In my lifetime, we’ve gone from cassettes to digital downloads

This week I interviewed the local band, Cashbox, for our upcoming magazine. I  was really excited when they gave me a CD of their music. I’d only  heard them play once at Drew Central and last week I was excited to get to hear more of their music.

I listened to their CD all the way home. I immediately fell in love with it.

The next day I was at home by myself and thought I’d listen to the CD while I walked on my treadmill.

It was at this point I realized I do not own a  CD player in my house.. The only CD player I have is in my car. When we want to listen to music, we listen to Pandora or another online music service.

I started thinking about how the music industry has changed over the years.

Gone are the days of rushing to the store to buy a CD when your favorite band or performer releases new music. Instead of getting our favorite artists to sign the CD cover, we will have to get them to sign the iTunes receipt or something comparable because most of us get our music through digital recordings we can download within seconds.

My oh my, how times have changed.

When our parents bought music, they purchased records or eight-tracks. I used to look at my granny’s records and wonder how in the world music was on those round black circles.

I still don’t know how records work. To me they are like a fax machine… they shouldn’t work but they do.

When my parents bought music, they bought the big eight track cassettes. I vaguely remember seeing those but never listened to them.

When I first started buying music, I bought the smaller cassette tapes. I used to have quite the tape collection.

I remember one year Robert, my brother, and I got the big boom boxes for Christmas. He got one and I got one so there would be no fighting over the radio. I could listen to my stuff and he could listen to his.

Our boom boxes was portable so we could carry it around like they did back in the day. I can honestly say I never carried mine around anywhere.

We also had the Walkman for even more portable music. For a long time, the cassette was the way to buy our music even as we moved into the 1990s.

I bought cassettes as late as 1998 even though the compact disc had made its appearance onto the music purchasing scene. I didn’t completely convert to CDs until I absolutely had to when they stopped selling cassette tapes and cassette players.

By that time, the idea of a music download was in its baby stages.

As I said before, I do not own a CD player in my house. When we listen to our music at home, we use our iPhones to stream music. We have a clock radio that has a port for our iPhones so when we plug it in, it projects the music through the speakers.

While CDs are still available for purchase, I can tell the age of the compact disc is coming to an end.

It just really blows my mind how everything is going digital, and our smartphones and tablets are making us more dependent on this technology.

We can not only buy music at the click of a button, we can also buy books, check out magazines, read newspapers, and much more.

At this rate, we will be able to do anything without actually leaving our homes, which makes me question if all this technology really is a good thing?

I’m not so sure it is. Every day we are becoming more and more dependent on the world wide web for everything – entertainment, education, making friends, finding recipes. The list goes on and on.

I think I have it lucky because I remember when we went to the store to go shopping. I remember a time when you’d have to wait until the bank was open to make a withdrawal.

But, I also get to have the best of what technology has to offer even though I am going to miss my CDs.

(Melissa Cason is a staff writer for the Advance Monticellonian. She can be reached at reporter@monticellonews.net

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