The thing looks like a jukebox from the Starship Enterprise.

Actually, it's the hottest item in radio today: a CD machine. And KSOP has entered the CD age with gusto, shelving all its tapes and albums to make way for the future."We have this big room full of out-of-date record albums now," says station manager Henry Hilton. "It's like a tomb."

Adds Don Hilton, who handled the CD change-over: "We went from a room full of records, to a wall of tapes, to just a little box of CDs. Things are getting smaller and smaller. I don't know what things will look like next."

KSOP is 100 percent CD now. "We were able to work out most of the bugs before going on the air," says Hilton, "though one of the boxes was not aligned and needed repair."

The advantage CDs have over LPs is the discs are all contained in the Sony jukebox and are never touched by human hands. The music you hear today will sound just as clean in the year 2001. The discs, of course, are much better for sound reproduction than tape.

"And one other advantage," says Hilton, "the computer control system. The human just sets a few guidelines for the machine and it handles all the rest."

This talk of "humans" and "machines" sounds a little sci-fi. But the station is happy to press where no man has gone before, and check things out.

"I think all stations will be either CD or DAT in the future," says Hilton. "Pretty much all our music is available on CD now, and we get new discs every week with everything new on them."