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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Print: Defending the Lowly CD From Oblivion

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

From the latest edition of SF Weekly:

compact_disc_physical_format_cd_vinyl_downloads_technology.7684797.40.jpg

In Defense of the CD: No one loves CDs. The cool kids today want to either dig through crates of dusty old vinyl or pay four times too much for the new stuff. The even cooler kids spend actual money on godawful cassette tapes. And everyone else under age 40 has abandoned physical formats for music altogether, instead slurping up free files off the Internet or paying paltry sums to grab them from legal retailers like iTunes or Amazon.

Meanwhile, the CD looks like it might go the way of the 8-track. Sales of the format have plummeted 50 percent from their peak in 2000. Last year, digital sales surpassed physical sales for the first time ever. And many smaller cities don't even have a place to buy CDs anymore, save for the racks of big sellers at box retailers like Best Buy and Target.

This month, Rolling Stone reported that some industry insiders believe there's no future in making and selling plastic circles digitally encoded with music. "I'm going to say three years -- Walmart might squeeze five years out of it," says an anonymous source quoted by the magazine.

To which I say: Hell no.

Music industry, I want my CDs. I know we all have Spotify now, or something like it, and I'll admit to having many more songs in my iTunes library than on my cluttered and overcrowded CD shelf. But kill the CD, and you'd kill a masterpiece... [continue reading]

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and lows from the week in S.F. music.

Also, we recommend shows from Saul Williams, Terry Malts, Murk, and the Joy Formidable.

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