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Sony Closing 18M CD/Month Plant

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the end-of-an-era dept.

Sony 318

coondoggie writes "Sony this week said it was shuttering one of its largest CD manufacturing plants — citing the impact of digital downloads and other economic issues. The plant, which has been in operation for some 50 years, first producing vinyl records, will close on March 31 and about 300 people will lose their jobs. The 500,000-square-foot warehouse began producing vinyl LPs in 1960 and moved to CD manufacturing in 1988. At its capacity, the plant was making 18 million CDs per month, according to its website."

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The eco-friendliness of downloads. (5, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848780)

That's a stunning amount of plastic waste and manufacturing process waste no longer being generated.

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848894)

Don't be fooled. The summary says nothing of the sort.

It says it's "Shuttering" the plant - a clever mind game to make you think they mean "Shutting Down" but they are actually just installing new blinds for the windows. It says that on March 31 it will "Close" - they probably just mean locking up for the night. On April 1 they might "ReOpen". 300 people will lose their jobs? They didn't say who, when, or where, it was only implied at the plant, but its not really specific enough to be sure. They could mean just 300 people in general will lose their job. A very low-ball estimate, if you ask me.

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (0)

Pope Raymond Lama (57277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848902)

Even, if one does the math, they are just going from 0.000017 workers per CD per month to 0. Not a great loss from this point of view.

The difference is that they are no longer cashing in $20.00 - (pay of 1.66e-5 worker) per 20 or so musics people listen to.

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849248)

The worker to production unit ratio is never a measure of anything important anyhow. It isn't a great loss, as you stated, but it isn't a great point either.

where do you think computers come from? (5, Insightful)

hildi (868839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849074)

a CD manufacturing plant in a country with an actual working EPA is far, far better for the environment than the toxic waste dump that we are creating in China right now,where environmental activists get thrown in prison as 'enemies of the state'. . Thats what we do to make all of these iphones, ipads, iwhatever, which seem to get thrown out every 2 years for the 'new generation'. Close your eyes, stick your head in the sand, pretend that magic fairys give you printed circuit boards. also, where do you think the energy comes from to power the servers for downloads? it ain't some wind farm. i don't see any "renewable offset purchasing" logo on the apple istore. that 'clean tech' is powered by dirty, dirty coal dug out from the innards of a mountain and burned in a giant plant that pours smoke into the air

Re:where do you think computers come from? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849344)

Damnit, don't tell me that now even plants are bad for the environment?! We just can't win!

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849142)

It's a staggering amount for a single factory - enough to supply AOL for about three days!

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849208)

Yes, instead we've replaced it with the 6 month cycle of ever increasing CPU transistor count, more memory, "smart" phones, LCD TV, hard drives, etc that are required to play these "digital" downloads. (CDs are digital too).

And of course, as soon as something's wrong, or it looks obsolete, toss the whole thing in the garbage and expect the global oil-powered economy to deliver a new system to your door. Wow, so green!

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (4, Insightful)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849440)

required to play these "digital" downloads

I'm not sure this is the most effective use of condescending quote marks. Usually when you use those, it is to imply that the thing in quotes is false, not that the thing in quotes is true elsewhere also.

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849454)

This is part of the reason I switched to using a netbook for work and play. To prove that I don't need to take part in at least part of this cycle. Too many people upgrade simply to have the newest or most powerful thing they can have, rather than realising their 5 year old laptop or whatever is actually still a capable machine (especially if you get rid of Windows).

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849524)

This is part of the reason I switched to using a netbook for work and play.

So, to prove you won't just buy another machine...you bought another machine. How's that again?

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849302)

Well there will always be a small demand in the future for CD's. They still occasionally sell buggy whips, player pianos, and Model-T windshields too.

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849502)

I predict that they will be sought after, much like vinyl records are today, and with much the same rationale. The difference is, this time they'll be right.

Don't get me wrong: I love vinyl records, but I like them for being vinyl records. I don't make any specious claim that they sound better.

I do, however claim that, with the exception of some FLAC downloads, CDs sound better than digital downloads. Of course, the real question is whether or not it matters, or if MP3 and other lossy codecs are "good enough". It's up to the end user to make that call.

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849620)

Alas, like LPs, we get into things like the loudness war. For example, the original song when first put out in the late 90s had good range and fidelity, the rereleased version in 2003 is overly compressed garbage compared to the former...

It's in South Jersey. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849402)

Hey Slashdot, why do you let these schills come here to make money from you?

Submitted by... Coondoggie. The blog this links to is run by Michael Cooney. Hmmmm.

Well Mr. Cooney, just as the comments on your ad-revenue blog say, you have failed to mention the location of the plant. Then instead of providing us with the link to your "source", you link us to your site to generate hits.

You sir, are a hack.

Here's the actual news story:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/homepage/20110112_Sony_will_close_South_Jersey_CD_plant.html

Re:The eco-friendliness of downloads. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849674)

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
Why American men should boycott American women

http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

obligatory (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848782)

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of rootkits suddenly cried out in terror."

Re:obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849120)

No, "obligatory" is not a synonym for "predictable" or "unfunny." Cut it out.

Re:obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849544)

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of rootkits suddenly cried out in terror."

This

WTF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34848820)

... They're not blaming piracy?

Re:WTF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34848906)

I think it was AOL no longer shipping CDs.

Re:WTF... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848920)

The bopycott is working!

A Canadian perspective. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848840)


If this plant were in Canada, the government would impose another tariff on blank CDs and give the cash to the CD manufacturers. Have to make up for the evil pirates somehow!

Availability has decreased drastically (4, Interesting)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848846)

I was in Walmart a month ago looking for two CD's that I wanted to purchase. Neither was particularly obscure, and both were recent (released within the last year). They had neither, and actually I couldn't believe how small their selection was compared to what it used to be. I understand the convenience of downloading via Walmart or Amazon, but what I can't understand is why people wouldn't actually want to have a bit-perfect digital copy on physical medium as a back up.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848878)

What I don't understand is why people are surprised when shelf-space in a retail store is no longer given to a product that doesn't sell well. I know it seems weird ordering a physical CD online, but at this point, that's the best place to go from both an availability and price standpoint...depending on shipping, of course.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849086)

That makes me wonder about a lot of things. I always see furniture at Wal Mart, but I've never seen anyone purchase it. Does that sell nearly as well - or is there just enough markup to make the profits reasonable when it does?

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849160)

Where do you think all the broken crap furniture on the side of highways comes from, if not yokels buying it at wally-mart and poorly strapping it to the back of their truck before driving off?

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (2)

spxero (782496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849246)

I've seen it purchased, but I live in a college town. Twice a year Mommy and Daddy come in to decorate junior's dorm room on the cheap, and the rest of the year it sits.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (-1, Flamebait)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849304)

That makes me wonder about a lot of things. I always see furniture at Wal Mart, but I've never seen anyone purchase it. Does that sell nearly as well - or is there just enough markup to make the profits reasonable when it does?

It is true that the primary concern in retail is profit per inch of shelf space. Some things are loss leaders. What kind of walmart would not have a particle board bookshelf for sale?

The original posters cd problem is probably more related to walmarts vaguely bible-belt sensitivity toward anything not utterly bland and boring. Unless the CD he was looking for was baptist gospel, that is almost certainly the problem.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849452)

I was in a Wal-Mart shortly after we moved into our current apartment. I was just looking for a tv-tray type dealie while we saved up for a decent table (we blew most of our "new furniture" fund on a kick-ass TV. Given the amount of netflix we watch and video games we play, it was a worthwhile investment :)) While I was there, I saw this long black poofy thing that looks like one of those single-seater gamer chairs, except you could adjust it. So I figured, what the hell, and bought it. Well, no surprise, the thing doesn't work for dick...no matter how much you tighten it, it always flattens. So, now it's used as a floor "bench" when we play MTG/DnD/Hero Quest :)

Re:not selling well (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849110)

Maybe not exactly surprised, more dismayed. If something only has say 3 years "sales life" but the copyright on it lasts for some 90 years, that's dismaying.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849558)

Yeah, Amazon is my preferred music store, with the exception of indie acts I like that sell directly on their own websites.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (5, Insightful)

memojuez (910304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848892)

I too prefer to order CDs and rip my own MP3

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849070)

This is great until you have to move and you find out your "record" collection is boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff you haven't pulled out in ages.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849368)

That's why I rip my CDs and store them in other people's houses. Amazon has a great system for this - you put your CD up and someone gives you $1.99 and you ship it to them and they store it for you.

Then someday, maybe years down the road, if you ever need that CD back (though it hasn't happened yet) you can just send someone on amazon $1.99 and they'll send you your CD back (or one just like it).

That's a fair storage fee for several years of maintaining your hard copy backup.

To double the safety of this backup system, you can also make a bit-perfect backup copy on a 15 cent blank CD. That way you have on-site and off-site backup, and you never pay for the storage fee unless you need it back - more like a recovery fee.

I store my hardcopies in the cloud! :P

We actually did move recently (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849634)

The CDs are at least a vast improvement on vinyl in this and various other regards.
I rip in FLAC instead of MP3 like memojuez - as it's hard to find non-lossy legal downloads for many things, this is at least a minor reason

A lot of my digital collection consists of CDs I borrowed from others; that combined with some downloads means that my aversion to non-physical media is decreasing somewhat.

Though I mostly listen to the digital collection, some of the physical discs get pulled out fairly often

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849354)

I did the same thing until iTunes started offering non-drmed files, and I've never bought a physical CD since.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

sremick (91371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849660)

Non-DRMed, but still lossy. CDs give you an immediate physical backup and a high-quality original source for making your own lossy-compressed media files.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849546)

Hard drive space is cheap. I use FLAC.

not that surprising (2)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849066)

I had the aversion to non-physical media for quite a while..but like most I have found digital to be acceptable in quality (for me music is mostly for background noise and even with headphones a higher bit-rate sounds "good enough" for me). With a little redundancy in the home network the "collection" is assured to last. The biggest hurdle for me was will an MP3 be playable 20 years from now...but after thinking about it, the likelihood of being able to play a digital based format is probably much higher than being able to play a physical one, how many 8-track, turntable or cassette players do you see these days? I'm more willing to bet on the longevity of the digital copies. As for album artwork and liner notes...there really hasn't been much effort put in to those in years so the labels have managed to reduce the desire for those on their own. I still buy the occasional CD but the first thing I do is rip them and then put the original on a shelf to collect dust.

Re:not that surprising (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849408)

Yep. You might have trouble buying a working CD player in 50 years, but even if MP3s are a disused format, someone will have written an emulator.

Re:not that surprising (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849610)

AS long as it's a NON DRM format that you can convert to the new formats, Yes.

And I am finding some artists are enlightened and offering the M3's as 320VBR on Amazon.com or as FLAC from them directly. The last digital Album I bought was in a mp4 format with a static single Frame video track and AC3 audio at full bitrate and 5.1 surround. AS there is no "free" format for higher than CD quality and multitrack, artists are re-purposing Video tracks for distribution.

It was recorded live at Burningman at the Drum Circle. The sound is utterly incredible.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849168)

I was in Walmart a month ago looking for two CD's that I wanted to purchase. Neither was particularly obscure, and both were recent (released within the last year). They had neither, and actually I couldn't believe how small their selection was compared to what it used to be.

Walmart is having to compete with somebody bigger than they are - the whole of the Internet. Walmart has to stock things that sell well. They can't waste shelf space on something that isn't going to sell quickly. You can easily get just about any CD you can imagine from an online retailer, usually for a price comparable to Walmart. They can't compete with that kind of selection.

I understand the convenience of downloading via Walmart or Amazon, but what I can't understand is why people wouldn't actually want to have a bit-perfect digital copy on physical medium as a back up.

Most folks don't even contemplate backups. It would never occur to them to make a backup of an MP3.

Many digital download services allow you to re-download your purchases. And prices are generally low enough that a lot of folks wouldn't even balk at re-purchasing something if they lost the file.

Of course, most people wind up copying that MP3 to a portable device of some sort... Which acts as a backup of sorts. If you did delete the file from your computer you could probably copy it back from your phone/iPod/whatever.

Finally, if you really wanted a physical, bit-perfect backup... There's absolutely nothing preventing you from burning your own disc.

Ultimately, what I'm trying to say here, is that the lack of a backup is about the last reason I'd have for buying a physical CD as opposed to a digital download.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849178)

Bit perfect? Most people listen to their CDs on a player, or rip them to a lossy format. I haven't found one player yet that can guarantee bit-perfect playback. The CD format was designed to allow for errors in the stream. You introduce errors in A/D and D/A conversion anyway, even if the only analog portion is the singer's autotuned voice. Try hex-editing a wav file and flipping a few bits here and there. With 16-bit audio, most of those bits are insignificant and you'l never notice unless you alter the most significant bits of a few samples on the same channel in a row. So even if you do manage a perfect rip, it doesn't really matter.

Few people try to rip with a tool like Exact Audio Copy which attempts to correct for differences in the hardware, and fewer preserve that output losslessly.

That's why people don't want a bit-perfect backup. If you're going to download it, legally, it's easier to just back that file up instead of buying a tangible object. Put yourself in the mindset of most people who want convenience and it makes sense.

Re:Availability has decreased drastically (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849588)

I can't understand is why people wouldn't actually want to have a bit-perfect digital copy on physical medium as a back up.

Are you serious? Most people have no idea what that even means.

I do know what it means, but I don't particularly care right now. I'm happy with ~192kbps MP3 or higher, and also I'm happy with the idea of in another few years (when probably even our phones will be able to hold all of our music uncompressed) downloading FLAC filled torrents of these legally bought albums to put in my collection. It may be illegal to do so, but I don't think it would be immoral. I've already done something similar when I couldn't be bothered ripping CDs (don't have a CD drive for my netbook and can't be bothered setting up another machine to do it).

Title (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34848872)

Anyone else read the title as 18M per CD per month? That is one poorly placed slash.

Re:Title (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34848898)

Not to mention the extra "plant".

Re:Title (0)

Brucelet (1857158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849154)

I actually still have no idea how to parse that title.

Re:Title (0)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849224)

Well, I guess that would be 18M per CD per Month, whatever that means...

Economic rationalism... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848900)

So Sony is cutting costs. No prizes for guessing whether or not this reduction is reflected in the cost of their products.

Re:Economic rationalism... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849068)

Considering digital downloads typically cost about 75-50% of a CD I would say yes, the reduction in costs is being reflected in the price.

Re:Economic rationalism... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849364)

Considering digital downloads typically cost about 75-50% of a CD I would say yes, the reduction in costs is being reflected in the price.

What kind of torrent site charges $5 to $10 per album? Oh, you mean that OTHER kind of digital download.

Re:Economic rationalism... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849390)

That kind is either $0 or $Thousands, I'd rather pay $5-10.

Re:Economic rationalism... (1)

SirMasterboy (872152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849616)

Except when you buy your CDs used off Amazon, then it's typically 50% cheaper than digital distribution.

Re:Economic rationalism... (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849626)

Hardly.

With digital downloads, you have eliminated the need for a manufacturer and distributor. There's nothing to manufacture and distribute, at least not in any more real sense than downloading the slashdot banner at the top of this page is "manufacturing and distributing" it.

So now, without the need for someone to make physical objects and shipment in trucks and boats around the globe, the company who USED to do the manufacturing and distribution has completely stopped doing that, and passed the savings on to you by only charging you 60% of what they USED to charge for manf. and dist.
So now you're paying 40% less for the product you're not using at all.

In other news, the kid down the block who used to cut your lawn every week for $20 is offering a new service - if you cut it yourself he only charges you $15.

Silly title (5, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848908)

"Sony Closing Plant 18M/CD/Month Plant"

Aside from two Plants...

18 Million Per Cd Per Month?

Re:Silly title (1)

philbert2.71828 (781399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849316)

"18 million per CD per month" would equal "18 million months per CD". If the plant took that long to make a CD, I can understand why they're closing it.

Re:Silly title (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849334)

Of course not, silly man! This article is clearly about how Mr Closing who works for Sony is planting a plant that grows at a rate of 18 meters per candela per month!

Re:Silly title (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849550)

Dimensional Analysis for Nerds. Stuff that Matters. (I noticed the same thing.)

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34848910)

I will probably be hanged as a non-ecologist, braindead dinosaur but I feel sad about that.
_Not_ all of us like to download files, with regards to music. I like to buy CD! I pay for the packaging, I pay for the few pictures in it, I pay to have my music spared the tragedy of sound-compressing (= loose of quality) and to have it immune from any form of HD crash, OS crappy behavior etc.
I listen to music on a stereo, not on a wireless or a PC. So, for me, CDs is a perfect format and I feel sad about the fact that, within a few year, I will have lost this little pleasure of mine: to order a few CDs from times to times to add to my collection, be forced to download from a torrent site, somewhere, soulless MP3 files....

Daniel

Re:Anonymous Coward (2)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849624)

CDs were said to lose quality as well. Especially from the classics recorded in analog, and digital mastering to make the sound clear. If you want the real bang, you could stick to Vinyl.

Plant Plant (1, Funny)

nitsew (991812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848930)

I think their department of redundancy department was siphoning funds...

Or is it ... (3, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848934)

... because nobody trusts [slashdot.org] Sony CDs?

Re:Or is it ... (0)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848994)

Wow, since 2005. Never forget, indeed.

Re:Wow (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849156)

(government)
That's how it is, in a Post-2005-Rootkit World, the world will never be the same ever again.
(/government)

Re:Or is it ... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849590)

Indeed. Reputation is difficult to build but easy to destroy. I hope that others think long and hard before trying a stunt like this.

I blame George Hotz (1)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848952)

He's directly responsible for these job losses.

So with excess capacity the prices stay... Up? (1)

dougermouse (581787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34848954)

Just goes to show how much of cost scam CD are/were. When there is a glut of memory for example, the retail price drops. Now there is a glut of CD production and the cost stays... fixed. I guess their thug business practices are showing. All parts of the cost of production for music have gone down, and the last CD I bought was still the same cost as the CD I bought 5 years ago. Good job, music industry, you've killed your own market with your own greed!

Re:So with excess capacity the prices stay... Up? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849044)

Coca Cola use to be a buck 5 years ago too. The fact that it's 1.25 USD today doesn't mean that Coca-Cola is more expensive to produce.

Re:So with excess capacity the prices stay... Up? (1)

mibe (1778804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849232)

Demand just skyrocketed - you all saw it!

Re:So with excess capacity the prices stay... Up? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849320)

You're surprised that someone is charging what the market will pay for a product? I hate to tell you, but your underwear cost less to make than what you paid for it. OMG! Underwear is so overpriced! It's a scam!

If people were not willing to pay, sales would plummet and the price would come down. They have tried to blame downloading for lower demand, but they know if they dropped the price they would not sell enough to make up for the price drop. So it stays high. Would you allow sales to sag for 5 years while you tried to convince the world downloading was responsible for your terrible sales instead of just lowering prices?

...in New Jersey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34848972)

Sony is a Japanese company, but this is a New Jersey plant that they're closing.

Presumably, some additional people will have to be hired in Indiana, where they're consolidating operations, but probably not as many as they're losing.

Keeping jobs is hardly a reason to keep that plant open. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised that they're doing any of this in the US at all. I thought it had all be outsourced to where the labor was very, very cheap.

Manufacturing is increasingly a poor way to make a living. Machines do the work better than people, and physical artifacts can be made very cheaply. The non-physical artifacts may simply be replaced entirely, as in this case.

Good luck to those out of work.

Bigger news (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849004)

300 people are responsible for making 18 million CDs/month. I saw another story about a sleeping bag factory cranking out 20 million bags a year with 500 empoloyees for the whole company. I read somewhere that American manufacturing capacity is the highest it's ever been. What are we going to do with all these people. I keep hearing 'Well, the world needs ditch diggers too'. No, no it doesn not... I guess we can let them starve to death in the streets.

Re:Bigger news (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849084)

I keep hearing 'Well, the world needs ditch diggers too'. No, no it doesn not... I guess we can let them starve to death in the streets.

That's what it looks like the plan is so far. They might be planning a war, though, and then having lots of disaffected wanderers means you'll have more willing conscripts. Historically overpopulation is controlled by war and/or disease. I don't see any reason for that to change now.

Re:Bigger news (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849132)

Save the buggy whip makers! They're real craftsmen!

Re:Bigger news (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849226)

300 people are responsible for making 18 million CDs/month. I saw another story about a sleeping bag factory cranking out 20 million bags a year with 500 empoloyees for the whole company.

Its entertaining to try and figure out how I'd do it... Thats a CD every 1/10 second 24 hours/day. I'm assuming this place is a stamp plant. None the less, going burners, I'd get 100 cd burners per person and give a person a 100 cdr blank tower stack and tell them to fill the burners. You need about twenty lines to keep up. That gives you about 5 minutes to burn, verify, and load. To staff a single 24/7 position for very long term in the military we always assumed about 6 people. So thats about 120 personnel. Add another 120 for general warehouse tasks, stacking, wrapping, unwrapping, boxing... leaves about 60 for overhead, repair work, etc.

I do believe I could do it with CD-r. Harder if they print and stuff jewel boxes.

Re:Bigger news (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849252)

300 people are responsible for making 18 million CDs/month. I saw another story about a sleeping bag factory cranking out 20 million bags a year with 500 empoloyees for the whole company. I read somewhere that American manufacturing capacity is the highest it's ever been. What are we going to do with all these people. I keep hearing 'Well, the world needs ditch diggers too'. No, no it doesn not... I guess we can let them starve to death in the streets.

Technology, at its most basic form, is a labor saving device. That's the whole idea behind all of this... Amplify the amount of work that an individual human being can do. And that means you need less human beings to do the work.

Offshoring isn't really helping things either. There may very well be jobs out there for those 300 people... But they're not in the US.

Re:Bigger news (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849404)

They can make digital downloads of music.

Re:Bigger news (2)

nibbles2004 (761552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849556)

All relates to the future economic world is gonna be like no one expected, China , India are really gonna suffer in terms of development, you need less and less people to do more and more stuff, the days of production lines with 10 of 1000's are coming to an end. There will not be the numbers of employment in manufacturing need, not just for the US, Europe but for the 800 million strong workforces of China and India, interesting times ahead.

Re:Bigger news (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849684)

Maybe they meant UNUSED capacity?

A piggy bank that's full with pennies COULD be said to have no more capacity. An empty one has far more capacity.

expensive CDs (1)

kae_verens (523642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849024)

18 million per CD per month? those are quite expensive discs...

Re:expensive CDs (2)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849072)

That's the RIAA estimate....

Re:expensive CDs (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849198)

It's the exclusive performance of Inxs from when they were overheard by the security camera when they were singing on their private plane while traveling to a concert.

18 million CDs per month? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849082)

That's nothing. AOL mailed out at least 20 million per month.

Coasters for everyone! (1)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849112)

Good riddance!

The most reliable storage media is still magnetic tape [wikipedia.org] .

Incidentally my 10.5in reel mp3 player needs a new backpack...

Environmental win (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849126)

No more Sony dumping their byproducts into our ecosystem, its a win-win

'citing the impact of...' (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849146)

Let's cite the impact of producing less plastic items! I understand people worked there; still, people can be retrained (I suggest, to work in solar/wind manufacturing plants)... CD plastic, however, represents raped biodiversity; something we all rely on.

Crappy article. (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849188)

The plant which is closing is in Pitman, NJ [nj.com] . The article never bothered to mention which plant. Whatever happened to the basics of reporting - who/what/where/why/when?

Re:Crappy article. (1)

Droce (1736948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849448)

The plant which is closing is in Pitman, NJ [nj.com] . The article never bothered to mention which plant. Whatever happened to the basics of reporting - who/what/where/why/when?

No one cares about Jersey I guess.

Re:Crappy article. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849456)

The plant which is closing is in Pitman, NJ [nj.com] . The article never bothered to mention which plant. Whatever happened to the basics of reporting - who/what/where/why/when?

not to be harsh, but probably only 300 people (plus extended family) care, vs 1 billion english readers on the internet.

Re:Crappy article. (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849530)

Exactly. First thing I tried to find out is where this plant was located.

Everyone in the article comments complained about the same thing. Good journalism is dying.

Re:Crappy article. (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849580)

It's not like it's the promised land or anything. It's just New Jersey! ;-)

Re:Crappy article. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849592)

This article was submitted by "coondoggie". It links to a site with an 'article' written by (guess who) a Mr. Michael Coonie. His article provides a link to the actual source. This is posted like this to drive page hits to this guy's story instead of the real one; he's cleverly left the first question everyone will ask out so you're more likely to follow the link.

Here's the real one:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/homepage/20110112_Sony_will_close_South_Jersey_CD_plant.html

Lossless Compression? (3)

ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849528)

Is it possible to buy music online without lossy compression? On the basis of my admittedly limited search, on-line music all seems to be compressed using lossy algorithms. CDs (jazz, classical, fine recordings, etc.) provide such uncompressed/lossless source.

I'd like to have archival quality for the source music. Also, when playing discretely instrumented classical music on a good hi-fi, compression artifacts are sometimes noticeable.

Prices (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849562)

So Sony promised us that when production ramps up prices on CDs would drop. Since this really didn't happen, now that production is ramping down will prices go down?

Lossless DRM-free (2)

SirMasterboy (872152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849568)

I'm only 22 and I prefer CDs at this point because they are Lossless and DRM-free. Though if digital distribution can provide me with lossless and DRM-free tracks I would not have a problem using that method.

Though I usually buy used CDs off places like Amazon for about $5 a disk so I also believe digital distribution needs to be cheaper as well as better quality if I am to start using it.

The plastic really is a waste seeing as I generally rip that CD to my server once and then never use the physical disk again.

18M/CD/Month ?!?!? (2)

merxete (1965396) | more than 3 years ago | (#34849656)

That's fucking crazy. 18M per CD per month? I think you meant 18M CD/Month

Price of Digital Downloads vs. CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34849658)

Personally I find the price of a digital download (around $10) to not be much of a gain over just buying the physical CD for $10 to $15. With a CD I have a physical backup of the CD should my computer ever crash. I realize that I could probably just make backups of my downloaded music (which I already do), but I feel a bit more at ease having the original CD.

I also like having the Album Art sleeve when I buy a CD. I know that some digital downloads allow you also download the album art but my crappy printer is nowhere as nice as the one that comes with the CD.

I guess when I spend $10-$15 dollars on a physical CD I actually feel like the product I bought was worth that amount whereas a digital download, I don't feel is worth $10 for what I'm getting. The price, imo, for a digital download would need to be around $5 for the trade offs to be worth my money.

So far, I've really only used iTunes to purchase music when it's something really rare that I can't find elsewhere or if it's something that I want to listen to immediately. Otherwise, I'm happy ordering from Amazon and enjoying their free shipping.

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