Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I Get All These Compact Discs

As a disc jockey (well, formerly) and a radio show producer, I get all these compact discs free. It’s a rare week when I don’t get several in the mail and they’re all mine.

“Hi; this is Pat Boone and I’d like to talk to you about the Asthma Foundation…” “Jay Leno here on behalf of the American Cancer Society…” “This is Michael J. Fox urging you to…” They are public service announcements, PSA’s, and generally run 30 or 60 seconds. Sometimes 20, 15 or even 10 seconds. Some are donuts.

Donuts? Yeah: A pre-recorded message with a “hole” in the middle for you to add a local contact message with the pre-record finishing up the spot. You hit the “start” button, check the sheet to see how long it goes before you have to insert whatever it is, then get out of there before the rest of the spot comes at you.

So you get this disc and there is a :60 for “Eat Your Vegetables,” followed by another spot, a :30, identical except it’s only half as long. Then comes a :20 next, still the same but shorter, then the :15 and the briefest rendition ever at ten seconds. You’d be surprised at how much someone can say in a calm voice in ten seconds.

I’ve seen CD’s with just one spot on them; sometimes a sixty (second) and often just a thirty. Quite a bit different from your average music disc with upwards of 76 minutes on it. What do we make of these after they are used? Ornaments on the station Christmas tree with lights shining on them; the shiny side looks great as they turn around.


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