Soon to be obsolete
The problem with today's technology is that no sooner have you purchased something on sale that it gets replaced by something better and that is why it ends up going on sale in the first place.
I personally own a CD boombox that has three separate CD trays and I also own a super multi-changer for CDs that will hold over 200 of these digital recordings. It doesn't work anymore and I know why it was on sale for less than $200. It wasn't junk initially because it is a Sony product but it was doomed to fail. It is not unlike the slide trays in 35mm slide projectors. It was a good idea for the time.
And the boombox collects dust because it got replaced by my computer which is the best stereo I have in the house. And if you are thinking about buying a boombox, don't. Get an MP3 player and one of those docking stations with speakers if you need something to take to the cottage or university residence. I would suggest that if you can afford it, you buy the one from Bose. They make incredible sounding speakers.
I remember when they first came out in the early 70's I think. A friend bought a set and brought them over to our house and we set them up in the bedroom. They actually used the walls as part of the sound design for positioning and resonance. We turned the volume all the way up and the walls were actually vibrating but the sound was so clean that it didn't hurt your ears. Today, they still make that same clean sound but with a much smaller footprint.
The CD is on its last legs as a form of music storage and will go the way of vinyl records and the myriad of tape configurations that were available such as cassette, 8-track and reel-to-reel. I used to borrow a friends reel-to-reel tape recorder to make party tapes so that you only had to change the tape once every hour. Vinyl records got damaged or just disappeared back in those days at the weekend parties.
I can't say what will replace the CD and the boombox for sure but it is coming. I have another CD changer in the trunk of my car. Doesn't work anymore and today's cars are MP3/iPod ready so you don't need to have a bunch of them in the car anymore. Besides buying music online and downloading into your MP3 player makes a lot more sense. No B side recordings, no album cuts that aren't worth having along with the hit song on the record and no rewinding or fast forwarding to get away from the bad songs.
The recording artists and writers need to be compensated for their work. Otherwise, the industry will just dry up if no one makes money at it. So paying a fee to download the song onto your hard drive is a must. It's not a simple problem to resolve but it will get fixed. There is just too much money involved and too many careers at stake and it seems to be progressing a lot better than when digital music first came on the scene.
Remember something about electronic devices nowadays. If it's on sale for a really low price, chances are, it's going to be replaced by something better very soon. So the boombox is just another item that goes into your personal garbage dump. A few others for me are 5 ¼" and 3 ½" floppy disks. You didn't buy a floppy disk drive for your latest computer did you? That's another obsolete product as well. Electronic product life cycles are not longer measured in decades or even years, sometimes it's only months. So stick with something that has a little longer time before it gets replaced.
The MP3 player should be good for a couple of years yet I would think. Who knows, they may be working on a multipurpose pencil/MP3 player/GPS locator/calculator but there is just one thing wrong with all this miniaturization.
We human beings still come in full size packages. Our fingers are too big and we lose little objects like cell phones, MP3 players, and pens all the time. Maybe we will go to the music store and get our next MP3 player implanted in an ear lobe or installed just like ear piercing. It wouldn't surprise me at all that this could happen.
Technology is never short of surprising but it also changes in a heartbeat. Luckily, good music still lives on and we can thank modern technology for that because eventually all the good human performers will no longer be around but their recordings will be here for new generations to enjoy.
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