Can CDs Be Made Cool Again?

That’s the hope of Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe, the creators of ZinePak.  From Billboard:

A New York-based startup, the company seeks to recapture the pleasure of holding a musical object in your hand — packaging CDs with mini-magazines and merchandise. Their version of Katy Perry’s Prism came with decals that fans can stick on their fingernails.

“We hear from people all the time on social media or in emails that this is the first time they’ve bought a physical album in a decade,” says co-founder Kim Kaupe. She and co-founder Brittany Hodak came from advertising backgrounds and quit their jobs because they saw sales potential in reaching out to “superfans.”

Continue reading.

Meanwhile, the music industry is trying to get their act together when it comes to setting standards for high-def/high-res audio.  This is from Digital Trends:

According to a report by Twice magazine, high resolution audio’s new standard definition is, “lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD-quality music sources.” Better than CD means that the audio must chart above the standard 44.1kHz sampling rate, and 16-bit resolution, or the equivalent quality for files that don’t comply with those measurements, such as DSD/DSF files.

Perhaps most illuminating, the collaboration between industries has spawned four major ‘voluntary’ file types, described as Master Recording Qualities, which would allow file types to easily be identified with a three letter rating. The new file types are outlined as follows:

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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2 thoughts on “Can CDs Be Made Cool Again?

  • I was surprised Sony dropped CD support from the Playstation 4.

    I’m still convinced high-res audio is a scam. Or perhaps I’m just not extraordinarily gifted when it comes to hearing.

  • When I was a teen buying vinyl, lots of albums came with extra stuff- posters, stickers, postcards, gatefold jacket, booklets, picture dust sleeves, die cuts… all value added. Some were a surprise but most had a sticker on the cover telling you there was extra inside. Nothing worse than a single jacket album with a plain paper dust sleeve (or some without a dust sleeve), no liner notes, no info on the back of the jacket even. Kiss sure knew how to augment the packaging. Who could forget the Love Gun.

    There was a Manfred Mann album that offered ownership of a piece of land. I think it was one square foot (landlocked) in Utah or New Mexico, on a plateau or mesa. You had to mail away your proof of purchase and a code and you got a deed for the land by mail. The back of the album cover had a satellite shot or arial map of the land.

    The first Tea Party cd had a coupon redeemable for a a pair of concert tickets to a show in your area.
    The first edition of Kid Koala’s 2013 cd, 12 Bit Blues, was a great throwback version of the album extra. It came with a die cut diy fold up gramophone and a flexi disc with extra audio material. He put up a youtube of the assembled working device.


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