I've had the same CD shelf system since, oh, 1995 or so. The CD player died about five years ago, I guess, but by then I had hooked up the DVD player to the AUX channel so I didn't really mind. Lately, however, the speakers have been intermittently spitting and hissing like disgruntled cats, so I decided it was time, time enough, and indeed high time for an upgrade. I considered one of those Bose Wave things -- a friend's dad has one and it sounded nice and took up very little space (always a consideration in a house where book storage takes priority). After some research, though, I decided I could get something just as nice, possibly sturdier, and almost as small for a hundred and fifty dollars less. So I went with a Denon DM-38, which arrived on my porch yesterday. The speakers were a bit of a hassle to set up and are going to be even more of a hassle to take down if I ever have to move them, but that's my only complaint. It's smaller than my old system but puts out just as much noise ... and it has two AUX channels in the back, which means that I can plug both the VCR (yes, I still own a working VCR) and the DVD player into it without having to use an intervening widget. It also has a USB port; I haven't tried my iPod in it yet, because my iPod is elderly and a wee bit cranky ("I don't understand these newfangled gadgets! Back in my day, you had your gig and you were grateful for it, not begging for more memory every six months ...") and the Denon, while too polite to snigger openly at it, did regard it with an air of mild condescension. ("Black and white screen, eh? How ... charmingly retro."). Or perhaps I've simply read too many of Diane Duane's more recent Young Wizards novels:
"Come on, you guys,” [Kit] said in the Speech. "All I’m asking for here is a little cooperation -- "Now I just have to figure out what to do with the old shelf system, which has responded to potential obsolescence by ... wait for it ... working. No more hissing, but a sly wink and a nudge in the direction of a possible loose connection at the back of the DVD player, know what I mean, know what I mean ... Argh. I can't throw it out if the tape deck and radio still work; my thrifty German ancestors would gather 'round and haunt me. So now I'm trying to find a place for it in the guest bedroom, which may involve buying the small computer desk I've wanted for a while. As if I need to be spending more money right before Christmas. Ah, well. If the Denon lasts fifteen or twenty years, I'll be happy enough.
"No surrender!" shouted the remote.
"Death before dishonor!" shouted the DVD player.