Why Less Physical Media Makes Sense

This is Part One. This is Part Two:

“Variety is important. Have you ever rented a video or a film that you’ve already seen?
Get a f**king life.” – Tony Robbins

I always buy CDs when I can. This has made me comfortable that there is less chance of losing my music in a computer crash than if I bought everything on iTunes. It has also resulted in a lot less shelf space.

So why the change? With Spotify, you don’t pay for ownership, you pay for access. If my computer crashes it doesn’t matter. All the music is still there in the cloud. There is also iTunes Match, but I can’t get it on a mobile device without an iPhone. Of course, Spotify still lacks in selection, but I don’t think I’ll completely eliminate all CDs just yet.

I buy Movies for a different reason, but thinking about it now, I don’t know what it is. I have a shelf of DVDs and Blu-rays in my room, four seasons of Lost, multiple Lord of the Rings and Star Wars box sets, and about 20 other movies that are really good.

And they sit there and I don’t watch them.

They are good movies, I wouldn’t have bought them if they weren’t. It’s just that there are so many new options out there, why waste your time on something you have already seen? Now there’s always those few that you don’t mind popping in a second or third time, but even if you have to rent a movie five times it would still be cheaper to rent it five times than buy it.

Books are the least of my worries, they take up more room per unit than a CD or DVD, but there’s something different about a book. Not so different though, that I’m going to resist e-readers. They’re coming, so people who like to smell books are just going to have to deal with it.

Kevin Kelly says there is really not much need to purchase something—especially if it’s coming from the cloud—more than five seconds before you are going to consume it. And as I look around my room at various piles of books that I’m probably never going to read, I would have to agree with him. They all looked good when I bought them, but interests change. Apparently a lot quicker than I can read.

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