Friday, 13 September 2013

Value deminished edition

I think it is beginning to dawn on avid cd collectors and music lovers, the explosion of interest we have had since the formats launch in December 1982 is in steep decline.
One area where it is obvious is in the repackaging of older discs in budget bare bone packs of Five or  complete sets where shewn of anything other than front and rear art they are offered up at bargain prices to try to raise moneys from previous releases that otherwise they wouldn't of.
These sets are typically issued by Sony/Bmg and Warners with some from the formally independent EMI. Many stores report with even with new discs there's a few weeks brisk sales followed by a short sharp drop.
The other area is in sales of older out of print discs via speciality stores, Ebay or Amazon Marketplace where some titles appear to be almost worthless with a few where you might just get $3 in a trade in now.
Even the area of discs I do spend a fair amount of money on specialty Gold re-masters are not impervious to this drop with pricing falling around 40% or more although I suspect coming from relative high prices around 2006 through 2009 it may have a fair bit to do with the fall in peoples disposable income thanks to the economy as many titles being available "for free" on Torrents and other darker parts of the internet for people to download and play on music servers.
Perversely, it was made it easier for me to get some titles that even used were over $100 mark for a good deal less such as a copy of the MFSL gold issue of Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles for $24. As depreciation doesn't concern me as someone who just buys music to play for pleasure rather than seeing them as financial assets it's no big deal.To me the rationale for buying them is just having great sounding copies of your favourite albums.
Does the cd have a future?

1 comment:

mittfh said...

"Does the CD have a future?"

Most definitely! The format will eventually become niche only (much like vinyl discs and cassette tapes), but it will take some time to get there.

CD singles will probably be the first type of music to desert the format - why pay £3 or more for the track you want and a couple of remixes (not much else is allowed under chart inclusion rules) when you can legally download the track you want for under £1?

Having said that, it would be nice if (a) more online retailers, (b) more hardware devices supported FLAC rather than mp3 (which, being a lossy format, chucks away some of the audio data during encoding: the player attempts to guess what it was and artificially create it during playback).

Albums of popular music will take longer even though they're widely available on both legitimate and illegitimate locations on the web - for a start, many car audio systems can't handle USB input or mp3 CDs and FM transmitters connected to portable digital music players are a bad hack (since you can obviously only control the music on the digital music player, which isn't designed for 'blind' track movements as is the only safe method when driving).

Classical / world / niche music is significantly harder to find in digital format (and in many cases the track listings haven't even made it to cddb/Musicbrainz!) so you're unlikely to see physical CDs for those disappear in the medium to long term.