Inventions are often difficult to track, but they often start with a loose comment.
Hannah came into my office and asked for my portable CD drive. Not too long ago CD drives were built into computers, but USB memory sticks are rapidly rendering CD’s old hat.
Out loud Hannah wondered: “How long do you think these CD’s will be around?”
That resulted in a short pondering session.
Undoubtedly, the use of CD’s in business applications is quickly fading away, but what about music CD’s?
I still cherish Music CD’s; to receive music on tiny USB drives, would make it difficult and artless to browse one’s music collection (Especially my music collection, I still buy music CD’s, simply to have the feel of an actual collection. I rarely play them on my stereo and instead download them on my other devices. My music CD’s are even alphabetized by artist!).
Hannah, being more hip than me, (After all; she lives in Jersey City) went: “Well, if that is your argument than I would say that Music CD’s will still fade away, because of the vinyl record revival.”
It is difficult to argue that vinyl has better sound quality and it certainly is not convenient for transfer between platforms, but, at the same time, the vinyl tactile experience is valid, and the CD experience is a poor compromise of tactile experience and reliable sound quality.
That short analysis of the benefits of vinyl, CD’s and USB memory drives resulted in the following optimal approach:
1. Let CD’s fade away
2. Only focus on selling music (in “hardware” style) in vinyl format. It allows better cover art than CD’s and memory sticks, is more fun to shop in stores and provides a proper tactile sense of collection.
3. But for digital convenience (droids, music players, cars) include a small flat USB memory stick with the music inside the vinyl record package
4. The memory stick would be thin, but attached to a flexible plastic tab that is the size of a music CD package and printed with a smaller version of the vinyl cover. It would fit within a standard vinyl record cover at the time of sale. When separated from the vinyl cover, it could slot into standard CD storage racks (even though they will be thinner)
At first one would consider the cost to be an objection, but the more I think about it, the more I would say that the additional cost of the memory stick is negligible as compared to the increase in music store sales and the decrease in the cost of stocking both vinyl and CD’s in stores (and on line warehouses).
We have released this invention to the public domain; may the first adopter make the most money, but don’t forget to credit us with the invention.