Celebrating 27 years of the Compact Disc: Does anyone really care?

Celebrating 27 years of the Compact Disc: Does anyone really care?

Summary: Today is the 27th birthday of the Compact Disc, and I hate to say it, but I think this medium is getting a little old. Perhaps 27 years in CD time is actually like turning 87 in human time: it had a good go in the beginning, but then a newer medium came along, and now ol' CD is just around when you need it -- to tell you old stories, or to transfer files when you don't have a jump drive.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Today is the 27th birthday of the Compact Disc, and I hate to say it, but I think this medium is getting a little old. Perhaps 27 years in CD time is actually like turning 87 in human time: it had a good go in the beginning, but then a newer medium came along, and now ol' CD is just around when you need it -- to tell you old stories, or to transfer files when you don't have a jump drive.

You might think it's a little early to be talking this way, what with vinyl and cassettes being the "old" medium, but CDs are on their way to joining their outdated friends. Don't get me wrong, I think vinyl is timeless, and I've already ranted about it, but with digital music so readily available, and it costing less than CDs, for the most part, what's the point of buying a shiny disc that's just going to get scratched and then skip while you're trying to enjoy it?

For the most part, you're burning that CD into your computer anyways, right? How else will you add it to your cool iTunes playlists?

I'd like to know who of you out there really like CDs and think they'll be going strong for years to come? Are you a die-hard CD lover, or are you more "meh" about them?

Also, just for fun, check out the list of the first 50 CDs that were issued by Sony on October 1, 1982. And to answer the question of: What's up with that Billy Joel picture?, it was the first CD to be made by Sony. Check out the other 49 after the jump.

Via Idolator::

Pop Music by CBS/Sony 35DP-1 Billy Joel, 52nd Street 35DP-2 Billy Joel, The Stranger 35DP-3 Boz Scaggs, Middle Man 35DP-4 Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here 35DP-5 Toto, Turn Back 35DP-6 Journey, Escape 35DP-7 Barbra Streisand, Guilty 35DP-8 Weather Report, Night Passage 35DP-9 Al DiMeola / Paco De Lucia / John McLaughlin, Super Guitar Trio Live (One Night In San Francisco 35DP-10 Bob James & Earl Klugh, One On One 35DP-11 Boz Scaggs, Hits! 35DP-12 Toto, Toto IV 35DP-13 Simon & Garfunkel, The Simon & Garfunkel Collection 35DP-14 Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water 35DP-15 Earth, Wind, & Fire, Raise! 35DP-16 Miles Davis, The Man With The Horn 35DP-17 Herbie Hancock Trio with Ron Carter & Tony Williams Japanese Pop Releases by CBS/Sony 35DH-1 Eiichi Otaki, A Long Vacation 35DH-2 Motoharu Sano, Masamichi Sugi, Eiichi Otaki, Niagara Triangle Vol. 2 35DH-3 Seiko Matsuda, Pineapple 35DH-4 Mayumi Itsuka, Koibitoyo 35DH-5 Momoe Yamaguchi, Again Momoe Anato No Komori No Uta 35DH-6 The Candies, The Best 35DH-7 Sadao Watanabe, Orange Express 35DH-8 Kimiko Kasai, Kimiko 35DH-9 Various Artists, New Music Best Hit 38DG-1 The SL, SL Sound In Digital Pop Music by Epic/Sony 358P-1 Julio Iglesias, De Nina A Mujer 358P-2 Michael Jackson, Off The Wall 358P-3 The Nolans, Don’t Love Me Too Hard 358P-4 REO Speedwagon, Hi Infidelity 358P-5 Jeff Beck, There And Back Japanese Domestic Releases by Epic/Sony 358H-1 Channels, Soul Shadows 358H-2 Motoharu Sano, Someday 358H-3 Ippu-Do, Lunatic Menu Classical by CBS/Sony 38DC-1 Beethoven: Symphony No. 5; Schubert: Symphony No. 8, Maazel / Vienna Philharmonic 38DC-2 Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Mehta / New York Philharmonic 38DC-3 Mozart: Haffner, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 38DC-4 Mozart: Symphony No. 38, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 38DC-5 Mozart: Symphony No. 41, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 38DC-6 Bruckner: Symphony No. 4, Kubelik / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra 38DC-7 Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Maazel / Cleveland Symphony Orchestra 38DC-8 Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, Bernstein / New York Philharmonic 38DC-9 Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overturre, Maazel / Vienna Philharmonic 38DC-10 Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Mehta / New York Philharmonic 38DC-11 Stravinsky: Ballet Music, Mehta / New York Philharmonic 38DC-12 Holst: The Planets, Maazel / French National Orchestra 38DC-13 Dvorak: Concerto For Cello, Tsoyoshi Tsutsumi (cello) with Kosler / Czech Philharmonic 38DC-14 Grieg: Piano Concerto, Hiroko Nakamura (piano) with Yuichiro Ohmachi / Tokyo Philharmonic 38DC-15 New Famous Pieces By Chopin, Hiroko Nakamura (piano)

Topic: Hardware

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  • MP3 = Lo-fi , CDs for me!

    MP3s offer inferior, compressed, lo-fi, music. People who only listen to MP3s have no idea of what music sounds like.

    I buy CDs, and play them on a stereo system with nice speakers.

    Of course, CDs can also be ripped into a lossless format, for music on the go.

    Just say NO! to MP3s.
    Tom12Tom
    • I agree, it's all about sound quality ...

      While I have a stink load of digital music (most of which I converted to Apple Lossless direct from my CD collection, it still does not sound as good as the original CD ...

      I also have a whack of Vinyl - which is the best sound quality of the bunch (as long as you keep your records clean and take care of them).

      The farther away you get from Analog Sound, the worse the quality will be, it's just common sense - is sound digital? No.

      Ludo
      Ludovit
    • MP3 = Lo-fi , CDs for me!

      Yes. When we were young we spent much money on equipment for balanced turntables, 12 inch woofers, high end amplifiers, etc to get "Hi-fi" music output, much like people do with gaming computers now.

      I find the low quality mp3 format a joke.
      gertruded
  • RE: Celebrating 27 years of the Compact Disc: Does anyone really care?

    So you're suggesting we switch to mp3s? They are inferior in sound to mp3s and will also become obsolete in the future. Sure, you'll be able to convert them to a future format, but I assume you know that converting from a lossy format will result in more loss.

    The future will be music files, but it's got to be lossless, like flac or (if you insist on proprietary) lossless WMA or Apple's lossless. With these, you don't lose anything, so even if file formats change in the future, you can convert them while preserving your data - and musical fidelity.
    unfrostedpoptart
  • Still have a hangover from 25

    Don't you?
    javajunkie@...
  • Too bad,

    we are stuck with a standard based on 1974 technology. Once standards are set, it is very difficult to move people to a new one. The main reason so many people use Windows. But, imagine what great quality digital music we could have it it was designed to fit two channels on a DVD. That might get me, and others, off vinyl.
    jorjitop
    • It IS too bad

      [i]But, imagine what great quality digital music we could have it it was designed to fit two channels on a DVD. That might get me, and others, off vinyl.[/i]

      You mean like DVD-Audio? Or SACD? Or DTS-CD? Or music on blu-ray (Neil Young has released on that format)? There have been plenty of chances for people to get off vinyl and move to something better than CD, but no one seems to care. We're stuck on 30 year old technology (or more realistically, we've moved to new technology that sounds worse than CD) not because of a lack of alternatives from the music industry, but due to the public's preference for convenience over sound quality.
      zeblonite
  • RE: Celebrating 27 years of the Compact Disc: Does anyone really care?

    I still gladly buy CDs and yes, as soon as I get them home I rip them in Apple Lossless for a master and then convert to iTunes Plus for my iPod. Fidelity does matter and the over-the-counter 128kbps MP3s just don't cut it.

    I put the discs in binders with the booklets to keep them and store out of the way the unneeded jewel case. They stay cool and dry inside, the ultimate backup format.

    And yes, I pick up DVD-Audio and SACD discs when I can find them because I especially want the multichannel mixes that you can't get from MP3s. (Hybrid SACDs and DualDiscs are a bonus, saving the need for the original CD.)

    Thing to remember is historically format changes succeed when they are either measurably better or significantly more convenient. Since a lot of folks can't even hear all good vinyl or a well-mastered CD has to offer, no future audio format is going to pass the improved quality test. But digital files (MP3s, iTunes, etc.) now that DRM is dying DO pass the convenience test. So that's what wins. (And what should we expect from a country where even in Hi-Fi's peak years less than 10% of the music buying population had anything close to a good stereo system anyway!)
    jwspicer