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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Downloading is Saving the Planet

posted by on August 8 at 8:43 AM

CD sales have decreased 35 percent since 2000.

Not only is this an excellent sign of the revolution, it’s also good for the environment. This guy does the math to prove that downloading MP3s is saving the planet.

So briefly, if CD sales had remained perfectly steady since 2000, we would have seen 1,136,500,000 more CDs on the market. That is 39 million pounds of polycarbonate CDs saved and 150 million pounds of polystyrene jewel cases saved. Thatís a vertical stack of CDs over 7,000 miles high and a horizontal row stretching from New York to Tokyo, with 300 miles to spare.

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...I just started purchasing CD's again. Fuck iPods.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 8, 2007 8:44 AM

but poe, I could sell you a hifi 192k wav or aif mixdown of my protools HD recorded album. beats the pants off your lowly 44k cd.


Posted by seattle98104 | August 8, 2007 8:51 AM

How environmentally friendly are the components of the millions of mp3 players that have been sold in the past few years?

Posted by Gabriel | August 8, 2007 8:53 AM

AIF? Please. 192? Pffft.

I purchase the CD's to have the CD. The cover. The back. The disc. I'll never physically take the disc out and put it in a player, but I would like to have it in my collection. I loved the CD when I downloaded it, now that I make enough money, I will buy it.

I figure that's the right thing to do, anyway.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 8, 2007 8:55 AM

mp3 players? Let's talk about the environmental impact of the computers, or just even the hard drives! It's hard to say how much of an increase that is due to the rise of digital music but to say the loss of cds is saving the planet is only looking at one side of the picture.

Posted by Ryan | August 8, 2007 8:57 AM

I'd also be interested to find out what the increases are in the purchasing of blank cd/dvd media...

Posted by Ryan | August 8, 2007 8:59 AM

I used to never buy blank CDs, but now with mp3s I am making CDs all the time. In fact, I have way more discs cluttering up my environment than I did when I was buying CDs.
Bad math...

Posted by BIll | August 8, 2007 9:00 AM

@5 - except no one's buying computer's just so that they can have a way to listen to music. They have the computers anyway, so if they were buying CDs that would be on top of the computers. Yeah?

Did you know that people still make and distribute and clog radio station inboxes with CD singles? Those damn things should be outlawed, as the Invisible Hand of the Market will apparently not do anything about it. (Nobody buys them, but people get paid to manufacture them and send them for free to Music Directors across the nation who ignore them.)

Posted by Levislade | August 8, 2007 9:01 AM

Wow. Now I feel guilty. I have an ipod but I barely use it. I listen to my CDs instead. And I'm with you, Mr. Poe, I like having the actual album in my hand. But I guess I can do without.

Posted by arduous | August 8, 2007 9:16 AM


CDs aren't killing the planet. in fact, think of them as locking up petroleum that would otherwise be burned up in your lexus hybrid.

Posted by maxsolomon | August 8, 2007 9:23 AM

I *heart* torrents and have been CD-Free since 2001. The only thing I miss about my CDs is the cash I received when I sold them all, one stack at a time.

Posted by Miss Stereo | August 8, 2007 9:26 AM

It's not CDs that are destroying the planet, or the souls of its people. It's jewel cases.

Posted by Fnarf | August 8, 2007 9:26 AM

Now about the 30 AOL disks we each receive every month. Anything we can do to stop that?

Posted by Download A Vowel | August 8, 2007 9:28 AM

Fnarf, is that really true? Because I would be much happier to compromise by buying CDs off of ITunes and then burning them onto jewel-case-less CDs.

Posted by arduous | August 8, 2007 10:18 AM

@5 is right - not so fast, Josh. If digital music use inspires the manufacture of more electronic devices (e.g. iPods), then that has to be factored into any calculation of the environmental results of CD-to-MP3 transitioning.

Posted by tsm | August 8, 2007 10:48 AM

Arduous, I have no idea if it's true or not. The planet part, that is; the evidence that jewel cases destroy human souls is irrefutable. Every time one of those little tabs in the center breaks off, an angel's wings are torn off.

Posted by Fnarf | August 8, 2007 11:25 AM

Why don't all CDs come packaged in that cardboard casing stuff? YOu know, like a "Rusted Root Live at the Save the Planet Fest" CD would surely come packaged in. Those cases are far far superior to plastic ones in every sense. In-con-ceivable dammit!

Posted by longball | August 8, 2007 11:40 AM

I imagine DVDs and vid games have done a lot to offset the environmental gaines of lower CD sales. still... I can't quite wrap my head around "a horizontal row stretching from New York to Tokyo, with 300 miles to spare". yowsers

Posted by longball | August 8, 2007 11:44 AM

you are a butt head : )

Posted by mj | August 8, 2007 12:40 PM

This is undeniable.

Posted by Fnarf | August 8, 2007 1:02 PM

Jesus Christ, it doesn't seem like there's that much room in the world to hold all those fucking cds. Where the hell are we putting things?

Posted by Carollani | August 8, 2007 1:12 PM

@15- right, because most CD players are now made entirely out of hemp.

Posted by matthew e | August 8, 2007 2:19 PM

i have yet to see album lovers jump in to the mix. there's something speicial about analog that will always have a place in my mostly digital world.

Posted by kate | August 8, 2007 3:24 PM

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