The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Around about 20 years ago, the compact disc was lauded as the ultimate audio media format. It was indestructible, the record companies claimed. Wave o' the future.

Well, it looks like it's on the way out, if the music business has anything to say about it. So much for a timeless medium. Consumer resistance will be somewhat high, although not so much over a clinging to CDs as much as the unwillingness to pay $30 or so for these no-real-extra-benefit discs. MP3 and other non-physical media types are the real future; this new format is probably going to have the same fate as the dead laserdisc.

I should also say, all the talk about being able to detect levels of sound quality are, to me, bullshit. If you blindfold these so-called audiophiles and make them listen to the same music on a vinyl disc, audio cassette, and CD, I bet you anything they couldn't tell the difference. They just like whatever's shiniest and newest.