Now You CD, Now You Don't

Last month one sunny morning, I walked down the steps of my apartment to find a big Christmas surprise. Someone had broken into my car and stolen a boxed serving tray my sweet mum had given me. It was only worth about $30 for the $800 worth of damages ensued. The interesting thing I noticed was that through all the scattered glove-box items and rummaging of my art supplies, the intruder didn't think to take my music case of 300 CDs. They certainly found it, but thought them worthless. Is my taste in music really all that bad? I doubt it since there were plenty to choose from. Rather, I think it's a sign of the times which brings me to an article that was released today in the New York Times.

People are spending less money on CDs due to the growth of digital music sales. CDs are going the way of eight tracks and cassette tapes. This trend is causing the music industry to look elsewhere in the likes of internet providers and lawmakers. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reported that overall sales of recorded music fell about 10 % in 2007 ($17.6 billion) however, worldwide digital music sales rose to $2.9 billion from $2.1 billion a year earlier which makes up 15 % of overall sales. CD sales were more than 20% down last year.

With the trend of everything going digital, security and legal rights have always been an ongoing battle. Piracy has record labels going to Internet service providers demanding strict rules and discipline. Remember what happened with Napster? That case really didn't deter too many copyright violators.

As an avid fan for all things Apple, I am guilty of being a contributing factor to the compact disc's slow dissapearance from technology. I purchase and download about 20 songs a month from iTunes. Think about it. It's easier to sit in the comfort of your home or office and with a click of a mouse, have instant access to your new and favorite music. Much more convenient compared to the old days where you had to drive to the nearest music store to pay for the same music which would have cost more (new album releases on iTunes go for $9.99 while in-store can range from $11.99 on up).

CD's that house music aren't the only ones losing their cool. Little by little, DVD sales are soon to follow suit. People are downloading movies and videos online now. Netflix and Apple have smartly picked up on this digital trend. A related playing component is the fact that within the next 5 years all television screens and cable networks will be streaming in HDTV. Everything you could ever want in terms of entertainment, news and information is literally at your fingertips. The way of wireless has brought a new meaning to the term "high tech".

Very soon, we will see the latest cars with built-in wireless transmitters for your iPods and bluetooth headsets; no need to buy these accessories separately. The 6-disc CD changer will no longer be a luxury to car owners. Maybe one day, we'll find the technology to command our car to play our favorite track and to allow the internal computer to automatically compile a DJ list based on our playback history. How cool would that be?

For now, I'll have to find a good use for my 300 CDs.

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