Monday, October 5, 2009

C: Compact Discs

10-5-09 C: Compact Discs

Perhaps I initially approached the compact disc wearily. “What? Another format? And it’s more expensive?” or thereabouts. I confess, the first few times I ever heard a CD being played, I thought it was somehow lacking in clarity – what with me being a guy who has lived with the ‘treble’ turned all the way up on all stereos in my home since 1970 or so.

Then the first Zappa CD’s came out – OK, I guess I’ll have to have some of these. So what if there aren’t any Beatles CD’s? I think I had about 100 CD’s before I even got a player. I remember making a stop-frame video (it was the 80’s, folks) of my first 100 compact discs. I wonder if I can track that down, it would be funny to see – I bet I don’t have many left of the original first 100.

I warmed a little to CD’s as I sold off large quantities of my LP collection, in the late 80’s. Yikes, seemed like I have been on a vinyl roll for about a decade now, trying to “get everything back”. Not strictly true – I have bought lots of stuff on vinyl in the last 12 years that I had never owned previously. In only a few cases, I went on to get CD’s of my “vinyl discoveries” – many of which do not exist as CD’s.

’09 hits and I almost feel nostalgia for the dear old compact disc. And how much longer will I be able to leave my home and purchase CD’s on a brick-and-mortar store? I do not want to download anything. I do not like or want MP3’s of anything. I want to handle the cover and disc (LP, then CD)…before I buy. No, I do not want or need to listen to it before I buy it. That’s why I’m buying it!

I have approx. 3,000 Japanese CD sleeves that hold only the booklet and disc – great space saving system! But now I have over 7,000 CD’s! So, cartons and boxes and…CD’s all over the place. Yes, I try and label the boxes, but…some stuff still goes missing.

And I burn CD’s to play in my car. My CD collection is the same thing to me as my LP collection – I do not take the originals out in the car while I run around. That’s what CD-R copies are for!

Digipaks be damned! What if the spokes break? Much more fond of Japanese kami sleeve CD’s = little paper album cover CD’s. No stress on the disc, being stored in a jewel box or in a digipak. And they look great. (P.S. I’m in the market for more of these! And the Japanese will almost certainly keep making them!)

More recently, Super Audio CD’s (SACD) – in that funky “Super Jewel Box” (Yes, I found a place online where I can buy replacement “Super Jewel Boxes”!). No, I do not have a 5.1 set-up where I can listen to multi-channel SACD’s – but I am really digging the mastering (re-mastering) of some of ‘em. “My Generation” by The Who sounds amazing as an SACD – and it’s 91 minutes on a single SACD!

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