Back in the day I was a CD purchasing king. I could waltz over to my local Wal*Mart (I know, I know) and buy the latest and greatest pop, emo, rock, rap, funk, soul or blues album for under $14. Talk about good times. I purchased CD's at the rate of 5-6 per month, which was a lot for a high school student making only .50 cents over minimum wage. Then, times changed. Suddenly, there was this new thing: "Kazaa". No one knew how to pronounce it; "kuh-zAH" or "kAZ-AH", but we all knew this: it meant free music. CD prices were skyrocketing: $18 for an album?? Are you kidding? That was two and a half long hours of labor for the average high schooler. Immediately, Kazaa seemed like a really, really cool thing. New album you want? Just double-click on that handy little icon and BAM, you have millions of songs at your disposal, all totally free, all instantly available. The funny thing was, none of us stopped to think of the consequences. We were, in fact, stealing anothers creation; all our beloved artists were seeing CD sales drop, and were thus forced to raise prices to make up for their losses. Of course we filesharers, being total geniuss of economics, couldnt fathom why this could happen, so the file sharing continued. Eventually, some group of mean old people known as the RIAA waved their canes and walkers in the air and yelled STOP!, and more or less, it did. More than a few music-swappers started to think, I love my music, I dont want to rip off artists, but CDs are just too expensive what to do? Thankfully, new forms of music purchasing and downloading appeared; there is the great and (almost too) powerful iTunes Music Store, put out by Apple Computer, Napster, MusicMatch, and so on. Out of the blue, artists had a way to make a few cents per song downloaded. But what happened to the CD? The album? The record, the recording, the EP, the LP, all those wonderful physical things we could lust after, counting down until the release date, someday wishing to hold them in our hands? We were suddenly listening to music existing only in ether- we had no shiny CDs or vinyls to hold, and no album artwork to read and ponder over. I, too, was taken by this download craze, but a part of me missed the CD; I missed the frustration of not having a CD player in my car, or a portable one with me while riding home from the store after purchasing a new album; I missed the aggravation at having to rip open those tamper proof CD wrappers; but most of all, I missed the reality of the CD. It was there: I could see it, hold it, and put it in a player and play it. Today, I purchased my first CD in six months. For those of you who are curious, it was the new Blink-182 album but thats not whats important: its about getting back to where things music- started: the album. -By me, Sethypoo, aka, Seth D.