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  1. A+ Would Buy Again: Amazon Gives Customers MP3 Versions of Physical CDs

    If you've ordered a CD off Amazon in the last fifteen years but haven't gotten around to ripping it to your computer yet, don't worry. Amazon just announced a new AutoRip feature for the Amazon Cloud Player, giving users free access to MP3 versions of their physical CDs. Sounds great. The only downside I see to this is having to look back on all the embarrassing CDs you purchased in 1998. According to Billboard, the #1 album that year was the soundtrack for Titanic. You've probably got Celine Dion waiting for you in your Cloud Player right now.

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  2. Don’t Want Your Old CDs Anymore? Amazon Does

    Pretty much everything is digital now, so who needs CDs? Not me, and probably not you. Fortunately, Amazon understands and has announced that it'd like to do you a solid and take them off your hands for you. What's more, you'll get Amazon gift cards for them. Amazon has accepted trade-ins for Amazon bucks for a while now, but they've only just recently opened up the program to music CDs. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a collection to unload.

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  3. Amazing Animal Sculptures Made From Broken CD Shards

    Artist and author Sean Avery has come up with what is without a doubt the single greatest use for old CDs. Cutting up the dics into carefully shaped shards, he pieces them together into spectacular animal sculptures. The shmmering, textural work is decidedly lo-tech, using hot glue and wire frames, but almost certainly labor intensive. The feathers of the hummingbird above, for instance, must have taken some time to piece together. It's delightful, astounding work, and a not-too-subtle jab at the impermanence of media. See many more pictures, after the break.

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  4. Tape Decks No Longer Available in Cars

    Ahhhh, tapes. Glorious, vintage cassette tapes. I remember the transition from tapes to CDs, then desperately trying to figure out songs that didn't exist on a small, tangible data organizer. (What exactly was I supposed to do with this thumb drive? ... What?) My best guy friend in high school made me a "Sunny Seventeen" mix tape for my birthday that year, complete with a hand cover. (Thanks, Terence.) We would record songs off the radio when our favorite songs came on, as if we'd never hear them again, satisfied with missing the first part of the song and losing the second part of the song to station IDs and annoying DJs. But alas -- 'tis the end of an era. Tape decks in cars are no more.

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  5. How Much Did All Those AOL Installation CDs from the ’90s Cost AOL?

    Back in the day [read: the '90s], free AOL installation CDs were virtually inescapable, thanks to AOL's aggressive use of unsolicited direct mailing and the company's efforts to get them in free bins at stores and public places everywhere. Proclaiming some number of free hours of cutting-edge dial-up subscription service, a good number of them would wind up in the trash or tossed around as makeshift Frisbees. But for all of the annoyances caused by these disks, former AOL executives say they did what they were supposed to do: Give the company a huge install base, such that even today, 40 percent of AOL's revenue comes from dial-up subscriptions. How much did it cost to get there?

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  6. Boy Scouts of America Says Legally Burned CDs Send Children the Wrong Message

    Today's out-of-touch facepalm comes courtesy of Scouting magazine, the official publication of Boy Scouts of America. In an article on the "dilemma of downloading" music, the unnamed authors helpfully suggest that parents should only play CDs that they've bought from stores, and that they shouldn't play burned CDs -- even if they contain legally purchased music. From the article:

    So how can Scouters teach ethical behavior related to music downloading? One way: Set a good example. When you haul around Scouts in your car, for example, only play CDs that you’ve purchased. If you play CDs that you’ve burned—even if they’re legal—your Scouts may not recognize the difference between those and the pirated CDs friends have given them.
    It gets worse, though:

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