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 Posted:   Jan 18, 2023 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

So one more version. Here is actual sales volume of physical media and downloads in the same period. Note that in recent years, still in 2021, downloads (lavender) win.



Aargh! The image is cut off, but trust me, sales volume for downloads is more than 60% of the total in 2021.

Again, you can see the full chart here (scroll down a bit): https://www.riaa.com/u-s-sales-database/

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2023 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Just adding the uncut version.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2023 - 6:05 AM   
 By:   Phil567   (Member)

Just adding the uncut version.



Is it really possible to buy a brand new 8 track player today?

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2023 - 6:07 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Is it really possible to buy a brand new 8 track player today?

I doubt anyone is still manufacturing 8-track players, but you can obviously find them used and/or refurbished. Though 8track tapes haven't had any relevance on the market for a long time. Not sure why you are asking the question in the context of these stats? In the statistics here, they all but disappeared in 1982. I remember the first time I ever saw an 8 Track Player was when Charlton Heston put an 8 Track tape of Max Steiner's A SUMMER PLACE into his car player.

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2023 - 10:04 AM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

"But here’s an even more ominous sign. Half of vinyl buyers don’t own a record player. They apparently bought the Taylor Swift album as a kind of memorabilia—something a little nicer than a band T-shirt.

I've been telling people this for years. I KNEW this was why young people were buying vinyl.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2023 - 1:58 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

This post is just an expansion (hehehe) for a reply I originally made in the "Indiana Jones 5 - Physical Album Discussion", so if you read it there and think this sounds familiar, yes, it's basically the same post; it was appropriate there in context, but I want to add to it and not derail the thread that should be about Indy 5, so I (re-)post this here.


The classic record labels certainly had NO interest in the disappearance of CDs in favor of streaming. Because it brought new players on the market (streaming services) who take a big piece of the cake. Record labels would have loved to continue to sell CDs, or downloads. Intrada for example offers some of their own recordings on streaming services. I bet they don't make nearly as much on streaming as they did when they sold the CDs. I know Hyperion considered the streaming business so bad for them, they all but abandoned it. (You can buy CDs or downloads directly from them.) Fact is, apart from places like this niche place, I practically don't know anybody who buys or wants to buy CDs anymore. Even friends/colleagues of mine who are big music lovers have gone full streaming ("Everything is available there") and abandoned physical media (or even having their own collection of files) years ago.


I saw what was once the literally (by its own words) largest record store in the world (the Saturn Music Dome in Cologne) go from having several floors of CDs (including two entire floors reserved for the classical music selection) down to just a couple of shelves a block away. Where there was once that store, there is now a gaming paradise (by the same company). Why? Because CDs did not sell anymore. In a store like that, you have to count how much revenue do you make per square meter/feet, and you can't have vast amounts of room for merchandise no one buys. Apart from the fact that fewer and fewer CDs are released.

I just came across an offer for an old catalog from Cologne's Saturn Record Store:

Die größte Schallplatten-Schau der Welt (The largest Record-Show of the World)

It's from 1982, which is interesting, as that was the year I really started to collect film scores (and wanted to become a filmmaker). Many of my early soundtrack LPs, such as Brainstorm, Gorky Park, Boys from Brazil, The Great Train Robbery, etc. were bought there. The store was so large, you usually went in there with paper and pen, and made notes which records you really wanted to buy, because you couldn't just carry them all around. And later they switched to CDs. I bought many CDs there, and even when it became fashionable to order online, could still just go to the store and pick up most recordings. They even had stuff like La-La Land's John Williams Harry Potter Box, or Intrada's 3CD set of Conan the Barbarian.
But over the years, the space devoted to CDs shrunk, and in the summer of 2020, this former Mekka of record collectors basically ceased to exist, now there is "Xperion" in its place, a gaming temple.

I don't need this catalog, but it's obviously a nostalgic relict from long gone by days.

https://www.booklooker.de/Bücher/Saturn+Die-größte-Schallplatten-Schau-der-Welt/id/A02k46pf01ZZ3


But the days for physical media are coming to an end. Hardly anybody buys CDs anymore (I know we do), and now it seems Blurays etc. will go the same way. I find this more problematic with movies, because while I can buy music digitally online, I cannot do the same with movies. They are usually DRM tied to apps and companies, so it's pointless to build a large collection because it can just be taken away again or edited. No, thanks.

The resurgence of vinyl seems only large because CD sales have shrunk so much. Last time I checked, CD sales were down something like 97%! That's a lot. So it's actually amazing our boutique labels continue to exist and make quality products. Why? Because there are die hard collectors here who collect CDs for decades as a primary hobby and who want to continue to do that. And that's fine and great, but the rest of the world has pretty much moved on. Most people start buying music in their teens or at least when they are still young, but today's teens don't buy music anymore. At all. They just use streaming and that's it. And let's face it, unlike vinyl (which offers a unique experience and a mechanical way to listen to music), a CD doesn't really have anything to offer that streaming (or digital downloads) don't offer in a more efficient way. When you play a ALAC/FLAC, you play the exact same bits and bytes as when you play a CD, you get exactly the same sound, just with more convenience. Often (but not always) with a booklet as PDF. I know there are people here who value the physical aspect of collecting something, and they want something to put in their shelf, and that's fine. But that's probably because they started doing that years ago and now want to continue. There is no new generation of CD collectors coming after us.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2023 - 3:47 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I'm in the camp that still likes CDs, especially for important titles, but two things have happened to dampen that.

• We've enjoyed a 20-year avalanche of vintage film music, and I now own almost everything I ever loved.

• Over the past three years or so, I've picked up over a hundred old CDs at a thrift store for a dollar each. While the value has been amazing, I'm starting to notice that CDs take up a lot of space once you own too many. And they aren't much use once you've got them ripped. I can't remember the last time I actually played a CD.

But my collector's psychology makes it very hard to part with any of them. The obvious solution has been to stop going to the thrift store. I don't "need" anything, and I've run out of places to put more CDs.

I will still buy a few super-grails if they are ever released on CD, but that's it. I like those silvery discs sentimentally, but barring a grail coming out, I'm kind of done.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2023 - 4:48 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


I will still buy a few super-grails if they are ever released on CD, but that's it. I like those silvery discs sentimentally, but barring a grail coming out, I'm kind of done.


Oh, yes, I know exactly what you mean and I can relate to your entire post. Over the years, I've got quite a few CDs. I remember when I first started to collect CDs, I envisioned myself one day having a considerable library filled with classical music and film scores by my favorite composer. Well, that one day has come.... And over the years, I do have not all, but almost all the film scores I ever wanted. If there is a sudden "whow" release I don't have, yes, I pick that up (like Intrada's recent INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and DEADLY BLESSING, I had to have those), but many film score recordings that are released now I already have. Many of the remasters are not really "improvements" but merely have a different emphasis. It's great when they are all released, but I don't need five different sounding recordings of XYZ. So I tend not to buy those anymore either, unless absolutely (deemed by me) "necessary".

But by and large, I pretty much have most of the film scores I ever wanted, and shelf space is limited. I still buy a lot of music (also as digital download if it's lossless/high-res), but that's mostly jazz and classical recordings.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2023 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   MichaelM   (Member)

Interestingly enough, one format that has been pronounced dead for 20 years now but keeps hanging on is SACD.

In the past 18 months, half of the few new physical media discs I bought were SACDs: Chandos' HOLLYWOOD SOUNDSTAGE, Dutton's new recording of 49th PARALLEL and reissue of Gerhardt's STAR WARS/CLOSE ENCOUNTERS album, Film Fest Ghent's RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: MUSIC FOR FILM and a Japanese import of Williams' BERLIN CONCERT.

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2024 - 4:30 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Interesting side note, at around the original time of this thread, classical music lable Hyperion decided to go streaming:

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical%20music%20news/article/hyperion-records-now-available-on-streaming-services

I have noticed that Hyperion albums became more and more available on Qobuz for both download and streaming. I suppose that's a result of Hyperion now belonging to the Universal Music Group.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2024 - 5:04 AM   
 By:   Willgoldnewtonbarrygrusin   (Member)

I buy CDs when it’s important (for my personal taste).

Apart from that I buy digital because I want to own music and not depend on streaming‘s decision to pull content.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2024 - 5:08 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I've been buying CD like they're going out of fashion lately, nearly all s/h (there's not much new that I'm interested in these days), all so cheap now, but I think the price will creep up as CDs get scarcer. I've noticed that a few favourite pop/rock albums from the seventies (& other decades) are getting quite expensive as the record companies have let them go OOP & are now just streaming them. None of the big acts of course, but a lot of the less famous & obscure acts (& we all love some of those). So...the world is going streaming, & I'm staying with discs smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2024 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Also interesting is the fact that while people buy less and stream more music, music streaming services don't appear to be profitable.
While I have never paid for a subscription to Spotify (because of its sound quality), it is the major music streaming platform, but it has yet to turn in a profit. And I know that's been so for years. That's really interesting, because Spotify is "the grant old one" of the streaming services, and while lots of money has shifted from buying music to streaming music, music streaming services don't turn in a profit. Now any company that doesn't make a profit sooner or later (it can be a bit later as long as investors are pumping money into it), will bust. Companies don't necessarily exist to make money, but they only keep existing if they make money. Spotify doesn't.

https://www.wired.com/story/spotify-layoffs-music-streaming-future/

https://qz.com/when-will-spotify-leave-its-loss-making-days-behind-1850949746

https://medium.com/brain-labs/why-spotify-struggles-to-make-money-from-music-streaming-ba940fc56ebd

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2024 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   Larry847   (Member)

I buy CDs when it’s important (for my personal taste).

Apart from that I buy digital because I want to own music and not depend on streaming‘s decision to pull content.


You do realize that when you "buy" digital releases from providers like iTunes and Amazon, you're not really buying the download, you're merely buying the license to have it on your devices until that outlet ends its own license with a copyright holder to sublicense that download to you.

Once their license ends, they can actually cause it to be removed from any of your devices connected to the internet at will. So you don't really own the music you "buy" from these outlets. (This is, of course, not the case when you buy a download from an independent outlet like BSX.)

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2024 - 6:25 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

You do realize that when you "buy" digital releases from providers like iTunes and Amazon, you're not really buying the download, you're merely buying the license to have it on your devices until that outlet ends its own license with a copyright holder to sublicense that download to you.

Once their license ends, they can actually cause it to be removed from any of your devices connected to the internet at will. So you don't really own the music you "buy" from these outlets. (This is, of course, not the case when you buy a download from an independent outlet like BSX.)



That's true for movie and game downloads, where people don't realize they are just buying temporary permission that could end at any time.

But I'm sure it does not apply to music at iTunes. They say their mp3 downloads are DRM-free. You buy it and you own your copy.

 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2024 - 12:37 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I buy CDs when it’s important (for my personal taste).

Apart from that I buy digital because I want to own music and not depend on streaming‘s decision to pull content.


You do realize that when you "buy" digital releases from providers like iTunes and Amazon, you're not really buying the download, you're merely buying the license to have it on your devices until that outlet ends its own license with a copyright holder to sublicense that download to you.

Once their license ends, they can actually cause it to be removed from any of your devices connected to the internet at will. So you don't really own the music you "buy" from these outlets. (This is, of course, not the case when you buy a download from an independent outlet like BSX.)


That's true, which is why I would never buy DRM music tied to a provider or an app. That would also not be practical, my music is on a NAS, so I can play it via my Hifi system and with any player. Also, Apple and Amazon only sell music with lossy codecs. So that's of no interest to me anyway.
However, if you buy music from Presto, Hyperion, Qobuz, HD tracks, 7Digital, etc., the music is yours to keep, and they sell lossless/high-res files.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2024 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

I'm gobbling up SACD releases whenever my budget allows, along with occasional CDs, as I'm nearing retirement when my income stream will be more limited. I own a lot of digital downloads, too, and utilize streaming. I like the physicality of owning something "real", but will never, ever, go back to purchasing vinyl at this point. It was such a relief when CDs replaced vinyl. It felt like a barrier between me and the music had been removed. Just IMHO of course and I'm probably repeating myself...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2024 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   richuk   (Member)

Where a score is available on CD and priced either the same or marginally more than a download, I'll buy the CD. This extends to completing a collection where reasonably practicable.

But I'm fine with a download for everything else. I'm not even as fussed about lossless as I used to be (some stores charge obscene premiums for flac vs mp3s) - i just want to own my music and not be reliant on any streaming service that may be at risk of publishers pulling their music off.

 
 Posted:   May 6, 2024 - 4:02 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Where a score is available on CD and priced either the same or marginally more than a download, I'll buy the CD. This extends to completing a collection where reasonably practicable.

Yes, I tend to as well, though I've never bothered with lossy downloads. I was so happy when CD quality arrived, I never wanted to take a step back.

If a CD is available at the same price as a 16bit/44kHz download, I get the CD.
If the CD is considerably more expensive (with postage and shipping), I get the download.
If the download offers higher resolution and/or a booklet at the same price as the CD, I might get the download.

So I am fine with CDs and downloads (provided they are CD quality or higher) and select the offer that most appeals to me.

But I am set up to play "my own" music, but who would bother? For many people just starting out, that would be quite a setup. They'd have to get either a CD player (and amp etc.) and play actual CDs (I don't think many folks would still bother with that inconvenience) or they'd have to get not only a streamer, but also a music server, meaning they'd have to round up and manage their music files in a way to make them accessible to however they listen to music. That requires at least a bit of technical savvy and effort.

Most people under a certain age probably won't ever bother with such things and such rely completely on streaming services for their music.

 
 Posted:   May 7, 2024 - 5:32 AM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

For many people just starting out, that would be quite a setup. They'd have to get either a CD player (and amp etc.) and play actual CDs (I don't think many folks would still bother with that inconvenience) or they'd have to get not only a streamer, but also a music server, meaning they'd have to round up and manage their music files in a way to make them accessible to however they listen to music. That requires at least a bit of technical savvy and effort.

Most people under a certain age probably won't ever bother with such things and such rely completely on streaming services for their music.


That's a very interesting set of points, that this change is happening rather organically, and even inevitably. Personally, I haven't played a CD in a long time, as I tend to listen when out of the home. A pocket device is better in every way I can think of than a portable disc player, of which I've had quite a few. In the car, if I'm going on a proper journey, say across state lines, I can either grab six soundtracks, if I'm even in the car that has the CD deck, or I can bring the pocket device with many multiples of that number, should my mood change from Goldsmith to Beatles or podcasts after a couple of hours.

So I rip my CDs and move the files to where I want them to be, but even as a delivery system, the CD is increasingly inconvenient. Computer manufacturers are the worst offenders at jumping early and headlong into the "Society is done with this" trench. Think of Apple removing headphone jacks eight years ago, then limiting our sound quality to CD levels, just in time for hi-def audio to come about. Or Apple killing all 32-bit programs/apps in 2019 with one of their OS updates, and suddenly 2/3 of your stuff just stopped working. They're the industrial equivalent of an abusive mate, because we put up with it and line up for more every Fall, focusing on the good times. They also began the wave of computers without CD/DVD drives (and Apples were never capable of dealing with blu-ray [yes, you could work it out, as I did, but they did their best to prevent it]). So if I buy a CD now, how can I even import the music from it? Well, I can, but how about the kid, or the college age person, or person just starting their own life, whose never had even a CD drive in their machines?

I can note the exact month when LPs vanished from my state. They didn't fade away, they were taken, en masse, out of every non-used record store I could find, in June of 1989. The CD format was about six years old, having publicly emerged in late '82. I think the first ever million seller wasn't until 1985 (I think it was Brothers in Arms? From Dire Straits?) then four years later, BAM, literally overnight, no LPs in Indiana. No Star Trek V score for me, is why I recall the timing. That wasn't a natural attrition, but an industry decision.

Possibly because the form was so presciently developed, that 5" disc proved great at holding music, movies, then higher quality movies, and now even higher quality movies, the CD cannot be removed in this way, and is fading more naturally, like the VCR did. Unlike the LPs, I cannot remember when was the last time I bought blank VHS tapes, or when I finally noticed that they weren't around anymore, nor when I didn't replug mine back into a TV due to the playing of DVDs overtaking any desire to tape a televised broadcast. Similarly, I can't remember the last time I bought a new CD in person, at a store, holding it in my hand. At present, I get almost all of them from people who post here. In my case, most of the CDs I buy, I've spoken with the people who make them! I'm buying from friends.

It's interesting to try to list what we do lose as CDs go. The videotape had absolutely nothing on the DVD and up for quality, being sub-early YouTube in resolution, but we really gave some things up in that switch: the ability to time shift, restored by DVRs, though those are not nearly as ubiquitous as were VCRs, and the ability to keep things, such as a nice documentary on Val Lewton, or a great interview with a film maker. But it was a trade-off that happened so gradually, that few missed VCRs as they drifted off, like answering machines and land lines.

 
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