CD sounds its death rattle (at 44.1Hz, 16bit PCM)

CD has been quietly sitting in the corner, wondering whether it's time to call it a night, while the download generation has been taking over the part

CD has been quietly sitting in the corner, wondering whether it's time to call it a night, while the download generation has been taking over the party. Now it seems the Compact Disc is dialling for a cab, with even the hi-fi stalwarts going off to dance with its non-physical rivals.

Linn, one of the major forces in hi-fi and most famous for the LP12 turntable that's dominated the high-end market since the '70s, is pulling out of the CD player market.

No, this isn't one of those stories where a prudish hi-fi brand goes back to concentrate on even older technologies - Linn is turning its attentions to streaming devices such as its DS range. And the reason Linn's cited isn't that that's where the market is heading; it's because Linn claims that digital streaming is now superior to CD.

When you've got Spotify offering CD-quality streams and all that great downloadable content from iTunes and the like, it's getting increasingly difficult to argue a case for CD other than "But I like actual things!" And that's an argument that's better suited to vinyl, with its ritualistic process of placing the needle in the groove and changing to side B.

In the early '90s, who was brave enough to predict that vinyl might outlive CD?