Have Discs Become Obscure Already?
It was somewhat of a revolution when CDs first came onto the scene and began to replace cassettes and vinyl. Those who are old enough will remember well the days when you would have to fast-forward the tape to find the tune that you wanted, along with an element of trial and error of course. Then there were the times when the tape could come loose from the cassette and need to be winded back in manually using a pencil, something that many younger people will be completely oblivious to.
The advent of the CD changed all that. Sounds were clearer with no hiss or crackles. Tracks could be found automatically at the touch of a button and winding the tape back into the cassette was now a thing of the past. Then along came the DVD, which worked in the same way but could hold a lot more information. Now we have Blue-Ray technology which again offers even more storage capacity, and delivers very high quality visual and audio clarity.
Is this technology that was a revolution not so long ago soon to have pride of place as exhibits in Museums for now obscure technology? Are CDs and DVD set to join audio and video cassettes on the defunct technology scrapheap? It is looking as though that could well be the case in the not too distant future.
When it comes to personal music players, MP3 has been the personal choice of many for a few years now. MP3 players don’t need to use discs as instead the data is stored technology on tiny storage cards that are a fraction of the size of discs, yet have a much greater storage capability. This means that you can carry around all of your music on a single device that is much smaller than a Cassette or DVD player, and can often be integrated into a mobile phone or other portable device.
When it comes to storing larger amounts of information, we now have thumb drives that are less bulky and more resilient than the relatively fragile discs, while again boasting a significant increase in storage capacity. The thumb drive, and other similar storage facilities, seems to be another nail in the coffin for the once wondrous disc.
With download speeds increasing and online storage facilities improving, it may not be too long before you won’t need a physical storage device at all. Already gamers can play games direct from a server while movie lovers can watch movies from a stream. Even hard drives that have been a mainstay of computing could become phased out as they become obsolete.
One thing going for CDs and DVDs at the moment is that they are cheap, making them ideal for companies that wish to mass-market their software or media in a way that is easily accessible to their customers. What’s more is that although internet technology is improving, many people don’t have reliable enough speeds to use it for transferring large amounts of data, and that’s if they even have an internet connection at all.
One thing for sure though is that it looks as though the glorious days of the shiny, iridescent discs could be coming to an end. At some point in the future, discs could become nothing more than something you tell your grand-children about, much like cassettes of the past.