Recently, a correspondent with more attitude than common sense excoriated me for having no taste. He could be right, but I doubt it.
I had mentioned in passing that I have thousands of CDs in my music collection, enough to fill a 3-terabyte hard drive. This particular adversary’s argument was that because taste is the product of a thousand distastes, obviously I had none because I had failed to winnow my collection. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to realize that this is an inaccurate application of Sturgeon’s Law.
In Britain, ripping music CDs to transfer songs onto portable media players or mobile phones is an act that runs afoul of the law. Lucky for U.K. residents, government officials are open to overhauling copyright law with an emphasis on common sense, two things that don't always go together. Britain's business secretary Vince Cable said new legislation will make it legal to copy CDs for personal use, which is one of 10 recommendations made in the Hargreaves Report, a six-month independent review into Intellectual Property (IP) led by Professor Ian Hargreavees.
The Business Insider chart of the day today paints a grim picture for the music industry. After reaching unparalleled heights in terms of sales in the early 2000s, the slide came on fast with the increase in other forms of digital entertainment and (of course) some piracy. Digital downloads? Not pulling their weight.
Located in Pitman, New Jersey are just under 9,400 residents, a historical museum, the University of Glassboro, and one of two CD manufacturing plants owned and operated by Sony. Come March 31, 2011, you can scratch that last one off the list, CNet reports.
"In light of the current economic environment and challenges facing the physical media industry, Sony DADC is taking additional steps to reduce cost from our supply chain network in order to remain competitive," Lisa Gephart, a Sony spokeswoman, said in a statement earlier this year.
Or, as one employee put it, "the CD is dying." Here's a quick history lesson. Audio CDs have been around in commercial form since 1982, or nearly three decades. Sony at one time operated three CD manufacturing plants, closing one down in 2003 and will shutter a second two months from now.
With all that said, don't take this to mean that CDs are, in fact, dead. They're not, at least not yet, but there's no doubt interest is waning. Citing Nielsen's figures, CNet points out that while digital track sales grew by just 1 percent last year, new CD sales dropped 16 percent.