Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Tech & The Web

Best Buy No Longer Selling CDs After July 1

Retailer Best Buy is pressing the dreaded ‘eject’ button on compact discs, saying that as of July 1, it’ll no longer be selling CDs.

When’s the last time you actually purchased a compact disc? For that matter, where’s the last place you found that was actually selling CDs?

The number of places that do shrinks as of July 1, when Best Buy stops their sales.

When I saw this story, I asked myself what the last CD I actually purchased was.

I think it was a soundtrack to the old Andy Griffith Show that features some of the background music used in the series. The only reason I purchased a CD copy was that it wasn’t available in iTunes; otherwise, I wouldn’t even have purchased that one.

It’s funny when I think back to the days in the early 1980s when people were insisting that because of their quality compared to records and tapes, CDs would last forever and they’d be the last format people would ever need for music.

CDs toppled popular tape formats

They were introduced about 35 years ago. That’s a pretty good run for a format, although certainly not as long as most seemed to predict.

CDs did help the world drop those clunky 8-track tapes, which lasted from about the mid-1960s until the early 1980s when CDs were beginning to hit store shelves. The CD took a while longer to push cassette tapes out of the picture, but it managed that as well.

The quality was definitely better and they used a lot less storage space. And you could access the particular song you wanted almost instantly, which was another advantage over cassette tapes.

But once digital music sites like iTunes came along, it was only a matter of time before those shiny little discs would disappear.

The advantage sites like iTunes provided was the ability to purchase single songs you really liked rather than forcing fans to buy a whole album. And there were several albums I bought over the years in which I only really liked one or two songs. If only I’d had that option back then!

The numbers didn’t lie.

Business Insider’s article on Best Buy’s decision to stop selling CDs — they announced they planned to stop back in February — included a very interesting graphic on CD sales.

From 1983 until 1996, annual sales of compact discs rose year after year. There was a dip in 1997, but then until 2000, sales grew again. Compact discs, according to the chart, reached their peak sales total in 2000. Sales in 2017 were comparable to sales in the late 1980s, a sure sign the CD was losing favor despite the sound quality.

These days, new cars have satellite radio, but many have no compact disc slot. If that’s not an indication that they’ve fallen out of favor, I don’t know what else would be.

The nostalgia buff in me always hates to see something like this. The consumer in me thinks CDs were great while they lasted, but now prefers the online option.

How many CDs do you still own? Will you miss them as they further fade away?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.