Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

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Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Simon » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:48 pm

What do you think? Will music be published on physical carriers like CD, LP etc in about 20 years? Or will downloads suceed because of their ease of access and use?
I don't want to hear what you want, but what you really think about it. Also, if a development towards downloads will be overtaking physical products, how would it affect the content? Would we still have "albums" as such?
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby fairydandy » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:11 pm

Simon wrote:What do you think? Will music be published on physical carriers like CD, LP etc in about 20 years? Or will downloads suceed because of their ease of access and use?
I don't want to hear what you want, but what you really think about it. Also, if a development towards downloads will be overtaking physical products, how would it affect the content? Would we still have "albums" as such?


I think that they will still be there in 20 years, but I think they will be regarded as something of a novelty, rather like vinyl records are right now.

It's crazy nowadays...I mean, I wanted a copy of 'Moves Like Jagger' the other night at 11pm...and two minutes later, I legally owned it (moooo ooo oooves like Jagger, lol)

Personally, I am already on the case, I don't have a cd player, a dvd player (although I am toying with getting a cheap Blu Ray drive for the computer, just to play that new Queen dvd). I have sold all of my cd's and all I have left is the Queen collection. I don't really see any need for that to be honest either...so that can go soon.

Yes, I think there will still be albums, but in downloadable format...but let's not forget, we have no idea what the next big invention will be and there is always something!
 
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Simon » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:09 am

I started this thread because I recently bought an album on a blu-ray disc, because I am still a sucker for 5.1 mixes. Unfortunately I can only listen to the music when I am at home since I cannot rip Blu rays. When I finally "understood" the album, I wanted to listen to it more often and thought about downloading it. That was the first time I considered downloading a whole "album".
Also, I just recently I found out that the album really is a double album consisting of two separate concepts more or less. I never really realized that since I was able to listen to it from beginning to ending in one go. That made me think about the concept of an album. The way that bands like Pink Floyd created two halves with an ending at the middle was due to the fact that the physical arrier of the music only gave you twenty minutes to be played in one go. That affected the album structure, and even though it was no longer necessary on a CD, and certainly not in a digital file, this structure, obviously, is still kept. The current remasters of Queen even have a longer pause after the last song of the previously first side to somehow imitate this structure (at least that's my impression).
When the CD became standard for music publications, many bands adapted to the 74 minutes (I believe this amount of time was chosen because the longest Beethoven symphony is 74 minutes long, might be wrong though). This resulted sometimes in bands offering music that was not necessarily the best they could offer. My favourite example would be Genesis's "We Can't Dance", which offered 71 minutes of music. And even though music is of course never to be evaluated objectively, this album, from my point of view, would have gained from removing a couple of tracks. But since the medium offered that much space, the band decided to offer that much.
Ironically, bands nowadays hardly use the 74 minutes (or 80 minutes by now), but even offer less than 40 minutes on an album. And I think that is absolutely fine, if the music is great. I am really interested in how much bands will offer us now that the medium itself has no limitations considering time and if this will somehow make "concepts" obsolete. The White Stripes had this interesting approach: Work with very limited material and many restrictions. This forces you to be very creative. Queen mainly did the opposite: They used everything they could get and threw it in their work. Sometimes I think working with limitations produce the better result. (Several albums by Queen however are grand exceptions of course.)
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Kes » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:05 pm

As long as there is a sustainable market for something, then someone will produce product to fill that market.

In some parts of the world, you can still get fairly recent official releases on cassette tape.
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Simon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:22 pm

Kes wrote:As long as there is a sustainable market for something, then someone will produce product to fill that market.

In some parts of the world, you can still get fairly recent official releases on cassette tape.


So, would you say there will still be CDs (or a similar physical medium) for albums or just downloads?
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Kes » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:52 pm

As long as people want them, then companies will still make them.

However, I firmly believe the price difference between "ethereal" and "physical" product will no doubt grow. It's the way of the world. Vinyl albums used to be cheaper than their comparative CD versions, not twice, three, or in some cases, four times as much.
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Bijou » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:34 pm

I certainly hope so although aren't CD singles being fazed out? I know albums probably won't go that way quite yet but I think they're on that path. Although I listen to music online alot more now, I would never buy digital over a physical product any day.

Maybe when/if physical CDs do die out, a few years down the line they'll come back again like vinyl which seems to be popular.
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby Eli » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:49 pm

I still remember Cassette tapes, and I'm pretty young. All the Mp3s are so compressed, you can't listen to them on a good stereo. They're all just loud loud loud... no or very little dynamic contrast. That's why I like CDs.

But apparently CDs are going to start phasing out in 2012. heard it on the radio.

Pretty sad huh?
 
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby WeeMann » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Eli wrote:I still remember Cassette tapes, and I'm pretty young. All the Mp3s are so compressed, you can't listen to them on a good stereo. They're all just loud loud loud... no or very little dynamic contrast. That's why I like CDs.

But apparently CDs are going to start phasing out in 2012. heard it on the radio.

Pretty sad huh?


The kind of compression you're talking about - audio compression - isn't a factor of mp3s, but of the mastering process, so you won't hear a difference in dynamics between an mp3 and a CD version of the same song. What you will hear is a difference in overall quality.
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Re: Will there still be physical albums in 20 years?

Postby FreddieFan120 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:38 pm

I think in 20 years CDs will be like LPs now. They will still be sold but they will not be the easiest thing to find. LPs i think will be extremely rare and consittered anicient.
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