I never really thought this day would come, but now that it is here I am embracing the change and excited for the next chapter: life without CD's. The evolution of technology has impacted the music industry in so many ways, perhaps the main one being how people listen to music now. It has become less and less common for people to use CD's ever since the internet and the iTunes store opened the flood gates of downloading music and led to listening through a computer or iPod/phone. As if this wasn't enough of a threat to the compact disc, streaming services like Pandora
, and Spotify
have begun putting nails in the coffin of even music downloading, with the CD nearly entirely nailed up and quickly going the way of the dinosaur. I wasn't stoked about this change at first since I love buying and listening to physical whole albums, and since I pretty much only listen to music when I drive via my car's CD player. Long after downloading and streaming became the norm I was still that guy who bought the CD of an artist or band I really loved, but that has all finally changed for me. The real shift happened when I got a new car at the end of last year that doesn't come with a CD player in it, nor was it an option without upgrading to a way more expensive package for the whole vehicle which I wasn't going to do. With over 95% of my music listening being in my car while driving I suddenly found this new and great barrier between me and my music collection. I began having to import CD's to my iTunes and syncing those playlists onto my phone so that I could listen to my music again in the car, now via Bluetooth. I also had to take anything I was mixing of my own projects and go through the same process just to sit in my car and listen back to take mixing notes (which is how I always fine tune my mixes). Having to do this new, somewhat tedious process combined with the fact that my whole physical music collection is spread out between numerous disc racks and shelves in various closets, rooms, and cabinets of my house with many CD's being out of their cases in who-knows-which giant CD wallet, and with random miscellaneous stacks of cases, either empty or not, cluttering up all sorts of places, made me realize the only thing that makes sense at this point is to import every CD I have into my iTunes library and then get rid of most of my physical collection. Crazy, huh?! It's 2015 baby, time to shift with the times and let go of the old chapter! For the best music in my collection I will keep the CD's but box them all up and store them away out of sight and mind, for the rest I will make a Goodwill drop, and I will throw away all of my burnt CD's.
As I'm writing this I am actually nearly done importing my collection, and though I knew this job would be big it turned out to be WAY BIG! A big pain in the ass...but worth it. My studio looks like a perfect storm has blown through it of CD cases and random discs everywhere; cluttered would be an understatement. I have way more CD's than I thought too. What's great about sucking it up, toughing it out, and seeing this through though is that I am finding albums I either forgot I had, or that I never would have remembered where I had put. It is also kind of amazing to take my whole collection of everything I have ever bought and listened to and put it into one digital music library where it all can be scrolled through and accessed quickly, all in one place now! I never have to think about my CD's ever again (except for a possible rare occassion where I decide I really want to remix something and need to get the high-quality WAV or AIFF file off the disc for the remix), and I can easily and quickly rotate in and out anything I want to sync to my phone so that I can listen to it on my car drives. Also there will be WAY less clutter in my studio, and actually my whole house and life, once I finally finish and organize this all, and get rid of everything. Could you imagine no more random stacks of CD cases lying around? I can't, but that will be my reality soon and I honestly am excited for it.
It's funny because I actually realize that doing this isn't necessary because all music lives online now as streamable, and even owning music files that take up space on a hard drive may become archaic technology as well sooner than later. What I have found doing this though that makes it worth it to me is that if I left it up to only music streaming I would never remember certain great albums in my personal collection to stream, whereas I can now go through my iTunes library and say, "oh yeah! I forgot about how rad that Duncan Sheik album is, I'm going to listen to that right now!" (Side note, if you like good singer/songwriter stuff Duncan Sheik is amazing. He has got to be one of my biggest favorites and influences, and I recommend starting with his first album, which is called Duncan Sheik.)
It hasn't been easy to see this through, and at times the process has felt so overwhelming that I thought about giving up, but I'm going to see this through and I am on the home stretch. It feels a little odd, but mostly feels good to let go of the old chapter and make room to adapt to the new, whatever that will look like. Goodbye CD's, I loved you, and I will miss you.