Since it’s invention, the CD has had manifold uses in everyday life. And yet people are constantly becoming more and more innovative with the ways in which discs can be used. It is straightforward knowledge that CDs are used for storing files such as music, video and powerpoint software but how the media itself is being distributed is constantly changing and there are lots of new ideas that are always coming to light.
For some years now, CD media has been used for advertising – we are all familiar with the AOL software demos which come through our letter boxes! Aside from these software demonstrations, CDs can also advertise through an interactive package which draws the consumer in, or for bands who want to release a few demo songs to increase their fan base. CD media can also advertise through short films, this last being especially useful for fundraising, particularly for charities: Nothing will make someone want to help more than seeing the heart-wrenching images of a starving child or an interview with a war refugee! Here, widely distributing a short film on the issue at stake is likely to raise a lot more money than simply reading about it in the papers.
But there’s the real clincher: The high compatibility of CD media makes it very suitable to wide distribution among the general public. It is rare indeed to find a household which does not have a computer or stereo system which will run CDs thus it is pretty much guaranteed that all your customers will be able to view the information sent out.
This factor, combined with the excessively easy portability of CD media, has also lead to CDs being handed out in schools. Recordings of lectures, whole terms of work-packs and copies of specially-licenced software are regularly given out to thousands of students. Students can also take their assignments to and from school or university on CD, the wonderful rewritable nature of CD media only moving to assist this purpose. CD media can also be an invaluable learning tool in itself: Many students and adults alike use CDs to learn languages or listen to audio-books.
In the work place, too, CDs create a remote storage back-up system, archives and video or audio recordings of conferences and meetings. Similarly, archives of CCTV are also often kept on CD. Apart from keeping records, many people are now promoting their businesses with miniature CD business cards, which can contain anything from links to websites to interactive features, music, adverts or simply contact information. As you can see, CD media has endless uses.
But amongst these more serious uses, because CD media is so portable and also relatively inexpensive to create, discs are often being given out as free gifts. Not only in magazines and newspapers do we see free films or compilation albums being given away, but even with some books, too! These discs, however, are not simply presents but are another clever form of advertising as someone is much more likely to buy a product if a ‘free’ gift comes with it!
CDs are constantly being given as genuine gifts, too, not only shop bought CDs containing music or films, but also as compilation CDs, with music personal to you and the recipient, making the present poignant and more meaningful. The same idea applies to giving short home movies as gifts or audio recordings of loved ones. These, too, can be sent across the world in nothing more than an envelope, so they make excellent presents for friends and family who are far away!
Strangely enough, people have even started giving CDs out as party favours: Because data can be put onto a CD very quickly, one can copy a CD with images of the party on while the event is still going on, so the guests have a memento of the special occasion. These favours have been known to come from weddings, birthday parties, even just nights out which are especially good fun! CDs have even been known to be given as prizes, a special edition CD makes an excellent reward, or perhaps a good music CD. Special edition CDs can also be a very good advertising tool, making people buy not only the original disk, but that one, too!
So you can see that CDs have a multitude of purposes, and CD media is one of the most useful tools at our disposal, not only in the workplace and at school, but also as a form of advertisement and as a cunning hook to get customers interested in your product. Aside from this they can also make personal, fun gifts with films, music, games and photos. It is perhaps this adaptability and variation, alongside CDs high compatibility, inexpensiveness and portability, which makes CD media so popular in the world today.