Published on March 19th, 2018 | by Alan Cross5
“Should we throw out our CDs?”
This email arrived overnight from Katherine.
My husband and I have a couple hundred CDs and we haven’t touched them in over 5 years. We recently agreed to get rid of them, but somehow it just doesn’t feel like the right thing to do. Sure, they don’t take up a whole lot of room, but let’s say there’s some sort of internet apocalypse in ten years, will the CDs still work or will they have degraded beyond use? Most of these CDs are 15-20 years old.
Looking forward to your sage advice,
My immediate reaction was “GAWD, NO!” But then again, I’m a packrat when it comes to music, which required the construction of a room I call The CD Vault in my basement office, which is now the home to about 10,000 discs. I don’t need them all, of course. In fact, I rarely access them because the ones I really, really want to hear have long been digitized–but I can’t bear to part with any of them.
I have had record show people comb through my collection for purchase, but I only sell the doubles or ones that I definitely don’t want or need anymore. Even then, though, I feel a pang when I see then walk out the door.
I also have memories of the mid-90s when we were told that vinyl was dead and people couldn’t ditch their records fast enough. Now look where we are.
What if Kim Jong-Un detonates an EMP device over North American that wipes out all electronic data? Society will probably collapse in a few months, but at least your records and CDs will be safe.
My advice to Katharine was to cull her collection and dump the outright dogs. The rest? Put ’em someplace cool and dry. Although CDs can degrade, they should be good for a while yet.
Thoughts on this?