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]
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.
" A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
The Philips CD-i
was a unique blend of CD player and gaming console, with "interactive" playback capabilities. The only completely interactive music CD
for the platform was released by Todd Rundgren
in 1993. A reference guide for everything CD-i can be found here
Classic album covers, now with kittens!
The movie Apollo 18
opened recently. The plot centers around a supposedly secret Apollo moon landing mission (the last actual mission was Apollo 17
). But never mind the space stuff, what is up with the title of the mission? It's been used for a couple of non-space related music projects.
They Might Be Giants
used it for the title
of their fourth album
Then there's a Korean indie rock band
with the name
, who won the Rookie of the Year
award at the 2010 Korean Music Awards
. [more inside]
The music industry Loudness War
. Research into actual sales rankings
, Radio Impact
, Listener ratings
and Hearing loss
, all show better results for music
with a higher dynamic range.
"Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope.
" More complete study here
A future history of the CD revival.
In response to a piece on cassette culture
), music writer Tom Ewing reports from the 2020s' revival of interest in the compact disc format, and the interplays between hazy memories of growing up in the '00s, reaction against networked "social playlists", and a fetishisation of both the "glossy, uneasy sheen" of the CD sound and the constraints in working with physical artefacts.
Is it "a momentary blip on the inevitable decline of a dying format" or "the onset of an extended revival that will see the record outlive its arch-nemesis the CD?"
Last year more people bought vinyl LPs than in any year since Nielsen started keeping track in 1991, nearly doubling sales from the year before
. Turntable sales rebounded sharply
in 2006. This Saturday, coordinated with the 2nd international Record Store Day
, dozens of artists and labels are releasing exclusive vinyl versions of unreleased tracks, rare 7" reissues, remasters and new songs, solely to participating stores. Here's the full list
(most with cover art here
). [more inside]
Would you like some Narco ballards
with your network software
A lifetime of lost playlists
Martin Belam offers a personal history of music formats and describing how he made playlists with each of them. I'd love for his conclusion
to become a reality.
1,000 Albums to hear before you die
compiled from The Guardian's assorted music reviewers (assisted by readers who then told them which ones they missed
). You won't want to be planning to expire any time too soon with these to get through.
Do you love music? Do you have at least 3 million dollars? If you answered "yes" to these questions then you may be interested in bidding on "The World's Greatest Music Collection." (single link to ebay auction)
Happy birthday dear CD!
Today marks 25 years since the first CD rolled off the production line. Love it
, lump it
or just use this occasion as an excuse to eat cake
MeFi Trainspotting Dept.:
While most music consumers long ago traded up their sonically dodgy, graphically threadbare, non-bonus-enhanced early CD pressings of their favorite albums, a subculture has naturally arisen to absorb their discarded digital detritus. Witness "Target CDs"
, a family which encompasses certain early West German and Japanese pressings on the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic (WEA
So named for their distinctive label design
, Target CDs - unlike, say, MFSL Gold CDs
- make no particular claim to superior fidelity or longevity; in fact, due to their notorious "flat transfer" process from whatever version of the album happened to be lying around, it seems quite the opposite
. (Further evidence for the purely nostalgic and/or aesthetic value of these discs can be seen in the "hypothetical Target CDs"
threads.) Even so, as within any oddball subculture of collectordom, one can now expect to lay out serious bucks
for certain of these shiny little period pieces.
The RIAA Says CD's Should Have Cost $33.86 in 1996
however, this news article
says and shows how their math (and logic) is more than a little skewed.
The 23rd Century
is a sweet band that just released their new CD, "Take A Trip Though Time With...The 23rd Century", for free online
in mp3 format. The album was created by metafilter user tcobretti
and his cousin. You can purchase the album here
to support them, or you can buy their tshirt, obviously inspired/ripped off from the John Titor insignia
. There is also a cool schematic-based navigation to the site, presumably from the same great mind who brought us runoffgroove.com
. [via mefi projects
Australian scientist Cameron Jones
puts nanocrystals on the bottom of his CDs. And prints fractals
on them. And grows bacteria, yeasts, and fungi on them.
What's perhaps the most surprising about this is that when these CDs are actually played, they sound pretty cool.
More details can be found here
and here. [Last four links are MP3, MP3, PDF, and PDF, respectively.]
, jazz's first theoretician
, has released a new album
to commemorate his 80th birthday. When Miles Davis
remarked that he "wanted to learn all the changes," Russell responded by conceiving his Lydian Chromatic Concept
. First published in 1953, the Concept resulted in the most influential album
in jazz history. Today Russell turns 82.
Remember the Free Fiona
campaign (discussed last month here
)? Well, Sony hasn't caved (yet), but the entire album has been leaked online (get it here
or via torrent
.) I've listened to it a few times through, and all I can say is... wow.
No Xmas in U.S. this year: Santa on Fed's "No Fly" list.
Okay, that's just "News
" from the website of satiric rockers Bah and the Humbugs
, skewering Xmas since 1985. MP3s of the entirety of this year's CD Farhenheit 12/25
are available on the website
, or you can buy the CD for $10 and all ten sheckles go to the UN World Food Programme
. More tracks here
, including the "Jolly Roger the Xmas Pirate" series and "Free the Reindeer. " Great stuff for that awkward holiday family get-together, where the music won't offend but the cool lyrics
can keep you chuckling to yourself all night.
Trade in your Ashlee Simpson CD here..
A group calling itself HOPE (Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment) are offering to trade your Ashlee Simpson CD for one by one of Elvis Costello, The Ramones, X, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Aretha Franklin, Mr. Bungle, Ray Charles, Abe Lincoln Story, Grateful Dead, Neil Hamburger, Joni Mitchell, and Brian Wilson. Next target is the film "Taxi"
"We wanted to be the store that your mother didn't want you to go to."
leader Dale Lawrence covers the RIAA shutdown of an Indianapolis record store, Berry's Music, for "Selling DJ mix-CDs.". Lawrence has written about mashups
for a few years now
. Is he also a deejay
Where did dynamic range go?
Compact discs seem to keep getting more and more compressed in an effort to make them seem louder. Didn't the compact disc promise greater dynamic range than vinyl? Then, some record label exec comes along and makes the recording so hot we lose the dynamic range
. People have been complaining
for some time. Papers
have been written about it with proposed solutions. Where will it end?
Wizard People, Dear Reader
is a bizarre re-reading (or, if you're Tim Burton, a re-imagining) of Harry Potter and the philosophers stone (or sorcerers stone for our friends across the pond). Basically you download it, burn it to CD and play it while watching the DVD. A new art form, a childish gimmick or somewhere inbetween? Everybody
will have a copy soon
, so get busy with the download (courtesy of the ever vigilant Talking Tina at Sissyfight.com).
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.
converts your entire CD collection to 224kbs MP3s for about a $1 per CD. Send them your CD library and they'll ship your library back, organized by artist and album with enhanced song information, as either 50 converted CDs per DVD and for $99 more on a portable hard drive. If only they offered the same service for cassettes. [via jkottke & waxpancake]
Go Ahead And Leave Me, See If I Care!
what the late, great Jacques Brel
sung. Oh no
. (Scott Walker, imo, did the best cover.
) And last Tuesday a 16-CD collection was launched
, with all his songs
- and then some
, including 5 he specifically stated he never wanted released. I've heard two of the songs - they're wonderful. But the question remains, with echoes of Kafka telling his friend Max Brod to burn all his manuscripts: should the wishes of dead artists be respected? Does time - in this case 25 years since his death - make it any less problematic? Or the fact that the publication was approved by the Jacques Brel Estate, i.e., his widow?
(My favourite Brel song, btw, is his wistful, sardonic tribute to his country: flat, boring Belgium: Le plat pays. It never fails to exercise the tear ducts, nope, never...
In a move
sure to please independent record store owners and further alienate everyone else, music giant Universal has scrapped its to lower CD prices to a MSRP of $12.98. Just when you thought they might be getting it
Music label Universal to lower CD prices.
Is this move a bit like raising a white flag? (via Curlio)
Self destruct files
to secure DVDs and CDs. Songs and movies will expire after a single play, unless you pay up.
manufactures beautiful silkscreen-printed CDRs, custom CDR designs
, and unconventional jewel cases
for those who release their own music on a small budget, or for making the essential pre-relationship mix CD
. When you're done, package it and mail it out
Custom Mix CD
- Sony Music
is burning to sell 12 track Bob Dylan
mixes to continental US customers. [via AO]
Live CDs, immediately after the concert.
Many times after I've seen a great show, I've wished I could have a recording of the evening. Now, using CD Burners hooked up to the sound boards, ClearChannel is beta testing a program that would make soundboard quality concert CD's available to audience members immediately after a show ended. I'm torn; it's a great idea, but it's ClearChannel... I want to like it... but I want to hate it, too...
I made my claim.
Have you? This Web site was established to provide information about a proposed Settlement of lawsuits brought by Attorneys General of 43 states, Commonwealths and Territories, and by counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class entitled In re: Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. You may be a member of the Settlement Group and your rights against Defendants may be affected if you are a person or entity that purchased these prerecorded Music Products from a retail store during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000.
Not 421 CD burners but "the equivalent of 421 burners"
. Now, most agree the RIAA is grasping at straws trying to control something they clearly can't, but this seems to be the most amusing yet. This article
offers a suggestion or two concerning the possible music industry slump.
Music CD Settlement website now available.
You'll get between $5 and $20 back, unless more than 13MM people respond, in which case the $67MM pool goes to charity.
You've been Crossed.
Comedian's comedian David Cross
would rather open for bands
than typical comics and has had some funny roles in some unfunny movies
and TV shows
, but Cross has taken centre stage with his new double comedy album
on Sub Pop
and several biting
. There is also a newly published behind-the
at his cult sketch comedy show ("Mr. Show"
Cross recently appeared at a Autism
called "Clash of
alongside his Mr. Show alumni and Janeane Garafolo
, Triumph the Insult Comic dog
the Kids in the Hall
(here is a
and show review
though it looks like the feature "Run Ronnie
has been shelved
by New Line
, the future is looking bright for Mr.
Cross (including the possible addition of more live dates for "Hooray for America"
in the spring). For a brief look inside his mind, check these out
Dr Venter says he will be able to provide an individual's genome on a CD
in about a week for $712,000 (£400,000) from later this year with the ultimate goal to sequence someone's entire genome in 24 hours for $1,000 (£562).
Stomping on the little guy.
Popular weblogger Davezilla has been handed a cease and desist from Toho Co., Ltd
, owner of the Godzilla trademark. The text of the C&D implies that they own the rights to any word ending in the letters "zilla". [more inside]
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)
Good news for Mac-owning, Celine Dione fans "The process is pretty easy: I took a bit of electrical tape and applied it to the edge of the CD, the 'shiny side', - just a half inch of the stuff - and aligned it with the very edge 'data track session ring' visible on these copy protected CDs. Took the tape out to the outside of the CD and put it in my CD Rom."
A bit of a repeat
, but absolutely justified
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.
will burn anything you can point them to on the web onto a CD. Won't that violate a TON of shareware/freeware licenses? Will they do warez sites?
Link via FilePile
Music CDs sales are down, coinciding with Napster's decline.
Personally, I haven't bought a new CD in months because I no longer have a source for finding new music (what I used Napster for mainly). I suppose word of mouth and listening to online streams
may help, but nothing compared to finding songs you liked on Napster, and searching others' files with similar tastes and finding new gems. Do you think the RIAA will notice this and change, or is control of distribution more important to them?
Charley Pride's Copy-protected CD hacked
-- or is it? Apparently, the people involved in trying to keep the CD off Napster failed to realize they are dealing with the World Wide
Lost or broken CD case? Ripped a disc and now it's just floating around on your desk? Freewheeling College students
to the rescue
! You give 'em the lowdown and you get a formatted paper CD case as a .pdf file. Input your own song titles or run an album search
through their DB. They even archive
mixes for you to share with others.