Digital music sales set to break record

This week one of my colleagues posted to group chat: "The CD player turns 30". To which I asked: "What's a CD?" And someone else took the question seriously: "Compact Disc". Duh, I know that. But does anyone younger than 10? It's a serious question given a prediction Nielsen makes.

The analyst firm expects record-breaking digital music tracks sales in 2012 -- that means in excess of last year's 1.3 billion. The number already exceeds 1 billion, and Nielsen forecasts digital album sales will grow 15 percent year over year. My, how times have changed.

Let me ask. When was the last time you bought a CD? I can't even remember. My last five digital purchases, all albums: "Soft Universe", pnau; "Pack Up The Plantation: Tom Petty & the Hearbreakers Live!"; "Ghost Notes", Matthew Barber; "Layla and Other Love Songs", Derek & the Dominoes (on sale for $2.99); and "A Night at the Opera", Queen (also on sale for $2.99). I purchased all from Google Play, where I still can't buy ($@%#^!) Green Day albums.

"As we look ahead, it’s clear that digital music purchases -- and consumption through streaming sources -- will continue to grow, and that consumers’ appetites for digital music will change at the speed of technology", David Bakula, Nielsen senior veep, says. These trends will no doubt continue to shape the way that music is discovered, marketed, consumed and sold".

Funny, how convenience suckered us all into buying up billions of digital tracks that audio fidelity and bit-rate are so much less than those on CDs.

If you're old enough -- or perhaps with new trends young enough -- to remember vinyl, yes, the headline is a pun (and violation of BetaNews editorial style).

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