The AOL CD is now a screaming buy
AOL's laying off 5,000 employees -- but we'll hardly shed a tear for those "customer-retention specialists" who made canceling AOL service such a hellish ordeal. Instead, we'll save our sympathies for those folks who designed and mailed countless millions of AOL CD-ROMs. Now that AOL's no longer marketing its dying dial-up service, we won't have the iconic AOL CD to toss into our trash anymore.

As maligned as it is, the AOL CD got millions of Americans onto the Internet for the first time, speeding the explosive growth of the Internet economy. But of course you didn't have to particularly like AOL to be an aficionado of the colorful disks; has collected almost 400,000 in an effort to persuade AOL to stop mailing them. (You won, guys.) Other avid collectors just like the looks of the CDs, organizing their freebies by version, number of free hours, and the fictional character featured. (After AOL bought Time Warner, the publisher of, in 2001, Warner Bros. characters like Bugs Bunny and Harry Potter started showing up on CDs.) Another CD-obsessed individual built a throne out of 4,000 CDs.

If you want to start your collection now, it's not too late. Even the rarest CDs are going for $7 or less on eBay. That's a steal, since AOL won't be mailing out CDs much longer. As with any other discontinued collectible, prices can only go up.

Photo by compujeramey
Posted by Owen Thomas 1:48 PM 1 Comments comment | Add a Comment

RATS//// NO MORE CD's? I was planning on using them on my sailboat. They can be hung on the shrouds and lines to keep the birds away. Now I will have to really "buy" something.
Posted By Mike, Tulsa, OK : 7:58 AM  

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