Do you remember the thrill of your first CD purchase? Or the hours you spent making a mix and picking the perfect songs for your crush? The compact-disc just turned 30 years old, making now the perfect time to sit back and reminisce.
The Next Web pegs the beginning of the CD era to the re-issue of Billy Joel's 52nd Street album on October 1, 1982. The album, released at the same time as Sony's first CD player (the CDP-101), was the first compact-disc available for consumer consumption. Gizmodo also notes that CDs were intended merely to replace vinyl records, but that the release of the CD-ROM in 1985 turned the new format into an even larger phenomenon.
Today, the CD seems like a clunky, outmoded technology next to digital audio files we store on our mobile devices or streaming services we subscribe to and access via the cloud. But that doesn't mean we don't miss the days of when the Discman was ubiquitous and the burned playlist was an art form. Sure, we're fully aware digitally downloaded songs don't scratch or snap in half, and that they don't take up space on our shelfs. But who dosen't have a soft spot for their old CD collection?
Below, we've gathered the top nine things we miss about CDs. Do you have something to add to our list? Let us know in the comments section. Let the nostalgia begin!
Spending Hours In Music Stores
Remember digging through rows of disorganized CDs, in search of the perfect $15 purchase? Digital music is certainly more searchable online, but now we're kind of bored on Sunday afternoons.
Making Mixed CDs (Particularly For Your Sweetheart)
REM, Oasis, The Cure and even the Backstreet Boys provided plenty of 80s and 90s love songs to create the <em>perfect</em> playlist for your crush. We spent hours crafting the perfect order for our mixes before burning them onto CDs, and we can recall agonizing over the best place in a playlist to put a powerhouse like "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hzrDeceEKc">Wonderwall</a>."
Giving CDs As Gifts
Giving someone an iTunes gift card dosen't feel as sincere as handing over a wrapped CD that you selected with care. CD shopping was a more intimate experience: To understand someone's musical tastes, you had to try to decipher the language of his or her soul. Now we don't even have to try.
Listening To Whole Albums
These days, we find ourselves buying $0.99 singles more often than we're shelling out for a whole album. Oftentimes it's easier to get our hands on the top tracks, so we rarely even bother with full albums. We're still trying to decide if this is a good thing or not.
How great was it to unfold the paper cover inside a CD case and read the song lyrics as you listened to an album for the fist time? If you couldn't quite catch the words in a song, you'd simply flip through that little booklet of knowledge. Nowadays, we're much more prone to singing something uber wrong (and it's uber embarrassing.)
Judging Your Friends' Music Collections
When you went to a friend's house, one of the first things you'd notice was their collection of books, movies and music. You'd browse the person's CD rack and decide whether they had far too much Shania Twain for you two to ever get along. But now, everything has its place on the iPhone or Nook -- so how are we supposed to decide if we like you? What if you're a closet Creed fan? The horror!
Um, those <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xA8zrAicmc&feature=related">"Now That's What I Call Music" informercials</a> were awesome. And so were the CDs themselves. We adored those cheesy compilations of chart-topping pop songs and couldn't wait for the latest "Now" package to arrive in the mail so we could rock out to our favorite NSYNC and Sisqo tracks that month. (It's not like every radio station was playing them back-to-back at the time.)
Awesome Album Art
When a CD was released, the cover's appearance was almost as fascinating and the music itself. What was the artist trying to say? Were the musicans trying to tell a story?... Were we thinking too much into this? <em>Nah</em>.
Having Something To Sign
Flinging permanent markers and CD covers at artists was way more fun than buying an over-priced concert tee-shirt. Plus, an autographed album won't bleed all over your next load of laundry -- unless you tossed it in with the wash (but then you've probably got bigger problems).