Are CDs “dead”?

When was the last time you bought a music CD or a movie DVD?

One of the things I remember well from being smaller, I think it was the early 2000s, is walking through the city center on weekends with my mom. Almost always I entered this big shop that was on one of the city’s most important streets. That shop was my substitute for toy stores as I began being interested in music due to my teenage sister. I remember how she used to listen to MTV, when it was about music and not reality shows, and how she wrote the song tops/charts on a notebook. 

That store I mentioned above was called “Hollywood Music and Film” and housed lots and lots of music on both CDs and cassette tapes but also movies. If you lived at that time in Cluj surely you remember it too. You could spend significant time browsing through artists because the offer was generous. I also remember looking through CDs and finding two or three that I wanted and having to choose only one because they weren’t exactly cheap. But the enthusiasm from bringing that CD home was high. As soon as I got through my house’s door I would carefully remove the plastic wraping from the cd, opening its case and then playing the CD on my stereo while flipping through the pictures and lyrics that were inside the case. Whatever CD I bought I used to listen to it until I knew the words by heart. True dedication!

I remember in the late 90s-early 2000s, I was of course a big fan of Britney Spears and I saw her second album at a friend’s house and I was literally in awe because then you could find music mostly on cassette tapes. I wanted that CD so badly but I could only find it on cassette and it was a tough one to find because there were only few copies sold. 

In about 2002-2003, Avril Lavigne launched her first album and I remember I was lucky enough and someone brought it to me from abroad. I don’t remember how the transition was made from cassettes to CDs and when, but since CDs were easier to find I only bought those. And then started ripping CDs and putting my music on the computer and no longer listening to music on the stereo. Then I had better access to internet and music became more and more accessible, you could share it with your friends and so on.

Cassette tapes I don’t have anymore, but what I still keep are the CDs. Although I don’t listen to most of them anymore. But I still buy new albums and listen to them in the car. If it’s an artist I really like and if I can find the CD somewhere in the city then I buy it. The same I do with movies on DVD. Now I mostly listen to music online on youtube or jango or other online radios. Listening to music online by streaming is how most people listen to music these days as fewer buy albums online or in their physical form. In the USA some say this is the death of purchased music. Another thing that is also growing together with streamed music are vinyl album sales. 

There is something about having a physical copy of an album in your hands and still being able to put it in your CD player at home or in your car and listening to it. I guess that’s what people who like vinyl feel like when buying one. 

Are people craving for pieces of the past? Will CDs or cassette tapes make a comeback in the future also? Who knows. But I am curious to find out.

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