The demise of physical media

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sylent, Apr 26, 2024.

  1. Sylent

    Sylent Making Cybertron great again

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    I'm probably one of the few who like having a physical library for music and movies, but with the advancement of technology, streaming and dowloads, hard copy media seems to be going by the wayside. I've never purchased a movie online to be stored in the cloud (or wherever) and don't like being at the mercy of my crappy internet to watch a film. Sure, I have Netflix, but it stalls a great deal because of our internet, and because of where we live, nothing better is currently offered.

    Best Buy first announced that they're doing away with selling physical media in their stores several months ago and then Target just made a similar annoucement shortly thereafter.

    Target confirms it’s all but completely ditching DVDs in physical stores

    I'm sure Walmart will follow suit at some point. There may be certain niche shops (like FYE, Rasputin, etc.) that continue to sell physical media, but that will be few and far between. Most of the Rasputin's in my area have already closed their doors forever. For all we know, in the not-so-distant future, video games may follow at some point and exclusively be available for downloads.

    The day after Thanksgiving was always a fun shopping day for my wife and me; we wouldn't participate in the early morning, nonsensical piranha-feed madness, but around 9am, we'd hit Target and Walmart and get our pick of inexpensive movies that we didn't get to see in theaters. This was a post-Thanksgiving activity that we enjoyed for years and it was sort of a tradition for us.

    Just wondering how everyone else feels about the demise of physical media and where this direction is headed.
     
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  2. Roger Semerad

    Roger Semerad Well-Known Member

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    My view on this is very mixed. In a perfect world I'm actually all for digital to take over. Less packaging waste, less shipping energy, and in theory easier to archive. You could even have the option to download a file to local storage to get around the bit rate restrictions and internet outages. The real problem of course is ownership. There is no reason that digital ownership couldn't be a thing, governments would just have to research and intelligently legislate it, and of course there is problem number one. Problem number two is that companies have been aggressively trying to stip away the very concept of ownership and are heavily invested in continuing that course. This leaves me clinging to physical media for the time being, but let's be very clear here, that is a short term, stop gap solution to the very real problem of digital ownership. The actual battle we need to be waging is fighting for digital ownership, not keeping physical going forever. Because physical isn't going to stay around forever and we need a brighter future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2024
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  3. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    This could very well be a thing that comes in cycles. Digital distribution has made access a lot easier and cheaper for some media, but folks are starting to see the downsides too. Some are starting to miss the security, or just pleasure of ownership, of physical media. A reminder that in TYOOL 2024, Walmart is selling Vinyl records again. Cassette tapes are available again at fine music stores.

    Physical media's demise is greatly exaggerated.
     
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  4. Nightwind

    Nightwind Aka Dusty Bottoms.

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    My 9-year-old daughter jokes about how "Daddy likes to own his games" because of how often I've told her in the past that I prefer purchasing physical media over digital whenever possible.

    My primary concern regarding digital media is the unfortunate ownership gray area that @Roger Semerad mentioned. If it were possible to guarantee that I won't be losing access to a movie, game, etc. that I paid money for, then I would have moved much more in the direction of digital. That being said, I feel like it's almost impossible to not own at least some form of media in a digital format now. Ease of access, price, or even lack of availability in physical form make it really difficult to have not invested in that format at least to a small degree.

    If for no other reason than nostalgia, physical media will never completely disappear from my home. There's a special sort of satisfaction with the sounds of a VHS tape running while watching a movie, the click of inserting a game cartridge, the fuzz from cassette playback, or the whirring disc as your CD starts that can't be replicated.
     
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  5. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    It depends how it's handled. For me. If it's a download with no live service element, something I can back up and keep forever, I'm fine with it.

    If it's something that can be made inaccessible because the company discounts the service and I can no longer watch it (or worse, play a single player game), I'm not ok with it.
     
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  6. CyrDraconis

    CyrDraconis Well-Known Member

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    Physical media all the way, baby. A disc or a book on my shelf that I've paid for can't be taken away from me intentionally, accidentally, or incidentally because some live service loses a license, throws a fit, or goes belly up; and it doesn't matter one whit if my internet goes out either.
     
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  7. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde 狡猾の死神

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    Digital media is absolutely convenient but I 1000% will always prefer owning these things physically.

    The thing with digital media that most people just accept even if they don't realize it is that when you buy something on a digital storefront like Steam, you don't truly OWN it. I know that sounds weird but at any point for a variety of reasons you could lose the ability to access the software, you're moreso buying a LICENSE to access these games but you don't actually own the game even though you bought it.

    That's not me telling you to never use digital storefronts, I've used them plenty because they're super convenient and so forth but they do have their downsides and I'm cognizant of that going in... Not even getting into all the live-service crap basically rendering a game you bought useless or incomplete once these companies stop supporting it.

    Sony killed Gravity Rush 2 after like a year, and that leaves quite a bit of content impossible to access now without modifying / hacking your system. Or the case of Skull Girls where the spineless twat devs censored their game like 10 years after it released... Owning these things physically (and I guess... disconnected from the internet) would prevent this sort of crap.

    One of the primary reasons I despise live service games is that once the company stops supporting it, same with games that need to be online in order to work... The game becomes unplayable.
     
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  8. RyanTheNerd

    RyanTheNerd #1ryoko simp and inhumanoids fan

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    I love and collecting/hoarding physical media for things I love like kaiju giant monsters films anime tv series that weren’t on streaming platforms i do enjoy the ease of streaming for watching things but i still keep on buying them i don’t think i will miss the dvds isles of retainers i do use Amazon and online to get my stuff so i probably won’t get sad about it
     
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  9. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    There is actually a petition going around the UK about that issue.
    Due to the board rules I won't link to it, but it isn't offensive or anything.
    Basically they are asking for a law that:
    Require publishers to leave videogames (and related game assets / features) they have sold to customers in a reasonably working state when support ends, so that no further intervention whatsoever is necessary for the game to function, as a statutory consumer right.

    As for physical media yes, I go in that direction so much so that my Games/Bluray-DVD collection take up multiple rooms at this point and I need to reorganize again as I have some piles just sitting on chairs and shelves till I have time to make room and alphabetize and categorize again.
     
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  10. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    I have a hard time trusting someone else to maintain a library of stuff that I have access to, so I'd rather have it myself. If physical copies are going to be going the way of the dodo, then I'm going to have to get the burning as fast as possible so I can stock up. Maintaining physical copies is the whole reason that I can bust out my PS2 and go on a gaming run any time I damn well feel like it. I can't do that if I rely on them all being on a server that suddenly crashes because somebody didn't have the foresight to have a backup generator for their cloud system.
     
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  11. rattrap007

    rattrap007 One meme mutha f’er TFW2005 Supporter

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    I am a strict need to own physical media type of guy. I have 1570+ dvd/br/4k titles at last check. All categorized on iCollect. I try and upgrade all the time. If it is on my shelf i can always pop it in and watch it. A lot are not on streaming.

    I like streaming fine, but prefer to buy it. I recently upgraded to a PS5 and made certain to buy a disc version. Even with games they drop services and half a game or the entire thing becomes useless.
     
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  12. zappatton2

    zappatton2 Well-Known Member

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    My general hope is that physical media doesn't disappear entirely, but I think, at least for the rest of my lifetime, there will always be just enough "collectors" to keep it alive. I do have a bunch of DVDs and VHS tapes, but I'm not really a "movie guy" in a collector sense, and most of those were purchased when those were normal ways to watch films.

    Music is another story. I'm a lifelong album collector, nearly all my disposable income goes to physical records, CDs and tapes. Hell, quitting cigarettes was easy when I'd just remind myself of all the music I'd be able to afford! But that's me, and I'm a dwindling demographic, I hear lots of new artists that I like, but when I go looking for an album, it's all just singles via some streaming platform. Grr.

    The one thing that give me hope is that we've got like 7 records shops within an easy commuting distance for me, they all seem to be thriving, and easily half the demographic of shoppers look to be in their teens and twenties. But that's pretty anecdotal on my part, I imagine physical media will have occasional surges in popularity over the coming years, but will anyone be producing actual albums and movies 100 years from now? Barring perhaps personal 3D printers turning stuff like that old for old-timey enthusiasts, I doubt it.
     
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  13. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    There are two main things that have slowed my physical media collecting to a crawl. Money and space. My house is small and modest, if I bought everything that was just on my plex server, I'd need a small fuckin' library to house the discs. And the other is that while prices for blurays and the like have remained more or less stable despite rising costs elsewhere, its still something I feel I can give up

    Even if I added up the amount its costs for the streaming services, since I mainly watch television shows, a years worth of fees would still probably not get me the complete collections of everything I've watched on them.
     
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  14. Venixion

    Venixion Its always the middle of the night in Moonside

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    It's still chugging on, so I'm not worried. I think there will always be a consumer demand for it. I don't understand why modern consumers beg to be screwed over?

    Electronic waste is still physical waste. So that particular argument doesn't wash. And books, movies, and music last longer then the average phone or computer if cared for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2024
  15. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 Optimus, serving up the primest of ribs since 1984

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    Part of this is the improvement in Internet access speeds in more rural areas in the US to a point that it is much more viable for folks like myself that live in such areas to download larger files/software and to stream media.
     
  16. Roger Semerad

    Roger Semerad Well-Known Member

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    My first post left out my own personal feelings on physical vs. digital, so I'll rectify that now. With one exception, I've never felt an attraction to physical media itself. My interest is the media contents, not the wrapper. When people say things like "putting a cartridge into a console elevates the experience for me", I accept that it's a real feeling, but don't feel it myself. Likewise to looking at a physical collection on a shelf. For whatever reason, I've never got any strong feelings about these things. I do feel them when it's an object where the physical part of it is important to what it is intrinsically, like a transforming toy, but not from media. I do feel something about my physical video game collection, but it's tied to the fact that these are my specific games I grew up with. They are mementoes from my past. That feeling doesn't transfer to media I might buy now, whether it's vintage or modern.

    The one exception to this is print media: books, magazines, art books, video game instruction manuals and the like. I couldn't tell you why exactly, it's just a feeling I have. I do just enjoy having a book physically. I imagine that's the same way others in this thread feel about other physical media.
     
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  17. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot What does God need with a starship?

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    It's so much easier for me or daughter to go through our organized dvd collection and pop a disc in compared to when she wants to watch netflix, we get 10 errors, a log out, another error, the movie abruptly stops in the middle, etc. On MAX she was watching Scooby Doo, and season 2 would never load, she go and watch something else, and we kept trying season 2 everyday, eventually just bought the whole season on DVD. Would rather have DVDs/blu-rays. Whatever you kids call it these days.
     
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  18. Atomic Tofu

    Atomic Tofu Well-Known Member

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    So, I think I didn't miss it....or maybe my focus is different for physical media.
    To start, as a "kid", I wasted too much money on DVD tuesdays. Now I TRY to be selective on my bluray/4k purchases.
    But for me, the reason to purchase physical is quality. No compression artifacts.
    Now I don't know if streaming or the internets has improved to the point there are more artifacts, but if it is...I guess for me there would be no issue.
    For the record, I purchased Laserdiscs, because from then until now, my internets hasn't been all that good. I downgraded from the boonies to the remote boonies. Maybe I'm on the low tier. :p 
     
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  19. vatarian

    vatarian Archentrope, Black Needle, Suzerain of Metabolisms

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    *Starship troopers voice*
    I’m doing my part! I fully intend to buy my own record player/faux-antique phonograph and start a collection of vinyls, as soon as a few paychecks from a new job come in.
     
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  20. prfctcellrulz

    prfctcellrulz Pokémon Trainer/WWE Champion

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    Physical media? Dying?



    Yeah there’s between .00000001 and ABSOLUTE zero percent chance of that happening.

    Not to mention I STILL have all my physical media; both my DVDs AND my CD collection that I combined with my dad’s that I inherited when he passed away last year (seen below)

    IMG_2497.jpeg
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