Why are blank CDs so expensive?

Post ImageI never thought I’d write something like this, but blank CDs are freaking expensive! It wasn’t long ago that I could care less about turning a CD into a coaster, but now I do care. I don’t know what changed, but for some reason CDs have become incredibly expensive relative to DVDs.

Here is the current pricing at Futureshop.ca for a brand I quite like:

More than double the price! And it’s not just Maxell either:

It’s ridiculous! Heck, you can get a 50 pack of Memorex Dual Layer DVD+Rs for only $59.99. I suppose I should point out that both the Maxell DVD and Memorex Dual Layer DVD prices are after an instant rebate, but don’t be fooled – that spindle of 100 Maxell DVDs has been $32.99 for at least six months. That’s for both DVD-R and DVD+R. This isn’t specific to Futureshop either…I’ve noticed the same trend at all computer stores here in Edmonton.

I’m obviously not an expert on this topic, but aren’t CDs and DVDs made from pretty much the same stuff? The main difference between the two seems to be the wavelength of the laser that is used, not anything with the physical discs themselves. Even if there are some differences, surely CDs shouldn’t be twice as expensive as DVDs to manufacture!

You might be thinking that this isn’t a big deal – DVDs store more data anyway. That’s entirely accurate. In fact, I really only use CDs for two reasons: burning audio CDs for my car, and burning CD images. Still, the price shocks me.

Perhaps the high price of CDs is just a reflection of marketplace pressures? These days, almost everyone has a portable media player (like an iPod) and almost all new cars have an auxiliary jack (including mine), so there’s less of a need to burn audio CDs. And on the data side, DVDs are just far more useful due to their larger capacity. All new computers come with a drive that will burn both DVDs and CDs, so it’s easy to pick DVDs over CDs.

Are CDs dead?

I don’t think CDs will be disappearing any time soon, but I do think they are on the way out. Newer technologies like DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray have made the CD seem ancient and have certainly reduced its usefulness. And I think it’s safe to say that the CD will be the last physical media form the music industry will ever sell. Digital tracks over the web is the way of the future.

So long compact disc…it was nice knowing you!

No Xbox 360 Yet!

There was a pretty fancy event going on at Futureshop tonight on Calgary Trail! They had the spotlight truck going, a road hockey setup, booth babes, and of course three or four consoles hooked up to big TV’s. If you preordered, you could stand in line. If you hadn’t preordered you were given tickets with numbers that would be drawn for the chance to stand in line. I talked to a couple of the guys in line and they said that there were people there getting tickets at 4 PM this afternoon, so showing up an hour and a bit in advance like I did was pretty useless (even though the lineup was very short).

So my plan is to line up very early tomorrow at Best Buy. I think the midnight event carries a bit more glitz, and given that it was rather warm out today, I am not surprised people were there so early. There won’t be any fancy event outside in the morning (at least I haven’t heard of anything), so I am hoping my chances are better. Even still, I’m just going to have a quick nap and get there as early as possible. Wish me luck!

And yes, I realize that if it doesn’t work out in the morning, it could be a while…