Friday, October 08, 2010

The death of CDs contemplated, as I complete another one. Will it be the last?

In about a week, my latest cd (see below this box) will be coming back from Oasis Disk Manufacturing. I didn't order very many because look:

Best Buy Finally Figures Out People Don't Buy CDs: Reacting to fading sales in most types of disc-based entertainment, Best Buy plans to slash shelf space for CDs and DVDs, making room for things that sell better, which encompasses just about everything else at Best Buy.
RIP, CD: Best Buy to Cut CDs, DVDs: Retail giant Best Buy (BBY) is set to slash the store space it allocates to compact discs and DVDs this holiday season, in a tacit acknowledgment that those products are going the way of the buggy whip... It's the latest blow for the beleaguered compact disc, increasingly viewed as a throwback to a former era.

CD Sales Plummet To Worst In Decades: Nielsen Soundscan data shows that CD sales have plummeted to the lowest numbers the industry has ever seen.

For years music fans would hear a song they like, and then proceed to buy the CD because that was their only option to own the song. Now, fans can log onto iTunes, Amazon, or even right on their mobile phone and download just the song that they want. Why spend $12 when you can just spend $0.99?

Is the death of the CD looming? "Show me a teenager buying a Susan Boyle album on CD and I'll show you someone buying a gift for their grandparent -- for Christmas ... There is definitely an age component to the consumption of music."

There's no sense moaning about it.
  • You can't even buy a cd player to go with your stereo system at Walmart any more - there are only dvd units which happen to also play cds (but not very well);

  • Everybody I know is downloading music. Nobody I know is buying cds.

  • Anybody who happens for some odd reason to buy a cd immediately rips the tracks onto a computer or iPod or something.

Anyway, this my new album, I made it with pianist Aviva Enoch, you can buy it if you're of a mind to: I Can't Complain but sometimes I still do - Yiddish songs - available from Skylark Productions - which is to say, I'll stick one in an envelope and put a stamp on it and mail it to you. It's a cottage industry.

There are boxes of probably never-to-be-sold cds in my attic (a.k.a. the Skylark Productions warehouse); there were boxes of cassettes up there for a decade before I got up the energy to throw them away...

I'm trying to go with the flow. You can buy most of my stuff as mp3 downloads on Amazon - Mappamundi and Pratie Heads in the mp3 section - and as of today I've succeeded in getting one of Skylark Productions albums on iTunes, more to follow. Here it is: New Hope Harmony a capella gospel on iTunes!

I can see good things about this. We could make "albums" that never existed in a physical form - just record a bunch of tracks, paint a cover, and zip them right up on to the internet!

Also, these days, they say, music is like a utility, like water that pours out of a faucet, people want a lot of it and don't really think about where it comes from - so does that mean nobody will care that the wonderful a cappella gospel group New Hope Harmony hasn't actually existed for many years? I have a lot of great old music in my attic - it would be fun if a bunch of people who maybe weren't even around when we made it might hear it again some day.


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