I didn’t exactly grow up in the vinyl era but I was around for the cassette (in fact, somewhere in my closet is a dusty stack of mix tapes made for me circa ’95), and I most definitely have a fair-sized CD collection.
Now, I’m far from being a Luddite: I have one of those cell phones with a camera, I’ve downloaded stuff from an ftp site and, heck, I maintain this here web log. Years ago, I made the switch with everyone else over to mp3s with the help of a not-so-legal (at the time) service called Napster and eventually transfered all my music to my playlist and onto my iPod.
But I still buy CDs. I’m not sure why — the whole thing about better sound quality doesn’t make much sense to me, it’s nothing to do with supporting the artist because I can do that by paying on iTunes, and I can’t say it’s for the liner notes without wanting to punch myself in the face. I think it’s something about the tangible, sensory appeal of cracking open the case, popping the disc out and hearing that first spin before the music starts.
CDs, however, require more production, packaging and shipping than downloading music in its electronic form, plus it means committing to the whole album rather than buying individual songs. So from now on, with apologies to my local music store, I’m opting for mp3s instead. Thanks to Matt S. for the suggestion!