Mark Cuban Says, The Countdown for the Extinction of CDs is About to Begin

The countdown for the extinction of CDs is about to begin – Blog Maverick – _ Mark Cuban blogs that CDs are on the way out. Yes I already knew this.

Mark points out one of the bottom line objections to getting rid of the CD though. DRM. The uncertainty of the control over my music in the long term is what keeps CD sales alive.

In Mark’s words:

“To buy music these days, I have to make all kinds of choices. If I want to buy downloads from the net, itís like trying to figure out which mortgate to take out on a house. Not because of the cost, but because of all the rules and regulations. Do I want to limit myself to 5 computers. Do I want to always keep my subscription live. Do I want to store the music in a proprietary format that only a couple devices can use. Those are all tough decisions to make when the only thing I know with certainty is that the device Iím using as an MP3 player today, is NOT going to be the device Iím going to be using 18 months from now. There will be players that have more features, or I will consolidate multiple products into a single device. I may be using my phone, my PSP or PDA or something other device for my music.”

My own two cents?

I’ll never pay one nickel for any track with DRM. Bottom line. Ever. That’s a problem.

I need to know that in 50 years my music will be able to be played and in a format that I still control. To this end everything I own is ripped from CD. Time consuming? Yes. Unfortnate? Yes. But in the end I control it and that’s the most important thing for any collector of anything.

For the casual user of disposable music here and now today digital tracks with DRM work. For me they never will.

By the way, used CDs are even cheaper than new CDs. By the way, used CDs that are returned for store credit are even cheaper than used CDs and new CDs.

By the way, borrowing a 250 gig external Maxtor from a friend with 35,000 mp3s is cheapest of all. Welcome to the world of sneakernet.

As hard drive costs come down, digital music is adopted, sneakenet will be came the new de facto king and will be the thorn in the music industry’s side that they never could have anticipated or predicted. It will become more significant even than peer to peer in the old Napster sense of the word.

The way for the music industry to survive is to sell subscriptions to an unlimited .mp3 downloadable service with no DRM for $20 per month. The only way to survive will be on the hope that people will pay this for easy access to new music on an instant basis as it is released. Like the move from CD to iTunes though this will happen much later than it should — if at all.

When external Maxtor 250 gig drives become as commonplace as those old floppy discs that used to lay around your home (and they will) the music industry will stand no chance. It’s only a matter of time.