In Defense and Praise of Compact Discs

This comes from Grantland.  I totally get where this guy is coming from.

[A]t heart I’m a CD collector. I still own CDs I purchased when I was 14. I haven’t retained anything else from when I was 14, except for my teeth. It’s possible my copy of the Singlessoundtrack will outlive my molars.

Not only have I not gotten rid of my old CDs, I also buy new CDs nearly every week. Call it loyalty or lunacy, but the CD remains my preferred music delivery device. It’s more convenient than vinyl and more tangible than digital. I like the sense of continuity it gives my music collection, jumbling up records I bought in 1992 with 2003 and 2011 and yesterday. I like picking out discs for car rides and letting them collect over the course of weeks in the backseat. The rest I like looking at on display in my office — it’s part monument, part money pit, part mirror, part climbing hazard for my 2-year-old son.

Even if I wanted to sell my CDs, I probably couldn’t, and I actually like that, too. Used CDs are worth virtually nothing now. But the upside of this is that you can buy older albums on disc for virtually nothing. I’m sympathetic to arguments that Amazon is an evil empire, but I must admit to conspiring with the enemy to build my collection of Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell albums, at prices much lower than the downloads. Accumulating has never been easier, and my shelf space never tighter.

Perhaps I should feel a little embarrassed admitting to all of this.

Continue reading. (Thanks to Greggory for the link.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “In Defense and Praise of Compact Discs

  • July 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I think it’s when you move, if you move, that you look at those towers of CDs and wonder if it’s worth it. When I moved three years ago I ripped and got rid of all my CDs save for the very special ones that I couldn’t part with, which were only a few dozen.
    I like having an uncluttered home and although there are times when I nostaligicaly miss sorting through the bins at a record (CD?) store, I really don’t miss the physical towers. People are greatly adaptable and although digital music is different, you still have the most important piece intact: the music.


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