From what I can see in the stores, this year’s big Christmas item is going to be small, digital music devices — iPods and the like. I’ve looked at them, but anything as small as most of them would be just waiting for me to lose it. Besides I rarely listen to music when I’m out hiking, and my car and home stereos work fine elsewhere, so I really don’t need another new gadget.

That’s not to say I haven’t been exploring the wonders of digital music, as I finally did get around to getting an account for iTunes. I had a tune running through my head for a song rarely played on the radio, and I thought I would see if the store had it. It did, in a couple of variations..and then some.

I’ve since downloaded enough songs to burn my very first digital music CD–an eclectic mix of songs from the last several decades, all single songs I really like that were included on mediocre albums. After listening to it on my home stereo system, my car audio system and with a ten year old CD player that refuses to die, I found the quality to be surprisingly good. I will probably never buy another music CD again.

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