Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Say Goodbye to The Shiny Silver Disc


I recently did a new recording project here at my home studio and thought about “pressing” my CD. That’s what I’ve done since 1993 – recorded and pressed CD’s.

I can’t believe I sound like such an old fart here – but I finally got an iPod about 6 months ago. I have not bought a CD in what feels like at least a year. My Dad subscribes to Rhapsody and has not bought CD’s.

Just “google” the term “the future of cd’s” and you will see bleak articles. The day of the shiny silver disc is over I think.

Hmm…doesn’t seem like such a good idea to spend a lot of money pressing CD’s of my new music. A quote from Discmakers came in at around $2300 for 1000 CD’s with the tax, shipping and an extra $400 for them to do the design.

Now, as a working musician what can I sell on gigs? I have always sold CD’s as a main part of my tour income, not to mention online sales.

I also have an instructional DVD and 3 guitar books I have written, all of which are reproducible by any 13 year old on a computer.

What is it that I can offer that is unique: my performance! You still can’t copy that experience digitally, so step one is that our performances – i.e. the experience of having us there performing is special. But,merchandise has really helped supplement income at gigs.

Ok, I can also sell frisbees, t-shirts and mugs but that’s a lot to carry. I probably will get tees made, but whoa! I’ll have a lot of carrying in the airports!

I did see something extremely interesting the other day – a service that allows musicians to sell music downloads at gigs. WHAT? Yes – check it out.

You sell the fan an attractive physical card with a unique download code on it, and they can go home from your gig and download the music. I suspect we’ll see lots of variants on this soon.

Any thoughts? Let me know….

Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

3 thoughts on “Say Goodbye to The Shiny Silver Disc

  1. Hi Adam. This is something I have been thinking about lately as well. I can see a day when CD’s will be replaced by an album worth of tunes in it’s own MP3 style player. And you are probably aware of this already, but have you tried CafePress for “branding” merchandise with little overhead? I plan on adding some stuff on there for Jazz Guitar Life. But with all the technology and such, I still get excited about finding and playing vinyl. Go figure…:)

    Lyle Robinson

  2. Lyle,

    Hey, glad you made it over here to the blog!

    You really think there will be individual players for each album? I dunno, that would mean a droor full of mini players and hardware for companies to produce.

    I suspect that it will be a melding of Ipod/Iphone and a Rhapsody style subscription service.

    If things keep going in the direction of better WIFI connectivity, and ever bigger disk capacity (a buddy just bought some 750gig hard drives at Fry’s in Cali for $129 I believe!) I see a stand alone mp3-ish player that can suck tunes off a WIFI subscription style thing. Maybe no need to even download the files to the player.

    That’s right – we’lll be standing in the Colorado Rockies and say, “man I just gotta hear Led Zep I right now” and pull it out of thin air, for the price of the subscription.

    I went on for FREE to Rhapsody, (on the Mac) and listened to Lonnie Smith’s “Live at the Club Mozambique”. What’s up with that? Listening to music free, and legally!

    Anyhow, I am just imagining….who knows?

  3. Come to think of it, didn’t they have this thing once upon a time called “the radio”?

    Looks like it could go the way of cable TV, and be radio on demand. And they’ll still get to put advertisements in our ears!

    Probably a combo of Ipod / Radio on demand via WIFI is what it will be.

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