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On The Way Out

If you store data or listen to music on CDs, be prepared … CDs are soon going the way of the record album, the 8-track, and the cassette. The next computer – or car – you buy may not have a CD player.

The CD is still a marvel: a simple-looking disc that is able to store an incredible amount of data. But it is vulnerable. It can break, scratch, or even melt. It is being replaced by more stable hardware … and even no hardware at all.

Music

When was the last time you bought an album on a CD? If you haven’t already purchased music by downloading it from the internet, you soon will. You can purchase one song or the whole album. The music is available for all of your devices and it is stored in your internet-based account for downloading at a later date. Once you download music into your phone, you can listen to it through your car’s speakers.

New Software

We’ve all bought new software that comes in CD form and loaded it into our computers. Like music, software is now purchased and downloaded from the internet. Some software companies even charge you an additional fee if you want them to send you the discs.

Data Storage

If you have used CDs to back up your documents, pictures, and financial information, you might want to move that data to a USB storage device (an external storage device that plugs into your computer via USB plug) or consider an off-site internet-based back up service. If you just need to transfer a few pictures or documents, use a USB “thumb” drive.

CD use will phase out slowly but it will phase out. Best to be ready.

Stay tuned for next week’s ITmail about another familiar function that has already begun to disappear.