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Thread June 20, 2015 editorial: comments

  • 12 replies
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Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
First post
1 Posted on 06/20/2015 at 10:00:03

Walk on the Luddite Side

As of a few months ago, revenues from streaming music surpassed those from CD sales for the first time, so now CDs are in third place, with downloads still leading the pack (streaming is catching up fast, however). For many of us recording types, the decline of the CD’s importance to the record industry dovetails with its loss of value as a studio tool. 

I remember when I used CDs all the time in my studio. I burned mixes to them, I listened to music on CDs all the time, I used CDs (and DVDs) for saving computer data, and most of the computer software I bought came on CDs. I was so into CDs, that I  even remember getting all excited when the CD-RW came out. (“Wow, rewriteable CDs, Cool!”) 

But over the last five years or so, I’ve practically stopped using CDs of any type at all, except to listen to music from my existing collection, and only those discs I haven’t already dumped into my computer. My new music comes via download or streaming. (Yes, I know, CD quality is better than compressed audio, but for sheer convenience, you can’t beat streaming and downloading.)

What’s more, my software comes via download, and my data is backed up in the cloud rather than onto a physical disc. 

I even stopped using CDs when listening to my mixes in my car (which, like many of us, I do a lot when I’m working on a project). Instead, I started syncing the mixes via iTunes onto my iPhone or uploading them to Dropbox and opening the Dropbox app on my phone in the car, and playing the mixes directly from that.

But I’ve realized of late that sometimes it’s a lot simpler and faster to just burn a CD. Dropbox doesn’t always sync the files right away, so sometimes when I go to play them in the car, they’re not yet available. To plug my phone into the car stereo requires that I remember to bring a 3.5” cable with me, which sometimes I forget. So, lately, I’ve been taking a walk on the Luddite side, and burning mixes to CDs. 

I actually ordered some blank CDs recently, for the first time in years, after I finally ran out of the last batch, which had been purchased at least three years ago. For me, the CD maybe on life support, but it still has some value, beyond being a coaster. What about you? Do you still use CD-Rs in your studio?

angelie

angelie

350 posts
AFfluent Poster
2 Posted on 06/20/2015 at 10:13:21
Cd's? No not realy.
All recordings are made on mini disc ( who can remember those little discs) and for testing in my car i ise usb/flash drives.

Burning cd's listen to them and destroying them just cost to much. Only if the client wants a copy i burn them :-D

And yes put them on dropbox or any other cloud and stream them to your phone is always a good idea.

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

Richard Zeier

Richard Zeier

4 posts
New AFfiliate
3 Posted on 06/20/2015 at 13:03:28
It's only a matter of time until CDs are completely forgotten about, and then like vinyl, are rediscovered to the complete amazement of a generation that has never been exposed to them. But with so much junk in this world, it's probably a good thing that all content is being virtualized and stored on the cloud. If there's ever a major technical snafu and the cloud disintegrates, then those of us who can play live instruments will be in demand again.
macmike100

macmike100

3 posts
New AFfiliate
4 Posted on 06/20/2015 at 13:33:25
Yeah, I have to say at my gigs the CD sales have dropped off so much that it's too much trouble to even put up a sales box on stage anymore. That has hindered my drive for recording any more CDs for stage sales. I will try to record some more songs but I know selling CDs won't be the way to any financial gain. Just a hobby pretty much now.
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
5 Posted on 06/20/2015 at 13:56:29
The most ingenious use of a CD that I saw recently was by a friend who hung one up on a string attached to a pole in a vegetable garden in upstate NY so that reflections (in the visual sense) from the shiny side of the disc would help keep the crows away. Maybe that's the future for CDs.:-D
grandmasterjo

grandmasterjo

2 posts
New AFfiliate
6 Posted on 06/20/2015 at 22:47:39
Hi. As a DJ I used CDs as my format till recently after Pioneer came up with the Rekord Box software I switched to the USB
However the CDR was the monster to induce piracy which gave the music industry a beating.
You may say " so I can dump it on my USB " back then the only format was the CD-R which if not introduced would not have seen the plague of piracy that exist till date. Just a point if view
For me the CD is over the USB will be taken over by micro chips relating over wifi. Nano tech has just begun
callmejack

callmejack

6 posts
New AFfiliate
7 Posted on 06/21/2015 at 03:14:12
Hello,
I too still using CD's for listening to my mixes in my car! After that I throw them away!! I know that's stupid but I try to find another way to check my mixes. Maybe what tips from other posters?
cohort100

cohort100

1 post
New AFfiliate
8 Posted on 06/21/2015 at 21:59:07
I ran a recording label for over 20 years releasing obscure electronic music mostly on CDRs. Since the financial crash of 2009 and the advent of the download culture my sales reduced to zero and I gave it up. The hardest thing I ever did. With that I released my own music on Bandcamp because it made wave files de riguer. I would never spend my hard earned money on mp3 files no matter what their quality. Full rez wave files for me. Unfortunately we have an entire generation conditioned to mp3s who wouldn't know the difference if it bit them on the ass. I see a benefit to the demand for high-rez wave files (24/96) but for the most part most people will be satisfied with earbuds and 3 inch computer speakers for playback. I only hope that there will be a return to good music on good systems. Vinyl is ok but there are serious restrictions on them as well. I have never had problems with the sound of CDs because I spend money on the playback equipment. Don't be fooled, there is a difference. I love music, but I consider the sound of mp3s the equivalent of the difference between 78s and modern recordings. Don't settle for convenience. Demand quality!
tonemonkey

tonemonkey

3 posts
New AFfiliate
9 Posted on 06/22/2015 at 03:03:30
Just from a sheer environmental as well as profit margin standpoint, it's hard to justify CDs over mp3s or streams, even if the quality might be inferior.

For the most part, the only CDs I ever use are the ones I had back in high school when CDs before the iPod came out
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
10 Posted on 06/22/2015 at 05:17:07
Quote:
Just from a sheer environmental as well as profit margin standpoint, it's hard to justify CDs over mp3s or streams

Your point about the environmental impact is a good one. I believe that some municipalities have CD recycling programs, but I don't think they're very common.
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