The CD is 36 years old today.

On August 17 1982 the first one went on sale in Germany, a recording of Chopin's waltzes.

Billy Joel's album 52nd Street followed in October.

Of course in those days they were still called compact discs, and they were quite exciting.

They were shiny and silver - although tilt them at the right angle and they revealed all the colours of the rainbow, which lent them a certain space-age quality.

They were said to be extremely resilient and impossible to scratch. Buy one, I figured, and it could double as a frisbee on summer days.

And I looked forward to owning them. I regarded them as among the trappings of that 1980s species, the yuppie - and one of my early teenage ambitions was to become one.

By the time I first bought the equipment for playing them, however, I was much too left wing for that - perhaps reflected in the fact that the first I owned was the Billy Bragg album William Bloke .

It was 1999, so quite late in the day. By 1988 they had overtaken vinyl LPs as the most popular music format, and the following year they overtook cassette tapes.

And they were everywhere. Music shops promoted them with discounts, for which I often fell.

They would offer deals such as £5.99 each or two for £10. I ended up buying some I wasn't sure I really wanted just in order to save £1.98.

As a result, Enya's Watermark , James Galway playing popular classics and The Best of Hothouse Flowers all ended up in charity shops.

You would forever find free ones with Sunday newspapers. I don't remember ever playing any of those that fell from their folds, though they did serve as futuristic-looking coasters for mugs.

Now it sounds as if CDs had already entered middle age by the time I started my collection. Less than 20 years later they're well into their declining years.

That decline began gradually in 2003, shortly after the first MP3 players appeared.

Since then it has accelerated. With the advent of downloading, the CD - which had looked and felt so much like the technology of the future - has become the music format of yesterday.

Yet the music formats of the day before yesterday seem to be coming back.

The "vinyl revival" is well documented and has been underway for 10 years now. Sales of old-fashioned LPs have increased every year since 2007.

Now cassette tapes are also undergoing something similar.

Last year there was a 43 per cent rise in sales of them. Kylie Minogue's latest album Golden was released on tape and became the fastest-selling cassette of the year.

I didn't buy it. I'm more likely have root canal work without local anaesthetic. But I was pleased by the vote of confidence in the old technology.

This is partly because I've often been described as a technophobe, by myself as well as by others.

I don't dispute for a minute that computers, smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and the like are useful and that we need to get to grips with them.

It's just that I don't feel entirely comfortable with them. I've never particularly liked digital technology much and strongly suspect that it doesn't like me much either.

At first glance the renewed popularity of cassettes is harder to account for than the vinyl revival. People talk of how album sleeves used to be artworks that couldn't be properly appreciated on a small CD leaflet, and that there was something authentic about the crackles and clicks of old LPs - a different listening experience than the squeaky cleanliness of CDs.

And carrying a square, flat plastic bag from a record shop was a powerful status symbol at school. A tape or CD would fit in your schoolbag.

But tapes had a great advantage over records and CDs. A packet of five 90-minute blank tapes provided room for 10 albums' worth of music.

Of course the music industry disliked it, and ran campaigns declaring "home taping is killing music", which was rubbish. Home taping was spreading music, especially to people who couldn't afford to buy it all brand new.

All home taping did was reduce record companies' profit margins a little - which they could easily afford. No record labels were going to close down in the face of TDK D-90 cassettes.

Some are suggesting that the vinyl and cassette tape revivals are partly down to hipsters looking for new sources of retro-chic.

If so, then we can trust them to renew interest in good old-fashioned CDs in the years to come. I'll be keeping all mine.