Arts and Entertainment

Opening the cover to the long forgotten memories of CDs

By Michelle Mandeau
Published: December 2009

For Chanukah, I did not ask for anything. My parents however, were kind enough to buy me gifts anyway: one of them being a CD. The first thought that came into my mind was “This is awesome. I love it.

The second thought was a little different and a little bit saddening: I had not received a CD as a present in years.

After the rest of the gifts were exchanged, I went to my room to listen to my new CD. My computer decided to delete iTunes so I could not upload the album onto my iTunes. Instead, I broke out my portable CD player from under my bed and tried to open the packaging to the CD.

It wasn’t until 15 minutes later that I had finally undone the outside plastic wrapping. Then it was onto the sticker. My point is, this whole operation which took me about 20 minutes, would have taken me about five minutes seven years ago.

This really got me thinking, why don’t people buy CD’s anymore? There is something so genuine about albums and it’s really a shame that in a few years, they may be obsolete.

Think about all of the fun times you may have had taking out the little booklets in the front cover. You know, the ones where you could listen to the song while reading the lyrics and flipping through pictures of the artists.

The CD and its cover would always have really cool artwork on it that resembled the artist or band. Nowadays, album covers have become a little square on a fluorescent screen.

While iTunes is extremely convenient and most of you probably illegally download, being able to have the actual album is something that was seriously taken for granted by our eleven year old selves.

Also, it’s sad how people who download music from Limewire and other illegal programs won’t see the track list (in the correct order, at least), and song order is no longer significant.

Programs like iTunes are fast, convenient, cheap and easily accessible. The songs also can be easily listened to on a small and portable MP3 player.

Of course, for every upside there is a downside. I love iTunes, but there’s something that is less authentic about it. For one, it lessens the value of the CD.

You can’t really appreciate everything the artist is trying to translate through their music if you don’t buy the whole album. The whole point of a track list, and why certain songs are chosen for the CD, is so that it can tell a story when it’s all put together.

It also is a problem when you try to upgrade to the newer version of iTunes and it “accidentally erases your songs. You can never get them back, no matter how many times you call the Apple store.

As usual, while electronics are convenient, they are risky.

The biggest problem facing downloadable music is that record stores such as Newbury Comics and F.Y.E. might become the old Blockbusters and Hollywood Video, going out of business.

What I’m trying to get at here is this: don’t stop buying albums. They may be a little outdated, but all those little elements such as song order and cover design make for a richer and more tangible experience.

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