Remember 8-Track tapes? Neither do we. But we're told it was the beginning of the end. Up until the point that these Ninentdo cartridge-sized bundles of joy popped into the marketplace, the world seemed quite satisfied with vinyl records.

The problem: playing your records in a car is stupid. Enter the 8-track, a portable, plastic, relatively indestructible way to take your music with you.

And thus began a cycle of improved technology. The cassette gave us better portability and more storage. The CD gave us higher quality. And the iPod, with it's thousands of digital files gave us the ultimate in taking all of our music wherever we wanted to go.

Those were the good ones. But don't forget the bad ones. Remember the Sony MiniDisc player? Yeah, that didn't last too long. How about the Laser disc? Raise your hand if you feel like a moron for buying into that one.

Well, remember that feeling, folks, and feel free to be circumspect about HRA (High Resolution Audio). Is the quality better? Yes. Better enough to notice, let alone care? Probably not.

But what it will do is force you to re-purchase every album you already own, play them on the device you will inevitably get from Best Buy this Christmas, and store all those gigantic files (up to 24 times the size of your current MP3s, according to Gizmodo) on the new hard drives you're going to buy to go along with all that other stuff.

So go ahead and shop for America if the feeling moves you. Shopping is fun, the economy needs your hard earned dollars and new gear is the spice of life. Just don't fool yourself into thinking you need this stuff in order to be able to enjoy your music. Good music is good no matter what gear you play it on. And less than 1% of the population has good enough ears to discern higher sampling and bit rates from the generic stuff in a blind taste test.

Ready. Set. Shop!

Source: Gizmodo