Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No More CDs

Does anyone else see the irony in this Disc Makers' catalog caption?

Time is definitely not on the side of the CD manufacturing industry.  The writing has been on the wall for years, but now that laptop computers are no longer made with CD slots, I think it's safe to declare the debate over.  CDs and CD players will now join the ranks of Polaroid cameras, cassette tapes, palm pilots, answering machines and dot matrix printers.

The reality is hitting me hard as I plan my next recording.  Will I only release it digitally?  It's a tough decision because on past projects, physical CD sales have far outweighed digital sales.  At the moment, I'm leaning towards making the leap, with the exception of printing a few physical discs to sell after gigs and to send to those reviewers who like me, appreciate having tangible, printed rosters and liner notes as part of their listening experience.  I don't envision ordering 1000 copies as I have done in the past.

I'd love to hear from other musicians on this one.  Have we all accepted the demise of the CD at this point?  Are any of you planning to release a recording on CD this year?  In your experience, are people buying download cards?  They are not a big seller at my post-gig "mech booths", but I wonder if this might be different if no other purchasing option were presented.

I still like CDs, but maybe it's time to accept that the technology has changed.  Let me know your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Reposted from Facebook:

    I've been thinking about this lately Earl. I almost decided to do a digital only version of my new big band record. I think I probably will in the future, but every time my band plays live I end up selling quite a few CDs - plus it's nice to have something you can touch.

    You mentioned sellin download cards for iTunes at shows, which is interesting. Though I think buying one isn't as satisfying. You can't listen on the drive home and it just doesn't feel as tangible. If I were to do that, I'd make sure that iTunes had a digital booklet with personnel, notes and solo assignments. I hate getting albums and not knowing who plays on it.

    Also I just love reading liner notes! I may be in the minority though...


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