The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153894   Message #3608216
Posted By: Richard Mellish
08-Mar-14 - 07:37 AM
Thread Name: Tech: Are CDs becoming obsolete?
Subject: RE: Tech: Are CDs becoming obsolete?
There are several sub-themes here:
CD versus download versus LP versus who-knows-what-next for distribution of sound recordings;
writable CD versus writable DVD versus hard disc for storage of one's personal collection of sound recordings and other data files;
CD/DVD versus hard disc versus anything else (e.g. printed one-off capture of Wikipedia) for archives;
bit depths and sample rates for sound recordings.

On the last of these, my personal view agrees with Treewind's: 16 bit / 44.1 k sample rate is quite good enough for me, as I don't have a soundproofed listening room and my hearing now cuts off at about 12 kHz. But I also accept what our un-named GUEST says: it's your money, and if you think you're getting some benefit from more bit depth or a higher sample rate, it's your choice.

For storage, it's important to remember the difference between recordable and pressed CDs. Nothing is guaranteed to last for ever, even if stored under good conditions, but pressed are likely to last a lot longer than burnt.

For archives, the best life is stone (thousands of years) but the capacity is very small. Paper, if of the right grade and stored under suitable conditions, is good for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, but there is space for only a fraction of the data being generated nowadays.

With the technology available today for home use I would favour hard disc plus archive-quality DVD-R and/or archive-quality DVD+R.

But back to distribution, which I think is where this thread started. A pressed CD with a printed booklet has a lot going for it, so I don't see that format fading away for a while yet. And downloads have the advantage that you can pick and choose the tracks you want, so I don't see that fading away either.