It might not be the most cool physical music format right now - even the previously-derided cassette has more hipster cache - but artist and Ableton Live co-creator Robert Henke thinks that it’s time once again to “fully embrace” the CD.
In a conversation-starting Facebook post (opens in new tab), Henke has taken aim at the vinyl revival and says that the compact disc is a better alternative for people who still want an actual ‘thing’ when they buy their music.
“I still love physical products,” he says, “but manufacturing big heavy plates of plastic and have [sic] them shipped around the globe is a huge waste of energy and resources.”
Henke adds that he’s considering not releasing any more music on vinyl, and notes that the CD has several advantages over its 12-inch cousin, including a better signal-to-noise ratio, better channel separation, better frequency response and a smaller form factor.
“Compact disc, you are underrated and you will always have a place in my heart,” he says.
Since his original post kicked off a discussion, Henke has gone on to make several more arguments in favour of the CD, noting the high energy consumption associated with music streaming, and the fact that, when stored correctly, compact discs can last for 30 years or more.
He also notes that he’s not averse to buying/selling vintage vinyl - his argument is simply that we shouldn’t be pressing more of it when the CD offers what he views as a better compromise.
Whether the CD will be revived in the same way that vinyl has been remains to be seen, but with ‘80s and ‘90s style now so popular, we certainly wouldn’t bet against it. Maybe we shouldn't have got rid of those IKEA Benno towers after all...