Happy Birthday to the CD...not many left!

A shout out to the birthday...thing this weekend, the Compact Disc (CD), congratulations on your 25th birthday! Ahhh, I have plenty of reminiscing about vinyl on my blog as I rip my vinyl to my hard drive and then, yes, burn the MP3s onto CD to play on my car stereo (when I don't have my iPod with me).

My first CD? Well, I believe it was 10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe purchased while I was in college at Winona State University, circa 1990 I believe...its so hard to remember. By the time I was done with my undergrad I had all of the essentials (Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions, a Pink Floyd or two, etc...).

My last vinyl album (to date) was Son Volt - Trace, I still have it unopened, the CD was good enough at the time.

The CD is one of those ubiquitous technologies. Consider how far usage has crept. From ABBA and Dire Straits recordings to a backup technology. The CD squashed use of cassette tapes. CDs don't get warped and all funky when you set them on your dashboard or toss them into the back window of your car (at least...not very often). The record industry certainly didn't like cassettes, but the lifetime of a cassette was about 1 year in my hands and the quality of the recording between vinyl and cassette was lacking at best.

Once CDs became home recordable, look out record industry!

But think about that transition. When the recording industry went from analog to digital, it made the transition from (basically) an infinite number of data points to recreate the music to a finite number of bits. With the CD, you could actually treat music as little magnetic pieces, what a revolution. Once home media moved to digital, the flood gates opened (though it did take a while) to migrating that content to other media and leverage growing CPU power and bandwidth to migrate it around. Time and time again the record industry has been caught off guard and fearful of the natural evolution of media and transmission that CDs ushered in.

As the price of record able CDs dropped, diskettes became challenged to deliver more capacity for computing, but the drop off in diskette sales was inevitable. CDs became too cheap, too fast, and ushered in massive recording capabilities for data (not just music).

Today, I rarely use the original CD in my life. I buy them, rip them to a portable format, then burn them back onto record able CDs that I can use in my car and put them on my iPod. I use CDs to back data up and go through them like crazy when I'm building boot media for my Solaris Nevada builds.

This next part is for the ears of the CD only:

Unfortunately, I must also declare the coming death of you, the Compact Disc. You have certainly aged well, I won't deny that. You'll be around for a few more years but you are starting to remind me a lot of that 3 1/2" diskette format that held on for dear life trying to cram a few more K onto it. Frankly, my USB keys and the network are replacing you faster than you can say the word DVD...heck, the DVD format wars have barely finished and they are already being replaced.

Heck, its hard to even find you at conventions anymore, USB keys have all but replaced you. Maybe you didn't notice, but AOL hasn't even delivered me a CD in YEARS (my last mailing was a DVD if I remember right and even that was about 2 years ago).

Now, if one of these storage utilities would host some boot images and tell me how to boot my laptop from it (after a small stub loads my wireless driver), I would be DONE with media...buh bye.

Still, I will keep of spindle of you around at all times, at least for the next two years until I replace my car stereo with one that has a USB jack (HELLO CAR STEREO MAKERS...WHAT THE HECK?) or an iPod with Bluetooth with a compatible car stereo Bluetooth interface.

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