This is actually a cross post I had from another forum I post at, but decided to bring the topic over here to see if anygone else agrees or disagrees. Kind of my personal observation on the matter, along with a little poll. I have read several articles from fellow musicians out there who are claiming that CD's are going to become obsolete, due to the high demand of MP3 players and other portable media. Some of these musicians, including Rob Halford, are only releasing their new albums on downloadable MP3 format, and no other format but that. It's funny, but when 8-track and vinyl went the way of the dodo in favor of cassettes, it seemed to be step up in quality and convince. (well... Aside form vinyl, which has something that no other format has, but that is a different article all together) Then, when cassettes gave way to Compact Discs, it was yet another step up in quality and technology as well as convenience. The true inconvenience, was having to buy a new format to replace the old one. They were not backwards compatible with each other. And some albums were not released on the new format, (out of print) However, with the MP3 generation, there seems to be something that is lacking. Sure it is yet another step up in many ways, and as an iPod owner, I can attest to this. However, I still buy the original CD's. Why? I guess it's human nature to hold the actual purchased product in my hands, to dive into the liner notes of the booklet, admire the cover art, and enjoy the physical satisfaction that would be lacking in an MP3 alone. I like to compare the CD vs. MP3 scenario to the scene from the movie Demolition Man when Sandra Bullocks Character asks Stallone to engage in sexual activity. Stallone, the barbaric old-timer, thinks "Hell yeah!", but gets stuck with a brain-wave stimulator that only allows him to *think* he is having physical sexual contact. Sure he gets the satisfaction of the real thing, but the actual emotional and physical contact isn't there. He of course is dumbfounded at the fact that she's content with no contact as she continues to talk him into wearing the infernal contraption. He of course gets embarrassingly rejected when trying to persuade her into the actual act. Touché' good man. Think of CD's as Stallone and MP3's as Bullock. Some people in this generation, don't require the satisfaction of owning a physical copy of an album, they are perfectly content with just the experience of hearing the music. They don't care about the artwork, the lyrics, the thank you list, the story behind the album, ect. They just want the few album cuts to appease their appetite at the moment. Others, like myself, even as an MP3 player owner, still need to have a hard copy, the real thing, even if I don't pull it out of the case and spin the disc physically, I still have it to use as reference to who the bands members are, what the lyrics are without looking it up on the internet, the album artwork, the whole she-bang. But above all, I have a back up when things go awry, and believe me, in the digital world they will awry, oh they will. What this boils down to in my personal opinion, is that those out there that are the "Lanina Huxley's" of buying music, tend to see music as a disposable commodity. They could do without it, but will take what they can, when it's convenient, cheap, or even free. That is hard to do with Cd's. That is, if your lazy and not much of a barging shopper. If thes people had to buy it, they would probably cherish it even more because they had to spend money on it. When you went to public school, you didn't care if you missed a few day, or failed in a few areas, as long as you eventually graduated (hopefully). However, if you went to collage and paid for your education yourself, you know damn well you'd get your moneys worth out of your education, or it would have all been a waste! Remember how back in the days of vinyl or even cassettes and CD's, that when you bought a copy of an album for yourself, it was like winning an award? You had obtained the holy grail? There was this strong sense of achievement, accomplishment and satisfaction. You really don't get that with MP3's only. You get Chinese food. Outside of the amazing technology behind MP3's and the convenience the format offers, let's look at the downside to it. Keep in mind, I am an MP3 player owner too. First, let's not forget all the work that goes into the actual product of making an album on CD. Outside of the band, you have graphics designers, cover artist, photographers, pressing plants, printers, management, lawyers, song writing credits/ASCAP & BMI, hell even advertising (i.e. other albums available by this artist as well as others...). When you look at the big picture, if we were to go directly to a digital-only format right now, a lot of people would be out of work. But again, none of this really matters to the mass majority of people who prefer downloading MP3's, even if they buy them. They just want to hear the music. They don't care who does what to give them the music, to them, music should be free anyway. Ah, in a prefect world, that might be the case, but it's not reality. But the best part, (and my favorite argument), is what happens if you downloaded a vast amount of MP3's to your 200GB hard drive, and it takes a dump and you lose it all. You have to start all over again. If you were smart and backed up your library onto DVD-R, congratulations! However, If even the slightest scratch or scuff passes the defining layer of you DVD-R (dropped it, stuffed it in a cloth carry case several times, used CD stomper to label it and it warped due to moisture/heat) it then becomes a coaster. Goodbye investment! It's good to back it up, but it won't replace a replicated CD. I'd hate to think someone purchased their 10,000 MP3's and that happened, that's a lot of money to throw away due to a power surge or viral hard drive crash. You'd have nothing to show for it. Of course if it was all illegal downloads or hijacked off someone else's library, then you only lost your personal time. However, the musician and all that's involved lost a whole lot more. I know people who have lost a lot of music and money due to technical difficulties. And some who knock on my door asking to replenish their library by using mine, why? Because I have the actual hard copies, the real deal. They feel that by doing this, they don't have to re-buy them or re-download their MP3's again. No matter how many crashes, explosions or wipe outs my hard drive, computer or MP3 player have, I'll always have the hard copy of the actual albums to turn to. If they bought the actual album, they wouldn't have to do this, and if they did, it would only be to save them time from having to transfer the hard copy back to their library. No harm done there. I'm not going to preach about illegal downloading, and all that rehashed crap. Okay... Maybe I will. It seems that is always a dead end argument, But alas, it must be said as it does have a lot to do with the demand of going strictly digital. 65% of the population could care less who it affects... That's a lot of people. Anyhow, my drawn out point is this: no matter how you debate it, going to an all digital format will take away the soul, hard work and the satisfaction of having a hard copy of something that you can actually own and do what ever you want with. Burn it, convert it, and back it up. It's yours. Wow, you even have something that can be autographed, have sentimental value, and possibly have a high resale value in the future. I've had people ask me to actually burn/copy them OUR bands album. When I ask them to just buy it, hell I'd even cut them a deal, they would scoff at the idea and go, "well, I guess I could find it on a torrent site and check it out..." as a musician who works hard, that's a pretty big slap in the face. We're not worth paying for? Then why are we even making music for people like you? Wait, I forgot, music is a disposable commodity. For most major label artist, this wouldn't have much of an impact in the whole scheme of things, they have a budget and labels with deep pockets that won't be tarnished by those few with no conscious, however, minor label or independent artist and labels really feel the pinch from it. If everyone in the world had this mindset of doing away with hard copy formats, being digital only, and not paying a dime because music should be free (i.e. again, Disposable commodity), Who out there could afford to financially CREATE the music for free at that point? Who would want to, knowing that what you create and put all your emotions into, could be tossed out with the trash or the next fad? Pretty dismal outlook if you ask me, how did that ol' song go... "...The day that music died?" It's like most Americans and other people out there who go out to eat at McDonalds or other fast food joints. Most of us are just ignorant by nature and by the way we have been brought up in society today, we have NO IDEA where our food comes from, or what it takes to bring it to us hot, fresh and fast. We just eat it and go on our marry way. If we didn't have to pay for our food, and expected to eat three meals a day from these places, would these fast food joints still be in business? Why would they even exists? How could they? We would drain our resources, and eventually starve to death. Food is defiantly not a disposable commodity, at least not for most people, so why would we treat music the same way? Because we don't need it to live. Kind of a sad thing really. But I would go crazy without it, I feel I need music to live. Not everyone else does. If music was like food and was a resource, and was free, it would eventually be depleted due to our own ignorance and arrogance. For those that are okay with being all-digital, and could care less about their being a physical media source, that feel music is a disposable commodity and should be free just like listening to the radio.... You have obviously taken it all for granted, taken the first step to destroying what some of us love, and would make an ideal government icon for a socialist/communist movement. For me? I'll just cling to buying CD's and support my brethren to the bitter end. Enjoy my music and all that comes with it, transfer it to my hard drive & MP3 player with no worries at all, and await my time as being the caveman of music, and become extinct myself, if I'm not already. I guess I find it odd that people are not interested in having an actual product, something to show for their money and investment, kind of like those who go out to eat, buy groceries, and other things on their credit cards... They'll have nothing to show for it when they are in debt. (i.e when their hard drive/MP3 player takes a dump on them). Food for thought? Maybe, or is it a disposable commodity as well? I guess we'll all find out soon enough.