But, will it live to see 27?

Should it?

I say "yes" or something like it should survive.

It speaks to a bigger issue; what is it's purpose?

The CD as a primary delivery source for recordings of any kind (In English: Buying a CD to get a copy of the latest Coldplay album or book on tape...) is doing a fast fade.

Similarly, who buys software on CD-Roms or DVDs anymore?

Downloading is in. Buying hard copies is out.

Owning a hard copy of a software application or Springsteen's latest, greatest; well, that's a whole other story.

I do think the CD, the CD-ROM and the DVD aren't going anywhere, anytime soon. But, their purpose is already changing. They are increasingly more for back-up purposes. Files on hard drives get corrupted or lost. iPods die.

When these formats truly breathe their last, it won't be because downloaded file formats took their place. It will be flash drives and something else.

Meantime, happy birthday to the CD!

This is a generation gap thing. Young whipper snappers don't remember the frustrations of scratched vinyl albums, not being able to jump around and listen to songs out of order or the jarring "ka-chung" half way through "Stairway to Heaven" on an eight- track tape.

In other words, there's a whole generation of young professionals out there who have no recollection or experience living in a linear world.

I do. I remember when the CD revolution was truly a revolution in sound quality, data storage and convenience.

Scott Thill from Wired has a quite a diatribe knocking the CD on his blog from the weekend. I don't think Scott and I graduated from high school the same year (or the same decade, perhaps millenium).

Scott berates the CD for the all paper and plastic wasted in shrinkwrap over the past 26 years. Would he have preferred the much larger packaging of record albums? How long will it take his old iPod to break down in a landfill? How long will it take CD packaging to break down?