This 30th birthday of the compact disc got us wondering what the CD is doing in its post-fame life. Warning: This is not a happy story. Perhaps like its elder brethren the vinyl record and the audio cassette tape, the has-been has seen a sort of retro renaissance, we thought? CD sales have suffered for the last decade or so, seeing a 76 percent decline in sales through the aughts. But, they haven't disappeared completely, and in 2011 the number of people who purchased a compact disc actually increased to 78 million, a 2 percent gain. This relic must have some niche places in society, then, right? Yes, but it hasn't quite reached the hip-status of a vinyl record or the tape, which have both seen a small cultural comeback of sorts. We did some digging and at 30, here is what the CD is up to.
For the Birds
Like that time Lauren Conrad put her smelly outdated books to good use, some people use their old CD collections as homemade scare crows for all types of birds. All over YouTube we found clips of people using the old music playing discs as shiny distractions for flying animals. It sounds a little bit cruel, as eHow's Jim Harmon describes it below. "It twirls, it picks up the sunlight and creates a little bit of an illusion of a prism, flashing the light off of it, birds don't like that... it irritates them, freaks them out, it scares them." It's a pretty crafty way to shoo them away.