T-Poll: When It Comes to Entertainment, How Digital Are You?

By  |  Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Technologizer's Digital Media CentralI did something this week that I haven’t done in months: I went to a big store full of shiny discs, and bought me some.  Three DVDs and two CDs, to be precise. I used to go on shopping sprees like that a lot more often, but little by little–almost without me noticing it–my collecting of entertainment in physical form has dwindled, and my downloading and streaming from services like iTunes, Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu, and Amazon Video on Demand has has shot up.

Which is not to say that I’m trying to wean myself off good old-fashioned physical media entirely. For one thing, my tastes are exotic enough that much of what I buy still isn’t available in legal form online, as far as I know–such as two of the three DVDs I picked up. (I was also startled to find one of the CDs selling for three bucks less than Apple wanted for it as an iTunes download.)

Still, I suspect the day when just about every movie, TV show, and album I want is readily available on the Web–in DRM-free form, at least with music–and probably at a price that’s unbeatable. And as hard drives get ridiculously cheap and backup options get better, I’m less hardcore than I once was about clinging to my optical discs and insisting that they’re the only truly reliable archives of all the media I’ve paid dearly for.

Which leaves me wondering: Just when will I buy my last CD and/or DVD? I’m officially guessing that it’ll happen in 2014. By which time I plan to have several hundred terabytes of redundantly backed-up storage sitting around the house, putting all my stuff at my fingertips.

As for when I’ll stop using the optical media that I’ve already bought…well, that’s a toughie. It’s probably going to be quite awhile, considering that I still own and occasionally watch VHS tapes I made in 1984.

Anyhow, time for a quick T-Poll. I’m curious whether I’m ahead of the digital-media curve or behind it…are you an fan of physical or a downloading demon, or somewhere in the middle?


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Adam Frad Says:

    May I suggest another option:
    I buy CD’s then rip them to digital then never use the CD again.

  2. Barry James Folsom Says:

    Ditto. Buy music video DVDs, rip by chapter aka tracks AND I get 5.1 surround sound playlists. The DVD is the backup. Regarding movies, use to buy, now just rent Bluray from Netflix/Blockbuster. Hollywood is making fewer movies that I want to collect – maybe I getting too old for their target movie demo 🙂

  3. Dave Barnes Says:

    Or, I buy music as downloads only and rent all my movies from Netflix.
    I plan to buy a bluray player when I see Bluray packages for $9.99 in the checkout line at Target.

  4. Jake Says:

    I haven’t bought a CD in a couple of years now. I may buy another, since a Neil Young song I’m looking for doesn’t seem to be available for download, but since I only want the one song–okay, maybe another on the album–the CD will have to cost <$5, and I’ll rip it as soon as I get it. It’s kind of a shame–I have a pretty high-quality CD player I bought in the mid-90s that still works fine and sounds better than my streamed music, but convenience wins out every time.

    As for DVDs, I’ll still be renting them for the foreseeable future. I don’t even have the flat-screen TV yet!

  5. Brent Says:

    I like my CDs. However, any TRUE audiophile will tell you that the sound from those “obsolete” vinyl records is far superior to anything else available. Seriously. MP3 files are for those who value quantity over quality. Everything is about HOW MANY songs that crappy little gizmo can hold. Has anyone ever truly raved about HOW WELL those tracks sound? Personally, I’ve never heard that from anyone. I absolutely MP3. The sound quality is awful. CDs have crisp, clean sound and they are very convenient…but, they have no “warmth.” There is a reason why vinyl is currently making a strong comeback among those who truly appreciate music for its quality and not the quantity they can aquire. Check out your local music store (No, not Wal-Mart or Target or even Best Buy…a MUSIC store…a record store. Yes, they still exist.) You’ll find many olf classics re-issued on vinyl and many brand new releases are out on vinyl as well. It’s a shame that so many people these days never experienced a good album on vinyl.

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