My Undying Love For Compact Discs
Back in 2016, I had to buy a new vehicle. My two requirements for my car were: 1. It had to have a GPS and 2. It had to have a CD player. The GPS was for practical reasons, and the CD player is because I am one of the last humans on earth who still owns CDs.
When it comes to technology, I’m a little…out of date. I don’t have Apple Pay or a smartwatch. I don’t have a Twitter, Snapchat, or TikTok account. Hell, the only apps I use are my banking app and my Google Maps. I am not 20 years old anymore. So along with posting to Facebook, I also still have my giant binder full of Compact Discs.
When I was younger, CDs were the way you supported the band you love. There was no way to purchase a single song, you had to buy the full album. It was a major disappointment to find out the only good song was the one featured on the radio. But it was amazing when every single song is good. I would spend weeks at a time memorizing entire CDs, popping out the sleeve so that I could read the lyrics and get them just right.
I admit that I took part in the illegal downloading craze of the 2000s. And I had an iPod shuffle that I put songs on. But we were told that our generation was killing music because we were stealing the musician’s hard-earned sales. So I kept buying CDs. One Christmas, my list consisted of over 50 different albums that my family could choose from. That was the whole list.
My dad is the same way. This is where I picked up the habit. He still plays vinyl records from his original collection. But his CD collection is just as impressive. Every time we went on a long car ride, he would stock up on the classics: Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet. Because I get car-sick if I read, I listened to the music he played. When I got older, I brought my stash of CDs. But I borrowed all of Dad’s at some point. That’s how I learned every single Beatles song. He has them all.
Now I’m the one who relies on my large collection when I drive from Maryland to Ohio. Re-visiting old favorites that are tucked away in my two album binders. I know them all by sight. When I ask my husband to find a specific one, I can tell him the exact color without thinking.
My GPS is already outdated (hence the GPS app). But the CD player is still going strong. One day I will have to replace my car. And I don’t know how I’m going to function. I might put everything on my phone. Maybe I can jerry-rig a way to hook up a portable CD player to my new car. But if my Dad can still listen to his vinyl and his CDs, then I can keep mine. Vinyl records have come back in style for no reason. So the humble CD could be in vogue once again. They still exist. Unlike the extinct 8-tracks and Betamax. Thank goodness Dad didn’t try to keep those.
Featured Image by Adele Z.