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Do CDs Still Beat Digital Music? First came vinyl. Then eight-tracks. Then cassette tapes. Finally, CDs, MP3s and digital music arrived, and most people assume that the same thing will happen to CDs as happened to tapes. But as time goes on, the industry is seeing a slower decline in CD sales and a slower increase in download sales. CD duplication services aren’t everywhere like they used to be, but since CDs are still so popular, CD replication is going to continue to be as vital as ever. There are several reasons that this might be true, but we’ll only detail a few here.

Familiarity People naturally gravitate toward what they are used to. For example, when students go into a classroom with unassigned seating, they tend to sit in about the same place every time. When people sit in a movie theater, they tend to try to get similar seats each time because that’s what they like. Lots of people held on to their vinyl records for a long time because of the nostalgia factor, even though it was hard to find a record player. CDs have been around since the late 1980s, and everything including data, music and movies come as a disc. The disc format has a lot of staying power, and people probably aren’t going to let go of it anytime soon.

People already have the equipment MP3 players and personal music devices are everywhere—sometimes it seems like everybody has them. Even so, nearly everybody still has a CD player, and will use whatever format they need to so they can get the music or other media they want. Cars usually come with a CD player, but not all of them come with an auxiliary input jack. As time goes on, things will change, but it will take quite some time to see a complete change.

Price A nice MP3 player isn’t cheap. Especially if you want one that has a lot of storage so you can put all your music on it. This creates a barrier to entry for most people. Although it might seem like a better value over time, the price difference between a CD and digitally downloaded albums is such that you would need to buy a lot of music to make up the difference. And by the time you get that much music, there’s no guarantee that your device will still work like new. CD prices fluctuated a while back, but are fairly stable now, so most people don’t feel especially lured to digital downloads by the price.


People don’t want to buy it all again Although there are a lot of ways to rip music from a CD onto your computer, some people just don’t know how to do it. And even if you are able to do it, you might not get the kind of quality you want after the conversion process. Most people don’t want to spend money if they don’t have to, so buying their entire music library in a digital format isn’t practical. When you look at the music industry and services that are out there, you might think that CDs are dead. CD duplication services are disappearing, and digital downloads are gaining popularity. CD replication may not be quite an industry, but discs aren’t quite a niche market yet. They’re still very popular, and it could end up that the two formats can coexist side-by-side. Photo Credit: takje, darrendean


Do cds still beat digital music