Tech

Published on April 30th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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A well-constructed defense of the compact disc

I have a room off my office I call the CD Vault. It’s crammed with maybe 10,000 compact discs dating back to sometime around 1986.

While I almost never listen to any of them–I’m too busy rediscovered my vinyl collection–I can’t ever see getting rid of that collection. This article from CBC Radio articulates why.

The death of David Bowie provoked an epiphany for Rolling Stone editor David Browne.

He rediscovered the value of compact discs over streaming.

“His death made me sad, but it also made me want to hear a lot of his music again. So I called up one of my streaming services to hear the Low album,” he recalls.

It was in that moment that streaming technology failed Browne.

“The connection was cutting in and out, the volume was doing all kinds of strange things, and after awhile I just kind of got fed up and I said: ‘you know what, why don’t I just pull out one of my David Bowie CDs?’,” he explains.

No WiFi? No problem

Open deck. Insert disc. Press play.

No internet required. Not to mention improved sound quality.

“It was easy. It sounded pretty glorious and I thought, ‘why are CDs suddenly the worst thing ever invented by mankind?'” Browne says.

No WiFi? No problem

Open deck. Insert disc. Press play.

No internet required. Not to mention improved sound quality.

“It was easy. It sounded pretty glorious and I thought, ‘why are CDs suddenly the worst thing ever invented by mankind?'” Browne says.

“It’s interesting that people hate them so much right now.”

The beauty of CDs, he explains, lies within the reliability of the physical disc.

“What if your hard drive screws up? That was always my fear. I’m always nervous about the streaming services and things being pulled off.”

Keep reading.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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One Response to A well-constructed defense of the compact disc

  1. markosaar says:

    Whenever my turntable acts up i’m quickly reminded as to why we dropped the format so quickly originally…

    Unfortunately I currently don’t have a working CD player. Playstation 3 needs repair, and Sony dropped the ability to play CDs from the PS4!

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