The CD Is Dead

cdAlain Levy, chairman and CEO of EMI Music, says the music CD is dead. He notes that the majority of people just use CDs to rip their music on their computers to transfer the songs to digital music players.

Back in September 2003 I first wrote about the demise of the traditional music CD. Later that year, I had an epiphany. I didn't want to see my CD collection anymore. I had no use for it. I started ripping every CD in my collection and never looked back. The CD has been dead to me for three years except for a few minutes when I'm ripping the files to high quality DRM-free MP3 files. Once they're digitized, I'm in charge. They're playing off my computers or they're playing on my iRiver. I'm at 1214 complete albums and I can't imagine going back.

So yes Mr. Levy, the CD is dead. It has been for quite some time.

Share this entry

Comments (6 - click here to join in!)


In all reality the CD was never alive. When the CD first hit the market it was meant for small playing devices such as boomboxes and Sony discmans. For some strange reason, manufactuers and corporations tell us what is better even tho' sometimes that is not the case. We were brainwashed and convinced that the CD was better than vinyl as the case with VHS vs. Beta. I find it disppointing that in the 21st century we are substituting convenience over quality. Food for thought......We have the purest of resolution with a recording on vinyl and then we replace that with a less superior format known as CD, yet the true audiophiles still prefer vinyl. Since the 80's and 90's of CD the manufacturers relize how shitty CD sound and they want to mimic the high resolution of vinyl so they invent DVD Audio Discs. By this time too much time has passed and the majority of people don't care while the true music lovers are still purchasing vinyl. I find it disturbing that people are so into this downloading fiasco and by this time you're getting even less quality than a CD. Downloaded music sounds artificial. The bass sounds very digital and muffled. There is absolutely no mid range and the highs sound tinny. The point is, if digital music is so great why do the good artists still record in analog?

October 27, 2006 @ 10:58 PM


It's all about the portability, folks. You can't play a record in your car, for instance. Never could. And quite frankly, it'd sound like crap if you could. I didn't think they sounded all that hot anyway. Plus, you can stick more music on a CD than you can on a record, or even on a casette tape.

As for the whole downloading thing, well, that depends on the quality of the original recording. Y'see, I've never had anything downloaded that I'd consider, really, poor quality. If I sent you an MP3 I've got on this computer, for instance, you probably wouldn't be able to tell me whether or not I downloaded it based on the way it sounds. Then there's the fact I refuse to buy a CD or anything for the sake of 1 or 2 songs. Particularly when I can get said 1 or 2 songs for free, and can probably make my own CD just from the select couple songs who's CD's were otherwise not worth buying. Just something for consideration. Because I do that.

October 27, 2006 @ 11:42 PM


I love CDs because you can listen them anywhere in the highest quality, and throw the music onto your mp3 player. If we're going to replace them, it better not be the mp3.

October 28, 2006 @ 12:02 PM

Mike Boon

I've heard the argument from audiophiles before that vinyl is way better. Call me crazy, but when I'm listening to a high quality MP3, it sounds pretty darn good to my ears.

Since my ears can't tell the difference, it boils down to convenience as James said. One day we'll laugh at the fact we required a physical holding device like a record, cassette or CD to listen to music and watch video.

Having every song I care about readily available on MP3 is maximum convenience for me. On a whim I can quickly throw together playlists based on genre, theme or whatever. Then I'm hearing that mix moments later on the subway, in the car or wherever. Now that's convenience my friends...

October 28, 2006 @ 12:09 PM

If we're going to replace them, it better not be the mp3.

Oh, but it will be, as much as the RIAA would love otherwise. Because you don't get much more convenient or cost effective than that. Contrary to the beliefs of just about anyone who wants to slap DRM restrictions on music.

October 28, 2006 @ 7:13 PM


I use CDs all the time to rip tracks to my computer / MP3 player in MP3 format. I wouldn't consider downloading DRM laden poor-quality tracks in place of buying the CD because
A) CDs can be copied to a format and bitrate of my choice (FLAC/MP3/OGG etc god forbid even WMA!)
B) I have a backup copy that i can restore a lost collection from and if i need to format-shift in the future i can with no loss of quality.

given the choices from my point of view..a) buy cd and rip it b) download illegaly off p2p c) download DRM restrictive tracks..(a) wins over (c) and (b) is miles behind both of em!

for now..the cd isnt dead, its just changed roles ;-)

October 29, 2006 @ 7:35 AM

Leave a comment

Only 6 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!

« The Friday Five We're Gonna Be Winners »