Despite streaming’s best efforts, physical music media’s rise over the last decade has been remarkable. However, a musicians and labels concentrate all their efforts into recording with the live scene dead in the water, have we now hit a point where vinyl has hit its absolute limit? Labels are reporting waiting times of months (and it wasn’t a swift process at the best of times), causing financial woes for the artists and labels and leaving releases at the risk of being hopelessly out of date when they do appear. What to do?
Well, there’s still the cassette boom to build upon, although that most hipster of formats does fall down when it comes to the fact that equipment to play them on is thin on the ground. You can only get away with flogging people formats they can’t play for so long. Perhaps the answer is the format everyone had completely written off – the ‘indestructible’ compact disc! Affordable, small, high quality, the one thing CDs tend to miss was the physical allure – the art and beauty of vinyl. However, this really needn’t be the case. Packaging for CDs has long been purely down to the imagination (and budget) of the creator and even the silvery discs themselves can be adapted. Here are some examples of innovations past.