02007-09-25 | Music, Technology | 7 comments

Stephen says good-bye to CDs:

NEWS + JOURNAL: What are my CD’s doing lately?
Absolutely nothing. They are sitting inside a cabinet in the back room piled up high gaining dust. The last time I listened to a CD was when I couldn’t find the cable to plug my iPod into the speakers.

I still have a couple of thousand CDs. 15 years ago they were nicely ordered and now they are rarely looked at. I buy a CD and immediately rip it. I do wonder about the album format sometimes. Are Radiohead correct in only allowing their music to be downloaded as a complete album? Then I think of art-shows in galleries. You look at the paintings together, but then they are sold individually.


  1. steve

    I have been in the process of converting my entire CD collection to FLAC. Even though the iPod doesn’t support FLAC, I treat it as an archival format.
    Needless to say, I have a bunch of hard drives sitting around now holding either an archival copy or the iTunes library.

    (Everything that goes on the iPod gets converted to Apple Lossless. The only non-Lossless files I own are the couple dozen downloads from the ITMS, and the binaural recording from the LL, which I am 95% sure is a 320k LAME encoded mp3)

    But this isn’t a “project” or anything. I just convert a CD as I want to listen to it on the iPod, and new ones are ripped pretty much right away. I have new CDs that have never been played, since they were ripped right out of the box. I haven’t yet figured out what to do about the SACDs …

    All the CDs sit on a shelf in the corner of the basement: That little piece of “Red-Book compliant” polycarbonate is quickly becoming an anachronism.
    I suppose its a non-volatile form of backup (?!?)

  2. ~C4Chaos

    “I still have a couple of thousand CDs. “

    no problem. you can probably transfer that to a couple of teradiscs once they’re out :)

    i think Radiohead is already ahead of the curve :) and yes, your “art-show in galleries” analogy is already being done by Starbucks.


  3. ottmar

    C: do you agree with Radiohead – to only sell albums and not individual songs? And, Starbucks is the last place I would want to emulate…

  4. ~C4Chaos

    doh. my mistake. i misread that. i don’t agree with Radiohead. that should’ve been “behind the curve” instead of ahead. but it’s their call. it’s their music. if they want to define their art at an album-level, it’s their call. the biggest mistake is if they’re just doing it for more revenue. it would be up to their fanbase to decide if their album is worth it. for example, Green Day’s American Idiot is a good album that could be justified as single download since much of the songs in the album are tied together. the album flows like one single song. but if you just put a bunch of songs together, call it an album and have that as the only option for downloading your music, then that’s just plain silly.

    as for Starbucks, they’re bringing the music experience into *physical* stores where people can pick and choose their music from different albums, mix and match, burn them, or download them, instead of just online. what is it that you don’t like about the Starbucks music model?

    and yeah, Amazon MP3 is cool since mp3s are not locked into any player. 99% of music files in my iPod are mp3s (from CDs i bought and burned, and some from hard to find music from LimeWire, ahem). i don’t buy music from iTunes because the proprietary format is just another layer of hassle.


  5. Curt

    I do not plan on making my music available on CD at all. I know as an independent this isn’t the typical route to take (or the smartest) but I don’t play live shows so I have no real use for a pile of plastic sitting in a box in the corner of the room. For me, digital downloads only. Hey, it’s good for the planet!!

  6. stephen duros

    It is good for the planet

  7. Trahern

    What would’ve happened if “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Sgt. Pepper’s” were available to download as individual tracks? “Albums” or “Records” or “Longplayers” are an artform that will be completely lost if recording artists don’t take control of their final product. Your “gallery” example would make more sense if it was: Should you be able to buy just a SECTION of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”? It’s a complete work of art and it’s sad that artists aren’t putting out music to be EXPERIENCED instead of background music while we workout or commute. Ottmar, your albums (especially Opium) need to be listened to as a whole, IMHO. Peace:)


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