Format wars

Blu-Ray? HD-DVD? I dunno, just let it play the stuff I’ve already paid for. My last bet on a format was Mini-Disc, a great, compact little format that was made irrelevant by the ability burn CDs at home. The little deck is still taking up space in my life, along with my old tape deck, which suddenly strikes me as ridiculous — but then I’ve been watching a lot of “Clean House.”

My Stereo, 1988This picture is from the last big format shift — you can’t see the turntable below, but there are two tape decks (always hated tape’s lack of fidelity), an amp I still use, and my first CD player. This was 1985, the CD player easily ran a week’s pay, and I started springing a ridiculous $16 a pop for CDs (at a time when new vinyl was still about $8), and mostly spent it on classical music, for the lack of scratches and not having to flip the record over. Just a couple of years later, I had bought my last vinyl (for a long time, anyway), CDs had gotten marginally more reasonable (and took up less space than LPs), tapes were still important at home and in the car.

Nowadays, I mostly listen to my CDs through iTunes (because my CD player sucks), the tape deck and mini-disc deck are off to the side, and I’m playing LPs more often than I have in 18 years. I’ve even bought “new” vinyl lately, and lots of bands are issuing LPs again.

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