CD-ROMs and Between the Lakes Group
Our longer term customers will remember when Between the Lakes Group started selling CD-ROMs full of historical material.
The first we offered was one of material from Liberty, NY — still the locality for which we have the most products available. The CD sold well, telling us that people were happy buying historical material on CDs, and encouraging us to continue to build our historical republication business. We followed with more than 30 additional CD-ROMs of historical material.
But that was “then”. Just as, back then, we were witnessing the demise of computer media like 3 1/2 inch “floppy” drives, today we are in the process of another technology sea change — and that is the demise of the CD-ROM as a highly popular vehicle for moving and storing information.
To tell the truth, we’ve seen this day coming for quite a while. We began shifting our new publications to downloads several years ago, and we’ve not produced a new CD-ROM in at least five years. During those years we’ve produced well over 200 downloads, and we intend to continue along that route.
The internet rules today, and the day of the CD-ROM has passed. Every week or so we hear from a customer who bought one of our CDs a few years ago and who now has a computer that doesn’t even have a drive that can read CDs. Beyond directing them to their local public library to find a PC that can read their CDs, or suggesting that they purchase a USB-connected portable CD reader, we have little we can offer these folks.
Except for one thing: we can reissue the material on our CD-ROMs as downloads. In fact, that’s what we’ve already done with some of the less popular CDs, and we’ve not yet heard a single complaint!
Once the material is available as downloads, we’ll keep the CDs available for sale until we run out, and then we’ll discontinue the CD versions. Presto! We will be living in more modern times.
Benefits for you, our customers, include:
- Instant gratification. You can download the material you want with no waiting for the postman.
- Lower prices. It costs us far less to provide material to you via download than it does via CD-ROM, and we pass those savings along to you.
- More material available. Producing a new download can happen almost as soon as we have the material — no waiting until we have a CD-ROM full of stuff.
- No deteriorating CDs. We’ve not seen this problem yet, but we’ve been advised to expect CDs that we shipped a decade ago will begin to fail.
- Easier to store your information. You can put the PDF file of our download right in the same folder on your computer where you store your own notes on that subject, not in a paper folder or a CD box somewhere to misplace or discard in error.
At any rate, you will see this process — the process of converting from CD-ROM to downloads — speeding up going forward. We think you’ll be very happy with the result!
To see what we have for a particular locality or interest of yours, why not visit our catalog today!