Wednesday, January 19, 2011

THE RAPID DECLINE OF CD PACKAGING... it too much to ask for protective measures?
With alarmingly increasing numbers, the Compact Discs you buy are being packaged in Cardboard or Posterboard sleeves, and I don't like this development one bit. The packagers are always saying that they're protecting the environment by wrapping up your CD in allegedly organic material. On one level, it makes sense, and although I'm not gonna go out and hug a tree after I post this, yes, we need our trees. you've no doubt found out by now, CD's are very delicate. One little dust particle on your disc, and the player sounds like Armageddon, making all kinds of rude electronic skip-noises. (I do know that CD skips sound weird, and a CD that skips sounds a lot more bizarre than a record that skips...)
One of the first times I'd run across this allegedly ecological development was back a few years ago when I bought the new Eagles CD. It's a double-disc set, and both discs are housed in a stiff pseudo-cardboard package, which makes about as much sense as filling up your car's gas tank with Clorox. CD's are very, Very easy to scratch, so why do the CD packagers force the consumer to slide the disc in and out of a cardboard cover, exposing it to Wood Fibers? Eyeglass specialists tell you that it's not a good idea to polish your lenses with toilet paper. Paper can scratch Plastic, as well as Glass, after all. Why, then, is a plastic CD, which is nowhere near as durable as Glass Lenses, packaged in a damn pasteboard sleeve? This really sticks in my craw. (Actually, I don't know what a craw is, but it sounds good.) The folks who came up with this idea of CD packaging say it's The Right Thing To Do. They say the packaging is Ecologically-friendlier-than-ever to the Environment. Balderdash. I think the CD companies do it to save money, but they trumpet their cause with politically-oriented justifications, so that we can pay to have a CD in a type of packaging that can, and does, harm the CD! And some of the packaging, (for instance, The Beatles Remasters), forces you to slide the CD in and out of a curved slit in the packaging, packing the CD in so tightly that the wood/paper fibers can do a really great job of rendering your CD unplayable after a few times. You can actually hear the friction as the CD slides in/out. It makes me absolutely CRINGE. I can work with CD's that are packaged with a straight slit along the edge, though. I keep lots of paper CD-sleeves on hand, which are lined with Cellophane on one side. I trim the top off the paper sleeve, place the CD in sleeve with the recorded side sliding on the plastic, then I shove the whole shebang into the posterboard outer sleeve in which the CD originally came in.
I'm very finnicky when it comes to caring for my records, tapes or CD's. I have my original copy of "Sgt. Pepper", which I got in 1968, and it still sounds pretty good for a a 43-year-old record that's been played on numerous rotten phonographs over and over and over. Those of you who can actually remember buying new records at your local dealer can recall that the LP came in a paper sleeve, so the LP wouldn't get marked up by the cardboard outer sleeve. Yeah, the paper sleeve did put surface scratches on the LP, but not deeply enough to affect the record's playability, since the needle tracks inside a physical groove. A Cardboard-packaged CD innersleeve comes in direct contact with the disc's playing surface. An insignificantly-appearing surface scratch can affect your player's laser-beam to go all askew, causing your CD to make all sorts of rude noises, best described as "Nya-Nya-Nya-Nya-Nya-a-a-a-a-a-a-a..."
As this blog has demonstrated time after senseless time, I don't know very much about anything. But I know shoddy packaging when I see it. I don't like it at ALL. It makes about as much sense as a Brick House with a Balsa-wood foundation. (Hey, I like that one!) And I think all CD owners need to address this issue. If you agree, post something about it in my Comments section, or on your blog, and then tweet-it to everyone on the planet.


Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

Do you know what I hate more then the cardboard packaging of CDs, its when you buy a CD from and when it arrives the bloody plastic CD case is cracked whilst in the postal system.... it is a HUGE pet hate of mine :)


7:05 AM  
Blogger Lil ol' me... said...

Another thing I don't like about some of the cardboard-sleeved CD's is that, sometimes the sleeves are actually too big to fit in my CD storage units!

It looks like yer tryin' to catch up on yer blog readin'...don't strain your eyeballs! Nice to see ya visiting, though. Hope you're well!

2:05 AM  

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