Last Friday I was at the Connecticut Post Mall, and noticed that the FYE was having its out of business sale, and will be closing in March. So, being the audio junkie that I am, I scoured through the racks of discounted CDs and DVDs, hopeful for a good find.
However, a few days later, it dawned on me. FYE is closing its doors. While the other locations are still remaining open, the places where you could get a CD are dwindling. That’s to be expected. More and more listeners are turning to streaming services — i.e. Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal. With these streaming services, you can pretty much get any tune you want for only $9.99 a month — much cheaper than $10 for a single CD.
And, as more gravitate to that method of getting their music, the need for a CD store ceases to exist. Nowadays, the methods of obtaining CDs are becoming fewer and fewer — you can either go online or go to Walmart, Barnes and Noble or Target. And, even then, the selection is growing smaller and smaller. The only place that is a true music store in the New Haven area is Merle’s Record Rack.
Let’s be honest here — CDs have been dying a slow death for a long time and are beginning to phase out — and are replaced with our smartphone. They are taking the same path that vinyl records and cassette tapes have. Nowadays, more and more new cars don’t have CD players, and instead offer connectivity to your smartphone. For example, my own car — a 2017 Chevy Trax — doesn’t have a CD player. However, it does offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But, the death of CDs is something that hits hard for me. I’ve been a huge fan of music and CDs for as long as I could remember. When I was in elementary school, I would listen to my abundant music library via a Sony Walkman. As I got older and turned to an iPod to get my music, I still collect CDs. For me, going to a CD store is like a treat because you never know what you can find as you thumb through the selection. Today, my collection stands at over 200 discs. And, that collection still grows, because I much rather have a physical hard copy than a digital download.
And so, to quote Billy Joel, we can’t stop the fire. We can’t stop technology from progressing forward. But, this does cause some things to be left behind — such as the CD stores.