Are Redbook CDs Obsolete?

If cassette tapes contributed to the decline of vinyl and CDs did the same to cassettes, does that mean Digital Downloads are killing off CDs? Audiogon member and frequent forum contributor, Bifwynne, say no. “[Redbook] technology is NOT obsolete. By contrast, if the music industry was less lazy and profit driven, and we the consumer less tolerant, redbook CD and our trusty CD players have lots of life left in them. I see no reason to trash a piece of equipment, or a technology, if it still has utility and can deliver the sonic goods.”

I think one reason that you appreciate the value of redbook is because you own a very good dedicated player. It’s quite amazing how much is contained in the redbook format if you have a player capable of digging it out. And in my experience, that doesn’t come cheap.

IMHO, everything one has to do to get into computer audio sounds like punishment to me. I’ll stick with my redbook and siding with what Chayro says about “a very good dedicated player”, one of these days I’ll grab one.

Most of my collection is CD based. Most of my recent purchases have been CDs, few SACDs. I think it is a shame that at the time when quality CD players are available at all budget levels, the medium has become out of favor (not for me). Higher bitrate recordings are currently to costly for me to take much interest in. Whether played off a disk or via a server a 44.1/16 recording can be very good sounding.

Redbook can sound amazing on a computer as well.
A good recording is just that and redigitizing a bad recording doesn’t transform it.

I agree that cd should not be considered dead anymore than vinyl or tape should be considered dead. The recording is only as good as the recording process used and the artist/music recorded. Crappy recordings are available in any format just like good recordings are possible in any format. Hi-Rez versions of old recording are spotty. Once the industry adopts Hi-Rez from start to finish, cd and vinyl will take a back seat. But for mainstream, that day is a long way away.

I would agree that redbook is not dead. It will be viable until a universal high-resolution (DSD) solution is found. The hardware, user interface and software (available titles) will all need to be in place for the average public (not just audiophiles). Just my two cents.

Considering the resurgence of vinyl and the recent cassette tape nostalgia, CDs will be kicking along for a while.  What are your two cents, Audiogoners?

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