So Long CDs…

 

When I got back into radio in 1997, compact discs were pretty much the standard format.  We still played commercials on carts (photo on the left), but most (if not all) music was on CDs. 
 

Around 1998/99, the radio station I worked for started loading all their audio elements (music, commercials, and even pre-recorded announcer voices) on a hard drive.  CDs became the “back up” format in case the hard drive died, and carts…Well, they went the way of LPs, Reel-to-reel, cassette, and 8 track tape.
 

Well, now that the majority of the music consuming public saves their music on hard drives, why do we need CDs? Why not phase them out and focus all distribution on an iTunes-like system?  Well, duh!  That’s exactly what’s predicted to happen this year.  Many online retailers (who sell CDs) are rumored to be venturing into the world of digital downloading soon, and Apple may have to change their “Songs downloaded from the iTunes store will only play on an iPod or computer that is “authorized” to play the music” if a class-action lawsuit doesn’t go their way.
 

The hard drive wars will begin soon enough, and we’ll all get screwed in the end, but in the meantime, I’m wondering how many of you still buy CDs?  Are you aware that the Mp3 format really blows in terms of audio quality?  Sure, it’s a small enough file that it downloads quickly, but you sacrifice quite a lot when it comes to hearing the music the way it was meant to be played back.  People, like me, who are pretty much obsessed with good audio quality cringe when all that audio separation goes away when WAV or AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) file gets converted to mp3. But, this is the world we live in and it might get better when the download time for chunky files like WAVs or AIFF
are faster.
 

But back to my original question…Are you still buying CDs?
 

–PK
 

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