CDs are my favorite way to listen to music.
I’ve always loved listening to music on CD’s. Don’t get me wrong, all the different ways to listen to music that have become popular over the years are still great options. But that feeling of holding a brand new CD case in your hands, reading the little booklet full of information about the artists, listening to new music on a stereo...well that has always appealed to me more.
I remember when I would get a new CD, how thrilled I would feel opening the packaging. The rush of excitement and how fun it would be to share new music with my friends. We would play it loud and all sing at the top of our lungs! Those are some of my favorite summer memories.
One of the biggest reasons I’ve always preferred CD’s is the safe storage they provide.
Famously, when Toy Story was released on DVD, Pixar discovered that almost a fifth of the original digital files they stored had corrupted - so the DVD had to be mastered from a 35mm celluloid print. Technology is always changing; digital file formats quickly become obsolete and software updates render whole technologies useless.
We might assume that once something exists digitally, it is safe forever, but that is not necessarily the case. Film preservation - traditionally an under-funded area already - will struggle to preserve modern films reliably. Streaming services are also not prioritizing digitally preserving your library. Plus, looking through your stacks of CD’s and movies in your house is always so much more fun to browse with friends. I can’t tell you how many hours I would spend with my friends teasing each other about each other’s CD libraries, or struggling with which CD we wanted to listen to that day.
We’ve all gotten used to the internet and the easy accessibility it provides us, but what if the internet access goes down? Not only is it common for internet access and WiFi to waver, but computers are easily subject to viruses. Putting all your trust in digital film and music preservation can be tricky. While it can allow for easier access, the risk of losing it just as fast as you stored it is imminent.
The last twenty years have changed a lot and fast - convenience might always win out, but will it ever beat that feeling of holding a CD case in your hands? Will it ever beat that feeling of going to the video shop with your friends and family to pick out that night’s movie? I miss those days where you could actually hold and touch music, movies, and art. That’s why I love CD’s. Having those moments with family and friends, those memories, and feeling the actual CD case in your hand will always beat digital preservation for me.