Back in 1902 over a million player piano rolls were being distributed. The rolls of paper with perforations allowed such greats as Gershwin and Stravinsky to record music for distribution on an industrial scale. It represented a huge milestone of a sort in the recorded music industry. Suddenly, it was possible to listen to someone play the piano even if they weren’t physically in the room. A few long gone musicians are still only available via player piano rolls. From then until the digital music age, music could in some respects be a tangible thing. You would enter stores, some of which were dedicated entirely to music, look through racks of albums and select one for yourself, or a gift for someone else. Along the way there were vinyl, 8-track, cassettes and eventually the CD, all evolutions on the theme but still staying within the category of music being distributed on a physical medium. Digital music downloads at the online music store ended that and now music as a gift is usually an iTunes card.
Just a few weeks ago it was announced that major record labels plan to abandon CD distribution by the end of 2012 – if not sooner in favor of the online music store. Of course music CDs will always be around, just as player piano rolls, 8-tracks and the like are still around. For a time there will probably still be those famous sampler CDs and collection CDs. But prognosticators believe CDs are mostly on their way out. Not everyone agrees, however. Perhaps because they have the distinction of being the last physical format for music, Despite the online music store, CDs are still selling well. Popular singers Adele and Taylor Swift are among a slew of artistes who continue to smash records, so to speak, distributing the CDs through major retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart. As of now it isn’t known how long this will last but there are still people who believe there’s something to the idea of being able to physically possess and share music on a CD. What is your favorite online music store?
- CD Are Going The Way Of The Dinosaur (buzz103.radio.com)
- Music Lovers, Prepare to Say Goodbye to the CD – DailyFinance (dailyfinance.com)
- A marketplace for recycled digital music (springwise.com)
- Music Lovers, Prepare to Say Goodbye to the CD (dailyfinance.com)
- CDs still beat digital music, and will do so for the foreseeable future [Updated] (chron.com)