Could the decline in CDs be a decline of art in one of its finest forms?
Each CD has album artwork that in some cases, such as Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," is famous and universally recognizable. Many artists have certain symbols and pictures that define them as artists.
Also, the inside packet of album covers have lyrics, pictures and, in many cases, stories. Downloading a song off the Internet lacks the aesthetic connection that one feels when owning a hard copy of an album.
The world of downloading affects not only the music business, but also the television industry. Shows such as "Glee" and "American Idol" advertise downloads weekly. Why? To boost popularity of the show. They want you to not only enjoy their show every week at 8 p.m., but also all day long on your iPod and in your car with it hooked up to the speakers.
No one ever asks you to go out and buy the CDs; they simply suggest you log onto your iTunes account and purchase the album there. Product placement in these kinds of shows causes both iTunes and the TV stations to make loads more cash by attracting a diverse audience. ITunes hopes that, while you download music from tonight's episode of "Glee," you will kindly browse its entire library.
Perhaps owning songs at the click of a button is much too simple, but from the looks of recent song sales, it is possible that even the most avid CD collectors will have to convert to downloading. As time goes on and technology advances, maybe the download will possess enough reliability to outdate the beloved CD.
(Currently, iTunes has many problems with file corruption, and many times, its users lose all of their online copies.)
However, in 50 years, the next new trend could replace the music download. By then, owning a CD will be like owning a piece of history, much like owning a vinyl record is today.
As for me, I'm going to pop Foster the People's"Torches" CD into my outdated stereo because I think music sounds better that way.