The compact disc may be dying, but Hudson Valley music lovers still can't seem to get enough of them.

With retail chains like Best Buy pulling CDs from their shelves, many consumers have been lead to believe that the digital music format is destined for the trash heap of history. And while it's true that sales of compact discs have fallen considerably since the 1990s, a local music expert says the format is still alive and well in the Hudson Valley.

Justin Johnson from Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie says that last year consumers purchased 87 million compact discs. While that's way down from the 950 million purchased back in 2000, it's still a huge market share, especially for a so-called "dying" music format. Johnson says there are many reasons that music fans are still picking up their music on CD, especially here in the Hudson Valley.

CD Sales Rebound In First Quarter Of 2004
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According to Johnson, there are many reasons why Hudson Valley residents still cling to their CDs. Many consumers still own cars with CD players in them. Because of the spotty cell service in our area, many times it's more reliable to pop in a CD instead of having your streaming music service go in and out while driving around town.

Collectors also seem to be holding on to their CDs for the unique packaging and rare tracks that aren't available online. And as for quality, Johnson says that CDs offer the best quality in digital music; much better than any songs you're streaming or listening to MP3 versions of.

Johnson says the compact disc craze is showing no signs of slowing down in the Hudson Valley. He predicts that CDs will continue to remain popular for quite some time. In fact, another ancient music format that has been on life support for a while has even seen a comeback in recent months. Don't throw away your walkman just yet. Johnson says Darkside Record has begun selling a good number of cassette tapes.

If you want to check out Darkside Record's inventory of over 20,000 compact discs you can visit them at their Poughkeepsie location on Route 44. Business hours and directions are available on their website.