Happy 30th birthday to the compact disc! It?s amazing that 30 years ago a few Dutchmen at Philips with some help from Sony created the Compact Disc as part of an optical digital audio disc demo in 1979. Three years later on October 1, 1982, Billy Joel?s 52nd Street became the first CD album released in Japan alongside Sony?s CDP-101 Compact Disc Player.

Seems like only yesterday when I bought my first CD, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? by The Cranberries back in 1993 and made the transition from tapes to CDs. Over the years, my CDs have collected more and more dust and have recently only been used to download music onto my computer and then recycled into coasters. Like the revolution witnessed in the 1980?s, the music medium is transforming once again as digital storage emerges and replaces CD collections.

Like most consumers, I download data onto my personal computer and then synch it from one device to another or stream through a home network to an entertainment system. The drawback of this is if my hard drive crashes, all data is lost and is very difficult to recover. My computer has a 500GB hard drive that comes standard on most home computers but sometimes this is not enough space for some, including myself. So I switched from storing data on my hard drive onto a home server.

A home server acts as a central storage hub for a consumer?s personal content and multiple devices can link to it in order to stream or otherwise access music, video, or other data. A home server will even automatically backup all the content stored on any connected device and servers are far less likely to crash. According to a Forrester Research survey, the number of people viewing photos on their computers rose from 26 percent in 2002 to 47 percent in 2007. The percentage of those owning a MP3 player went up from 3 percent to 36 percent during the same time period.

My digital content has grown substantially over the years and burning everything onto a CD is not feasible anymore. Personally, I download music off of iTunes, store it onto my home server, and organize all of my content digitally. Apparently many consumers are going this route as studies show that over the past few years CD singles sales have drastically fallen.

Sine I download all my music via the internet and store all my data onto my home server, CD usage for me has dropped substantially. CDs went from a new music medium, to data storage devices, which eventually led to the emergence of digital content. I?ll always be reminded of the CDs 30 year history every time I place my glass on that Cranberries CD on my coffee table.