In the good old days, when you wanted to impress a date you spent a few minutes leafing through your vinyl record collection and eventually selected something romantic, or cool, depending on how you anticipated the evening was going to end. Vinyl records were great, but sadly they didn’t last forever. A few scratches and your precious Status Quo Greatest Hits album never sounded quite the same again. Then along came the CD.
The Invention of the Compact Disc
Compact discs (CDs) proved to be a revolutionary invention. Sound quality was far better than that afforded by old vinyl records and CDs were a lot more convenient. Instead of taking up lots of shelf space, a compact disc was small, and ahem, compact. You can fit hundreds of CDs on a shelf, plus you can stack them up in your car. All in all, CDs are a fantastic storage device for digital media. But who still uses the humble CD and is it likely to end up in the same digital dungeon as the cassette and floppy disk?
In recent years, digital music downloads have become increasingly popular. Downloading music from popular sites such as iTunes has steadily increased and at the same time, sales of CDs have fallen. It’s not that CDs are no longer relevant, rather it is that digital downloads are seen as more convenient.
Advantages of Digital Downloads
If you hear a great song on the radio, you might want to hear more from the same artist. Unfortunately, one fantastic track does not necessarily make a brilliant album, so if you were to invest in the band’s CD, you could end up disappointed. Digital downloads allow you to purchase songs one at a time, which is cost effective if you only want to sample a couple of songs.
Digital downloads also take up less space. In fact they don’t take up any physical space at all if you choose to store your music in the cloud.
Disadvantages of Digital Downloads
Owning a virtual album is just not the same as holding a CD in your hand. CDs look nicer and when people come over, they can admire your eclectic collection of rock/pop music, whereas you can’t exactly show off your iTunes library without looking like a total nerd.
CDs have a multitude of other uses if necessary. Hang them from strings in the garden to frighten the birds away from your vegetable seedlings or use them as mug mats on the coffee table. The only limit is your imagination.
Can CDs Ever Be Replaced By Digital Downloads?
It is likely that, one day, CDs will become a relic from the past, rather like cassettes and vinyl records. However, CDs are extremely stable and not subject to the type of damage that routinely afflicted cassettes and vinyl records. There are certainly lots of benefits to digital music libraries, but there will always be people and small businesses that prefer buying CDs to downloading music online. Indeed, many hairdressing, masseuse, physiotherapy, massage and Pilates studios use CDs to provide background music of a relaxing nature. And it isn’t even an age thing—lots of teenagers still buy CDs recorded by their favourite bands because there is kudos attached to owning the CD.
Derek Tyler is a certified trainer of physiotherapy pilates. He is an extremely tech savvy person and suggests people people to make the most of technology inorder to keep themselves fit. An ardent blogger, he writes about a variety of issues on his blog.