Is the CD-R on its way out?

What is the state of the music industry and are the record labels following the path of the dinosaur to extinction or merely evolving into a Darwinian metamorphosis into a new business model?  Everyone’s quick to point out the amount of money the record labels are loosing as a result of music file sharing sites and the illegal pirate trade.  The landmark legal win for the RIAA on behalf of the labels against Jammie Thomas, of Minnesota, by ordering her to pay $220,000 in restitution for sharing copyrighted material without permission, is a major victory.  However, will this change the tide of illegal music sharing or just drive it further underground.  I estimate it will most likely not cause much of a ripple in the overall damage to the industry’s financial woes, but instead make headlines for a short time until the next Britney Spears fiasco captivates the masses.


So why do I bring this up when the blog is largely devoted to duplication of optical discs (CD’s, DVD’s, etc) and not to digital file sharing?  The reason is, just like the music industry, the “industry” has been writing the obituary of the CD-R for years only to see the sales of CD-R discs and CD duplicators continue to stay alive and thrive.  Why is it that the CD refuses to go the way of the Dodo bird? 


I personally think it’s because a lot of people still like having a physical representation of their music like a CD that they can see and touch.  In addition, the price to duplicate a CD is so cheap these days, why get rid of it.  When you can find CD-R’s for less than $0.10 each and multi-drive duplicators for under $400, then the cost of entry becomes next to nothing.  Anyone with a small Casio keyboard with a 4 track recorder can put out their own record and become their own mini label out of the garage. 


As long as there is a drive that will accept CD’s, the CD-R and the CD duplicator will have a place in the market.  The iPod and other MP3 players may be the future, but they haven’t killed off the CD, and it doesn’t look likely anytime soon.

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