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Is The CD Becoming Extinct?

Updated on February 28, 2018
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Lynsey is from Scotland. She likes to write thought-provoking articles that challenge ideas and provide a talking point.

Do you prefer CDs or Downloads?

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As an avid music fan, I often contemplate the possibility that music formats such as CDs will soon become extinct. I must admit, it scares me. I am one of few that enjoy actually buying a CD, reading the inserts and playing the disc- I may also rip the tracks onto my Mac to preserve the pristine newness of the CD, but I still want the music as part of my physical collection, rather than as a folder of files on my computer.

There are many reasons for this. I enjoy supporting my favourite musicians and I love browsing my many shelves of CDs.I love the artwork. I also love the fact that I own things. Seriously, I collect everything! I have tonnes of DVDs as well. I prefer having a collection of original discs, rather than a collection of data. Put it this way- it would be silly to have a shoe collection, in photos, on my desktop. Its the same with music. But it seems that this is the way things could go, that everything will be data, in folders and files. And what would happen if our computers got a virus or something??! Disaster!!!

Now that iPods and mp3 players are increasing in popularity, as well as in memory capacity, where does that leave my precious CD? Will there soon become a day where my collection of CDs will have to be replaced with a collection of hard drives?No colourful assortment of artwork on the edges of the case, just boring, simply coloured, generic hard drives??? Please, no!

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that music can be shared easily by new, up and coming bands. I love the idea of garage bands recording and publishing their own songs to make a few bucks. I also like the idea of a wide spread of genres of music being available to all people. No longer must you go to a specialist store in order to find a Bollywood CD- it's all available to buy and download online.

However, I do believe that downloading may restrict the types of music that you would try out, and buy on impulse.If I'm browsing in a music store, and i stumble across some bargain CDs, I'll more than likely try out a new band that I haven't heard before. I would be less likely to pay nearly 1/3 of what was paid for an album, just to sample one song on iTunes. Then again, plenty of new bands give out free downloads in their bid for fame!

I enjoy browsing in a music store, and picking a CD because the cover looks pretty.

I am saddened to see that many music stores are being closed due to lack of business. Others are being turned into multi-media stores that stock consoles, ipads, books and clothing in more a plentiful supply than CDs. Is this the blueprint for the future?

I have already heard of some cities in America where all music chain- stores have closed because most people there use iTunes. I'm sure that there are independent stores if you look hard enough, but I fear that no-one will.

I can only hope that there are more people out there like me, who enjoy the experience of physically buying CDs and DVDs, rather than having tonnes of files on their computer.

If there are enough of us, then maybe we can save the CD from extinction. After all, if there is a market for it, there has to be a merchant, surely?

© 2012 Lynsey Hart


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