The overlooked environmental impacts of the music industry

Originally published at:

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Wouldn’t it make more sense if the hero image here were of /music/ CDs and not data CD-ROMs?


Oh! This looks like a must have book! Thanks!

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OMG - that was great.

Also: re: the article.

Great, now I can’t enjoy anything. I’m going to sit under a tree until I die.


he says in the article he’s not trying to induce guilt here, but make people aware of the environmental impact of the industry… If we’re aware of it, we can demand change as consumers. If we don’t known the impact, nothing will change. This seems like a place for indie artists and labels to be pioneers, too.

And CDs have the lowest environmental impact, FWIW, which is still my preferred format…


While there’s a non-zero cost of streaming spotify to your home, I would guess that delivering bits via cable modem is more efficient than petrochemical burning vehicles delivering plastic to the local CD shop, or your door.

What’s the difference of energy consumption between pressing and shipping the newest Weird Al CD to my door, and downloading it from iTunes? Is there a rough ratio?

I’m pretty sure the cost of manufacturing and delivery to the retailer is much higher in the CD scenario, which suggests higher underlying energy consumption.


Yeah, well, whether one is TRYING to induce something or not - doesn’t mean someone doesn’t feel something.

Ditto, but it is very, rare I buy them and when I do, it is used half the time.

It doesn’t take much education and reflection to recognize that just about everything in modern material civilization is the result of extractive industries that feed industrial processes, which includes all the unlovely byproducts and disposal problems that accompany the processes of turning raw materials into Stuff. Anyone anywhere who lives a material life that operates above the hunter-gatherer level is implicated. So how far do we want to go in order to address this original sin?


Sure, that’s fair enough… but it was not the intent. We should be be aware of such issues across the board. The problem isn’t really in one industry or another, or in the individual consumer choices we make, it’s really about the wastefulness of the entire system.

Even better! Although lately, I haven’t been able to go to my favorite record shop and flip through the used bin… of course buying new means directly supporting the artists I like, too.

Um. And? That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t study specific cases and illustrate how that happens. It’s one thing to say that something is, and another to SHOW how it is.

How about we work to change it, instead of just throwing up our hands and ignoring the problem because we find it inconvenient to push for larger systemic change.


Vinyl :clap: is :clap: bullshit :clap: anyway :clap:


Just environmentally unsound, apparently…

And it sounds like a bucket of absolute ass too. Look at it wrong and it degrades itself faster than a Trump in Vegas. All that bluster about how it sounds great is complete horseshit. It sounds fine the very first time it’s ever played, gets worse from there, and modern digital can replicate absolutely everything our ears have actually been hearing to a degree of practically-immortal perfection that anybody who says they hear a difference is instantly an idiot, a liar, or both.


I have plenty of older vinyl albums that are in great condition, primarily because they were taken care of. Some are upwards of 40 years old.

It’s records, dude. No need to be insulting about it. You don’t like vinyl or think it sounds good, that’s cool, but maybe don’t take your personal taste as the end all and be all, and anyone who disagrees is “an idiot” or “a liar”. :woman_shrugging: The world is seriously shitty enough right now to not attack others for differing opinions about sound recording…


When I was a child, my mom, filling the role of den mother, had us making candy dishes from old LPs melted over coffee cans in the oven. The bubbled surface and petal-like curved edges of the LP were then spray painted (gold if I remember correctly)… recycling!

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I have at least one bowl like that made by a friend one christmas… It’s a neat little project to do.

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Also, highly based on personal opinion…

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I didn’t realize this is still done. My memories of it go back to the early 60’s.

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Can someone listening to a recording tell if it’s an analog or digital recording in a blind test?

If so - there’s a difference. And it may be one that is important to some listeners.