Does anybody use CDs anymore? For anything? I’m asking because I have about a thousand of them, most still in boxes, and the ones I’ve unpacked I can’t remember actually putting in a CD player at any time in the past four years. I’m wondering if I should even bother unpacking the rest.
This saddens me. At the dawn of the CD age in the early ’80s, I was certain it would be the last best storage medium. I was told they’d last forever, that they’d actually play even with scratches and foreign substances smeared on them. Yeah, right. I bought the hype wholesale. I’m pretty sure I was among the first to also buy a CD player. It was massive Panasonic unit with incredibly crappy detachable speakers. The first CD I bought was a collection of Van Morrison’s greatest hits.
Then, of course, I set about rebuying all the music I’d previously rebought on cassette tape. The boombox eventually crapped out, but most of the CDs live on – the ones that didn’t get scratched or smeared with foreign substances. The ones that didn’t get lost. I do seem to have more cases than CDs now. Favorite discs have a way of vanishing, like single socks and Philips screwdrivers and youthful dreams. If you need a pristine case for The Very Best of Booker T. and the MG’s, let me know. The disc itself now belongs to the ages.
But really, who needs it? Now I’ve got just about all of this stuff on my computer, and backed up to another hard drive. While I did have to rebuy a lot of it, this time it was for pennies on the dollar, courtesy of my Russian friends, who regard U.S. copyright law as mostly symbolic. Yeah, I know: that makes me a crook too. But how many times must a man buy the White Album before he truly owns it? I’m up to three times now, and that seems sufficient. I’ll pay full price for new music, but I’m through paying repeatedly for the old.
If you feel differently, drop me a line. I’ve got boxes and boxes of vintage tunes, on what has become a vintage format. They all sound as good as new. And everything must go.