YOUTH MATTERS Adam Collins...Will digital music downloads take over the way we buy music?

As a musician, I take pride in building up my catalogue of CDs. Call me a traditionalist, but I would rather have a CD than download music off the internet. But over the past decade the rise in technology, and in turn music piracy, has meant the sales of CDs have been falling.

Companies such as Amazon and Apple have pushed forward their efforts to sell music by allowing songs and albums to be sold digitally, and the increasing popularity in services such as iTunes has left many CD retailers feeling the bite.

The future for HMV and independent music retailers is starting to look fairly bleak. So does this mean the end of CDs is coming about quicker then we thought, and will digital music downloads take over the way we buy music?

In comparison to HMV, companies such as Spotify, a music streaming service where users pay to listen to songs, seem to be going much the other way. Over the past year, Spotify has gone from being a UK-based music streaming software, to selling music, apps, and even stretching across the water to America.

In my opinion, it’s a big shame that music piracy is also having such a horrible effect on music retailers.

But what’s more worrying is that bands and artists may stop bothering because all the effort they put in to making an album could end up having no reward.

At the beginning of 2011, all governments were urged to do more to cut down on the internet piracy, after a statistic showed a staggering 95 per cent of all music downloaded is illegal.

In 2009, the founding members of the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, one of the major websites for illegal music, movies and software downloads, were arrested in Sweden and sentenced to a year in jail, and a £2.4m fine.

On appeal, their sentences were reduced, but their fines were pushed up to £4.6m.

It pains me to say it, but is this something that must be accepted? The transition from music in CD form to digitally-downloadable music is very much similar to the transition from vinyl to cassette, and then from cassette to CD.

This seems to be a new era for music, and the fact music retailers are struggling is more signs that CDs seem to be slowly fading out, to be replaced by the wonders of modern technology.