Must know about CDs

23 04 2008

I’m going to give you in this post some useful information to know about CDs.

As you all know, on my blog I talk and share many information of my (and yours I guess) favorite artists.

My aim is to promote as much as possible these artist and not to harm them.

Download MP3:

Download MP3 (Copyrighted) is illegal that’s why I don’t upload any files by myself, all links I putted were pick up from others websites. In this case the artist won’t earn anything.

Generally they are encoded from 128kps to 320kps so the quality is far from the original quality of the cd.

Just one thing that Major Discs must understand it’s they can’t fight against MP3 sharing anymore, they should think about a new economic model using new technologies and may be make lower prices on CDs.

It’s not only Majors’s fault, we have also a responsibility, both part should WORK TOGETHER and find a solution instead of fighting.

Majors can’t decided alone! taxed the Consumer is not the solution!! (You must know that when you buy a MP3 player, Hard Drive, etc… they are taxed!)

It’s to long to talk about MP3’s case…next!

Pirated Cds:

A study was made by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries in 31 countries and revealed that 1/3 discs sold in 2004 was pirated.

The number of pirated copy has increased by 30% in Spain.

In Chile, Turkey, Greece, Czech Republic and India sold pirated disc is common.

In China, they talk about 85% of pirated copy.

Sharing MP3 is not solely responsible! Don’t blame Internet’s users!

How to recognize a pirated CD:

I’m going to talk only about Japanese Cds but It can be the same for others.

As we saw previously there are many pirated copy sold around the world. When you buy a pirated copy (not voluntary I hope ^^) the Artist/Major won’t earn anything on it and it’s totally illegal.

In most of the time the money goes to a mafia.

“HK” case:

“HK” is for “Hong Kong”.

What’s the difference:

  1. You’ll find these CDs sold around $10~$15.
  2. HK and quality, Impossible!
  3. Disc not pressed but burned.
  4. Poor quality paper for the cover.
  5. Modification of the tracklist.

Let’s take an example with a OST:

Original Copy

HK Copy

As you can see the HK version don’t have the same tracklist. They have removed tracks from 11 to 19 to add 3 version of the ending “Last Piece“.

In most of the time, the price in “yen” is indicated on the Original copy, you can also noticed “Made in Taiwan” written on the back.

Visual Aspect:

The print quality (ink colors) are a bit different from the Japanese ones…the JPN one has stronger and more accurate colors but not always the case…

You have also a poor paper quality on HK Cds.

Their goal is to make profit as much as possible. Generally it cost less than 2$ to make it.

To recognize them you can also look at the logo of the Record Company:

Here is a logo of “Ki Ten Digital” known for selling counterfact Cds.

If you see “HK” or “ISBN” written it’s highly possible that this copy is a fake.

(Source: Hikkiforever, passion-gto)

I want to purchase a CD:

For Japanese Cds:

By purchasing the Original copy, it’s a good way to say “Thanks” to the artist for his/her great musics!

It’s also better to have the physical object.

Local Store Case:

Be careful when you buy a CDs in a “Japanime store” you can found fake copies on sale.

Cdjapan Case:

The only solution for people outside Japan to get these Cds is to Import Them.

In 99% of case is via Online Shop.

I highly recommend to make your purchase.

It’s a Japanese Company which is 100% reliable.


Yesasia Case:

You have also Yesasia: which is a Chinese Company but I found they don’t apply the real price.

Exemple : on YUI – My Generation Single Regular Edition (Japan Version)

Real Price : 1223yen.

Cdjapan Price : 1223yen.

Yesasia Price : ~8.85€ ($13.99) -> 1415yen.

I’ve tested both and my conclusion is that Yesasia is more competitive even if their price is a bit higher because you can have free shipping on orders higher than $25.

I’m still using both. Yesasia is better is you want to purchase a lot of items or an album and on his side cdjapan cheaper for a single (using the EAM shipping).

The choice is yours!

First Press Edition:

First press limited Edition = 1st batch that’s printed (I think) and it’s limited.

Japan Version vs Hong Kong Version:

You’ll not find “Hong Kong Version” on cdjapan but you can find them on Yesasia.

You must know that when you buy HK Version it will not count in Artist sales (Oricon Charts), buying these version is just the fact that you didn’t buy the Japanese version that supported the artist…

The difference between the Japan version and the HK version is that the HK version is only limited to the Limited Edition version. This means that all of the albums you get from yesasia will come with the “Limited Edition” DVD.

DVD quality should be the same, the only difference is the packaging will have Chinese writing instead of Japanese and the DVD region will be different (3 instead of 2).

Don’t forget the DVD region difference. The Japanese version DVD won’t play on HK region players, unless you have one that plays any region.

Japanese’s Limited Edition is Hong Kong’s NORMAL edition. (which means in HK, YUI’s limited edition doesn’t really mean anything since the HK version has SO MANY copies of the Limited Edition) However, HK doesn’t import the normal versions..

A other difference is that at the back of the HK version, it says “MADE IN HONG KONG” which is annoying for some people.

But it’s possible that they price it different for different markets.

Conclusion: Buy only HK version if you’re running short of money. Most of fans prefer get the Japanese version.

Artist’s revenue on a CD and on a MP3 :

Last part of this post.

Here is a graphic which summarizes all:

Note : This is not global. The study was realized on a specific market, you can read more if you are interested. (Source)

The artist get only ~9% on their sales!

Let’s take an example with Hikki’s “HEART STATION” album sales:

She’s sold around 785.000 copies in 5 weeks.

Album’s Price: 2913yen

785.000*2913= 2.286.705.000yen

2.286.705.000yen*46%=1.051.884.300yen ( ~$10.2 million) for the Record company.

and 2.2286.705.000*9%=205.803.450yen ( ~$2 million) for Hikki.

I know, she’s rich but see how it’s unfair for an artist!

Note: It’s a quick calculation just to make an idea, see more details bellow.

For an album sold 15,99 $ to consumers.

  • 0,17 $ Indirect Costs for musicians
  • 0,80 $ Production and Packing Cost
  • 0,80 $ Profit for retailers
  • 0,82 $ Edition’s Part
  • 0,90 $ Distribution
  • 1,60 $ Artist’s Part
  • 1,70 $ Major Disc’s Part
  • 2,40 $ Marketing/promotion
  • 2,91 $ Indirect Costs for Major Disc
  • 3,89 $ Indirect Costs for retailers

Personal opinion:

I think that Major Disc Industries should give for free (or allow) a numeric copy (MP3) of the CD for those who’ve bought a physical disc.

I don’t buy singles anymore because I think that’s is more a marketing stuff than the artist wish.

7€ for only 2 exclusive songs (I don’t count Instrumental versions), I consider it to expensive.

(but I totally understand that the artist must live of their musics).

We can’t buy all musics that we want to listen. For me it’s normal to download some musics on P2P but I consider disrespectful toward the artist if you have thousand of his/her MP3 without any Cds purchased.

In most of the time an artist released one album a year so buy this album, 17€ (~$20) it’s no difficult!

See results of this poll and you’ll see there are not bad intention:

Why you downloading instead of buying ?

1. I never downloaded
2. Just to test then I see if I buy it or not
3. I don’t have money to spend for it.
4. It’s unavailable where I’m living.
5. Everybody download so I do the same.
6. I hate Industries who make a lot of profits.
7. No reason.
8. I’m downloading and I’m buying.

View Results

Don’t worry, CDs is not dead yet! A real fan always support their artist! :p

feel free to give me your opinion!

If you love it, buy it. Thanks!




9 responses

23 04 2008

nicely written article. i voted for number 8. i recently started to buy a few cd’s cuz i wanted to own them. I have utada’s heart station, and YUI’s i loved yesterday atm =) i’ll most likely get more along the way, but yea i agree with in that the prices of the singles are not really worth it. I’m gonna steer clear of the singles altogether.

24 04 2008

OH! I have both too ^^, I’m starting my little collection:
(Since 2007 before I wasn’t interested in Japanese musics)

-Japan Version Only (Excepted AKFG – Fanclub and OLIVIA – The lost Lolli are European Versions)
-I got a sign on OLIVIA’s Album.
-“The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura” is my 1st OST.
-“YUI – I remember you” is my 1st CD.
-I bought “Ultra Blue (2006)” and “Awake (2005)” because there are one of their best album.
-I stopped buying L’Arc’s, YUI’s and other singles from “L’Arc~en~Ciel Daybreak’s Bell”, “YUI Love & Truth”.

You can register to “jmusiccollection”, it’s free and it reference many and only Japanese CDs.
If you can’t understand, ask me for help ^^

25 04 2008
Tubbo & Dubba Tubba

Pretty cool post.
We have a question- You know at the top you have a poll running (“Are you a regular visitor”)? We were wondering how you got that poll into your blog. We created one and everything, but when we copy and past the code into a post, the blog wont come up. We even put it in an Insert Link but it wont work. Please help us make our site even better!

-The Tubbo Twins

25 04 2008

wow thats quite a collection! Especially all that YUI. I’m thinking of buying utada’s single collection soon. Its got quite a number of songs that are great, it wouldnt be a collection without it.

18 06 2008
Mr. X

I really like this post. I normally buy from YesAsia, but I was wondering: Does anyone know if the CDs sold on Ebay are fake? I came across a couple of across a couple of stores with insane prices, and I’m wondering if anyone has bought from ebay, and thus knows if the cds are legitimate.


3 06 2009

Thank you for this good post Dlyan
But i just want to say that not all pirated versions are from HK.
(Since I came from HK, I think I sort of know whats happening)
Most of the pirated versions CDs are from Taiwan (that is why it says “Made in Taiwan” on the CDs) becoz thats where they come from.
Even in HK, the pirated versions sold there are mostly from Taiwan

3 06 2009

And also, about “Hong Kong version” sell on Yesasia. they are real CDs (not pirate version)
Since some Japanese artists are famous outside Japan, in particular, in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea.
Therefore they are able to release their CDs in other countries under their native labels.
And since these CDs are targeted for people from that particular country, the track list / booklet can be written in their languages.
Like for Larc en ciel – KISS, we get a Kong Kong version and there is a Taiwan version too
Under a legal label of coz!



12 09 2009

Thanks for this great article. It helps educating people of the bad effects of piracy to the artist they like. Still, the original is the best. So people, please stop buying and proliferating piracy.

27 10 2009

Because i’m a real YUI Fans,i’ve own all of her work from single to album to DVD and also book.. It;s true though when you like the artist please support them and buy the original hehe..

The 9% thing i think that’s not really bad since the artist have nothing to pay,but the record company must do all the risk..

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