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Spinning silver for the holidays

  • Story Highlights
  • CD box sets include San Francisco sound, murder ballads, Radiohead
  • DVD box sets include Stanley Kubrick, Spike Jones, "Bourne" collection
  • Box sets offer variety, convenience
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(CNN) -- It's not a bad little storage apparatus: a disc of plastic and foil, encoded with digital representations of sound and image, never physically touched by the laser beam with which it's read.

"The Jason Bourne Collection" puts together the films in the trilogy starring Matt Damon.

Already it's being replaced by the next thing: the information itself, downloaded through high-speed lines and stored on other contraptions, such as hard drives and flash drives.

But, for now, the DVD and compact disc remain with us. And while they do, they're still the primary repository of that aggregation called the box set.

On the CD side, the selection appears to be getting thinner. (Are we reaching a critical mass in repackaging an artist's oeuvre or recapitulating the history of a genre?)

Nevertheless, there are a number of notable entries this year: a history of San Francisco psychedelia, a collection of tragic ballads, Radiohead's entire catalog. (In a nod to the future, Radiohead's label also is releasing the group's box on -- yes -- a flash drive.)

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This year's DVDs, on the other hand, tap a seemingly inexhaustible vein of material, from a classic German miniseries to the some recently uncovered Spike Jones TV broadcasts.

Click here » for some box selections and other entertaining gift ideas. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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