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Is The CD Becoming Extinct?

Updated on September 21, 2016

Do you prefer CDs or Downloads?

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As an avid music fan, I often contemplate the possibility that music formats such as CDs will soon become extinct. I must admit, it scares me. I am one of few that enjoy actually buying a CD, reading the inserts and playing the disc- I may also rip the tracks onto my Mac to preserve the pristine newness of the CD, but I still want the music as part of my physical collection, rather than as a folder of files on my computer.

There are many reasons for this. I enjoy supporting my favourite musicians and I love browsing my many shelves of CDs.I love the artwork. I also love the fact that I own things. Seriously, I collect everything! I have tonnes of DVDs as well. I prefer having a collection of original discs, rather than a collection of data. Put it this way- it would be silly to have a shoe collection, in photos, on my desktop. Its the same with music. But it seems that this is the way things could go, that everything will be data, in folders and files. And what would happen if our computers got a virus or something??! Disaster!!!

Now that iPods and mp3 players are increasing in popularity, as well as in memory capacity, where does that leave my precious CD? Will there soon become a day where my collection of CDs will have to be replaced with a collection of hard drives?No colourful assortment of artwork on the edges of the case, just boring, simply coloured, generic hard drives??? Please, no!

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that music can be shared easily by new, up and coming bands. I love the idea of garage bands recording and publishing their own songs to make a few bucks. I also like the idea of a wide spread of genres of music being available to all people. No longer must you go to a specialist store in order to find a Bollywood CD- it's all available to buy and download online.

However, I do believe that downloading may restrict the types of music that you would try out, and buy on impulse.If I'm browsing in a music store, and i stumble across some bargain CDs, I'll more than likely try out a new band that I haven't heard before. I would be less likely to pay nearly 1/3 of what was paid for an album, just to sample one song on iTunes. Then again, plenty of new bands give out free downloads in their bid for fame!

I enjoy browsing in a music store, and picking a CD because the cover looks pretty.

I am saddened to see that many music stores are being closed due to lack of business. Others are being turned into multi-media stores that stock consoles, ipads, books and clothing in more a plentiful supply than CDs. Is this the blueprint for the future?

I have already heard of some cities in America where all music chain- stores have closed because most people there use iTunes. I'm sure that there are independent stores if you look hard enough, but I fear that no-one will.

I can only hope that there are more people out there like me, who enjoy the experience of physically buying CDs and DVDs, rather than having tonnes of files on their computer.

If there are enough of us, then maybe we can save the CD from extinction. After all, if there is a market for it, there has to be a merchant, surely?


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    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      I feel that this is even closer now that HMV are in administration. Lets hope it doesn't happen!!!

    • To Start Again profile image

      Selina Kyle 4 years ago

      Sorry to tell you this, but I'd say CD's are on the same path as cassette tapes and records. Although Vinyl has always kind of hung around in its own special way. Maybe CD's will too. Let's hope so, I have a ton of them :/

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks for the comment, I am quite aware of the decrease in popularity...but that's basically the point I was making in the hub. The purpose was to perhaps evoke some thought in others' Minds who perhaps hadn't thought about it yet. I hope so too! Even though I have ripped all of my CDs onto my iPod, I'd feel kinda ripped off if I bought an album and didn't get it physically in my hand :P

    • To Start Again profile image

      Selina Kyle 4 years ago

      I got that ;)

      I wrote something similar about ebooks vs real books... I prefer to hold a paperback in my hands rather than read on a screen (the irony is not lost at this very moment, either lol) but I know technology won't cease. But, just like with records -and maybe CD's too-I hope books in print will always have a place in pop culture.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      I'm totally the same!! My bf was asking me why I didn't just get a kindle- books are bulky, as you know.. I was like noooooo! I like pages! And covers!! Lollol

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 3 years ago from The Garden State

      If you're "one of the few" who actually enjoys buying CDs, then count me in as another one of the few. I've got about 800 of 'em and I'm always on the hunt for more!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      I think i'm at about 600 or so, haven't checked recently. Absolutely love CD's! In saying that, I also have a 120GB iPod, because its just easier for on the go, but it is mostly all CD rips that are on there :) Thanks for the read and the comment :)

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I think this is one of the more interesting articles I've read today. I'm with you about half and half. I love owning things but at the same time I also enjoy having the convenience of iPod. Steve Jobs saw the future and shoved it forward for sure but there is something to be said about having something physical in your hands to feel and hold. Great job writing. I'm voting interesting and sharing your work!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Our local Hastings just closed its doors, and I'm so upset. I loved browsing there--CDS, used CDS, books, the coffee shop! I guess it's due to itunes and netflix, mostly. I hate it, too. I would much rather have a CD to listen to what I want. Plus I like the real thing! I don't even have an iPod. I haven't found a use for one yet. I don't think CDs will go out completely, unless they are replaced by something better. I think people always like tangible things . . . and nostalgia. Look at the comeback vinyl is making! I have quite a collection of records, too! Great hub. Makes a person think! Many votes!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks for the comments guys!

      @kasman, thanks for sharing too, I'm glad I made for an interesting read! I love my iPod, and recently bought a 160gb version, just so I could rip my CDs onto it!

      @victoria, I feel your pain! Thankfully, HMV seems to have been saved, but there are so many store closures. I have actually found a lot of CDs in my local pound store... Maybe you could try that? Or, amazon, and buy things for a penny! (There's an article on here somewhere on how to find penny items, look it up) then again, you don't really get the browse factor :-( bad times :-(

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Oh yeah, like you said, with MP3's, flash drives, Internet downloads, and the popularity of cloud computing, the need for a physical media will decrease. With time, it might only be used sparingly.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      I agree! I am trying to buy as many CD's as possible while they still exist, as I fear it is only a matter of time!

      Which do you prefer, personally?

      I totally love the fact that so much can be stored in a little black box, but I also love love love CDs! Sooo difficult! lol

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Well, to be honest, I haven't bought a CD in a loooong time. I had a thing for physically having certain albums from certain artists, but it all becomes clutter in the end.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Oh, I agree with that! My room feels like a cave of stuff! Books, Cd's DVDs- all of which could be replaced digitally and take up no room whatsoever! I am such a hoarder at times, but I also feel that I would fall into the trap of downloading too much if I didn't buy CD's.

      Do you still have your CD collection, or did you just rip them all and get rid of the discs?

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I still have all of my CD's. And now that you mention it, I haven't quite reached that point of dropping the DVD's, mostly because I'm picky about the quality of the image of the film.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Very true! That being said, I still haven't made the switch to Blu-ray, and the difference between DVD quality and Blu-ray is meant to be amazing! Plus, I have an iPad, and I don't like reading from it, so real books are a must for me as well! lol Im just a media weirdo, I think :P

    • profile image

      SummitTechnology 3 years ago

      I am going through this post and thinking of it’s theme and trying to understand what is this post about. At last I can have found something from this post which feels pretty good.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      By "this post" do you mean my account, or the article in general?

      If you mean the account, then unfortunately I found no such luck with your account, so perhaps you could restrict your judgement before you actually post anything for others to judge.

      If it is the article in general, then I appreciate the fact that not everyone feels this way...

      Thanks for the comment... I think :)

    • profile image

      KC 3 years ago

      As much as I prefer CDs, I think the decline of it is inevitable. I'm old enough to remember when LPs went to the way of cassettes, which went to the way of CDs. We're living in a time where a generation of people are used to getting music for free, whether it's through Spotify or other streaming sites, and probably have never bought a CD, and don't even believe in buying music.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Yeah, I totally agree, much to my disappointment! I actually still own some LP's and cassettes! :) And the free streaming is ok- but removes the fact you actually own it! My music taste doesn't change with the charts, so these sites would eventually be obsolete for me as old stuff is removed to make way for new... Hope it doesn't happen!

    • profile image

      JackkThaCDRIPPER 3 years ago

      UP UNTIL I CAME UPON THIS PAGE I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WORRIED ABOUT CDS GOING EXTINCT BUT NOW I KNOW TON OF PEOPLE ARE JUST LIKE ME AND WE ALL LIKE PHYSICAL ACTUAL CDS,I CAN'T PICTURE DRIVING AROUND LISTENING TO FILES OR IPODS C'MON SUPPORT THE ARTIST!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks Jack! I wholeheartedly agree. The poll in this hub has also proven that more people prefer CD's, yet they are being allowed to be discontinued from lack of demand, and an increase in illegal downloading will wreck the music industry forever! Perhaps we should all unite? Perhaps a facebook page of "save the cd" urging people to boycott downloads? If my poll is correct, then it may actually work!

    • profile image

      Spyder 3 years ago

      I am the same way....I like the sound of CDs rather than downloads

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Absolutely Spyder! The sound quality is miles better! Downloads are usually is a lossy file format, so naturally the quality of sound decreases to allow a smaller file size. We must save real music!!!

    • profile image

      Nando88 12 months ago

      We are living in a digital era, must of the people are lazy and just want everything with just one click. I still love the idea to go out and buy a CD, to go in search of some rarity out there, I also love the fact that I'm supporting my favorite artist by buying their product.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
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      Lynsey Harte 12 months ago from Glasgow

      Hi Nando, I agree 1000% I love to preorder a CD if I am looking forward to it coming out. I love reading through the little inlay book and admiring the artwork, too. It is such a better experience than downloading an album. I also love just browsing and buying a CD that catches my eye- that never happens when downloading as you search specifically for the artist you are looking for. Save the CD!!

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