Media and Consumption

Media and Consumption

My long-suffering mother, Scorpio, bought me my first iPad, which lives on in another’s hands now. That first one was a perfect gift as it was something I wouldn’t have purchased for myself, yet proved totally utilitarian. It was followed when I bought an iPad 2 with its snappy red cover and that iPad was quickly replaced by my third gen iPad, which I’m writing on, even now. I like the way the Red Smart Cover stayed with me even though the hardware is swapped out. I have yet to upgrade to iPad 4, perhaps waiting for another revision: iPad 5s with 8-plex core xenon? Maybe next month.

I was sitting in a meeting, and a friend misplaced her iPad for a moment, just hiding it behind the table’s centerpiece, but that momentary panic did garner my comment, “It’s not the hardware but what’s on it.” My material tends to be backed up, no, it’s not the hardware but what’s on it.

What triggers this harrowing thought process, is the ad, it’s a recent movie, “Own it NOW on Blue Ray”!

Personally I own, maybe, a half dozen, wait, I’ve got a number of Shakespeare plays on DVD, but other than that, I think I’ve only got a few movies of any kind on hard retrieval system, DVD, tape, or even CD. No tape player, no way to play a cassette, and then, I don’t think I even got a working DVD player now, other than laptop and desktop computers.

So I don’t want to “Own it now!” Really, doesn’t do me much good. The only media that I do own, books, and even then, I try to only keep books that find myself referring back to, with a few texts and textbooks scattered in the library, as well. Fewer and fewer “strictly sentimental” books remain with me. Years of living in a trailer park will introduce that kind of pruning and picking process.

I recall paying a huge amount of money for a movie on video tape, and after that, the idea of collecting films, blockbuster or otherwise, seemed vacant.

There’s a second part of this equation, back to the old East Austin days, I used to subscribe to the daily paper. I cancelled that when I realized I was reading the same news stories the night before, online, before the paper came out, quite possibly from the same wire service. That was one moment when everything changed: I sat down with a morning paper, and reread the news I’d seen the evening before, and even then, the was on one of those tiny Macintosh screens. Itty-bitty thing, it was, 9-inch diagonal? Sure, the good, old days. CRT monitors? No more daily paper for me.

Media and Consumption

The ad says, “Own it now,” but with instant-on, and on-demand, what really matters? In fact, did any of it matter? Do I want to own a blu-ray copy, that’s like 4K more pixels than before, right? Do I really want to own movies? How many times must I watch a movie to make it worthwhile?

The life-cycle of films, which is an odd name, as they are — anymore — digital products, is something like a few weeks or months in theaters then cable, DVD (and now Blu-Ray), iTunes, Amazon, and eventually, where all movies go to die: Netflix. Actually, Netflix is kind of fun, trolling for the video equivalent of rich and overlooked B-sides. Plus the new series.

Media and Consumption

So do I want to own copies of movies? Not really. Not digital, not plastic, not even tape.

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