Remember your first CD? I do. It was Share My World by Mary J. Blige. I had just got a car my first car that had a CD player. Until then, I was using the cassette adapter to play music from my Sony Discman. Remember how much a pain changing discs was?
I guess you could say I wasn’t always quick to adopt new technology. I remember CD’s being more expensive for my allowance at the time, and I thought cassettes were more portable and accessible. After all, who didn’t own a cassette player back then? I wonder who still has one now.
The CD celebrated its thirty-year birthday recently and with that comes a chance to look back at what was. Quick show of hands for anyone who had these issues:
CD Cases – Not the one it comes in, but the kind where you store all your CD’s that held 8, 12, 16 or 48. (Did they even make them for 24?) The problem is that they either didn’t hold enough for you to take with you or you didn’t have enough CD’s to warrant the big case. There was no middle ground.
CD Wrappers – Were these things not almost impregnable? You didn’t want to use a knife for risk of breaking it, but you tried to use your fingers, you knew the next half-hour was toast.
Fingerprints – You’re careful in handling the disc but you know that will only last the first couple weeks. When you’re trying to move your disc from the 6-pack case to the 48-pack, you knew smudging was inevitable.
Batteries – Well, batteries are always going to be problem until we go to solar powered players. But these devices sucked juice faster than an 8-year old with a Slurpee.
CD Cases II – If you did buy an alternative case for travel, what did you do with the jewel cases? Did you put them on a bookshelf for display? Did you store them in a box and stash it in the attic or garage? It was an uncontrollable problem that would have you swimming in plastic until you went to your local Rasputin’s or Amoeba store to trade them in. (With the CD’s, of course.)
Booklets/Inserts – So this was one of the best parts of the CD experience. You usually got a 2-3-page picture book. Bonus if they studio printed song lyrics so you actually knew what you were listening to. But too often, these ended up in the CD case, which ended up in a box in the garage.
Oh, CD’s. I can’t really say that I miss you. Like a relationship from high school, you were great for the time. You helped me grow and mature, but I’ve moved on now. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve started seeing other people, a couple actually, named Spotify and Slacker, are giving me what I need, wherever I need it, all for a reasonable monthly subscription.
I will always cherish our time together, CD’s. We have an amazing history. But you’re my past, and I have to look to the future.