When you get to be my age, time warps a little bit. I still refer to music as "records" or "albums", as in "Have you heard the new U2 record?". So I was astounded to learn the the Compact Disc turned 30 yesterday. 30? Yes it was introduced on October 1, 1982. It seems like just yesterday I was buying all my music on LP or cassette (I am not quite old enough to have been in on the 8-track craze).
After my initial shock at how old Mr. CD has gotten, I became impressed with his longevity. Thirty years is an insanely long time for anything in technology. And I still love CDs in the same way I loved record albums. I love opening them up, struggling to get the plastic and sticky stuff off and then going through the liner notes, photos and lyrics as I listen to it.
Music purchasing ,borrowing and listening has changed a lot over the years. First there were records, then Cassettes and CDs, and now there is digital content like iTunes and Freegal. I remember someone saying that CDs would be dead within a few years after iTunes came out. But the music CDs at the library still go out at about the same rate as they always have (which is a lot). Folks thought for a while that music would be sold mostly on flash drives but that hasn't caught on. Today I listen to most of my music on my computer, my phone or my iPod. My stereo broke last year and I haven't gotten around to replacing it. Maybe I won't.
Last year the library introduced Freegal, a service in which Des Plaines library card holders can download three songs each week for free. People love it. Their selection includes all of the music from the Sony catalog (which is huge, though not iTunes huge). The link to Freegal is at:
Today I still buy CDs. I occasionally will buy a song on iTunes, and regularly download songs from Freegal. I probably buy fewer CDs, but I cling to the ones I have and I don't want to see them go away.