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Music labels Sony, EMI and Universal are planning on retiring the digital forefather, the CD, opting to rely on digital downloads.

The scoop comes from Side-Line who claim multiple sources reveal the CD’s end is nigh, despite the major labels choosing not to officially comment.

It’s believed CDs will perish by 2013, with only top-selling artists recording limited edition CDs through e-store Amazon.

CD stores have been struggling in the Australian market, with HMV bailing on its retail stores in 2005 and CD sections in department stores dwindling. Instead focus has shifted to electronic devices, including the mp3 player and mobile phones.

History dictates when the music industry shifts its recording format it’s often matched by one in the video market. Although DVD isn’t gone yet, BlockBuster, Civic Video and Video Ezy are all enduring store closures thanks to people renting and downloading flicks online. In fact there’s already a corresponding shift with the number of IPTV services popping up, including FetchTV and iiNet’s offering.

It’s a real shame to see the CD go since it rescued us from scratched cassette audio and ushered in the era of digital music. But after more than a decade of delivering entertainment, perhaps it’s only fair the environmentally and commercially taxing format is replaced by the superior digital downloads.

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