To complete my apparent transition back to five years ago, I've also returned to buying more music on CD (that's "compact disc" for you youngsters) and even LPs (that's "long play" record for hipster newbies). As someone who actually owned the first Rio Diamond mp3 player, it feels odd to go back in time. Odd, but good. I'd forgotten how sweet the sound is. Thank you Horace Silver.
I love the flexibility of digital – streaming music around the house is fantastic. But I can do that with the music on those little silver discs. Better yet, I can stream or listen to that freed music on any darn device I want, untied to a specific ecosystem. Bonus: my kid can check out my near 30-year collection of music without scrolling down a computer screen. Why were the furs psychedelic? Which member of this group is named Pink? It's a library of the musical life that can be unboxed even after I'm put in one.
(Read more: Apple 2014—Don't call it a comeback)
Apple, listen up, because Amazon is getting it right. In another genius move, when you buy a CD, Amazon often lets you download the digital version right away. Consumers get the best of both worlds. You can feel young and old in one purchase.
The trends for print circulation, ad rates and CD sales indicate that I may well be the only one in America returning to the old way. It's a hard time to be physical in a digitally ephemeral world. Print and CD sales trends are likely to get worse before they get better, if they get better.
Follow me on Spotify if you will. It's great, especially to discover music, and I'm there. But right now I'm going to pour a glass of wine, throw in a CD and sit down with the latest issue of whatever magazine is sitting on my coffee table. And hey, spills are less costly this way. Besides, recycling day doesn't come for a week.