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May 20, 2022 - 2:13:47 PM

79 posts since 1/7/2021

I think CDs are today where records were a couple decades ago. Cheap as dirt, and everyone is unloading their collection.

Will be interesting to see if CDs follow a similar trajectory to vinyl.

May 20, 2022 - 3:14:39 PM

Ron C

USA

1528 posts since 3/17/2004

The decreasing value of CDs has been a boon to me. Many I purchase are used, in excellent condition. They come from the folks who are ridding themselves of their "clutter." An RCA "His Master's Voice" late 1950s recording that once went to vinyl and later from the master tapes to CD, can be found for $2. Many of them are brilliantly recorded and performed.

Like Bill Healy, " I play them on my 1970s-1990s stereo system. I like a roomful of music". Most of my listening takes place in my den where I have my 1970s - 1990s stereo system. I listen to reel-to-reel tapes, records on a Rega turntable, CDs and even some  cassettes that were top-of-the-line in their day, but they are slowly degrading with time (sort of like melaugh).

May 20, 2022 - 6:25:33 PM
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9790 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Murphy
quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

I hope the hell CDs are not obsolete. I have trouble enough with electronic media that I never wish to try transferring them to some "thumb drive" that would most likely find its way under the car seat and eventually out on the pavement.

I have been transferring some old records (including 78s) to CD. Unfortunately, if CDs are no more, no one will make CD players, either, and if mine breaks, I'll be SOL. Everyone raves about digital this and digital that, but I just rage at those things. One can fix many ordinary devices, but when something digital breaks, you usually have no option other than the trash can. I actually have a digital camera that came with a 106 page operating manual. However, it had no clear diagnostics in it for when the camera stopped working, which it did (just after the warranty expired.

Maybe I'm just ranting here, but I feel that after 70 years, I should have that privilege.


If you have music you like on CD, then it's already in a digital format.  The risk you still run is the CD becoming scratched, lost, or stolen.  When you put the digital files on a computer, you can also back them up to the cloud effortlessly.  Most people already have free cloud accounts with their gmail, yahoo, or microsoft accounts.  Other services, like DropBox and Sync, offer free accounts and opportunity to upgrade.  This is the one way that digital is better. The computer automatically backs up those files.  So let's say your hard drive "crashes" (a rarer even these days).  Your files are secure and can be accessed or downloaded to a new device.  I also burn a backup copy and keep it in a location outside my house.  It's actually much safer and you never lose the music.

You are local to me.  If you would like me to look at what you are doing and to give you some ideas, just let me know.


I know all of this already. IT's not the digital process that bothers me, it's all the transferring. 

After all the cloud hacking (even if it's only been careless celebrities that seem prone to this) I will never, ever put anything on the so-called "cloud."

Yes, CDs can get scratched, but I treat them with care and they are large enough to do so. I have yet to lose one, and I don't have any affected by scratches. If anyone broke in, the last thing they'd steal would be my CDs. Some of the other contraptions are too small for me to feel secure handling them. As I indicated, a thumb drive would most likely end up under the car seat or in an adjacent parking spot.

Thanks for the offer, but I'm going to pass. I'm sure my obituary will say "Luddite."

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 05/20/2022 18:31:12

May 20, 2022 - 11:49:40 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26173 posts since 6/25/2005

I trust the safety of the cloud. I don’t trust the people who control it in the large sense or control segments of the cloud at large.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 05/20/2022 23:50:43

May 21, 2022 - 6:52:58 AM
Players Union Member

jduke

USA

1164 posts since 1/15/2009

I love CDs and dislike streaming, however, there are so many excellent recordings (including bluegrass and old time) that are only available when streamed. So I stream! I only record one album per jump-drive and label a Rx container, usually with a copy of the cover to keep it in. It's kind of like having individual CDs, but you still don't have the liner notes or song list.

May 21, 2022 - 9:21:11 AM
Players Union Member

rvrose

USA

876 posts since 6/29/2007

I've noticed that many of the new songs coming coming out now don't even offer a cd version. We made a album with several other bands last year as a St Jude fund raiser. They didn't even want to make CDs. The public just downloads them now.

May 21, 2022 - 7:25:32 PM
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2099 posts since 1/10/2004

I have SiriusXM and I have all my CD's ripped to MP3. I don't really care for streaming, although I use a form of it with Sirius sometimes. There are some CD's (and LP for that matter) that are absolutely worth having (FMB, etc). I can't say that I buy them often any more, although I will usually try to buy a disc and/or t-shirt at a show to support artists. CDs still have nice features, including uncompressed audio, booklets and artwork. And they can be autographed, although these "trendy" LPs (a technically inferior format) are a bit better for that. But CDs really are not convenient for vehicles or general use any more, and few if any vehicles are still including disc players. My last car, that I bought in 2012 and traded in last year, had a single disc CD player that I never even used once, going back ten years!

My CDs are always ripped to MP3 and then probably never get played again. They'll immediately go into the pile of "stuff" that just sits in storage. Most of it at this point is old DVDs and Blu-rays, which streaming services are also impacting those, but there's still a good sized box or two of CDs. I have also bought a lot of albums in digital format (MP3), including classic material I didn't already own. But other than the BD/DVD burners on my big PC, which are also relatively out-of-date peripherals these days, I don't have or use any CD players, in my vehicles or elsewhere. You can still buy them though, they are basically cheap commodity devices at this point. I do have an ancient bookshelf 5-CD stereo system from the 90s in storage somewhere. I put my MP3s on thumb drives that work in any of my vehicles, and I store them permanently on a NAS drive at home. Even this model of digital music (files) is pretty 10 years ago for most people. Streaming has definitely captured the market for all the cool kids.

I'll add that, outside of cars, the younger generations are listening to music on wired and wireless ear buds more than anything, or occasionally these chintzy little smart speakers, all of which provide a grossly diminished experience.  I do have a powerful high end speaker system attached to my PC that let's me fully hear and experience the music when listening at home.

Edited by - Bradskey on 05/21/2022 19:28:33

May 21, 2022 - 10:37:04 PM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

5246 posts since 1/5/2005
Online Now

All of the above comments are a great real-life reflection of how people listen to their favourite music these days. Sadly, those comments must be devastating to the folks who try very hard to be upcoming new musicians.

Imagine the Beatles being "born" today instead of the back in the 60ies. Compared to the cut they'd receive from the streaming companies now, a would-you-like-fries-with-that job would then, for them, be where the real money is at...

May 22, 2022 - 6:55:40 AM

2968 posts since 12/31/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman

All of the above comments are a great real-life reflection of how people listen to their favourite music these days. Sadly, those comments must be devastating to the folks who try very hard to be upcoming new musicians.

Imagine the Beatles being "born" today instead of the back in the 60ies. Compared to the cut they'd receive from the streaming companies now, a would-you-like-fries-with-that job would then, for them, be where the real money is at...

 

 


There is another way of looking at that.  When the Beatles came around, labels picked who we heard on the radio, who was recorded, and who got distribution.  Very, very few acts ever got a chance to be heard.  With streaming, you could put out a single or album today on the the platforms and promote it yourself on social media, etc.  There still are curated lists on these services, but they watch for songs getting notice also and can put them in playlists.  

A lot of people point to the small royalty for each stream and try to compare it to radio or album royalties.  They are not comparable.  When a radio station played a song, thousands/tens of thousands of people heard it.  When you played the song on an album you played it many times for a single payment.  (Streaming really replaces the two non live ways we had to listen to music growing up:  records and radio).

There is still a fair debate about how much the services keep but, with so many of them, I think the market will correct for that.  If artists make a lot more money on Apple than on Spotify, they'll demand more from Spotify or pull their music.  I listen through Amazon. 

So I would argue that the Beatles may actually have had a better chance of breaking through, or that there may have been a band out there better than the Beatles that today would get a chance.

Edited by - Brian Murphy on 05/22/2022 06:56:45

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May 22, 2022 - 7:31:09 AM
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250 posts since 7/22/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Murphy
quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman

All of the above comments are a great real-life reflection of how people listen to their favourite music these days. Sadly, those comments must be devastating to the folks who try very hard to be upcoming new musicians.

Imagine the Beatles being "born" today instead of the back in the 60ies. Compared to the cut they'd receive from the streaming companies now, a would-you-like-fries-with-that job would then, for them, be where the real money is at...

 

 


There is another way of looking at that.  When the Beatles came around, labels picked who we heard on the radio, who was recorded, and who got distribution.  Very, very few acts ever got a chance to be heard.  With streaming, you could put out a single or album today on the the platforms and promote it yourself on social media, etc.  There still are curated lists on these services, but they watch for songs getting notice also and can put them in playlists.  

A lot of people point to the small royalty for each stream and try to compare it to radio or album royalties.  They are not comparable.  When a radio station played a song, thousands/tens of thousands of people heard it.  When you played the song on an album you played it many times for a single payment.  (Streaming really replaces the two non live ways we had to listen to music growing up:  records and radio).

There is still a fair debate about how much the services keep but, with so many of them, I think the market will correct for that.  If artists make a lot more money on Apple than on Spotify, they'll demand more from Spotify or pull their music.  I listen through Amazon. 

So I would argue that the Beatles may actually have had a better chance of breaking through, or that there may have been a band out there better than the Beatles that today would get a chance.


Some of this sounds good in theory, but I don't think it's really right. It's complicated... For one, the chances of ANY artist(s) or band(s) having a success like the Beatles (or Elvis) is, in principle, MINISCULE. There is no telling for sure what will help the "next" musician(s) reach THAT level of widespread popularity and success, because it is SO rare. And consider also that, although the ability to get one's own music on the market is more readily available, although the market is more "open"—which is very good in some ways—it is also more "watered down" ...to find the diamonds in the rough is not easy now, either...far from. I definitely don't think the market is particularly fair to many, many great musicians, by any means, from what I've seen and also from what I've heard from some firsthand. Not to say it USED to be "fair" to many, many great musicians, either. But remember... "Fate will out in the end." Bach was nearly forgotten, I'm told... Van Gogh was not a commercially successful painter in his lifetime, I'm told...

Edited by - Banjfoot on 05/22/2022 07:33:56

May 23, 2022 - 2:11:04 AM
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phb

Germany

3407 posts since 11/8/2010

I still buy CDs but I have been converting them to mp3s for something like the last 15 years or so and hardly ever play a CD. My computers still have DVD-drives but I noticed that it gets increasingly difficult to find new PCs that will even allow installation of a DVD-drive. When we renovated the living room, my CDs had to go and they are still not back from the basement lacking space for them. Next to my computer there are the most recent 30 or so CDs I purchased stacked up in a pile. I just can't get used to the idea of letting them (and the entire idea of physical media) go...

May 23, 2022 - 4:58:38 AM

KCJones

USA

1755 posts since 8/30/2012

Vinyl + Streaming is the future of music. CDs will disappear, but vinyl as a physical medium will never go completely away. Almost all new releases come on 180 gram vinyl that includes a download code for 320Kbps MP3s, and I don't see that market disappearing any time soon. Even high school kids are buying and collecting vinyl records nowadays. And you just can't beat the experience of setting the needle down and really listening to the music. 

As far as streaming, you don't really "buy" the music, you pay a monthly fee to access the entire catalog. If you're buying individual albums (or songs) over a streaming service, you're doing it wrong. With a subscription to any popular streaming service, your music catalog can be bigger than any individual has ever had access to, anywhere you go. It's a good thing.

CDs are probably the worst portable music medium ever devised. Digitized and compressed sound, extremely sensitive to dust and shock, useless if they get scratched, and early versions had a tendency to delaminate after a while.

Edited by - KCJones on 05/23/2022 05:03:22

May 23, 2022 - 6:39:26 AM
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Ron C

USA

1528 posts since 3/17/2004

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Vinyl + Streaming is the future of music. CDs will disappear, but vinyl as a physical medium will never go completely away. Almost all new releases come on 180 gram vinyl that includes a download code for 320Kbps MP3s, and I don't see that market disappearing any time soon. Even high school kids are buying and collecting vinyl records nowadays. And you just can't beat the experience of setting the needle down and really listening to the music. 

As far as streaming, you don't really "buy" the music, you pay a monthly fee to access the entire catalog. If you're buying individual albums (or songs) over a streaming service, you're doing it wrong. With a subscription to any popular streaming service, your music catalog can be bigger than any individual has ever had access to, anywhere you go. It's a good thing.

CDs are probably the worst portable music medium ever devised. Digitized and compressed sound, extremely sensitive to dust and shock, useless if they get scratched, and early versions had a tendency to delaminate after a while.


Certainly, the early CDs had limitations, but not necessarily the ones you state. The digital sampling rate was the theoretical minimum necessary to represent an analog sine wave. In fact, that sampling rate was simply the one that was technically available at a price point and had significant limitations.

As the technology advanced with oversampling capabilities and reduction of sound artifacts like jitter, the CD medium capabilities improved.

One problem CDs didn't have was compression - unless the recording engineers decided to compress the sound which happened with a lot in rock music. The compression wasn't inherent to the CD medium. In fact, it was the vinyl record playback that struggled to deal with a wide dynamic range. Only a very few cartridges could deal track a wide dynamic range (Shure V 15 Type 4) without being launched across the record. The CD could reproduce that wide dynamic range without a problem.

I have a large CD collection and started that collection at the beginning of the availability of CDs. I never have had one delaminate. I have been accessing Ph.D. dissertations stored on CDs and never come across one that delaminated. I treat my CDs with limited care, just holding them by their edges and putting them right back in their case when done. That is without dusting or cleaning. I've bought used CDs that had a monster scratch across the surface and wouldn't play, but that qualifies as abuse of the CD and is not an inherent problem of the media.

The SACD fixed many of the limitations of the CD by increasing the sampling rate and other technologies to reduce low level noise and digital artifacts. But, the technology never caught on so is mostly defunct.

Current digital formats for listening and downloading vary in sound quality.

Not high resolution, lossy (information loss) and compressed:

AAC (not hi-res): Apple's alternative to MP3

MP3 (not hi-res): Popular, lossy compressed format gives small file size, but far from the best sound quality. Convenient for storing music on smartphones and iPods. 

OGG (not hi-res): A lossy, open-source alternative to MP3 and AAC, unrestricted by patents. The file format used (at 320kbps) in Spotify streaming. 

High Resolution

AIFF (hi-res): Apple's alternative to WAV, lossless and uncompressed (so big file sizes), but not popular.

DSD (hi-res): Very high quality and high resolution, impractical for streaming. Uncompressed.

FLAC (hi-res): lossless compression format supports hi-res sample rates, and is the preferred format for downloading and storing hi-res albums. Not supported by Apple.

MQA (hi-res): lossless compression format that packages hi-res files for more efficient streaming.

WAV (hi-res): The standard format in which all CDs are encoded. Great sound quality but it's uncompressed, meaning huge file sizes (especially for hi-res files). It has poor metadata support (that is, album artwork, artist and song title information).

WMA Lossless (hi-res): A lossless incarnation of Windows Media Audio, but no longer well-supported by smartphones or tablets. 

May 23, 2022 - 6:51:07 AM
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8004 posts since 9/5/2006

we have about 300 CDs,,and maybe 100 of them are bluegrass,, i have sirius in the pickup and she has CD/fmhd in her car. i have never stream recorded music .. nd as for the beatles and elvis,,, in todays music market ,,they couldn't even get a recording deal much less sell a bunch of records.

May 23, 2022 - 9:29:08 AM

2968 posts since 12/31/2005

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones


CDs are probably the worst portable music medium ever devised. 


Maybe you are too young to remember 8-tracks.

I do agree that, on balance, the streaming option is superior from a consumer standpoint.  Today, for a monthly price, that is about 1/2 what a CD cost, you can immediately access almost any song on demand.   Want to hear a classic Osborne Bros album you don't "own," it's there.   Keep hearing about a band you haven't checked out yet.  It's all there in high def digital sound.   It's really hard to argue that having a small collection that costs a lot more is "better."  One can pine nostalgic or prefer what they want, but if I want to go deep down the Doc Watson hole some day, I can just click on him and let it go.

May 23, 2022 - 9:30:29 AM

2968 posts since 12/31/2005

BTW - to answer my own original question, the current international market value of Foggy Mountain Banjo CD is $20, and only one person bid: A Canadian. Pretty shocking, but that is where we are.

May 23, 2022 - 9:47:34 AM
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41723 posts since 3/7/2006

Once upon a time there were ceramic discs played on gramophone with 78 rpm.Most of the original country music (Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Uncle Dave Macon and so on were issued on those 78 rpm records. I think also the earliest Bluegrass recordings (Monroe, Flatt&Scruggs, Stanley Brothers) were issued on those 78 rpm. And we still can listen to the music....

May 23, 2022 - 9:57:41 AM
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KCJones

USA

1755 posts since 8/30/2012

Here's (supposedly) the first time Scruggs ever played with Bill Monroe on stage.
 

Earl Scruggs Earliest Known Recording (3/23/1946 WSM Grand Ole' Opry ) - YouTube

 

Sorry, I forgot what we were talking about.

May 23, 2022 - 9:30:46 PM

2099 posts since 1/10/2004

As much as I like music, there is limited time in my day and my life to spend listening to it, much less any sort of listening with purpose. Honestly most of us of a certain age like a whole lot of music that we already know or own. I'm not averse to new music, but I only have so much time for it (and really, not very much). And most of it that is any good I'll get to hear on Sirius anyway. In which case, a limited collection of purchased CDs (ripped to file) or MP3 download purchases, with no ongoing costs/subscriptions to maintain, works perfectly fine. I'm not sure I'm purchasing even a handful of albums a year at this point, in any format.

As for the next Elvis or Beatles... I've delved into this before, but basically the dramatic decline or balkanization of any sort of common popular culture in America has greatly diminished the odds of that ever happening again. Does anybody really think there is going to be another artist who is so huge that virtually everybody likes or at least recognizes them? I could be wrong, but my observation is that the average age of celebrities of any variety who you can say are widely known and recognized across the entire culture is probably advancing steadily.

May 24, 2022 - 5:24:52 AM

KCJones

USA

1755 posts since 8/30/2012

There's plenty of modern "Elvis" and "Beatles" type acts. The people on this forum just don't like their style of music. That doesn't mean they don't exist.

May 24, 2022 - 6:30:31 AM

8004 posts since 9/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

There's plenty of modern "Elvis" and "Beatles" type acts. The people on this forum just don't like their style of music. That doesn't mean they don't exist.


who are they and where do i find them ?   i haven't heard of similar music making a global impact lately... i would like to check them out.....   the only one that comes to mind for me is dave grohls Foo Fighters ....but they started over 25 years ago. no one is even close to the record sells of the beatles or elvis ,,but garth hit a good lick a fews years back.

May 24, 2022 - 7:05:31 AM

KCJones

USA

1755 posts since 8/30/2012

Like I said, it's not the style of music you enjoy. Rap and Hip-Hop have taken the place of Rock. Rock/Roll used to be pop, but now now it's a niche genre that isn't really all that popular.

Groups like BTS. Eminem. Kanye West.

It's pop music, not rock music. Rap and Hip-hop fill the cultural space that Rock/Roll used to occupy. Rock/Roll as a truly popular commercial music just isn't a thing anymore, so you're not going to find rock bands that fill the shoes of past groups like Elvis or Beatles. There are current groups that have the same reach and influence as those bands, but they're not playing guitars so most folks around here tune them out. Even your criteria for influence is out-of-date. Success/influence isn't measured by album sales anymore, most popular music is released in the form of singles. You can't just look at "total album sales" like you used to be able to, you have to look at total streaming subscribers, total single sales, and total concert ticket sales. 

Edited by - KCJones on 05/24/2022 07:13:53

May 25, 2022 - 4:00:29 AM

Paul R

Canada

15997 posts since 1/28/2010

I had over 1500 LP records which I ditched when we left Toronto. I took a small handful but have since bought some used ones that I couldn't find on CD. I still buy CDs. When we got our last car a '19 Subaru, it came with a CD player. I almost always grab some CDs when I head to the car. It's "my" music and I'm in control, not some radio station.

I always bring cash to buy CDs when I go to a concert. CDs are standard "merch", plus the artist is ready to sign them, so it becomes more personal.

May 25, 2022 - 7:20:43 AM
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8004 posts since 9/5/2006

and another huge lost art is the physical art of having to go out to the locsl record store or drug store or shopping center and purchase a record,,which makes the sales of records and albums in the 60s and 70s even more remarkable.

May 25, 2022 - 8:01:58 AM

2099 posts since 1/10/2004

Most music stores had already evaporated a decade ago or more. I heard the iconic Ernest Tubb Record Shop will close now also. I still try to support County Sales sometimes.

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