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    What’s the shelf life of CDs and packaged music?

    by Mark Glaser
    February 1, 2006

    For people who remember back when vinyl records, eight-track tapes and even reel-to-reel recordings were the best way to listen to music and audio, it’s a strange new world we live in. In the ’80s, compact discs replaced vinyl, and audio cassettes have become scarce. And now peer-to-peer file-sharing networks let people download music for free — despite the best efforts of the music industry to snuff them out. Apple’s iTunes store and various competitors offer legal music downloads, while Napster and Rhapsody offer unlimited listening via the Internet for a monthly fee. Plus, you can now listen to digital audio through satellite radio, or hear streaming music on millions of Internet radio channels online. So how long will we need CDs or physical packaged music? Are the days of Tower Records numbered? And what will we miss if packaged music dies?

    Tagged:
    • Well, we’ll miss the artwork — that ended with LPs. However, Times they are a changin’ and things are functionally obsolete quickly For example, the DVR/TiVo, while incredible is very limiting — when it comes to disk storage. Someone will figure out a better way to record,store and manage video soon — I hope.

    • JO BURFORD

      I WILL MISS JUST A CASUAL BROWSE NOT INTENT ON BUYING A COMPACT DISC,ALSO I LIKE THE JEWEL CASES AND THE ARTWORK, MY ONLY GRIPE IS THE INFERNAL PLASTIC PACKAGING AROUND A COMPACT DISC, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. PLUS I STILL WILL USE MY ONKYO DUAL CASSETTE DECK, ONKYO RECEIVER AND MY SONY DISCMAN,THAT’S MY IDEA OF LISTENING TO MUSIC.

    • Ged

      First of all vinyl isn’t dead, but it has moved out of use for Joe Six-Pack. Ironically the internet has helped revive its fortunes and Eastern European pressing plants (particularly in the Czech Republic) have moved the quality of pressings forward.

      The move to digial loses a collector element which takes the big volume buyer out of the market and having wall to wall music lessens our appreciation of it.

      The internet gives specialists advantages over the likes of Tower Records as they can exploit a global ‘niche’, downloads won’t kill Tower but poor management that fail to adapt and mine these niches for business will.

    • Constance

      This is what we will miss when the days of control musing was enjoyable. There is, however, a much grander consequence to this trend. Why would we encourage our youth, (the obvious primary target in terms of marketing), to put plugs in their ears and on their phones and on their pc’s so that they not once take time from the bombardment of noice, as it is quite clear this direction will lead to public advertising on the wire, as well. How’s about a little reminder of less noise more peace. Not to mention, at the least, the type of influence you are allowing your youth to be bombarded with; we have a moral and spiritual obligation to our youth by not encouraging or supporting the “plugging in” of our kids! The only commercial I have seen for these types of media was for iTunes on Ipods showing the kids all acting like robots and out of control and then at the end drained like unplugging a robot. Is this what we want our children to know? Or do we give a damn about the programming of our children to be robots. The dire consequences are no less than complete removal from this planet. I am saying a silent oath to do my part to remind others that we cannot allow this to go on. Hello, is there anybody out there?

    • tim

      Your rules:
      Please comment on the subject of the blog post itself.

      Sorry but this comment is on one posting. I never ever (hardly ever) post on a blog or even comment anywhere. However i read them constantly. Whether i agree or not i enjoy all.

      GED 5:38 02 Feb 06 said it all, at least for former wall to wall listeners, in the 2nd paragraph, last sentence.

      “having wall to wall music lessens our appreciation of it. ”

      Even before iPods, MP3’s-yes there actually was a time like that- people used to listen with virtually the same “phones” plugged into cassette music devices(this was even before CDs’). But the music is always the same: Good. Maybe the quality is much better now. I spent 24/7 365 hooked up almost all my life from the early 60’s(we actually had earphones for radios way back in the dark ages) until the late 90’s. And while i still love music especially hard rock heavy metal, not much of the “oldies” thank you, I no longer have the desire i once had.
      “having wall to wall music lessens our appreciation of it. ”
      I’m afraid that says it all. Hopefully it’s only me and not a trend. That is the only meaningfull thing i will say. The rest is pointless but sadly i did write it. Thank you

    • Bruce Potter

      Based on the headline, I thought you were talking more to the question of how long CDs will last, stimulated by some guy recently claiming that a burned CD would not last (reliably) more than two years.

      If that is true, then the shelf life would probably be less than two years?

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