Technology tends to warp our sense of time into hyperdrive, stressing us unnecessarily.
We rail against its promises, kicking and screaming all the way, until it hits us right between the eyes. Video killed the radio star, and the CD put the 12” vinyl album in the grave. We learned to accept it, though.
Within a matter of a couple of years after the CD’s introduction, the 33 1/3 record had joined 78’s, 45-singles and 8-tracks as a fond memory. Cassettes soon followed, and the CD was embraced as the music delivery system. The trade-off was that it had effectively killed the album cover, which had become an art form unto itself, lyric sheets, if included at all, were printed in such tiny type as to render them useless and all those little bonuses we loved in albums were only a memory.
The CD is in danger of going the same route as the album. Let me rephrase that: it will go the same route.
That makes some of us jittery. We have nightmare visions of music being an ethereal commodity floating through cyberspace, barely harnessed in an iPod or a hard drive. Others of us are giddy with having libraries at our fingertips, accessible anytime, any place. Truth is, the next delivery system is probably something we have yet to imagine.
It’s an issue right up there with politics and religion. When I wrote a review of the new Foo Fighters release, I mentioned, tongue in cheek, the benefits of audio streams. It stirred up some passions, but it also opened up this discussion.
The people here, all Blogcritics, are passionate about music. Their writing proves it. And they’re an opinionated lot. Here’s what they have to say about the possible future of the CD. . .
My biggest problem with this whole notion of the MP3 replacing the CD as the primary means of delivering music to the listener is twofold. One is that while music downloads offer much as far as easy access and increased mobility, they also tend to depersonalize the experience of listening to music. To me, there is nothing that quite replaces shredding away that shrink wrap, sitting down in my stereo chair at home, putting on a new disc and reading through the liner notes or the lyric sheet as I listen (although I'll concede the point that this was even nicer when the notes were in type big enough to read without a magnifying glass, as they were on vinyl albums). To me the idea of being able to hold something tangible, and yes, "physical" in your hands just makes the whole thing more of a personal experience.