The myth of the indestructible CD
by Martin Belam, 12 October 2004
There was a letter from Vince Laws in yesterday's Guardian that cause me a wry smile:
"When CDs were launched we were told how indestructible they were. Now that half my CD collection needs replacing because of everyday wear and tear, should I download replacements free of charge, or sue the music industry?"
I'm currently on the look-out for a replacement for my copy of Claudia Brücken's "Love: and a million other things" CD. I haven't missed the irony that as a completist nerd I have virtually all her other releases on vinyl and CD, except the one CD that has decided to self-destruct.
Luckily I can increase the irony by enjoying the fact that even BBC News Online think that the Tomorrow's World item that first introduced me to the indestructible CD via jam, a drill and a bulldozer is funny.
Stacking discs horizontally was bad for them, as was any Tomorrow's World stunt involving jam, drills or bulldozers. By obeying these rules, we were promised "a lifetime of listening pleasure".
But they are indestructable! I bought one recently. I've jumped on it, thrown it against the wall, attacked it with a crowbar and I *still* can't get it out of the case.
Suddenly I feel smug that most of my music collection is still on tape and vinyl. I never got into these new-fangled things properly. I've still only got about 20, and half of them are at work.
CDs are the wrong size, difficult to get out of the packet, too fiddly, and time has shown to be disposable.