Friday, October 2, 2009

The end of the world as we know it

Now that fully one-half of traditionally-aged college students were born in the 1990s, I conducted one of my periodic unscientific classroom polls about music consumption. I asked my class of sixty upstanding young music historians yesterday when they had last purchased a physical CD, the actual piece of plastic.

As I expected it had been about two years since most of them had bought CDs regularly. There were a few romanticists, of course, and a few vinyl fans, but for the bulk of the class, the only CDs purchased in the past two years had been special for some reason: a memento of a concert, or a rare disc that is not available online even illegally.

That isn't the end of the world though. The end of the world is that one student had NEVER bought CDs in her life.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have crossed a threshold. For now it might be the young, and the technologically adept, but we are entering uncharted waters.


Glenn said...

Did you ask them what they did instead?

PMG said...

Mostly iTunes, a bit of Kazaa or Rhapsody-type services, and then some illegal downloading. Not as much of the last as I would have thought, a combination of paranoia about being sued and the college cracking down on connecting to such sites from campus computers.