Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Save the CD's!

While the number of legal digital music download purchases continues to grow, the numbers for traditional CD media continue to decline. At first glance this is good news in that it more or less vindicates all of us who knew legal and easy digital downloads would be able to compete with free, illegal ones. Bear in mind, not all free downloads found on Peer to Peer networks are illegal. There is a growing pool of content licensed under the Creative Commons as well as Indie music. P2P appears to continue to evolve into a viable distribution channel for those so inclined to use it.

So, what about the CD? At first I was not bothered by this. Having access to a deep catalog is worth a lot, but is it worth the demise of the CD? Today I'm having second thoughts. Most all of the digital music downloads are compressed audio of one kind or another. Often the quality is good, but it's not as good as a well mastered CD is.

Recently, I went back through my CD collection to listen for forgotten tracks. After listening to so much compressed audio, I find the CD still packs a lot of punch. It's easy to convert into other formats and durable. I will continue to purchase CD media for those pieces of music that are worth the quality. Given all the movement toward DRM enabled services, devices and delivery systems, I think the CD will continue to be a good buy overall.

Consider a purchase or two to keep your options open. In a few years, we all might be glad you did.


Blogger mp3hugger said...

Had a look at some of my old vinyl lps the other day. It'll be nice to hand them over to my kids some day. Try do that with an MP3! It's a difficult quandry, it amazes me that you cannot buy CD covers separately from the full package. There must be a huge market there. Anyone good discussion starter there!

October 04, 2005 2:44 PM  
Blogger Doug Dingus said...

Very interesting observation. I love these kinds of "duh" things.

On one hand, selling the packaging could tie digital downloads to other physical fulfillment services. Lots of possibilities here. I might post a coupla that come to mind in the near future.

On the other hand, those who decide to simply obtain their music via the usual non-official distribution means and methods would then be able to just get the nice artwork to complete their package.

Of course the latter could be very profitable, done right with some incentives to buy other things.

Indie bands could utilize this method today to enhance their digital options, while keeping their costs low. Interested consumers could assemble their own package and shipping of cover art may well fall under standard postal rates, given some hard thought into packaging...

Thanks for an interesting line of thought!

October 04, 2005 3:07 PM  

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