Will portable media players drive the CD to extinction?


When was the last time you were offered a fake copy of a movie or music CD and said “NoCD's... thank you, I think I’ll buy an original one.” For those of you who can remember, good on you. As for the rest, ask yourself why.

While some people see the CD as something that will soon be a thing of the past, others see it as a much needed form of transferring all kinds of data that will not be phased out easily, much less completely.

So what are CDs most used for? Why have CDs held on for this long?

As much as one will immediately think CDs being for music and movie playback – also known as entertainment media – there is a long list of the uses of CDs, some of them one would not even be dreaming of! Some include transferring secret or sensitive information after they have been encrypted, installing softwares, backed up data … the list is seemingly endless.

...and vinyl records on sale at Ray’s Music Room Take education for example, where students and teachers can use CD-Rs and DVD-Rs as storage media for important computer files, such as class research projects, listen to books on CD, do research from reference materials such as encyclopaedias.
In entertainment, although disc jockeys can now carry all their music on a portable media player and connect it to a mixer or controller, there are many die-hard DJs in Seychelles who prefer to lug along briefcases or pouches full of the shiny discs.

How good is the sale of music CDs in Seychelles?

A quick visit to two of the music shops in town confirmed what I already knew; that the sales of CDs were severely down everywhere.

Ray’s Music Room said it was not so affected by it since besides selling new releases, they specialise in local and international classic or “oldies” music.

“Sales are down a lot and although we have noticed some people who actually make an effort to buy an original album, they mostly do it to have something to make copies from. We do, believe it or not, get clients who ask us to sell them songs on a USB pendrive they have brought along,” laughed the owner.

“We also still have cassettes, which I believe could make a comeback one day – especially looking at international trends – but that’s another story.”

CDs are being threatened by what exactly?

An endless number of digital formats and portable media players are threatening to make A variety of portable media devices such as these, are threatening to make CDs obsoleteCDs a thing of the past, where a majority of people prefer to turn to the “new wave” of digital music rather than mp3 or other formats that can be burned on a CD.

Cars nowadays are fitted with USB, memory card or auxiliary connections, where one can plug in another music player, anything from a pen drive, ipod, memory card, FM modulator, mp3/mp4 player, portable playstation, mobile phone all of which has the potential to store many more songs than a CD ever could.

So why bother to have a whole stack of CDs when you can have everything stored on only one device? Other people however, are not so easily sold, some of whom believe that audio CDs have a much better sound quality and also are easier to use when wanting to play your favourite track, compared to having to search through hundreds of mp3 tracks.

By Ivan Hollanda

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