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Going Solo: CD Players That Stand Alone

As consumers of recorded music and hi-fi equipment, we are at a crossroads. For most of us, the CD and CD player have reigned as the principal means for music playback for nearly 20 years. And though the CD will continue its dominance in the realm of music reproduction-no matter the digital download trend-many of us have amassed disc collections numbering in the thousands, and the selection in the marketplace is still nothing short of astounding-most consumers today are switching to the multitasking DVD player as their main vehicle for playback.

The DVD player has, in the seven years since its introduction in 1997, become the fastest selling consumer electronics product ever, with more than 90 million sold-33 million of which in the past year alone. As a result, many mass-market audio-equipment manufacturers have practically abandoned the simple, conventional, stand-alone CD player in favor of all-purpose DVD machines-and for the majority of consumers, that is just fine. For typical music listening, the sound quality of a DVD player is just as good as a CD player’s it is probably replacing, and besides, who wants the clutter and hassle of two machines?

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