Is The CD Finally Going To Be Killed By The MP3 etc?

When it comes to music, I’m as bad as when it comes to movies, I just love to listen to music no matter what I’m doing, driving, blogging even reading a book, but in this digital age that we live in now, are we finally going to give in to the digital download over the physical CD in our music collections?

Color Spectrum CD Reflection

Is The CD Finally Going To Be Killed By The MP3 etc?

Most kids these days have never even bought a CD, all their music is downloaded via the internet on the likes of iTunes, every album and track is stored in three places for them, first in the Cloud for iTunes, then on their hard-drive and lastly on their MP3 player such as their iPod.

Ok so it’s less space to store their music, it’s always at hand and they can get an album or track in a matter of minutes and not buying a CD on-line or visiting a record shop (now there’s a place you don’t see much these days).

Are People Missing Out By Not Having CDs?

I personally think they are, I remember back to the days of vinyl albums where we had double sleeves that would open up in to some amazing artwork, special the ones created by Roger Dean for the band Yes with the Relayer album cover always sticking in my mind.

Relayer full cover

And although we do get booklets in CD albums, they never seem to have that same grandiose feeling that the vinyl albums had, then again even the wonders of reading through the CD booklet, checking out the artists involved etc is slowly going to disappear  all thanks to the MP3.

Now with the ability to download an album in an instant, the artwork for an album is now only a JPG file that is a small graphic that sits next to the song playing on your MP3 player, no booklet to thumb through or read the lyrics while listening to your favourite album.

Is Digital Killing The Physical Feel?

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It has been asked many a time by even those in the music industry that the MP3/Digital Download is going to be the killer of the CD, but it’s not only the CD, the film industry is even considering having films as download only, so DVDs and Blu-Rays could also be on the way out.

For me personally, and this could be down to me having music on Vinyl, tape, MiniDisc,CD and MP3, I still prefer the CDs over the MP3 format, I can pick up the difference of the CD to the MP3 and the CD is still the better quality.

Also having that physical item in your hand, gives you the feeling that you’ve actually got something for your money and not a collection of 0′s and 1′s on a hard-drive. Ok the argument of storage has always been a big one with music collectors, which some people saying CD and Vinyl etc takes up too much room.

But having those physical copies, is great and I love my collection, yes I do transfer them to my iTunes, but I still have the booklets and sleeve notes to read through when listening to Pink Floyd, Yes and The Who.

Your Thoughts

So now it’s over to you the reader, what are your thoughts on the arguments of MP3 killing off CDs? Do you still by CDs? Or have you completely moved over to the world of the downloadable album?

About Karen Woodham

Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds blog an avid blogger of all sorts of interesting and odd things. She is also a Cinema Film Reviewer, based in Rhyl, where she reviews the latest movies and is a bit of a local celebrity, a new generation of online journalist. Follow Karen Woodham on Twitter, Facebook and
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Comments - Have Your Say

6 Responses to Is The CD Finally Going To Be Killed By The MP3 etc?

  1. The quick answer is “yes”. The longer answer is that CDs have already pretty much been killed just as they killed vinyl, and with each death we get less quality of music and today’s listener just doesn’t seem to care. That’s a shame, and I say that as I still have my $300 apiece speakers sitting behind me that I purchased in 1984 that, when I can get my record player working again, puts out the best sounds you can ever imagine.

  2. Richard says:

    I have downloaded a few albums but the sound quality is awful. it might sound good on silly little ear phones from an IPOD but on a 2k speaker system its rubbish. Plus like you said having a CD in your hand and flicking through the booklet after buying it for the first time is much more pleasurable. Plus your doing your bit saving HMV. Once its gone, its gone.

    • Exactly Richard, most people listen to their music on earplugs and don’t have an amazing sound system, so they can’t hear the quality difference, I play my music on a Pioneer stack system with 1,000 watt speakers. The CDs win over the MP3 any day ;)

  3. Adam says:

    Karen,

    Unfortunately I think CD is definitely on the way out, it’s just too convenient to have an IPOD stacked full of music these days (well for most people).

    A few years back I would have said that digital couldn’t compete, but if you download the right file types and quality then you can get so close to analogue that it’s really difficult to hear the difference, even on a decent stereo.

    I’m talking only about file types here though, there is no way an MP3 player could replace a decent stereo.

    The reason for the noticable quality issues is usually because most of the MP3′s that are widely available are such low quality. If you get them down at 320 Kbps rather than the usual 128 or 192Kbps then they’ll sound a lot better. (even if you use an IPOD through a decent hi-fi system).

    Also, if you can, download FLAC files which are a type of lossless audio – this would be the best format to use but it takes up a lot more memory.

    The other thing is that part of why a lot of music sounds rubbish on MP3 is because it’s rubbish full stop .. producers and recording engineers these days are having a loudness war and they’re constantly upping the compression that they use which kills off the dynamics of audio.

    A great example is an album called Death Magnet by Metallica .. it’s horrible, it’s impossible for that to sound good wherever it’s played.

    And the Wasted Light album by the Foo Fighters; they compressed that to extremes too, so bad that it constantly distorts.

    This is a big problem for the music industry in general I think though .. back when I was at university studying music if I had submitted the Wasted Light album by the Foo Fighters as part of my assignment I would have failed – baffling how it managed to be released.

    One thing that I can say is, music really isn’t what it used to be, and not just because of changing genres and sub genres developing – a lot of recording engineers and producers are just losing touch with what music should sound like.

    I hear music in the charts produced in state of the art recording studios that sounds terrible but I know that 16 year old kids are producing far better quality music in their bedrooms with a laptop and a pair of £150 speakers – it’s crazy!

    Sorry, straying slightly off topic a bit .. but in any case, a very enjoyable read Karen, thank you!

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