Since their release in the 80s, CDs have been the standard format for storing music and data. Similarly, when DVDs were first released in the mid-90s they were quickly established as the favoured format for watching films. However, technology is moving fast and the CD and DVD could soon be nothing more than vestiges of the past.
CDs were first developed separately by Philips and Sony in the early-80s. However, the two electronics giants worked together to complete the final product. What they came up with took the music industry by storm and they had soon rendered the cassette tape superannuated.
The DVD was developed around a decade later in 1995. Again Phillips and Sony were involved in the development process, however, this time they were joined by fellow electronics companies Panasonic and Toshiba. When it was released later in the decade, the picture quality it offered was far better than anything else on the market and was soon installed as the de facto standard for film fans everywhere above the erstwhile favourite, VHS tapes.
The disc format of CDs and DVDs had several advantages over their equivalents in the tape format. A digital disc does not contain moving parts so is less susceptible to physical malfunction. Anyone who grew up in an age of tapes will remember the hours they spent trying to wind back in unwieldy tape with a biro or maker pen.
As well as their greater reliability, CDs and DVDs also offered greater quality of sound, picture and anything else you could care to mention. The two new formats could also store more memory so you could fit more songs or films on them. They also looked very futuristic, which was an important fashion feature for an era obsessed with the future.
However, technology has again moved on, and the age of the CD and DVD could now be over. With the advent of mp3s and online streaming, these forms of data playback may soon become obsolete in the popular market. The mp3 market is dominated by players that can hold upwards of 8gb all in a handheld device – soundly knocking the storage capacity of the CD into a cocked hat. While online streaming of films takes up no physical storage at all.
The future seems bleak for CDs and DVDs and for the thousands of people who own piles of music and films on these formats. However, the future is not all bad, and there is, in fact, money to be made from CDs and DVDs. Because the two formats are becoming obsolete, they are also becoming rare and popular items for collectors, much like vinyl recordings. You can try selling DVDs for cash as well as CDs on specialist online sites like Music Magpie.