I ask, because I care. Modern technology moves ever forward but it may be that we have reached the zenith of media storage with iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive as our almost de factor storage locations. Goodbye, CD and DVD. We hardly knew ye.
Of Media & Storage
My media content storage days go back to 33 1/3 and 45 RPM albums and singles. Music. My parents had 78s and we had a record player which could play all three formats. 78s, 33 1/3s, and with an adapter, a stack of 45 RPM singles. Those days are gone, though I hear that vinyl records are making something of a comeback among audiophiles.
Since those early days of albums and singles I’ve upgraded my music collection through the 8-Track craze, a generation of smaller and higher quality cassette tapes, then CDs and DVDs which I thought might last forever. Shortsighted much? All of those formats required that I buy new media to upgrade to higher quality and to keep up with the times.
Well, CDs and DVDs have given way to online storage and streaming but far beyond mere music and video. iCloud now houses all the Mincey family photos (with backups to the Mac and external disk drives– we’re not totally dependent or willing to go all cloud yet), and our music collection is stored somewhere in the plantation but we hear what we hear via Apple Music; streaming and downloading.
In fact, a growing list of our movie collection– dating back to Sony Betamax, then VHS, then the two DVD formats– has made its way to streaming thanks to Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, et al.
The good news is that the quality has increased immeasurably and media is available on many devices. The bad news is that we continue to have to pay for upgraded formats and distribution.
Yes, we have a few bookshelves in the family room that are packed with hundreds of CDs and not quite that many DVDs but the last time we pulled one down and opened it up for visual consumption was a couple of years ago. We do not have a Mac in the entire compound that has a built-in SuperDrive, so no CDs or DVDs can be played. I bought an external USB SuperDrive a year or two ago but it was only used once. Just to see if it worked. It did. It hasn’t been used since.
Once we started buying and renting movies and TV shows on iTunes, and added to our collection higher quality AAC and MP3 music from Apple, Amazon, and elsewhere, I thought the days of paying ever more for music, movies, and TV shows would be over. Now I’m paying again for the privilege of streaming media to our growing collection of Apple devices.
Yes, I’m ready to say goodbye to CDs and DVDs because they just don’t get used as they did a decade ago, and there isn’t much choice but to join the streaming revolution as it sweeps across the land, but this ongoing subscription model also means I don’t own as much as I once did.
I rent. I’m not happy about that.
With driverless self driving cars on the way, how much longer before we don’t own our vehicles?