February 5, 2018 at 10:22 pm #22346
From Digital Trends:
Best Buy stores will stop selling music CDs, and Target could be next
With the popularity of digital music surging, Best Buy is officially pulling the plug on music CDs, and another retail giant may soon join them. Although CDs remain a relatively popular format worldwide, sales in the U.S. dropped more than 18% last year, prompting Best Buy to drop the format entirely.
Billboard is reporting that the retailer has informed music suppliers that it will stop selling CDs and pull them from shelves on July 1. Although Best Buy used to be the top music seller in the U.S., nowadays its CD sales generate a relatively low $40 million per year.
I’m not surprised at all. Nowadays, a portable music player can hold how many dozen CDs as MP3 or FLAC files. Yes, I know that the audio purists have the “overcompressed” nature of MP3 files, and at a lower bitrate, you can tell the difference. I recently re-ripped my entire CD collection at a extremely high bitrate, and I can’t tell the difference between the CD and the MP3 file. Yes, the files are bigger, but storage space isn’t a premium like it was just ten years ago. Another consideration is that some of the CDs in my collection are soundtracks that are long out-of-print, and getting a replacement means purchasing a used copy at a premium.
Another indicator of this trend is how audio is going with new cars. When I purchased a new car in early 2006, a CD player was a consideration even though I duplicated my CDs to CD-Rs for playback. At that point, Apple had yet to introduce the iPhone. Eight years later, when I was shopping again, the big consideration was Bluetooth integration so that I could play audiobooks and music from my smartphone. While a CD player was also included, I know it works, but it has been two years since I used it. Even the lower-end vehicles I looked at which lacked Bluetooth still included an Aux input, something even the car I had purchased in 2006 lacked and could not be added easily. I ended up using a FM modulator which allowed me to plug in my mobile phone or audio device and rebroadcast it to a specific frequency.
Car manufacturers are adapting to the changes as well. The last vehicle to include a tape deck was a 2010 Lexus SC 430. Now, CDs are disappearing. Take a look at this Forbes article from March, 2017:
It’s Time To Say Goodbye To The CD Player In New American Cars
Yesterday, NPR reported that Ford is planning on replacing CD players in all future models, instead opting for a screen that allows drivers to access streaming services and satellite radio behemoth SiriusXM. The news came as something of a surprise to many, as it appears to be the end of an era. No more playing CDs in the car? Has it really already come to that?
What is actually shocking about this news item is that Ford is somewhat late to the game. Major car manufacturers have been ditching CDs for years now, and soon, there won’t be any left who feel the need to continue to include this option in their new makes. Many of the new 2016 cars manufactured by major players like Honda and Toyota also didn’t include CD players. Tesla did away with the feature long before those giants. In the near future, there are sure to be more American drivers roaming around without even the option to insert a disc and hit play. According to research firm IHS Automotive, 46% of cars sold in the U.S. won’t have CD players by 2021.
I’m not surprised by this decision. To an auto manufacturer, that’s five pounds of very complex parts taking up valuable dashboard real estate that can put to better use. And, auto manufacturers are slow to adapt to technological change, as the lack of a feature will make or break a sale. I know that one of the required features in my next car is Android Auto integration, which excludes Toyotas and BMWs.
In a way, though, this is spelling the end for physical media. I remember when DVDs first came out, they were a great improvement not only in the picture quality, but in features as well. With their smaller physical size, multiple audio tracks for commentary, and extra materials, some of the titles would qualify as a film school in a box. Sadly, that is going away slowly in favor of streaming media. I don’t believe they will completely go away, as there are too many Internet deserts where there is no broadband or the broadband providers are capping how much traffic you use in a month.
“We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene KranzFebruary 17, 2018 at 12:59 pm #22441
Meh. I don’t think I bought a CD at a store in over a decade. Really, the only CDs I purchase now are either at Concerts (TMBG especially) or Soundtracks from La-La records. I remember getting the latest ELO CD but I got that from Amazon, I think.
Whenever I am at Target, I always swing by the DVD section to see if anything catches my eye. I walk right past the CD section without even looking.
EDIT: Most of my Music purchases are MP3 or, if it’s free, Amazon Prime. If I can’t find in MP3 format, I get the CD. If the CD is out of print (or never made) I get the LP Record. That doesn’t happen often, maybe once every few years (although I purchased a bunch of TMBG records when I made my first attempt to complete my collection).
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by ubikuberalles.
February 17, 2018 at 7:30 pm #22448
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by ubikuberalles.
The funny part is that I purchased more CDs in the past two months than I have purchased in years. However, this is what my selection was:
- Lupin the Third: Castle Of Cagliostro Soundtrack and Music File
- The Sound Of Music Soundtrack-50th Anniversary
- Benny Goodman 1938 Concert and Essential Collection
- Cardcaptor Sakura Soundtracks 1-4 and movie soundtracks 1 and 2
- Witch Hunter Robin Soundtrack 2
- Vision Of Escaflowne Soundtracks 1-3
- Wiener Philharmoniker 2018 New Years Concert
- Record Of Lodoss War Soundtrack 2
- Music For A Darkened Theater 2
- Four Trans-Siberian Orchestra CDs (Christmas Themed)
- Four German Christmas CDs
Then, of course, there is the purchases of the Titanic 20th Anniversary, Close Encounters 40th Anniversary, Die Another Day, and Buffy, The Vampire Slayer — all from LALA Land.
Some of those anime CDs, btw, are out-of-print.
“We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene KranzFebruary 18, 2018 at 12:21 am #22451
Almost all of my recent CD purchases have been direct buys from the various soundtrack labels.February 18, 2018 at 3:17 am #22461
It’s been years since I bought any CDs, but in the past couple months I’ve actually bought two, old releases bought used off Amazon that are obscure enough that they aren’t available in a digital form. I generally don’t buy DVDs or CDs since my computers don’t have optical drives, and I have to dig out my old USB external drive for that kind of thing. It’s too much of a pain, considering the design of the CD/DVD drive and it’s painfully short cables.February 18, 2018 at 7:48 am #22462
A refurbished BluRay player which also plays DVDs and CDs goes for around $40 .
“We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz
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