Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Year to Live: The Demise of the CD

Bye bye love.
We knew it was going to happen at some point.

Side-Line music magazine reported recently that major record labels plan to abandon the CD by the end of 2012.  (Maybe that's what the Mayas saw, not the end of the world, but the end of CDs.)

I expected to freak out, battle the compulsion to go out and buy as many CDs as I could carry, and then come back the next day for more, but it's been such a long time coming, that it's hard to get worked up.

I do regret that the next generation won't have a physical music collection. I wonder what this will do to their music owning habits when they won't really be able to have a library until they have a computer. I wonder what I'd be doing with my life if I hadn't been able to run my fingers over the records in my dad's collection.

So, what comes next for the record store owners? The future of liner notes? Album art?

I imagine one day there will be a weathered little old man who lives on a mountain, who is the only person who can tell you what year Pet Sounds came out without Googling it. He'll be the lone living repository for musical knowledge that stems from love and obsession for music.

That's a bit dramatic, but it does feel like a painfully slow death– slower and more painful than it was because now there's a date off in the future, even if CDs won't mysteriously vaporize on one day.

I also wonder how many people will miss CDs. With programs like Spotify, who could miss being confined to the same 100 or so albums? It's hard to figure. In the past when an old format has died out, it was still being replaced by something physical.

Anyway, CDs will be floating around out there for a while. TMI doesn't really have any golden advice. I'm sticking it out for as long as I can.

In the meantime, if you want to continue to support your local record stores, which you should, here's a list courtesy of special Black Friday releases courtesy of the folks at Record Store Day.

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