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Congrats! I bought you some access rights!

21 January 2013

I’m planning to go to Las Vegas next month (because Vegas called, and it misses Jeremy and me). A friend who knows this emailed me and asked me to pick him up some local hip-hop demo CDs. If you’ve never been to Vegas, there are about a hundred dudes on the street selling their demos for about $5-10. Usually, they’re worth every penny.

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The first thought I had when I got that email this morning is how is he going to listen to those?

I had to think about it, but I guess I could listen to demo CDs in my car, though I’m not sure of that player actually still works. I listen to SiriusXM while driving. I know I have at least one functional CD player at home, but…

Look, I have CDs. Loads of them. Mostly, they sit in the rack in my office at home and take up space. I don’t remember the last time I put one on — even when I was cleaning the office and putting in a new desk on Saturday, I just CTRL+A’d the 311 folder on my office laptop and hit Enter. This happened no more than three feet from the rack that held not only that CD, but about 500 others.

More and more, most people I know aren’t getting their media in any physical form. They’re simply paying for access rights to digital media — songs and movies downloaded from Amazon or iTunes, streaming access to rotating content of movies and TV through Netflix or Amazon Prime. I have a Blu-Ray player, and I rarely buy any discs for it. I use it all the time, though, because it has Netflix on it.

So what’s your opinion on this, folks? Is a decline in physical media inevitable, and if so, is that a good or a bad thing?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 21 January 2013 0718

    There are books I want on a shelf and…many more that I’m fine having digitally. I like the lack of clutter from digital things (and the portability), even though I do sometimes wonder about the evolution of the technology. Still, the CD will give way to other technology (already is); we no longer listen to wax cylinders…so even with physical media, one deals with a replacement factor. My real only gripe about e-books is DRM technology and that Amazon, if they desire, can wipe the books on your reader. But that just gives rise to places selling/trading DRM-free e-books nobody can wipe from a device.

    Maybe if I wasn’t in a small apartment I’d be fine with more physical things, but outside of some things with sentimental value that have been passed down from family, I’m not particularly attached to physical things. I like that I can just watch a movie without owning the movie. I like that I can carry a library in my pocket on my phone.

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