Friday, January 29, 2010

What is the future of classical compact discs?


MSN’s “10 things not to buy in 2010” (link) from Money Central caught my eye because of one item: CD’s.

Compact discs started to take hold for classical music around 1985 and became popular very quickly with classical music collectors. Why? Because of vinyl records, no matter how careful you were with your tone arm and elliptical styli, could wear, especially in inner grooves.

For singles and for “pop” or rock, of course iTunes and a variety of now copyright-legal music subscription services post-Napster (Dell has even offered an inexpensive one), CD’s seem a bit redundant. (Okay, in 2001, maybe it made sense to buy a CD of ‘Nsync.)

True, the mega-store Tower Records with all its great deals on CD's went by-by. bThere will always be a need for an effective vehicle to sell recordings of classical music, whether new performances of the Beethoven Fifth, resurrected and neglected works (like the d’Albert concerto I write about), or the works of new composers (like Tudor Dominik Maican (check April 10, 2010 at Dumbarton here) and Timothy Andres), especially when young. Will people really download performances for purchase and then build collections on their harddrives? What about the program notes. Maybe this is a good use for the new Tablet, and Steve Jobs has it right.

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