Sony shuts down CD manufacturing plants

Tim Grey
13 January, 2011
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Despite the fact nobody’s used a compact disc since ’99, Sony had apparently been manufacturing the antiquated media format to this very day. But, with the terminal decline of the format, the company has finally decided to shut down one of its largest CD manufacturing plants, according to Networkworld.

The 500,000-square-foot warehouse in New Jersey has been in operation for 50 years, pressing vinyl for Columbia Records until 1988, when it began making up to 18 million compact discs every month. The move reflects the continuing trend toward digital downloads, away from physical mediums, which according to Nielsen Soundscan were down 18 per cent to 110.3 million units in the first half of 2009 compared to 134.6 million units the previous year. Digital downloads, on the other hand, now make up 43 per cent of all music sales in the States.

However, given the resurgent popularity of vinyl, sales of which were up 18 per cent between 2008-09, it’s not inconceivable to think perhaps one day there’ll be a nostalgic demand for the shiny silver discs…


6 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Richard says:

    Is Tim Grey seriously suggesting nobody has used a compact disc since 1999? Or is this just hyperbole?

    I look forward to Apple removing the rip and burn CD feature from iTunes with the next update. I’m surprised the features ever made it into iTunes in the first place, since it was released after the compact disc’s demise in 1999.

  2. Dan says:

    I still use CD’s for burning. Why should I wast a DVD when it will fit on a CD.

  3. craig says:

    Hyperbole I think.
    CD’s have better sound quality then MP3′s which are a very lossy compression technique. I buy the disk and rip it using a loss less compression codec for digital storage. Plus I then have a back up. And I’m not alone.
    I can hear the difference on the hifi.
    If they update to MLP based standard may be.

  4. alan says:

    • How is it that AMW’s Editor allows such egregiously ill-informed
    and stupid open phrase “Despite the fact nobody’s used a compact disc since ’99″……to be printed when it’s utterly erroneous.
    • I use SoundBlade S/W to burn Red-Book compliant CD-Rs and more
    importantly DDP file set delivery for CD mastering.
    • Last week I received in the mail a CD from Sydney’s Tall Poppies label.
    • I gave my wife a Hyperion CD ( a UK label for your edification)
    for Christmas.
    Mr. Grey you are either ignorant or plainly so self-absorbed you can’t
    differentiate between excrement and clay.

  5. David Robinson says:

    So few people comment I guess they have to wind up the crowd as best they can,either that or they’ve never heard a decent stereo.

  6. AMW staff says:

    Well, I guess I’ve learned my lesson about kidding around about CD’s!

    I’m glad to see that this topic has inspired some passionate responses from AMW readers, and obviously the disc isn’t quite dead yet. Of course, there’s still plenty of people who prefer to purchase CD’s over using online music services, particularly amongst the audiophiles for whom iTunes 320kbps MP3 simply doesn’t cut it.

    But, there’s a burgeoning selection of lossless and uncompressed music online, with some artists releasing files at better-than-cd quality. I reckon that, with a decent system, it’s a pretty compelling way to play your music – not to mention a convenient one.

    Besides, vinyl still sounds better than either of them (let’s see how that goes down!)


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