First vinyl and cassettes - now it's music itself that's facing extinction.

I do love a well-written obituary. The Daily Telegraph's farewell to author, failed impresario and Chelsea pimp William Donaldson is a cracking read and worth checking out online.

For something shorter, what about a newspaper sub's recent headline - "Sheen: Sobriety is boring". Truth, humour and public suicide in four words. Brilliant.

Less welcome is the latest sounding of the Last Post for music. Its days as a commercial commodity are apparently numbered, which seems appropriate given death row's previous inmates: 78s, 45s, 12-inch vinyl, two-track and cassette.

But this time the firing squad is being formed not just for a format, but for recorded music itself. Apparently the gig is up, Elvis has left the building and all-new barbarians have stormed the gate.

Long story short: Private equity and transnational banks bid up the price of music conglomerates, loading them with debt at a time when they had lost control of their revenue channels because of illegal downloads.

Now they need to create new ways of making money from music or face oblivion. Their predicament has prompted headlines such as the Independent's "Labels face the day recorded music died".

I can't bring myself to condemn people who listen to free music and find it even harder to feel sympathy for conglomerates whose efforts to commoditise, securitise and control all aspects of the business seem the antithesis of the creative impulse that creates music.

As Hunter S. Thompson said, "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

The negative side is that the business can no longer pay its bills and the fat lady is warming up in the wings.

An important occasion like a funeral does require a soundtrack. But for me, Nirvana's Nevermind, released in 1991 and the last piece of new vinyl I ever bought, is better listening than any fat lady.

The song Come As You Are powered through a 1970s amp connecting two monstrous pairs of 1960s English speakers is punching holes in the walls as I type.

It doesn't sound like commercial obsolescence. It sounds great. But then, I'm an unashamed Luddite. All save my CD player is pre-digital technology. I even still make mix tapes on my cassette player for the car. I bet the tapes will last longer than the car.

Certainly, the vinyl I've hung on to proved a good bet. I have virtually the entire Flying Nun oeuvre. You can pay upwards of $150 for an original copy of the Clean's Boodle, Boodle, Boodle.

It's good to know it has value beyond the aesthetic, but to flog my vinyl for spare cash seems the height of desperation. It would be like trying to find love at a speed-dating event themed around music by the Smiths. I'd certainly be distraught if I couldn't listen to new music, which is a distinct possibility if things continue to go pear-shaped for EMI, Warner and the like. The reason I stopped buying vinyl is because record companies sold so few LPs they stopped making them.

What if they now stop making CDs? Perhaps the music I'm hearing really is the sound of obsolescence. I refuse to buy the compressed inferior sound of the mp3. Listening to an mp3 is like choosing to watch a gig on television when you could watch it live. As David Bowie says, "Why do I need TV when I got T-Rex?". And those are words to die to.