaper on those dual-format discs.)

      There's not much they could add to a CD to make me buy it besides more songs I want to hear. That's its purpose. What I want to see are lower prices. Even 10+ years ago, I started buying mostly used CDs because even if I didn't get the latest tracks first that way, I could get 3x as mu
    • Thanks for pointing that out. That's gotta be the biggest insult to customers. The funny part is, the staff roll credits at the end usually run long enough to play 2 or 3 complete songs from the score or soundtrack. As for extras, freebies like screensavers are useless. Give us something good like a bonus DVD with a few music videos or concert outtakes.
  • Easy Sony (Score:4, Funny)

    by masklinn ( 823351 ) < .at.> on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:44PM (#16612882)

    What material would you like to see?"

    Why rootkits and virii for my computer of course!

  • "Would it take 'additional material' to get you to keep buying CDs?"

  • I stopped buying CDs year ago, because all I was doing was buying them and ripping them. I started to buy the albums I wanted on vinyl and just downloaded the MP3s of the music separately. Vinyl was prettier, held it's value longer, and was more fun to play on those special occasions when MP3s aren't enough :)

    But the most recent CD I bought was by Richie Hawtin [], the pre-eminent electronic artist behind plastikman. The CD came with a DVD (or vice versa), with a live show by him. The CD had a full album by hi
    • "I started to buy the albums I wanted on vinyl and just downloaded the MP3s of the music separately."

      You do realize that simply owning the vinyl version doesn't make it legal for you to download the MP3s from somewhere, right?

      To be completely legal, you'd have to make your own MP3s directly from your vinyl recording.

      Not that anyone would ever care, but still.
  • by interiot ( 50685 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:45PM (#16612920) Homepage
    What material would you like to see?

    Anything that's not DRM'd.

    I know, what are the chances of that, huh? On the other hand, what's the point in including extra fluff that's DRM'd in a package where the primarily content isn't DRM'd? "Here's the cake you ordered, sir. And to thank you for your patronage, we've included a bonus poisoned pill. It's sugary though, yum!" "Umm, thanks... I'll just eat the cake."

  • The Music CD has been dead for a while now. It died the minute they started trying to keep us ripping tracks.

    I haven't looked lately; can you still find a Red Book compliant CD in music stores anymore?

  • ... is no friggin' DRM.

    In a related question, buggy whip manufacturers are asking what features we would like added to buggy whips in order to make them more attractive to consumers.

  • $4-$6, quality albums instead of filler that was written in their pop-music factory and performed by the artist with the best fashion sense, and a complete absence of DRM. As an added bonus, they could stop using my money to get laws passed that hurt consumers.
  • at indie concerts and used record sources.
    While I have downloaded mp3s from bands' websites and myspace *hurk* pages, I have never used itunes music store, the napster (the original) or any subsequent file sharing service or torrent site.
    I rent CDs from the library, but I don't rip with the one exception of a funeral, the deceased had a particular request and I had never bothered to acquire that music before the eventuality, so I was pressed for time.
    So yes, I will continue to buy CDs, (thanks ebay, amazon
  • I know the arctic monkeys are shite, but I really wouldn't call this the end of music.
  • by L4m3rthanyou ( 1015323 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:50PM (#16613024)

    I still buy CDs. Now, let me say, what would attract me to purchase more of them would be a more justified price on them. I'd buy a hell of a lot more CDs if they were $5. I like album art. I like having a physical copy of my music... and I like albums, not just songs. My biggest worry about the explosion of downloadable music is that it will forsake the album in favor of mass-produced, repetitive singles.

    The record labels keep trying to add shit to CD packages (dualDisc? yuck) and cut costs by using crappy cardboard cases, when they could just stea-- I mean, charge less money. I mean, how much do you think it costs to stamp a CD? It's not like a lot of that money gets passed on to the artist anyway...

  • The guys insane. Im a computer programmer and I still buy CDs. why? because I can play them in my car stereo, or my wifes, or our home CD player, or the other CD player in another room. Thats 5 dedicated devices I have for playing these things. I can also lend the CD to a friend if I wanted. This is all way mroe convenient than arsing around with downlaoded files. If I only ever used my PC to play music, it would be different, and I *do* rip the very rare CDs which i listen to whilst coding.
    I'd be amazed if
  • It's not about "extra material". It's about convenience. CDs, tapes, and vinyl are ALL a pain in the ass. The reason that digital music is better is because of what it COULD allow us to do if we were not held back by ridiculous artificial restrictions. Imagine being able to have your music collection centralized at home on ONE MACHINE. NOT files strewn about all over the place, but one centralized location. Imagine being able to listen to that music ANYWHERE and ANYTIME you want to. It's not an impos
  • When Kurt Harland, the original lead singer of the band Information Society, [] released his first solo album "Don't Be Afraid," [] he included an entire second CD full of fannish goodness in data form. There was a previously unreleased music video, there were all sorts of text files and images, there were movie clips from his archives, and - best of all for music geeks - there were wav files of many of the samples he used to make the songs with. Furthermore, there was a segment of a massive digital scavenger h
  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:54PM (#16613158)
    He went on to say that most CDs are simply used for ripping onto digital audio players.

    Traditional CD players may be dead, but the CD continues to be useful as a distribution medium. Clearly online distribution does not eclipse the traditional CD, in quality, in fundamentals (no DRM so you can rip to any player in any format, copy on all of your players at once [car, portable, PC], you get a permanent high-quality copy, particularly in DualDisc options, printed jacket + lyrics), and in extras (promotional material such as special editions with included DVDs etc).

    The fact that listeners continue to buy CDs only to rip songs from show that the CD medium is very much alive and that online distribution can not match the value of CD-ripped music.

    The traditional CD PLAYER on the other hand, may be dead.
  • What material would you like to see?

    Something other than the crap that the labels are promoting these days. Enough with the bee-bop, teen-age "artists" singing whatever the label tells them to. Enough with the inexperinced "artists" singing about love when they're barely out of puberty.

  • Indeed for years now I've been buying CDs only to import them on the computer and then put them away on a shelf somewhere never to be touched again. (A while back I used to give them away to friends, but then I got the sense that some of them would just show up to see what new acquisition I had, and it occured to me that this might not be entirely legal anyhow. Initially I was just pissed off at having been robbed so I didn't want to accumulate new posessions to lure opportunistic individuals once more.

  • Material (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:56PM (#16613190)
    "What material would you like to see?"

    How about starting by discontinuing litigation against your customer base? I stopped buying CDs when the lawsuits started. Granted, I was helped out by the music business itself. The stuff being sold today sucks so badly that I may not have bought it even if there weren't any lawsuits.
  • When purchasing a CD I want to know how its benefiting the artist. I want to be able to read the insert and the "official" lyrics. It would also be nice to have some way to download some other "recommended artists", though this should be based on the kind of music I already own, and the kind of music I've purchased, not just whatever the record company is pushing. I'd like to see the record companies stop being sleazy and start being "good".
  • Just stay out of my way and let me rip my music in peace. Additional 'features' are not of interest to me. All I care about is the music, and ease of transferring to my mp3 player.
  • I think one of the reasons people buy music online is because it is easier. Now, here's what I would like to see: A) Cheaper CD's. Charging $9 on iTunes and $20 + Tax in person is ridiculous. B) Digital files that are ready to import with all metadata included, maybe even a copy utility. Put in drive, tell it where to put the files. Maybe even an autoimporter that makes a copy for iTunes. C) I would consider paying $20 if the album came with the music videos and remixes. Even DualDiscs are reasonable if th
  • by Dystopian Rebel ( 714995 ) * on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:58PM (#16613246) Journal
    The Musical-Idolatry Complex already controls me completely, just like Hunter S. Eisenhower predicted.

    It feeds me proto-literate lyrics, expertly Photoshopped images of poseurs, titillating videos that don't make any sense, the instrumental talent of digitized samples and vocal harmonizers, and -- if I can afford it -- maybe a ticket to a lip-synched World Tour performance with a team of 30 dancers and some fireworks.

    People who download music miss all of this. They aren't cool. They hurt the Artists.

    That's why Mariah Carey made "Glitter", you bastards. She was hurt.

  • Would it take 'additional material' to get you to keep buying CDs? What material would you like to see?

    Well, I would like to "hear" material that is worth "listening" to. I have purchased 3 CD's this year. All of them Joe Bonamassa albums. Other then that, there hasn't been a CD that I have heard worth buying. You see, I actually like listening to "music" performed by talented professional artists, not crap that I could pick up a mic or guitar and sing or play in 20 minutes. You want me to buy more CD's,
  • I buy CDs, used however because of the RIAA tactics. what do I want? how about more than one good song with the rest being filler, I didnt like it back in the 80s and I dont like it now. There was a reason they were called "one hit wonders", and it wasnt becasue they had a Album full of good music...
  • His argument amounts to "why would you want to buy a CD when you can download the music and copy it directly to your eight track?" oops.

    But seriously, CD should be dead - music should come on DVDs in at least 24 bit sample depth. 96Khz is not as important but 16 bit depth is not enough. Everything gets compressed to buggery and for many styles of music, any compression at the mastering stage should be avoided. But if you do that you end up having to worry about the noise floor. 24 bits is enough to avoid

  • I want to see the entire friggin' industry flipped on its head. There's no reason for record companies any more. The industry should be service oriented from distribution, to studio time, to advertising, even album cover art. Everything should be driven by the band with the musician treated as the CEO and not an employee. People download with such reckless abandon because we're sophisticated enough now to know how so many artists the industry rips off anyway. Of course, the payola network in place has
  • What about quality? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by edmicman ( 830206 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:05PM (#16613416) Homepage Journal
    If not for CDs, where do I get "original" quality for my digital rips? I don't care about extras on CDs and crap. And yes, when I get my new CD home, I rip it, and really, the MP3s are the only method I actually listen to the music. But I like being able to a)know that I can rip the tracks at whatever bitrate and whatever method I want, and b)the original "master" recording is still sitting there on my shelf.

    If the CD goes away, where will the baseline of quality be? Will 128k be where the bar is set?
  • CDs may outsell downloads by a ratio of 6:1, but that isn't really the most interesting stat. I wonder what the CD and (pay) download market share is compared to ALL music obtained. Include illegal and legal downloads of free music, as well as used music sales. I think that would paint a more interesting picture of where the industry is going, and what the potential market looks like. It is sort of like Coca Cola - sure, they want to know how much soda they sell vs. the competition, but their true measure
  • Even mpeg encoded audio on DVD's like the kind that accompanies movies features discrete audio for each channel. This is a huge improvement and is number one on a long list of why I would rather not buy generic music CD's at all.
  • people, it used to be fun to ask, "what's the latest CD(s) you've bought?"

    Nowadays people often get a quizzical look on their face, or the conversation descends into a "who buys CDs anymore?" spiral.

    The last three house parties I attended were DJed by iPods.

    I'm quite partial to Rhapsody for "daily" music use, and spend my CD money on small label stuff (Aquarius in SF, Other Music in NYC, etc).
  • Of course now that the "official publisher" can't produce nearly as many CDs as mere mortals can in our CD burners, "the CD is dead".

    What he would say if he were honest is "the unique privilege of publishing CDs by official monopolizers of 'the right to copy' is dead".

    CDs are dying, but only as a medium in which to store music. It will be quite some time before even nifty network transfers totally replace physical objects as a transfer medium for music. Because people like to get something we can hold, phys
  • by businessnerd ( 1009815 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:15PM (#16613598)
    OK I've been reading through this thread and I'm getting a little annoyed. Every other post I see is that "Maybe if there was more than one good song on the album, I'd buy it" crap. Ok for a lot of music out there this is true, but if you also pay attention, you will also realize that the one or two songs that are supposedly good are in fact utter dog shit. I guess I'm a little more critical of music. When I hear a catchy song, I recognize the fact that it is a catchy song and not really a good song. A catchy song means that there probably aren't any good songs on the album and the likelyhood of a second catchy song is slim. Buy an album by someone who puts out a song that is truly good, and by good, I mean is unique and requires talent to produce (both lyrically and instrumentally) and you will find that there are a lot of songs on that album that is just as good if not better (I'm one of those people that kinda likes the ten minute epic towards the end of the album that radio will never touch). I'm a very passive listener when it comes to CD's. I pop the cd in the car stereo and it will play until the album is over. Some I like, some I don't like, but overall I have a good idea of how talented the artist is. How can you say an artist is good when all you have heard is one song? One hit wonders get remembered for their songs, but no one remembers who performed it, and then some other band comes along and does a cover and the one hit wonder is forgotten, obscured by the shitty (usually) knock-off.

    Ok I kinda went on a long rant there (and i don't feel like proof-reading so deal with it), but my point is that people really should think about listening to entire albums again. This is something that has been lost on the CD generation, and now even more on the internet download generation. Now I respect everybody's choice to listen to whatever they want however they want, but I think some of you out there will get a great experience out of listening to an album in it's entirety and have a better idea of what makes a good artist vs. a bad artist.

    To give you a little background on what music I think is good:
    1. Listening to a single track of Pink Floyd's Dark side of Moon is a crime against humanity.
    2. I you ask me what my favorite Led Zeppelin song is (or album) you will get an answer that goes on for about an hour. I don't think I can narrow it down to fifteen.
    3. Artists should (and do) earn their living by touring and performing live, and a good artist will not perform any of their songs in the same manner as they were performed on the album. I bought the album, I might have seen the video, so why did i come here?
  • Additional Material (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrCopilot ( 871878 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:50PM (#16614266) Homepage Journal
    How about including iTunes coupons for those songs, with the CD. Negating my need to rip the CD. That's about the only thing that would interest me in buying CD format music again.
  • by mfrank ( 649656 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:50PM (#16614268)
    If the CD had the following included:

    A URL to go to for downloading high quality music videos.

    A unique number for each title that lets you see which music videos are currently released for that title. As videos are released, this list grows.

    A number unique to that CD that lets you download each of the videos on that list once. If they want, they can watermark the videos and shut out that CD number if they find any copies floating around.
  • by sdo1 ( 213835 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @03:54PM (#16614314) Journal
    1) I still believe in supporting artists. If I can, I try to buy non RIAA CDs and/or CDs from bands who have managed to secure contracts that don't screw them over too badly (though that is sometimes hard to find out).

    2) No DRM

    3) I can rip at any quality I want. FLAC for at-home streaming. Lame encoded MP3 for my ipod.

    4) I was raised to believe that I shouldn't take what isn't mine. I don't take that totally literally. I have no qualms about downloading a bunch of CDs off of usenet, but I do that to listen to bands that I might not have heard yet (to listen to the whole albums at decent quality, not a couple of hyper-compressed tracks that the record company or the band wants you to listen to)... and then if I like something I hear, I go buy the CD. See #1. I try to support the bands that I like.

    Are CDs dead? Yea, kind of. I don't often pop a silver disc into a player to listen to it very often anymore. But until the music industry gets off this sue everyone and DRM the heck out of everything mode, I don't have much choice.

  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @04:37PM (#16614980) Homepage
    The idea of a "music business" or a business based on the distribution of any sort of entertainment is centered around being (a) in control of the content and (b) in control of distribution. Today, the folks in the music business are barely in control of the content and not at all in control of distribution.

    When people can "sample", "mix" or "re-edit" your content, you aren't in control of it. Trying to establish a "brand" with any sort of material that can be reedited, repackaged and resold the minute it ends up in a customer's hands is no control at all.

    Any sort of bargain that people in the entertainment business might have thought they had with customers ended a few years ago. Today, the only reason more than a single copy is sold is inefficiency in today's piracy. Having global organized crime involved with it doesn't help either. The people buying CDs are generally those on dial-up Internet connections or those too old to have heard of Napster and all of its decendents. The fact that these people are spending six times as much as the people paying for downloaded music should be an important clue that virtually nobody is paying for downloaded music - they are just downloading it.

    How will this end? Well, for starters it can be assumed that music distribution on physical media will end pretty soon. No more "record stores". Probably music "promotion" will end as well, and that will take VH1, MTV and most of the ClearChannel radio stations with it. This will have an pretty widespread effect, so if you are involved in a business that in any way interacts with physical distribution of entertainment media - such as selling big bulky CD cases or radio station advertising - you can just kiss your job goodbye.

    Yes, the music CD is dead. The "music business" is probably dead as well, killed off by greedy younglings that want to collect all the songs they can for free. Movies? Probably the idea of a movie studio producing a DVD for profit rather than as an advertising vehicle will be gone soon as well. You might see some "theater-only" productions, where the only attraction would be that it is never, ever going to be available anywhere else but a movie theater.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351