Happy Birthday CD

August 17th 1982 was a red-letter day – we’ve just passed the 26th birthday of the humble CD. As the key example of a media form shifting from analog to digital, the CD has been the standard-bearer for zeros and ones for more than half my life! But the last five years has seen idea of a physical object become anathema to many; in this post-materialist world, owning things seems so quaint and wasteful. Of course, the CD still dominates and digital downloads have a ways to go in music (let alone in video formats, or dare we hope books) – there’s still reason to wish the CD Happy Birthday. And Wired’s Listening Post does just that with a piece entitled: “Happy Birthday Compact Disc. Now Go Away” which includes the following relevant quip (talking about packaging):

We have digital downloads available, with no material waste at all. Get with it. Of course, if you like something you can hold in your hands, paper is probably the lesser of two evils. But it’s still evil.

Amen 🙂


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