The Use of CDs and their future?

By: Keith McGregor

CD’s initially started off as music on discs or audio format in the mid-to-late 1980’s. CD-R’s (R means recordable) then became popular when being produced cheaply. CD ROM’s (ROM means Read Only Memory) then shortly followed to provide data discs for computers which can not be written on.

CD-Rs – written to once only. This obviously didn’t help if you had made a mistake in creating your CD and was a waste of a disc, which was expensive back in those days. Unlike a cassette, where you could record over and over (do you know anyone who still owns a cassette these days?). Therefore, the CD-RW (CD-Rewritable) was created which means you could write over the data several times. The discovery of CD duplication and CD copying has also helped to keep the compact disc alive.

CDs today are used in all sorts of industries today. Obviously, the music industry is the main source of most of the discs we have around the house. However, over the past 5 years, CDs have become an essential tool for marketing, selling, promoting, learning, informing and many, many more. Examples are:

# Promotional CDs – marketing companies use them as handy aids to distribute either by post, or to hand them out at conferences

# Music/Audio – Artists use them to record albums and also use as language learning aids.

# Training – You can put a whole training manual onto 1 CD which is far cheaper to produce and much easier to send.

# Software – This is the most used second to music.

These are but just a few uses for CDs.

We all receive CDs in the post as part of product recognition or sales. Newspapers give us freebies with either music or software. CD printing has allowed these forms of marketing to be customized to improve the effectiveness of the overall campaigns. At the moment the demand for CDs is on the increase and looks to remain that way for the next few years anyway. However, just as it’s predecessor, the cassette, the CD may be superseded by the USB stick.


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