Ableton co-founder Robert Henke wants to “fully embrace CDs”, is considering “not doing any releases on vinyl anymore”

Long Live the Compact Disc.

CD Music Player

Image: dszc / Getty Images

Ableton co-founder and artist Robert Henke has explained his reasons for leaving vinyl records in the past and fully embracing the “underrated” compact disc format going forward.

Henke cites his love for physical products as the reason he’s not going full digital, though due to environmental reasons, he is considering not doing any more releases on vinyl.

“I still love physical products,” he writes, “but manufacturing big heavy plates of plastic and [having] them shipped around the globe is a huge waste of energy and resources. In times of global warming and dependency on cheap energy from the likes of Russia or Saudi Arabia, I consider not doing any releases on vinyl anymore.”

Instead, he wants to “fully embrace” CDs, a format he describes as the “last big physical media innovation, with a better signal to noise ratio, better channel separation, better frequency response than vinyl in a smaller package”.

“Compact Disk, you are underrated and you will always have a place in my heart,” Henke proclaims.

Henke goes on to list several key points to back the switch to CDs as a primary music distribution format, many of which revolve around the environmental impact of vinyl production and distribution. According to Henke, vinyl is a luxury product and that it is “in total numbers of plays by far the least significant medium”. The majority of his listeners either stream or download his music.

That said, he has no problem with the buying and selling of vintage vinyl, he just doesn’t want to “make new ones”. Henke also points out that CDs “are not music”, but a “medium”, and calls the format a form of compromise that allows him to make and share his music.

The artist also touched on other points such as the lower costs associated with shipping, the longevity of CDs when stored properly, as well as personal responsibility.

Check out the post below.

I still love physical products. But manufacturing big heavy plates of plastic and have them shipped around the globe is…

Posted by Robert Henke on Monday, July 11, 2022

Editor’s note: This article previously stated that Robert Henke encourages the music industry to follow his move to CDs. We have amended this to reiterate this is Henke’s personal decision and not one that the music industry as a whole should conform to. 


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