I Miss CDs

Kids, music used to be something more than what you could download from iTunes. It used to be more than finding your favorite artist on YouTube and watching their latest music video. It used to show up on little plastic discs that were read by lasers. Once upon a time, this was advanced technology. Because, once upon a time, music also showed up on spools of magnetic tape encased in hard plastic. That, too, was once considered advanced technology. Because, once upon a time, music also showed up on flat, round pieces of vinyl with little grooves encircling the things. Those are making a pretty major comeback, by the way.

I get that it’s not cool to go to a music store and purchase CDs anymore. Matter of fact, I’m not sure where one would actually find a store that is devoted to selling CDs. I know you can still buy a CD at Wal-Mart, Target, or Barnes & Noble. And I know there are music stores that cater to the kids responsible for bringing back vinyl. But I think you really have to look for a CD before you find one.

I haven’t bought a music CD in over a decade, I’m pretty sure. Like so many people who have an internet connection, I download my music in the MP3 form. Been doing that since college, when Napster introduced the world to free music for a little while before that was declared piracy.

When I had CDs, I had a bunch of them. I kept them in a gigantic binder that would zip closed. I don’t know for certain what happened to all of those CDs. It’s possible that I left them inside the trunk of my car after I totaled the thing a few years ago. I rarely think about all those CDs that I once owned. But when I do, I miss them.

Usually, an artist or a band’s album represents a certain chunk of time from my life. And if I hear a song that was on one of those albums that represents a chunk of time from my life, it makes me miss popping that CD into the center console in my car and listening to each track, beginning to end, only to start all over again.

In college, it was Mark Schultz. That year I lived in Bluefield after I graduated, it was Avalon’s Oxygen. When I moved back to Roanoke and lived with dad, it was Jason Mraz’s Waiting for My Rocket to Come. For a stint in North Carolina, it was The Click Five. There were others here and there and in between. But I know the CDs ended while I was living in Raleigh. Because that’s when I bought my first iPod. Okay, that’s when I bought my only iPod. I still have that ancient piece of technology. People make fun of my 3rd generation iPod nano. Whatever. It does what I need it to do, okay?

I may be able to carry the vast majority of my music library wherever I go, but I still miss sliding that CD into the player sometimes. I miss knowing exactly what song is going to start as soon as the previous song ends. And, it just occurred to me, this is probably another instance of where I’m slowly becoming Andy Rooney.

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