Twilight of the CD

The compact disc- the highest quality and most sensible of all physical music formats- appears to be seeing its final days. Last Friday, Best Buy announced that by July 4th, all CDs will be removed from the shelves of the retail giant. What’s worse still, Target is engaged in fierce negotiations with executives from all of the labels that still stock CDs on its shelves and all signs point to the CD’s exit from Target as well.

With a compact disc exodus from retailers coupled with the vinyl-marketing-scheme’s continuance in places like Urban Outfitters, we’re likely seeing a complete retreat of the CD to the deep underground in the near future. But with smaller labels going all in on the cheap cost and high scene point tallies available in tapes, exactly what future does the CD format have?  And what is to come for metal CDs especially?

In a best case scenario, CDs in metal distros will drop in price to a $5 maximum.  Unless the manufactures drop their prices (right now it’s at least $300 to press 100 copies) we probably won’t see too many more CDs being pressed for newer bands, but the 100,000 metal CDs in circulation will be more achievable.  Releases will likely see further limitations (100 copies or less) which maintains the spirit of releasing super limited music and will help small labels from overspending as few albums sell more than 100 copies (though they can also serve as trade bait in B2B label transactions).

So far the sale of physical media has flourished in the Trump economy, so we can still hope for the survival of compact dics in the underground.  But compared to its vinyl and tape counterparts, the outlook for the CD’s future looks dark and grim.  Will it survive?  Time will tell, but eventually, death comes for all.

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33 thoughts on “Twilight of the CD”

  1. Mike "Ride the Lightning" Pence says:

    Give me a break. You can’t honestly credit Donald Trump for the proliferation of physical media. If anything, his biggest detractors – young, urban middle class hipsters – are the ones to credit for the spike in demand.

  2. Dirk says:

    Best Buy had a few metal cd’s like the new Accept, Mussugah, and Attilah last time I checked. However, Target mostly has a bunch of Kid Rock, Best of BeeGees, and a five dollar new Jounrney CD. This is what I have to choose from in this agricultural town of 150k people. Its the one size fits all economy.

  3. Hell's Headbangers and other funderground labels should go out of business says:

    Good! I have no need to add to my collection. If it’s too late for some, too bad. I’m glad new bands are running out of means for monetization. Even numetal bands are as broke as late 90’s death metal bands. Weeds out the weak.

    1. Poseur Exposer says:

      You’ve been identified as a poseur.

      1. Rectums Disdained says:

        U should’ve spelled that as ‘Poseur Exposeur’.

  4. taller more autistic looking man says:

    Is a new physical format about to emerge? Will analog (“”) formats be the only ones left?

    Whaaattttsssss ggggoooooiiinnnnggg ooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    1. ass bologna says:

      I don’t see any demand for it at least until there’s a massive shift in the way digital information is stored. the normie untermeschen have moved on to unreliable, shit quality streaming. If you want a physical version of your files, just put them on a flash card.

      physical media will stick around a while, but mainly for old people who are set in their ways (that’s what most of us are becoming) and nostalgic 20-something hipsters. both those groups are happy to just track down old tapes/LPs/cds.

      1. taller more autistic looking man says:

        You’re probably right.

        Though I could see micro SD becoming the next format, ridiculously enough.

      2. Rainer Weikusat says:

        If you want a physical version of your files, just put them on a flash card.

        If you just overwrite them with random garbage, you’ll achieve the same ultimate outcome much more reliable.

        I have a bunch of CDs here I bought in the early 1990s. They’re still working perfectly. I don’t have a single “computer file” back from this time anymore. With a sufficient amount of effort, I could continually maintain these terabytes of information at my own expense.

        However, I’m entirely willing to pay for the service of putting them onto an at least somewhat durable storage medium, not too mention that “covers and booklets” are also nice to have. “Apfelmaenchen” (“applemenlet”, the term being the German name for a depiction of Mandelbrot set) don’t want anything except “stuff which can be stored on iPhones”. This seems to be an age-independent disease.

  5. ass bologna says:

    all the average Best Buy had of interest to a heterosexual adult male was the same 3 Iron Maiden albums and maybe something by AC/DC. The CD has been for hobbyists for a while, and this changes nothing. Best Buy is what is seeing the end of its days.

  6. Reduced Without Any Effort says:

    CDs, at this point, are collectibles like other merch and should be treated like such. Even people who own CDs primarily listen to music via digital means.

    1. canadaspaceman says:

      To be honest, yes, the past few years I listen to music from mp3/flac/wav files more often than physical releases…but,
      whenever my computer or external hard drives start giving me problems (or die) again, then I still have a bunch of discs I never listened to yet to rely on, with a lot of unheard vinyl and tapes.

      1. At Bill's Gates says:

        Why do you have unheard vinyl and tapes? You mean, you listen to their content digitally?

        1. canadaspaceman says:

          For some of it, yes, maybe found a download after the fact of buying, so will listen to the crappy mp3’s for now.
          For mint vinyl records, I won’t play it unless I am also recording it onto chrome cassettes or ripping it to the computer on its initial listening.
          There is now so much music (not just metal) I got in the past 15 years (both purchases and downloads), it has gotten to where plenty of it can be “saved for a rainy day”. Almost never get excited or surprised anymore by new releases. Like many others here said, most of today’s metal is mediocre (or crappy).

  7. Le Syre says:

    I bought more CDs this year than I did in the last decade and I sold a lot of dead stock on Discogs to people ready to pay good prices for most of them.

    I never figured why people buy MP3 albums priced the same as a CD, from which you can rip your own files anyway.

    Long live the fairly priced CD.

    1. HELL V.666 says:

      Only a monkey buys CD with mp3 !!
      and they exist!

  8. Gay consumer shit says:

    Digipak killed the CD

    1. At Bill's Gates says:

      I thought Digipak CONTAINS a C.D.

      Am I fvcking wrong?!!!>!!?!?

    2. extant says:

      the fuck you mean digipak killed cd?

    3. canadaspaceman says:

      Fuckin’ A ! At first, I think everybody all of us thought digipacks were cool, UNTIL the spokes break and the CD is no longer secure in it.
      Worse is when you buy a new one, you open it and find the spokes were broekn and the CD is already scratched before you play it!
      and I call bullshit on anybody saying CD scratches don’t affect their playing! Sometimes they do, (good thing Exact Audio Copy was created)
      so, CD’s supposed excellence over a tape or vinyl is bullshit.
      Every medium has its flaws / limitations.

  9. Herr Treblinka says:

    I mostly buy CD’s, but I also own tapes and vinyls and play them too. I buy the latter two – provided the albums were made in the 80’s-early 90’s -namely still analog recorded – otherwise I don’t see much of a point in buying analog formats (unless you really like a cover and buy the vinyl version>).
    I hardly see CD dying at all, if anything, vinyl has a timid resurgence among some dedicated types.

    1. HELL V.666 says:

      Herr Treblinka is HIPSTER!!

    2. At Bill's Gates says:

      Vinyl, in some ways, has a rigid tumescence in this time of its senesence.

      1. Herr Treblinka says:

        Pretty much, especially since you have new albums which are recorded digitally, yet released on vinyl.

      2. taller more autistic looking man says:

        i love you

  10. Negrew says:

    I am slightly deranged and I have about 2000 cds. The last decade or so has been a blessing for CD people: the prices have fallen and most of the time the packaging is way nicer. You can often get a special edition with a bonus disc or DVD for a mere dollar or two more than the regular edition. Third-party sellers on Amazon sell a lot of stuff for stupidly cheap. Life is good.

  11. Trashchunk says:

    I still buy the fuck out of CDs, I am also going to buy a few 80s Pioneer stereo heads and CD players and keep them in boxes as I’m worried good stereos will become a true rarity. Functional CD players that aren’t pieces of shit will have to have been built around the 80s and mid 90s, the peak of the CD. I swish the thought around in my brain and keep coming back to CDs as the perfect musical format, and many times in my life I have had jobs that involve going into stranger’s houses, and normalfags do not own albums, or a stereo, or even books. Look up random youtube videos of people talking into cameras dwelling in seemingly empty houses and apartments with bright white walls with not even a picture of their family on the wall, that is what the average asshole lives in, sitting on a couch staring deeply into their smart phone that takes care of everything else for them.

    1. The Bliss of Solitary Asceticism says:

      There is nothing wrong with giving up materialism, just necessitates one final step.

  12. canadaspaceman says:

    I wish I kept all the longboxes that compact discs first came packaged in.
    By the way,
    there should be a fuckin law against any vinyl being pressed from digital files!
    To many folks, they might not notice the warmth of analog recordings is missing, but that is not the point,
    Vinyl is an analog medium, and if not transferring from analog tape recordings, then it is fraud.

    1. Rainer Weikusat says:


    2. Herr Treblinka says:

      100% correct. I try to buy tapes and albums from old editions when I have the change – otherwise CD is more than satisfying as a format.

  13. Herr Treblinka says:

    the chance*

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