In the biggest sign yet that the good old CD is finally on its way out, Sony has announced that it plans to shutter its huge Pitman, NJ CD manufacturing plant on March 18.
This leaves Sony with just one remaining US CD plant in Terre Haute IN, down from a total of three a few years ago. The Pitman plant laid off 160 workers last year when the DVD and Blu-ray lines were shut down, and the plant closing will result in another 300 layoffs.
The Pitman plant was opened in 1960 to manufacture LP records for Columbia, and at its peak the facility could make more the 200 million CDs per year.
Sony blames the ailing economy, and falling interest in physical media for the closing. Employees interviewed by CNET stopped short of blaming illegal downloading, but admit that it's at least a part of the problem. One employee said he knew they were in trouble when they stopped putting CD players in some cars.
What do you think? Is illegal downloading to blame, or is it the fact that you can fit a huge music collection on a tiny iPod?