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Not only is the CD format alive and well, but it's emerging from the "online" revolution looking healthier than ever. 92 per cent of DRM-store downloaders surveyed by Entertainment Media Research prefer the plastic platters to their MP3 downloads, Revolution magazine reports.

It supports the theory that online downloads are complementing, rather than replacing traditional CD sales; with shoppers using the online stores to sample music before getting "the real thing". 80 per cent of "legal" downloaders surveyed said they will buy as many or more CDs buy as many or more CDs in the future.

CDs have better sound quality than music downloads, and in most countries have no restrictions on how the user listens to the music.

Although Napster and Apple claim downloads in the millions, it's a drop in the ocean compared to CD sales and peer to peer networks. And even the most optimistic growth forecasts see online stories making only modest inroads: at best around eight per cent of the market in five years' time. That's if the today's online stores survive. With the DRM stores only keeping four cents of the 99 cents you pay for a song, only businesses that view it as a loss leader for another product, such as Apple with its lucrative iPod business, are likely to survive. Little wonder that MP3.com founder Michael Robertson called it a "goldrush for lemmings". ®

Related stories

The CD roars back from the dead
CD sales rocket in UK
OFT urged to investigate 'rip-off' iTunes
Retailers join zero-profit DRM gold rush
Your 99c belong to the RIAA - Steve Jobs
DRM music goldrush is a race for losers - mp3.com founder
Apple vs Apple: 'mind boggling' pay-out imminent - report
Yahoo! snaps up Musicmatch
Apple iPod team seeks Wi-Fi engineer
Apple coughs up for iTunes Music Store patent
DRM begins to work its magic
UK newspapers hop on music download bandwagon
Jobs: Apple will not meet 100m song download goal
Microsoft, Apple snub consumer freedom coalition
Russian 5c MP3 site 'unlicensed'
DRM: who needs it? UK label stands up for its customers

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