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The CD Case: like discovering that Hollywood is financed by VHS hoarders

The Case for CDs -- as CD sales continue to plummet, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2014 - 98 comments

From the Oakland Hills to the Bubble’s Epicenter

First the Bubble. Then the Short. Now the Long.
Some neighborhoods in Oakland are as devastated as any of the worst hit regions across America — Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Now the morphing of the housing bust and foreclosure epidemic into a lucrative multi-billion dollar opportunity for major investors is also uncannily centered upon Oakland and the greater Bay Area, where companies flush with hedge fund cash are buying up homes by the thousands. The entire sweep of the US housing bubble, financial crisis, and foreclosure wave can therefore be told by looking at persons and companies with intimate links to Oakland and the Bay Area. What follows is one account.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 11, 2012 - 41 comments

Nightmares on Wax, Stars on 45

The music industry is moving rapidly into the digital world whether it likes it or not, and vinyl just might be the last thing standing in the way of a world where nobody bothers to buy physical music anymore. So did labels sabotage vinyl on purpose? Of course, the death of the CD has been touted before. Trends indicate, vinyl does seem to be making a comeback, but is a a word where you don't own your digital music (or do you?) enough to save the once-popular format? [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Sep 12, 2012 - 140 comments

So. Many. "Anti-cassettes."

Sleeves Received is a collection of the best-designed finds from The Wire's mailbag. (via thingsmagazine)
posted by Sticherbeast on Jan 17, 2012 - 8 comments

In for a penny, in for Santana's Abraxas

On June 29, 2011, the last remnant of what was once Columbia House — the mightiest mail-order record club company that ever existed — quietly shuttered for good. Other defunct facets of the 20th-century music business have been properly eulogized, but it seems that nary a tear was shed for the record club. Perhaps ... a new generation of music fans who had never known a world without the Internet couldn't grasp the marvel that was the record club in its heyday. From roughly 1955 until 2000, getting music for free meant taping a penny to a paper card and mailing it off for 12 free records — along with membership and the promise of future purchasing.

The rise and fall of the Columbia Record House club--and how we learned to steal music.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 14, 2011 - 99 comments

Shelf life

I'm like a character in a dystopian science-fiction novel, holed up in a cave full of cultural artefacts, waiting for the young Jenny Agutter to arrive in a tinfoil miniskirt, fleeing a poisonous cloud on the surface, to check out my stash and ask me: "Who exactly was the Quicksilver Messenger Service? Who was this Virginia Woolf? What kind of man was Jonah Hex?" - Stewart Lee on comics, books, CDs and shelves. Many, many feet of shelves.
posted by Artw on Aug 1, 2010 - 26 comments

The Fate of Derivatives Regulation

Last week the House Committee on Financial Services approved legislation to regulate derivatives. Some critics contend that the legislation does not go far enough, and there is fear that there are too many exemptions to the rules: reforming the $42 trillion market for credit swaps is crucial if taxpayers are to be protected from future rescues of institutions deemed not only too big but also too interconnected to fail. [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on Oct 18, 2009 - 25 comments

mp3s' rotten fidelity - the proof

Researcher John Meyer has devised an objective index demonstrating that mp3s offer far lower fidelity than either vinyl LPs or standard CDs. And yet this eight-year study at Stanford University shows that prolonged exposure to mp3s leads young listeners to prefer the format. No wonder record producers are despairing.
posted by Paul Slade on Sep 22, 2009 - 98 comments

Just Don't Breath IN!

Here's something interesting you can do with those clear plastic buffer discs that come in stacks of blank CDs: Blow a looooong bubble that looks like a condom. Here's another example. Here's a doubter trying it for himself. Apparently you can do it with actual CDs too, at least according to this post at English Russia. There are lots more videos of CD bubbles on YouTube, showing varying levels of success.
posted by amyms on Jun 30, 2009 - 21 comments

A New Way Forward

Nationalize. Reorganize. Decentralize. anewwayforward.org wants you to organize a protest on April 11th to express your frustration and disapproval with how our elected officials have handled the economic crisis.
posted by geos on Mar 17, 2009 - 62 comments

They paid what to who?

On the heels of news about $165 million to be paid as bonuses to AIG employees, the company has released a list of "the counterparties involved in credit default swaps and other transactions in which bailout funds were used to meet A.I.G. obligations." In other words, where your bailout money went. More background here.
posted by jourman2 on Mar 15, 2009 - 74 comments

Rumors of the death of physical media

Hard Format celebrates the art of record and CD packaging.
posted by box on Jan 16, 2009 - 13 comments

Synthetic CDO's: tsunami event when major bankruptcies reaches 9 (currently 6)

Synthetic CDO's are complex little known financial instruments (insurance contracts) that are on the brink of triggering "the most colossal rights issue in the history of the world, all at once .. mandatory." If, out of a list of several hundred major companies, any nine go bankrupt, the CDO's are in default, which would mean a mass transfer of cash (real money) from unsuspecting investors around the world goes into the banking system. How much? Nobody knows, but it’s many trillions. Banks will be flush with cash, perhaps ending the credit crisis, while many investors (individuals, charities, municipalities) will be wiped out. Alternatively, the triggering of default on the trillions of synthetic CDOs could be a disaster that tips the world from recession into depression. Nobody knows, but it won’t be a small event. Thus far the count is six: three Icelandic banks, Countrywide, Lehman and Bear Stearns.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 1, 2008 - 49 comments

Another potentially huge settlement day for CDS contracts ...

Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are derivative instruments providing the purchaser with protection against default on an underlying financial asset. When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac technically defaulted on September 7th there was much speculation that the CDS market would collapse as a result of protection being invoked on $1.4 trillion dollars worth of debt. On October 6th these derivative contracts settled, and the CDS market didn't collapse with recovery rates of 92% being observed. Today CDS contracts protecting against the default of Lehman Brothers settle. The problem? Because industry lacks a central clearinghouse for these derivatives, nobody is really sure how many CDS contracts were written either by Lehman or by other banks providing protection against a Lehman default. Next on the list are CDS' covering Washington Mutual, which are due to settle October 23rd.

Meanwhile efforts to create a clearing house continue, as some folks speculate that the settlement of Credit Default Swaps is a major reason why banks are hoarding cash.
posted by Mutant on Oct 10, 2008 - 155 comments

Ponzi Scheme, Credit Default Swaps in 2004 vs. 2008

"As no rational agent would be willing to take part in the last round in a finite economy, it is difficult to design Ponzi schemes that are certain to explode. This paper argues that if agents correctly believe in the possibility of a partial bailout when a gigantic Ponzi scheme collapses, and they recognize that a bailout is tantamount to a redistribution of wealth from non-participants to participants, it may be rational for agents to participate, even if they know that it is the last round. We model a political economy where an unscrupulous profit-maximizing promoter can design gigantic Ponzi schemes to cynically exploit this "too big to fail" doctrine." [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello on Sep 23, 2008 - 57 comments

CDSs and you.

How AIG fell apart is a good article giving an overview of Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) and the role they played in AIG's struggle. CDS issues are a crisis that quite a few saw coming just a few months ago and one that was discussed here then, although AIG was thought be a special "safe" case among CDS issuers. Indeed it now seems that AIG's particular problem was that it had failed to hedge the CDSs they issued with CDSs acquired from other institutions, presumably on the premise that they were insuring assets too safe to fail.
posted by clevershark on Sep 19, 2008 - 185 comments

Now your Billy Joel and Shania Twain CDs can be cool, even if you can't be!

Your real name and all ten of your aliases are on the AOL mailing list. Or you’re an extreme computer geek and your mother is getting quite irate about the hundreds of used CDs cluttering up her basement. (And your non-payment of rent. And the smell…) Or your alternative-punk-Celtic-rap band’s release was tragically unappreciated by the public. Whatever, you have piles of CDs sitting around. You’ve followed this advice on how to minimize CD use and know that recycling CDs is not as easy as it should be, and maybe isn’t even possible in your country. What options do you have? Well, these people are collecting a million AOL CDs and intend to dump them off at AOL’s corporate headquarters. These people make clocks from them, and you could too. Or you could use them to make an ambient floor or table lamp, a throne, a photo frame, a really huge mobile, a disco ball, shingles for your tree house, or quite a few other things, ranging from postcards to bowls to spinning tops. Or you could play a quick game of disk hockey with a friend (that is, if you have time before your mum gets home).
posted by orange swan on Nov 18, 2006 - 11 comments

How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon

How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon [From Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools: he has a knack for asking the best questions]
posted by iffley on Feb 28, 2005 - 14 comments

Music for the impatient.

Could you fit 100 songs onto a single CD?
posted by holloway on Jul 7, 2004 - 55 comments

Class action CD lawsuitchecks mailed.

As Attorney General for the State of North Dakota, I am pleased to enclose payment for your claim in the settlement of the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation.
Checks have gone out to people who "purchased prerecorded Music Products, consisting of compact discs, cassettes and vinyl albums, from one or more retailers during the period January 1, 1995, through December 22, 2000." Mine was for $13.86. I think I'll go buy an indie CD.
posted by travis on Feb 24, 2004 - 24 comments

The people:1, The Man:0

If you've bought one of BMG's new copy-protected CDs, remember to hold down the shift key while loading it into your PC. That one keystorke will let you be free to rip, mix, and burn it.
posted by mathowie on Oct 7, 2003 - 38 comments

You are your record collection.

You are your record collection. If you really want to get to know someone, try rummaging through their CD collection. "I don't think anyone who's really passionate about music just 'listens' to it. This research is positive confirmation of the fact that songs are emblematic of people's characters. I've always believed that people's musical taste says a lot about them. If you like Avril Lavigne, for example, you probably need to have your ears syringed."
posted by eyebeam on Jul 11, 2003 - 51 comments

WeenAmp

WeenAmp...peer-to-peer software? After signing with Sanctuary (now label-mates with Morrissey), releasing a pair of on-line only live CDs, cheesing off a pizza chain, and getting its back catalog from Elektra; Ween is developing software with InQuest Technologies that will tie together the band's official web site, the 24/7 Ween Radio broadcast, a message board, chat rooms and the ability to trade live concert mp3s without being confused with The Gourds (just try searching for "Gin & Juice" on your favourite peer-to-peer program). The band hopes to have the program bundled with it's new release quebec (yes, with a small q) on August 5th.
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 19, 2003 - 10 comments

Clutter:

Clutter: A wondrous little application, Clutter grabs album info from a currently playing MP3 track, sends it off to Amazon, and comes back with an image of the CD cover. Once done, these images can be moved about the desktop at will; a double click plays the record in its entirety. And it's free. God bless the independent developer! [OS X and iTunes compatible only, unfortunately.]
posted by aladfar on Apr 22, 2003 - 13 comments

Smithsonian Folkways uses CD-Rs to fulfill orders for obscure recordings

Smithsonian Folkways shows the way? (NYT link, blah blah) "The major music companies may fret over falling revenue, but one label saw its business jump 33 percent last year — thanks in part to the recordable compact discs that the industry says are hurting its sales." Smithsonian Folkways has been burning CD-Rs for customers ordering some of its obscure titles. Would this work on a larger scale? Why should any recording ever go out of print again?
posted by pmurray63 on Feb 16, 2003 - 5 comments

Spindizzy?

'At 52x CD-ROM speeds (27,500rpm) disks shatter in a "rain of plastic particles". Is technology spinning out of control? "I haven't experienced an exploding CD but did have my copy of Neverwinter Nights somehow levitate out of the CD holder and bury itself in the nether parts of my machine with a nasty metallic thunk" Are these violent video games a danger to society?
posted by asok on Dec 10, 2002 - 24 comments

eBay Prevents Musician from Selling Own CD-Rs

eBay Prevents Musician from Selling Own CD-Rs
posted by entrustNoOne on Oct 31, 2002 - 17 comments

The Compact Disc turns 20.

The Compact Disc turns 20.
posted by lucien on Oct 25, 2002 - 28 comments

DiscT@2:

DiscT@2: This revolutionary Laser Labeling System allows graphics and text to be burnt onto CD-R disc, eliminating the need for labels. Customers can put graphics, such as signatures, logos, memorandums, and photo images onto CD-R's unused area after data writing.
posted by Fofer on Jun 16, 2002 - 11 comments

Music industry makes first mature move in years!

Music industry makes first mature move in years!
Universal and Sony will respond to piracy by selling CDs at $9.99 - and singles at .99. How easy was that? (Link requires free registration but well worth it, IMO)
posted by magullo on Jun 12, 2002 - 51 comments

When stupid laws attack: this article points out that the widely syndicated article about thwarting the copy protection of sony's CDs is a direct violation of the DMCA. Will news directors at Reuters, Yahoo, and CNN be seeing fines and jail time soon? How many times does it have to be pointed out that the DMCA restricts free speech as it attempts to thwart piracy at any cost? (via k5)
posted by mathowie on May 24, 2002 - 10 comments

Check out the Weblogger CD Swap

Check out the Weblogger CD Swap Now this seems like a really fun idea to me: basically you put your name and address in a "hat" and get the names/addresses of 5 other bloggers and burn a CD of summer music for them. Your reward? Get CD's from 5 other bloggers... is that swanky or what? via Ernie at Little Yellow Different
posted by crankydoodle on Mar 19, 2002 - 110 comments

Copy protection for CDs does not have future

Copy protection for CDs does not have future says Philips. Philips spokesperson Klaus Petri, speaking to Reuters, says its company counts on the fact that the refusal of consumers will convince the music industry to step back from copy-protected CD's. Petri said that Philips could sue the manufacturers of CD's with copy protection (as managers of the world-wide CD patents), because they would not correspond to the standards. "those are silver disks with music on them, but which do not resemble CD's". [via Neowin.net]
posted by riffola on Jan 9, 2002 - 16 comments

Copy-Protected CDs: The List!

Copy-Protected CDs: The List! Buying CDs as gifts this holiday season? If the people on your gift-giving list have MP3 players or listen to their CDs on their computers, you'll want to have this list handy, as these CDs have intentional "copy-protection" defects that may render them unplayable on computers, certain car stereos, and some other high-end audio equipment.
posted by tpoh.org on Nov 30, 2001 - 14 comments

Costello Reissues

Costello Reissues Just returned from the mall, shocked at the price tags on the new Rhino Elvis Costello reissues. Having already bought the Ryko versions as well as the original vinyl back in the day, my anger is twofold. As a big Costello fan, I feel exploited. As a habitual CD buyer, I'm amazed at the price of back catalog stuff in the chains. Somebody please tell me there's a real reason for these high CD prices. Is it me or is the gap between online and chainstore prices way wider than it should be?
posted by davebush on Sep 4, 2001 - 6 comments

Anti-rip CD system bypassed.

Anti-rip CD system bypassed. heh. nice try, boyos. i've never understood how people can believe something digitized can possibly be protected in such a manner as to be foolproof. what one process can scramble, another can undo. [via /.]
posted by fuzzygeek on Aug 1, 2001 - 5 comments

The Register "outs" Codex Data Systems

The Register "outs" Codex Data Systems This is a followup from an earlier post about CDS' D.I.R.T program. Here's Frank Jones' court documents.
posted by bkdelong on Jun 5, 2001 - 2 comments

"Rosen said she expected the relative costs of delivering music online to mirror the costs of selling CDs."

"Rosen said she expected the relative costs of delivering music online to mirror the costs of selling CDs." Please, can someone lock Hilary Rosen away right now? (The subtext: "we can't admit that we've been screwing the public with CD pricing, so they'll have to suffer if and when we deign to offer digital distribution.)
posted by holgate on May 4, 2001 - 15 comments

Napster proof CDs?

Napster proof CDs? (Salon link, so shoot me) A new scheme for copy-protected CDs that uses errors and false data to confuse your CD-ROM drive. (more inside)
posted by smeat on Mar 28, 2001 - 22 comments

28 states have filed suit against the five big record companies

28 states have filed suit against the five big record companies and two music retailers for conspiring to fix CD prices. Perhaps sometime in the near future I will actually be able to afford new compact discs. Until then, I'll have to amuse myself by laughing at the RIAA.
posted by sixfoot6 on Aug 8, 2000 - 6 comments

CD sales down near college campuses?

CD sales down near college campuses?
A new study shows that despite growing music sales overall, independent stores near the campuses of colleges that have banned Napster report a 7% decline in sales over the past two years. [more inside...]
posted by daveadams on May 25, 2000 - 10 comments

Although this story doesn't sound like much,

Although this story doesn't sound like much, the FTC coming down on Time Warner, the effects could be great. Time Warner has agreed to ban their minimum pricing on featured new CDs, admitting that for the last seven years, these compact discs have been artificially overpriced. Do you think making CDs cheaper for the first time in years had anything to do with all the attention mp3s have been getting from consumers?
posted by mathowie on May 10, 2000 - 5 comments

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