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Compact Disc Turns 26, Has a Bright Future

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the mere-stripling dept.

Media 487

javipas writes "The Compact Disc was created 26 years ago, but apparently it is as healthy as 15 years ago, when computing versions of this format (CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW) made the market explode. Nowadays CD has been replaced in some segments, but not on the music industry, that continues to support it massively. The shy return of vinyl and the absence of real competitors make CD's future very bright, so it seems this birthday will not be by any means the last one we celebrate. Happy birthday!"

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Absence of real competitors (3, Insightful)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691719)

...except mp3s...

Re:Absence of real competitors (3, Funny)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691749)

since I am only 26, I have to ask, is there anything before CD's?

Re:Absence of real competitors (2, Informative)

cyberzephyr (705742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691805)

Yes it's the casette tape. Happy birthday CD!

Re:Absence of real competitors (4, Funny)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691829)

You mean like was there anything before DVD's?

I head about VCR's but I believe that's only a legend.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692407)

What's a DVD?

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691835)

Yea, wax cylinders or analog reel-to-reel (which, IMO, is still the most fun way to record audio).

Re:Absence of real competitors (4, Insightful)

MilesAttacca (1016569) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691931)

Forget not the humble 8-track tape! I have a few hundred of them (before you call me old, examine my UID...I'm 17). For tapes that were made in the age of "disposable music" up to 40 years ago, and as early as 20 years ago, they've really held up to the test of time. And unlike digital, a scratch can't ruin the entire product; at 3 and 3/4 inches of tape per second, minor blemishes don't matter and you can even cut out and resplice segments of tape as needed when a tape does get "eaten" by its player. That being said, my music collection is a healthy mix of 8-tracks, cassettes, vinyl, CDs, and of course several thousand MP3s.

Re:Absence of real competitors (5, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692347)

Forget not the humble 8-track tape!

The eight track is a format best forgotten, as I said in Good Riddance to Bad Tech a few years ago. [kuro5hin.org]

The 8-track tape
This sorry piece of crap is proof positive of American stupidity. The cassette - the (now obsolete) four track, two-spindle, 1/8th inch, 1 /78 IPS shirt pocket sized tape cassette was produced before the 8-track. The four track cassette was originally made as a dictation device, but advances in tape manufacture and head design soon gave them a frequency response that came close to human hearing's limit, signal to noise ratio low enough that you had to turn it up very loud to hear the hiss, and inaudible harmonic distortion which made them ideal for music.

Nevertheless, the 8-track was born anyway. With its transport speed at twice the 4-track cassette's speed, it should have been audibly superior. However, the "powers that be" decided that 8-tracks were going to be for automobiles, which at the time were not as well insulated from outside sounds and wind as today's cars, and with the auto's horrible acoustics, it was OK for a car's music to sound like effluent.

But the deliberately bad sound wasn't bad enough. The eight track tape had a single spindle, a very clever design where the tape fed from the center of the spindle, around a capstain roller inside the housing and back to the outside of the roll of tape. This made for an expensive setup, and one that was prone to wow and flutter, as well as having the tape get "eaten" by the tape player. And unlike a cassette, if your 8-track got ate, you might as well throw it in the trash.

But wait, there's more! This thing was deemed to be for the car, while cassettes were going to be (by about 1970 or so) for the home.

This made no sense whatever, since the "portable" eight track took up as much space as four cassettes, without being able to play any longer than a cassette. In fact, you could buy a longer playing cassette than 8-track.

But the one thing more than anything else that made 8-tracks suck like a Hoover was the fact that it had to change tracks four times during an album. This usually necessitated at least one song and usually more being interrupted in the middle!

Folks finally, after about ten years, started figuring this stuff out for themselves and replaced their 8-track cartriges with 4 track cassettes. Me? I never had an 8-track, although all my friends did. I, the geek, used the far more logical cassettes since about 1966 or 7. Hah! The geek gets the last laugh again!

Oh, btw I am old!

Re:Absence of real competitors (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692499)

Technical error: There are three track changes during an album, not four since the last track change happens between the end and the beginning of the tape.

Re:Absence of real competitors (5, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692403)

Forget not the humble 8-track tape!

I've tried. That, along with mullets and a few other things. ;-)

I have a few hundred of them (before you call me old, examine my UID...I'm 17).

Congrats! Since you're old enough to drive, it's time to start saving up for that used Firebird to go with the 8-track tapes. Alternatively, a fully decked-out van would work, though if you live down south, an old pickup truck might be more appropriate.

Re:Absence of real competitors (5, Informative)

Mix+Master+Nixon (1018716) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692467)

Mod parent funny. 8-track tapes were a mountain of shit. No rewind. Terribly narrow tracks combined with slow tape speeds resulted in asstacular sound quality. The bits of foam glued to the plastic cartridges that pressed the tape against the heads would lose their springiness over time or simply come unglued. Head alignment in players was a major problem. Four "programs" per tape resulted in long songs getting split into pieces. The metallic splice in the loop that triggers the program switch would come unglued, resulting in a loop that was no longer a loop, merely a bunch of tape being pulled out of a cartridge, into a tape deck, and not being returned to the cartridge - an eaten tape, in other words. No rewinding, it's worth mentioning it twice because it was so damn irritating. They get credit for being cool looking. Nothing more, and nothing related to its performance as an audio format.

Re:Absence of real competitors (4, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691769)

Basically....there's no competition because it would be pointless to waste money on a new physical media format with the primary intent of content distribution.

Re:Absence of real competitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691797)

mp3s aren't even near good, because they arn't lossless.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692041)

Neither was tape or vinyl, yet those media sold quite well for decades.

Re:Absence of real competitors (0, Troll)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692237)

That MUST be the reason why mp3s haven't completely replaced physic media! Everyone knows that the highest quality products always sell the best! Just look at Microsoft!

Re:Absence of real competitors (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691807)

Sadly greed killed off DVD-Audio and SA-CD.

They could be the standard today, offering a real benefit over MP3s being shared online, but they're nowhere. Presumably that's because the licensing fees were too high, and then the media was too expensive on top.

So CDs it is.

Re:Absence of real competitors (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692077)

Well, for starters, most studios don't even use the full dynamic range of CD, so DVD-Audio or SA-CD are kind of a waste... they'd just compress the audio to make it sound loud and we'd be in the same boat that we are with CDs.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692185)

Pshhh... You can keep your "MP3s" and "CDs" and all kind of stuff like that. I just hum in the shower, that has enough quality for me.

Re:Absence of real competitors (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692317)

So YOU'RE that guy in the next apartment! Honestly, I thought you were slaughtering sheep!

Re:Absence of real competitors (3, Insightful)

FLEB (312391) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692273)

I suspect you would still have the same apathetic response that HD disc media did (where "BluRay and HD-DVD fought it out, and SD-DVD won"), where the increase in quality isn't dramatic or important enough to warrant the move to a new media, new players, and (often) new DRM. The future is not in another 12cm disc media-- 12cm disc players for current formats are widely owned, a wide base of tools exists to work with the formats-- even CSSed DVD, and the quality is more than adequate for all but those who spend more time analyzing sound than listening to it.

I suppose multi-channel audio could be one exception, although that still would struggle to make it out of a niche. It's a matter of relatively few multichannel PCs and stereo systems versus an overwhelming base of stereo receivers, players, boom-boxes, and portables.

If anything, the evolution of media is going to focus on physical form factor, deliverability, and perhaps durability. Sound quality is a finished game-- the challenge is now convenience and usability.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

Torontoman (829262) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691817)

True... I don't recall seeing a Disc player at the Gym in a LOOOOOONG time. I guess it'll have it's niches but it'll be squeezed more and more into irrelevance.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

MilesAttacca (1016569) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691831)

I'd like to think that MP3s are not so much competition as existing on a different level. CDs are physically tangible high-quality audio, and they do a good job of that. MP3s are *medium-transparent* audio that uses human audio perception to deliver high quality in a small file size. The thing is that these days, consumers want audio in a format that will work across many mediums, instead of being limited to CDs.

Re:Absence of real competitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692123)

Mp3s suck ass compared to CD. The last thing I want is a format where I lose audio quality to be the standard.

No thank you I will continue getting CDs and then ripping to FLAC.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692199)

You can put mp3 files on a CD, and play them in a CD player that has a mp3 codec in its embedded firmware.

Of course, .WAV or FLAC is better quality, but no one cares about quality for it to affect the market, apparently.

CDs compete with Flash memory and hard drives.

Re:Absence of real competitors (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692319)

mp3's still only account for 15% of music sales.

They really aren't that strong a competitor to CD's.

The real competitor for consumer's money is the DVD.

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692333)

Some of us happen to store those on CDs, you insensitive clod!

Re:Absence of real competitors (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692547)

How did you get modded "Insightful"?

CDs are a storage medium, MP3s are a file format. You can rip all of your CDs and make a bunch of MP3 files but unless you have something to put them on they're useless, that's where CDs come in. If you haven't noticed, CDs are cheap, easily available, easy to write to, and they don't require a computer or an internet connection for transferring media (you can't just go into a store and buy a bunch of MP3s, you need something to put them on, like a CD.)

Screw the CD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691753)

I got a new DVD. It's wicked awesome!

The audio CD will not go away for a while.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691763)

More and More car stereos, even factory stereos will play from an ipod or better yet a usb memory device filled with mp3 music. In fact Clarion recently released 2 new car stereos that cant play a CD, only digital memory formats.

I see the CD going away slowly as digital downloads become more and more popular, but that is completely dependent on DRM going away. I have enough friends and customers that are pissed at itunes DRM right now that they will not buy another song.

Re:The audio CD will not go away for a while.... (1)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691999)

Not only does DRM need to go away, but with ever-increasing bandwidth there's no reason to NOT sell lossless audio.

If labels would sell music the way NIN has for their last two albums (Ghosts / The Slip) and include the artwork and all those goodies, I'd probably never actually buy another CD again.

Until then, it's rip to FLAC.

Re:The audio CD will not go away for a while.... (2, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692281)

Bandwidth isn't the issue so much as the migration to flash-based portable players. The iPod Touch for example is 32GB max with an 8GB option still available. When storage is that constrained many people will be space-limited and would be able to carry many fewer songs with FLAC.

As flash sizes increase and prices go down I wouldn't be surprised to see lossless formats crop up. At the present, though, the decision wouldn't make much sense for a large group of users.

Re:The audio CD will not go away for a while.... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692541)

More and More car stereos, even factory stereos will play from an ipod or better yet a usb memory device filled with mp3 music. In fact Clarion recently released 2 new car stereos that cant play a CD, only digital memory formats.

I see the CD going away slowly as digital downloads become more and more popular, but that is completely dependent on DRM going away. I have enough friends and customers that are pissed at itunes DRM right now that they will not buy another song.

Better than an ipod of USB jack would be a standard headphone jack connection. Every car stereo should have had this since CD became a viable format. Instead, it was impossible to play existing cassettes on a cd player, difficult and lossy to play a cd on a cassette player, and usually difficult and lossy to play mp3s on any system out of the tiny portable players most people have. Seeing proprietary (ipod) connectors makes me mad, USB is better, but people should be able to plug in any audio device and play. This would cost pennies per system. Hell, I'd pay more for a system with no cd player, no memory, and only a headphone jack than I'd play for any other type of car audio system without the headphone jack, and I'm not alone.

h h h pppp p p yyy b b b b bir th d d d day (2, Insightful)

opencity (582224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691789)

IMHO the iPod et al spells doom for the CD. As soon as 'the kids' can transfer music phone 2 phone there goes the music biz.
However, as burning and archive mechanism, why not, but no room there for the 'labels'

I have been doing phone2phone for a while (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691945)

but I don't have kids to teach. It's easy, I just swap Microsd cards, and mail them any "non" mp3 stuff they had on it back.

Re:h h h pppp p p yyy b b b b bir th d d d day (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692091)

The iPod spells doom for the pop music CD. All the other music genres are doing fine on CD.

Re:h h h pppp p p yyy b b b b bir th d d d day (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692159)

Transferring music phone to phone has been pretty easy for a few years. On my (three-year-old) Nokia handset, it's select the track, menu, sent, bluetooth, wait for it to find the other person's device, and then select it. Transfer rate is about 50KB/s, so it would take about 20 seconds per MB, around a minute or two for a song to transfer (although you can put the phone back in your pocket after starting the transfer, as long as you stay within a few metres of the other person). Transferring an entire album, obviously, would take a lot longer, although with newer phones supporting WiFi it's probably pretty easy. On the other hand, a modern phone has a 2-7Mb/s connection to the Internet, so why not send the files directly to the other person's PC at home?

Re:h h h pppp p p yyy b b b b bir th d d d day (1)

LunarEffect (1309467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692509)

I for one will never stop my indy-music CD collecting. I like to support the artists if they are with a good, fair lable.

Cost of production and ease of "lockdown" (4, Insightful)

Lucid 3ntr0py (1348103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691803)

I think Cds have remained so popular because they're cheap to make, small enough to be convient, and simple to lock down.

Why shouldn't we switch over to flashdrives? They're even better than CDs(smaller,more space, very cheap and getting cheaper,can't scratch)But they're easier to modify. It's hard for the average user to jailbreak/mod a CD. Not so much for new forms of media.

Although the hyper vigilance of Blu-Ray firmware updates may seem to contradict me...

Re:Cost of production and ease of "lockdown" (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692043)

Are you perhaps conflating CDs with optical media? Otherwise your post doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Flashdrives have fairly slow read/write speeds, they only last a certain number of read-write cycles, they're more expensive per unit, they are easier to lose (if you've seen mine, let me know!), and let me know how many average users can modify a flash drive.

Re:Cost of production and ease of "lockdown" (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692167)

Their slow speeds compared to a CD, I am not sure about that, CDs aren't that fast.

The numbers of reads-writes before they die, is actually quite high, I havn't seen one go on me yet. Besides you can only write to a CD once (for the cheap types) the more expensive only a few times.

Easier to loose, I would say about the same. It is just that the CDs scratch so easially we take better care of them. But you will be supprise when I reorganize or clean up how many Linux CDs that I burned I find. They just slip behind the smallest crack.

Being most are made for the computer to read it is easy for most people to modify a flash drive, much easier then a CD. However... I don't see any reason why they cannot make a normal read-only version.

Re:Cost of production and ease of "lockdown" (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692339)

Their slow speeds compared to a CD, I am not sure about that, CDs aren't that fast.

Not to mention a song would be a good 10-20 seconds in from a flash drive before the stupid cd player spun-up and started playing the tune.

Re:Cost of production and ease of "lockdown" (1)

KovaaK (1347019) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692211)

... they only last a certain number of read-write cycles...

It is the write cycle that limits them - you can read from it as much as you want. Still, I was under the impression that most flash drives will last longer than a typical burned CD will (pressed CDs may be a different story) even if you very rigorously use the flash drive. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

...and let me know how many average users can modify a flash drive.

Let's assume that the parent was speaking of modifying the data on the data medium, and not opening up the flash drive to physically modify it.

Re:Cost of production and ease of "lockdown" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692147)

What the heck are you saying with "Simple to lock down?!" The Redbook specification for CDs is quite clear on DRM: there cannot be any. Standalone players are designed to this spec, so anything on the disc MUST be readable. By definition, audio CDs cannot be locked down at all.

This is why all 'copy protection' schemes A) break the Redbook spec, so the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo cannot be included on the disc or packaging, and B) are ridiculously easy to bypass by disabling Autoplay and ripping with something like EAC.

The real list is that they are cheap, small enough to be convenient, have sufficient redundancy to last a long time, and by definition have no copy-protection systems. THAT is why they have remained popular over other formats.

26th? (5, Insightful)

Spankophile (78098) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691821)

Who the hell celebrates a "26th" anniversary?

It's like dog years. (2, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691957)

Well, it's 2600 in computer years...

Re:26th? (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691985)

Who the hell celebrates a "26th" anniversary?

Someone who has already celebrated a 25th, but hasn't reached a 27th.

Seriously, I don't know about you, but my birthdays and anniversaries happen every year. The coolest parties happen on the ones divisible by 5, but people do acknowledge them as they happen.

Cheers

Re:26th? (5, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691995)

Who the hell celebrates a "26th" anniversary?

You do if you've been married to your wife for 26 years. Or you won't be celebrating a 27th anniversary.

Re:26th? (2, Funny)

backbyter (896397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692029)

It's a digital Silver Birthday.
1st=0, 2nd=1, ..., 26th = 25

Re:26th? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692061)

.. and how is this news?

Re:26th? (3, Funny)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692125)

Who wouldn't celebrate the Polycarbonate Anniversary? There's lots of good ones around there. You know. 24 is Neodymium, and 27 is Jungle Camouflage!

Re:26th? (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692223)

My mom does. At twenty-six candles, the birthday cake is pretty much butchered.

Re:26th? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692227)

People who base their counting systems on the phonecian alphabet, that's who!

Happy Zth, CD!

Re:26th? (1)

the kostya (1277822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692551)

Zth? Shouldn't it be BAth? If you take A to be a null value (essential for modern math), Z is 25 in decimal. 26 base 10 is the radix!

Re:26th? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692451)

Someone with a collection of burned CDs that are still readable?

Re:26th? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692461)

Someone who is so desperate to get a story on Slashdot that they need some excuse to bring up a subject that has been hashed 50 times before. It was either this or some stupid Ask Slashdot like, 'Should I buy this CD or is the format dead.'

Re:26th? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692465)

Who the hell celebrates a "26th" anniversary?

I celebrated my 26th anniversary. Got divorced the following year though...

CDs are cheap storage (2, Informative)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691833)

I am shocked that the summary lists the music industry as the reason that CDs have endured as long as they have. The music industry enjoyed record CD sales during the 1990s. Those days are long gone. Online distribution is the medium of choice for that.

CDs have been relegated to the ranks of $0.50 disposal media storage for 650 MBs at a time. When this disc space is used so ~200 Mp3s can be "backed up" in case of Mp3 device or harddrive failure... then you can argue that the "music industry" is being supported by the continued usage of CDs. But don't be fooled... the only reason to keep CDs around is because of the need to cheap, disposal media distribution. Neither e-mail, online storage, or UBS memory sticks quite fit the same niche as the standard CD.

Re:CDs are cheap storage (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692119)

The music industry enjoyed record CD sales during the 1990s. Those days are long gone.

And if you listen to the RIAA, then the sole reason for that is online piracy. They always point to that peak in the 1990's as being the point that CD sales should be at (or higher) if piracy was stopped. However, it is more truthful to say that it was a temporary high point in sales and that sales dropped afterwords due to normal market forces. (Normal Market Forces including piracy, but not as the main component... probably not even as a major component.)

Greed killed CD sales (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692345)

Here' an example:

The Beatles, Hard Day's Night, the movie on DVD is twelve bucks at Best Buy. [bestbuy.com] It pretty much has every song on the album in the movie. Twelve bucks.

The Beatles, Hard Day's Night, the CD. Has all the music, none of the movie. Price? Fourteen bucks. [bestbuy.com] Same thing, but on media with less scratch resistance, less storage space, and oh yeah - no movie.

The reason why people aren't buying music is because it's not worth it. The price is artificially inflated, which makes consumers grumpy and unwilling to buy.

Re:CDs are cheap storage (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692131)

But don't be fooled... the only reason to keep CDs around is because of the need to cheap, disposal media distribution.

Well, that at the fact that everybody is set up to handle this particular kind of media.

Seriously, my car, my computer, my CD changer, the stereo in my living room ... they all support the physical medium. Coming out with the "new hotness" of form factor and expecting everybody to re-tool everything is stupid. Even if we can do better, CDs have the advantage that everyone has the gear to deal with them.

Once technology becomes that ubiquitous, throwing away the form factor because you've thought of a cooler way that people should pay you for would be stupid ... sounds like something Sony would do. Consumers don't want to replace every damned thing they own every couple of years just because some company has come up with a new shape or format.

It's be like saying "hey, I know, let's completely change all of the AC plug designs because this one is prettier". You're not going to get everyone rushing to your door to switch over to this new plug format, because the nuisance and cost of switching vastly outweigh any small benefit to the consumer.

Things like this persist because they work, they're well understood, and the technology to work with them is everywhere.

Got a new idea for a 1" cube to be a replacement for the CD player? Sorry, just not interested. But, don't think that it isn't the combined amount of places where we use the 5 1/4" media that's keeping it around as a form factor -- it's the standard, and we're not looking for a new one.

Cheers

Ohh, I just had an idea. (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692253)

What about coating a roof w/ used CD's!

I want to be the first to coat my roof (shiny side up) w/ nothing but metallica albums!

Really though, CDs are an O.K. medium to get music to your computer quickly if you have dialup. Remember that in the US broadband penetration kinda blows, and in many areas if you don't like the company that offers it your SOL. for $50 broadband fee / mo. you could buy like 10 new CD's (if that was the only reason you needed broadband it'd make sense)

And to those who say 1 gig flash drives, phooey They'll just stack up because no one will use 25 1g flash drives. I say a flash drive KIOSK that loads what you want to buy onto the drive you own right there instantly.

It's what 2 min to fill a 2 gig flash memory? Plug drive in, format /q, copy leave store, plug it in your stereo/comp/ cellphone, PDA, etc.

Re:CDs are cheap storage (5, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692539)

Online distribution is the medium of choice for that.

You can't buy online music from a band at 1:30 am inside a bar as you drunkenly stagger and give them the ultimate praise: "You dudes rock!" But you can reach into your pocket and pull out a $10 bill (you've been doing that all night anyway as you buy beers) in exchange for a plastic box.

CDs aren't going away yet. They, combined with T-shirts, are an important part of offsetting some bands' travel (and drinking) expenses. How can you replace that? Bring a laptop along on a night of drinking, and hope the bar has free wifi, so you can say "you dudes rock" as you peer at a little screen and give them the satisfaction of seeing you click on something, so that the band can then collect the money after they've already spent it on beer and gasoline? I don't think so.

Explain this to me. (5, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691843)

You used to have to buy writable 650Mg CDs for $1. Now you can get a gig of flash, near infinitely rewritable for $7 [newegg.com] . Impervious to scratches, can survive several trips through the washer, and have fast read/write speeds. I cannot understand how TFA is so optimistic. When CDs came out, it would take weeks to download a full CD, now I can download a 720p torrent in an few hours. My HDDVD player has a Ethernet jack... so how long until we stop spinning discs and start slinging bits?

Re:Explain this to me. (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692019)

so how long until we stop spinning discs and start slinging bits?

When the auto industry gets their heads out of their asses and home media servers are as easy as an external hard drive to set up and as cheap.

We're finally getting to the point of optional iPod factory head units for autos now. Up until a year or two ago you had to go third party for that kind of thing. Once a universal standard comes around for portable media players they're will be a surge in head units supporting this. Until then there is going to be iPods and a few USB players/drives. The portable media player needs to mature a bit more before the auto industry will play catch up.

And for the 2-3 PC home both NAS and home media servers are still a bit on the high end of the price range. Geeks and technophiles have already jumped for it, everyone else sees it as an expensive toy like they did with LaserDisc.

Re:Explain this to me. (1)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692307)

Exactly. Built-in car stereos have odd shapes that make them difficult to replace; most play only CDs and the "extra" of playing MP3 CDs (a pain in the ... to make) or an AUX input costs as much as a Pimp My Ride stereo system.

Re:Explain this to me. (3, Funny)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692171)

Too bad AOL stopped giving away media before flash cards replaced CDs.

Re:Explain this to me. (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692239)

You used to have to buy writable 650Mg CDs for $1. Now you can get a gig of flash, near infinitely rewritable for $7. Impervious to scratches, can survive several trips through the washer, and have fast read/write speeds. I cannot understand how TFA is so optimistic.

Personally, I'm not going to lend someone my flash drive.
They're small, easy to lose (though I keep mine on a lanyard) and I have other stuff on it.

You burn someone a CD or DVD, it doesn't take all that long, it's cheap, but most importantly, you don't expect it back. IMO, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are disposable in a way that even a cheap flash drive is not.

Re:Explain this to me. (4, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692385)

Now you can get a gig of flash, near infinitely rewritable for $7 [newegg.com]. Impervious to scratches, can survive several trips through the washer, and have fast read/write speeds. I cannot understand how TFA is so optimistic.

Why is there a market for paper plates when you can use ceramic ones over and over? Because you can throw it away.

The shy return of vinyl? (4, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691847)

The truth is that vinyl never went away.

A few years ago someone at worked asked me what the last Rush album was that came out on vinyl and after some poking around I found out that they all had up to the latest (Vapor Trails, IIRC). The thing is that many people lost touch with vinyl but the die-hards* kept with it. I don't know if it's the nostalgia factor or even if it's true that vinyl is making a comeback but the bottom line is that it wasn't a matter of the vinyl not being there but rather listeners who didn't know where to look.

* Yeah, if you're one of the small percentage of all people over the age of 17 who can really hear the difference. Otherwise you're probably only fooling yourself.

Re:The shy return of vinyl? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692141)

I'm a vinyl nut, but there are many albums I don't want on vinyl including many of the later Rush albums. The reason is simple: You can't get more than about 40-45 minutes on a single LP without serious quality loss (quick explanation: the louder the music is on the LP, the better the S/N ratio but the more space the groove modulations take up). These full-length 55+ minute CD's on LP sound awful unless they make it a double LP set.

Re:The shy return of vinyl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692229)

Depends on what you mean by "hear the difference". Vinyl has a far more restricted dynamic range than CD because it's a physical medium. Of course it also has a more restricted pitch range, which you're referring to, but the lands and grooves on vinyl can only go so deep. I can definitely hear the difference between a lot of audio that's on vinyl or on CD, because I'm able to pick out where the compression has come in. Granted, I work with audio all the time so my ear is trained for that through exposure, but there are cues other than the audible range.

Re:The shy return of vinyl? (1)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692327)

Most vinyls I've seen bear the DDA symbol, tough. They're not "the real stuff".

AOL Coaster CDs (1, Interesting)

KovaaK (1347019) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691857)

Remember when AOL used to spew out those CDs to pimp their dialup service? I use to use them as coasters for my coffee cup.

I also remember AOL giving out so many floppy disks that I never had to buy my own since neighbors/friends just gave them to me saying "here, you can use these, right?"

Then when they changed to CDs, it took about two years before some people caught on that I couldn't reuse those in quite the same way...

Re:AOL Coaster CDs (2, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691895)

Damn right it's not the same way but they sure are a lot of fun if you own a shotgun, someone to pitch them like a Frisbee and some #7 bird-shot shells.

Re:AOL Coaster CDs (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692203)

Heh, I remember calling up Compuserve, AOL, and anyone else with a freephone number who sent out disks. Pretty much every ISP used to do it back in the early '90s, and so I never had to buy floppies.

Re:AOL Coaster CDs-Yeah But... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692349)

Then when they changed to CDs, it took about two years before some people caught on that I couldn't reuse those in quite the same way...

Yeah but those metal cans the CD's came in were great for sending out my own to friends.

Re:AOL Coaster CDs (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692395)

AOL was nothin'. CompuServe would give you a five- or six-disk set (Mac was 6, PC was 5), and there was online ordering. Unfortunately, my parents cut me off of it once UPS started delivering shipping boxes full of free floppies.

My first music CD (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691915)

Was a New Order album I bought because of the "True Faith" track (from the Bright Lights, Big City movie), which I just had to have. Of course out also went $1,200 on a Technics CD deck as well, because I only had tape and turntable at the time.

I don't have the disc anymore (I do have the box somewhere) but I have this distinct memory of CDs being a lot thicker and heavier back then. Anyone remember that?

Re:My first music CD (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692145)

Same here - it was New Order, Substance in 1987. Apparently compiled so Tony Wilson (Factory records boss) could have all his New Order singles on 2 cd's.. Ostensibly, this was for him to play in the car, but I'm not sure car CD players were about then..? If they were they wouldn't have been cheap.. CD's were much thicker back then, but I do remember a case of a time where I was commenting on how indestructible CD's were to my GF of the time while flexing it ever so slightly in my palm... The tiniest amount... It shattered in front of our eyes... So much for that theory...

NOT as healthy as 15 years ago (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691921)

I bet there is some occasional unexplained knee pain. And for some reason, compact disks can no longer eat bananas without violent diarrhea.

Unfortunately (3, Insightful)

k31bang (672440) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691933)

Unfortunately we can't sing Happy Birthday to the CD without paying royalties. Such a cruel world. =/

please go away (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691939)

I don't like them and I nearly don't use them anymore. They have taken the place of the floppy disk for me - three out of four CDs I burn have some OS that I can boot from.
When I want to share some files, I put them on a USB-stick or a portable hard drive.
There was a time when I stored backups on CDs, but the hassle of organizing and searching them is just too big.
Don't get me even started on buying software or music ;-)
I hope 1TB USB-sticks will come about soon.

Turns 26 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691949)

Cool! Now it's insurance rates will go down!

CD question I'd like to know the answer to... (3, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691967)

Does anyone know how the CD came to be 5.25" in diameter?

Were the designers intentionally working with from the size of the floppy disk, which happened to be right for car CD players?

Or were they working to fit the same size as car stereos, which happened to be the same size as 5.25" floppy drives?

Or did they ignore both and just happen to end up that size?

Or did someone happen to have a 5.25" floppy drive in their car, and thought it would be great to read more than 1.2mb worth of data on a disc?

Re:CD question I'd like to know the answer to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692133)

I rather suspect it has something to do with the width a drive can be in a typical computer case. As much data as possible on a disk who's drive can fit in the space formerly occupied by a 5.25 inch floppy drive... and you get a 5.25 inch CD.

Re:CD question I'd like to know the answer to... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692447)

I rather suspect it has something to do with the width a drive can be in a typical computer case.

We used to have 8" floppy drives - why not use that size then? Or who said it had to fit inside a computer case? A lot of early CD-ROM drives were external, and early home CD audio drives were huge ... there was a time when it didn't seem like we would ever see portable CD audio players.

Re:CD question I'd like to know the answer to... (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692261)

Does anyone know how the CD came to be 5.25" in diameter?

Um, mine are all 12cm?

Re:CD question I'd like to know the answer to... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692527)

Does anyone know how the CD came to be 5.25" in diameter?

Um, mine are all 12cm?

The question remains, though, regardless of how one measures the diameter. Is it by design or coincidence that the CD size matches the size of the floppy drive (and the car audio deck as well)?

I have an 8-track in my old car that is the same external width as a CD player that I have for a newer car.

I'm hearing a lot of MP3... (2, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691969)

but how the heck do I return an MP3? When on the road, I've always turned to renting audio books from cracker barrel.

It's great because, depending on my time, I stop and get a new book if I want one. I couldn't do that with an MP3 or USB stick without my computer. I know ATT would pitch a fit if I tried downloading 12-16 Cd's worth of book Over-the-air.

I know of nothing online that rivals something like what Cracker Barrel has going on for $4 a week.

Makes me sad, really. (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 6 years ago | (#24691971)

As a huge fan of DVD-Audio, it saddens me to see plain old CD still cleaning house. I guess the public at large just does not care about audio fidelity, or an immersive music experience.

Re:Makes me sad, really. (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692113)

I guess the public at large just does not care about audio fidelity, or an immersive music experience.

The public at large cannot and will not pay for the immersive audio music experience and even less of them have hearing capable of enjoying it.

Let's be honest, for most people the 10 USD ear buds is more than enough in their opinion. Tell them you own a 600 USD set of Sennheisers and you'd swear that you just told them you just paid 600 USD for a candy bar.

Quality playback equipment is expensive. Most people can't justify 99 cents for a song, how do you think they can justify a few hundred to a few thousand for playback equipment?

Re:Makes me sad, really. (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692455)

The public listens to music on the go. Not many people bother sitting down and listen to music without other things going on, so audio fidelity isn't high on the priority list.

mmmmm.... media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691979)

I remeber the big CDs, they looked like vinyls, but digital. I always wanted to get a cd player in my car that supported those. CDs have been around, i remember being about 6 listening to the radio and them talking about how 'compact discs' will replace tapes soon. And them my older sister got all of her music on them, and i stole them all.. The good days.... The best thing about Cds is that they are
a) very cheap, easy to replace and backup
b) durable
the fact that the scratch easy sucks, but you always have option a, so burning a bunch of tunes and then letting them roll around your truck is nothing. You can buy a stack of 100 CDs for like $10, and just burn a new CD everytime you need some more music, and dont have to worry about hurting them, THEY ARE CHEAP! I think CDs are great. You can even get them wet. And they are also dual purpose: Listen to music, fireworks display in microwave. Cant beat that! I think CDs will be around for a while, at least another 10 years. Until they find a new music medium standard. Flash drives and I pods are OK, but there not made for music. Just because you can put digital information on cassette tape, doesnt mean flash drives will be a music standard. I guess if anything id like to see a CD that can hold 10X what it can now, for music, and use it in a car (remember, it needs to be cheap, and durable, and firework capable) BluRay is only 2 of those. So until BluRay comes down in price, to about $1 a disc, CD will dominate.

Re:mmmmm.... media (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692565)

You mean Laserdisc [wikipedia.org] ?

They were usually used for movies, and the video on them was actually analog, so your comparison to a record is very apt.

Bright future (2, Interesting)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692083)

CD is still good format for storing normal data in offices. I dont now mean any games what needs DVD's or HD movies, but normal office data. For sending photos it is great because you need to store photos in JPEG (or other) format so you get them to small size. CD is good unless you need to send all RAW photos what you toke in weddings or other similar situation.

What I really like about CD, is it's lifetime. It has be used to store music what can be still played. Only thing what makes it worse, is these new ideas to push DRM's to them what makes CD's more like use-and-throw-away medias. That is the about on music business. That feeling I have got from music corporations.

So I can still listen those 15-20 years old CD's on my computer or car stereos, but I am not sure can I listen CD what I can buy today from store.

Same thing is happening on technology, television gets digitalized and all standards starts to be changed every 3-5 years. Reminds me just from the Microsoft Office format.
I hope that Blu-ray disk is now such media, that can be keeped next 20 years. Altought personally I am scared that there is coming next media around a 2015.

Is it really so that old medias actually stored the data better way because it could be used longer? Like VHS, CD, Vinyl, paper etc? The problem is not the technology itself, it is on companies who wants money and more money by "inventing" better versions after a next one and pushing them out faster rate.

Has a bright future? not in my house. (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692087)

Someone recently asked if I'd send them a CD of some pictures. I looked at them funny, and then realized that not everyone realizes CDs are dead yet. It's like when Grandpa's on Life Support in the ICU, and the Brainwaves aren't registering, but you still go in and say goodbye. The best uses of CDs now is Skeet targets, and decorations. I just want a car stereo that can do DL DVDs for Mp3's and gives me options to play through a directory structure, and make / edit playlists on the fly QUICKLY. Then, I'll replace the monsoon system in my car, assuming I still own a standard 4 wheeled vehicle by then.

(for instance play Outkast /stankonia & /Speakerbox disc 1 & /Speakerbox disc 2 etc..)

CDs are still around... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692387)

why do DJ's tote around packs of 100's of audio CD's instead of MP3's?
you dump anything less than a 320kbs MP3 through a big system at about 90DB, it sounds monumentally crap. a poorly recorded mp3 can actually damage hearing at high volume due to the "missing" audio data. you can actually see the missing sound on a good EQ, which forms an incomplete 'compressed' waveform, which your hearing is unable to deal with at high pressure (70+DB).

mind you, i am looking to replace my AudioCD only MK2 CDJ1000's with MK3's that support playing mp3's from CD's and SD cards... if only cos i can't be arsed to carry around cases full of CD's when gig'ing.

its a shame DVD audio hasn't come in as strongly, and now we got blueray audio?

Re:Has a bright future? not in my house. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692495)

Why? Both my motorcycle and my cars have the ability to play music off my 16 gig USB thumb drives. (The car will use a 40gig Hard drive connected tot he usb in the back.

are you not looking very hard for stereos that do this? Also who the hell makes playlists in their car while driving? make your m3u playlists at home and selected them in the car.

Ripped Off (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692265)

It may have a healthy future, but now it's severely overpriced. Initially they were expensive because it was new technology and expensive to build plants to manfacture the raw blanks, master, and press them. Over time we were promised that the price would come down drastically as the process matured. That was proven true with CD players.

Of course that turned out to be a lie with the media itself, and prices have risen steadily while the costs of production have plummeted. And the artists will tell you that they're not getting any more money out of them in mechanical royalties than before either.

Evidence of how badly ripped off you are in CD's is evident by the healthy profits made by DVD's which contain far more content, and cost far more to master and press, yet sell for nearly comparable prices. Until we Just Say No to overpriced music CD's we might was well just open our wallets to the recording industry and say, "Just take what you want."

Re:Ripped Off (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692569)

Evidence of how badly ripped off you are in CD's is evident by the healthy profits made by DVD's which contain far more content, and cost far more to master and press, yet sell for nearly comparable prices.

Sorry, but today DVDs cost no more to manufacture than CDs. Virtually the same equipment is used and it is pretty much a closed process. You might be able to convince me that you are going to pay 2x for a dual-layer disc but not much more than that.

Trying to say a DVD contains "more" content than a CD fails in any terms other than bytes. You don't buy books by the pound nor do you buy concert tickets by the song. Quantative measurements do not reflect anything except a misguided attempt to justify pricing by marginal cost. You aren't paying because of what it cost to make CDs and DVDs any more than you are paying for any other creative work by what it cost to make.

You can argue about where the money goes that you are paying, but trying to say you should pay what it costs to make is saying there are no other costs. Surely "creativity" is worth something, isn't it? If you are employed to write code how would you feel about being paid by the line, as if the only effort was simply typing and nothing else was a part of what you were doing?

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