Sunday, December 9, 2007

Physical Media Sucks

My video consumption habits are embarrassing. Firstly, I don't own a television set. Secondly, I don't download illegal videos. I actually go down to the store and rent a video (which I see on my PowerBook, rendering my Mac un-cool at least for the duration of the movie).

I pay for my music, too. I am not embarrassed to admit that I have had an e-music subscription for something like 3 years. E-music is consistently ignored as a major music downloading site, but they are probably the closest competitor to iTunes in downloads -- only they charge a quarter of the price so in revenues they are much lower. Oh, yeah, and no DRM.

I pay for this stuff because, well, frankly, I've made a lot of money in the software business, and people in glass houses... At any rate, I do think that artists and writers should be fairly compensated, and I don't mind paying something reasonable for my entertainment. (After all, I have no cable or satellite charges.)

But I am close to giving up on renting DVDs. Forget that the price still is outrageous and the selection is limited. The real problem is that the physical media sucks. I rented 3 videos this weekend. All 3 were scratched, damaged or otherwise compromised.

Okay, so the video shop compensated me or gave me another copy; but there is no compensation for sitting on a cold, rainy night on the couch with your family only to have the DVD bug out an hour into the movie.

I wish there were an e-music for video content. If anyone knows of one, let me know. I would rather see movies with fewer special effects at affordable prices, downloadable without worrying about security risks to my computer. One way or another, though, I am done with physical media. I have a feeling I will be able to find a much wider selection outside the video store.

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