20 years of internet shopping

Novak: Slovak Suite etc. CD coverToday marks twenty years to the day since I first bought something online. The item was a CD of Novák’s Slovak Suite and other works, and it was bought online from hmv.co.uk for the princely sum of £11.24, plus £1 for postage. The site still exists today, although HMV must have been in administration and changed hands a few times in the intervening period.

I wanted to buy the CD after hearing the same recording, of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Libor Pešek, played regularly by John Brunning on Classic FM’s Smooth Classics at Seven. It proved impossible to find in the shops, so it had to be online. Today, I don’t think twice about buying something online. It’s still the case that I buy things in the local shops if I can find them, but in most cases it simply isn’t possible. Of course, over the last year, we’ve seen most shops closed, so online shopping has been a lifeline for everyone.

I do still buy CDs, too. The sound quality is still better than most downloads. Admittedly, I tend to buy second-hand CDs and make FLAC files out of them. Sometimes I have bought CDs containing recordings of concerts where I was in the audience, as it’s nice to have something physical as a memento.

Some things don’t change, though. The first movement, At Church, from the Slovak Suite, is still a regular on John Brunning’s Smooth Classics at Seven, and I still love it just as much as I did 20 years ago.

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