The death knell of the CD ...

(March 08, 2017)

There I was in a well-known music emporium, while the rest of the family headed severally for DVDs and Games, I wandered around the CD aisles. In the sparsely populated 'Folk and Country' section I found a couple of CDs for the princely sum of £3.45 and decided to 'splash the cash'. As I was paying, I remarked to the assistant that the CDs I care to buy are getting cheaper by the month. "You like all the old albums I suppose," he said with a knowing grin as he looked with obvious wonderment at the age of the person before him. I looked back with equal wonderment at the vast amount of metalwork piercing his nose, ears, upper and lower lips. "Well you'd better make the most of it," he cheerily quipped, "there won't be any CDs in a few months. You’ll have to get yourself into the download world"

I enquired why he was sounding the death knell of something that clearly kept him in employment, albeit partially, with such enthusiasm. "Music will all be download soon. You might get old stuff for a while but everything will go online - you better get used to it. Besides, it will be better for me, all I do this time of year is constantly rearrange the CD racks because customers look at them and then put them back in the wrong place." Once again I asked why he was making such a prediction with, as far as I could see, thousands of people still buying CDs (admittedly not from the 'Folk and Country' rack). "They'll soon come round once the CDs stop," he replied. "People always come round to something new eventually, even older people.”

Leaving aside the patently ‘ageist’ reference I enquired why the venerable vinyl LP was making a comeback. “That’s just fashion.” He assured me. “It’s simply a marketing angle. That’s why they keep on saying that old ‘has-beens’ that grew up with vinyl like to hear all the crackles and pops.” I quipped back, “Sounds like a breakfast cereal.” The response was a blank stare with the sound “Huh?” added to it. “Never mind,” says I, “not important.”

So there you have it - straight from the ultra-trendy shop assistant's mouth: Stop picking up CDs and putting them back in the wrong place. Buy all your music as downloads. Expect CDs to vanish in a few months. And if you’re seduced into buying vinyl you’re just an old has-been. I wondered quietly to myself if anyone had ever before prophesied the potential end of their own job with such enthusiasm. At least he didn't call me a dinosaur.

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