Digital or Physical media?

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Edited 8 months, 9 days ago

Poll: Digital or Physical media? (24 votes)

Digital 58%
Physical 29%
Fairly even mix 13%

It seems to me that physical media is going into the more unnecessary end of materialism. Having media centralized on a device is the way to go.

#1 Posted by Reaper4278 (338 posts) -

I was a holdout for a long time but now that I have embraced digital it is the only way to go for me.

#2 Posted by comp_atkins (31418 posts) -

its all physical

#3 Posted by Diablo-B (4039 posts) -

Both have their pros and cons but digital is more convenient especially if you don't live near a major shopping center.

#4 Posted by TheFlush (5558 posts) -

Digital, everything!
- Netflix for movies and series
- Deezer for music
- PSN for ps4 and vita games
- epub for books, cbr for comics
- manga rocks app for manga

#5 Posted by ad1x2 (5614 posts) -

It's nice to have physical copies but digital is more convenient and involves fewer moving parts. From what I have gathered, most people who are against digital feel that way either because they can't resell used software or because they think the DRM could kick in locking them out out in the future. Those are valid points, but with the current rate of technology future generations are more likely to accept it.

On the other hand, digital's biggest enemy is the growing number of ISPs who are establishing data caps. If you have a 200GB data cap you could burn through that downloading four or five PS4 or Xbone games, or by watching a few dozen Netflix movies at maximum quality.

#6 Edited by XaosII (16593 posts) -

Digital all the way. I've a 7 TB file server full of music, movies, books, games, etc. Far nicer to use throughout the house streaming to different TVs or accessing it through desktop and laptop computers.

#7 Posted by Kevlar101 (6144 posts) -

I don't like the future

#8 Edited by 10854 (109 posts) -

I like your philosophical take on it. "the more unnecessary end of materialism". That's how I view it.

#9 Posted by konvikt_17 (22235 posts) -

for music/shows that i really like, i get a physical copy.

everything else is pretty much digital.

#10 Posted by dbtbandit67 (353 posts) -

Digital is becoming more popular, but will never fully gain traction until you can rightfully re-sell the license for a digital property you own. Not being able to re-sell your license should be made illegal, in parts of Europe it already is.

Physical copies will always have that re-sale factor over digital. You own physical copies more than you own digital copies in the sense that you can play with it and also re-sell it, so it has more financial value and worth.

Hopefully one day we will be able to re-sell our digital licenses in the U.S.

#11 Posted by vl4d_l3nin (970 posts) -

@10854 said:

I like your philosophical take on it. "the more unnecessary end of materialism". That's how I view it.

There is the re-sale factor, which is a valid point, but in the end, it just takes up space and adds an extra step between you and entertainment.

#12 Posted by Master_Live (14591 posts) -

Digital pretty much for all except books and reading stuff. Plus I like to print research papers and the sort and make written annotations in them.

#13 Posted by Curlyfrii87 (14947 posts) -

Digital ... unless its a collectors addition i really wanted.

#14 Posted by ferrari2001 (16918 posts) -

I go digital all the way. It's far more easy. Except movies. Hollywood still hasn't developed a cost effective and simplistic method of distributing DRM free movie to the consumer so I'm stuck with buying blu-ray.

#15 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151064 posts) -

Physical...much much better and it will be a sad world when that ends.

#16 Edited by vl4d_l3nin (970 posts) -

@Curlyfrii87 said:

Digital ... unless its a collectors addition i really wanted.

Same.

When I liquidated my gaming shelf, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of the collectors ed.'s

the movies I didn't give a shit about.

#17 Edited by Trail_Mix (2021 posts) -

Physical.

I don't wanna say I'm a collector, but I do have collector tendencies. I like seeing and displaying my little collection of show series and music.

Just ain't the same with digital. Feels like I don't really own it.

Also, no new product smell either.

#19 Posted by gba1989 (146 posts) -

Physical for me since our internet services here are crappy.

#20 Posted by certifieddata (46057 posts) -

Physical for music and digital for games.

#21 Edited by 187umKILLAH (1339 posts) -

Physical for games and movies, if the future is digital then I'll stick with retro gaming.

#22 Posted by one_plum (6355 posts) -

Physical for an album/game/film that I love, digital for something that I like.

#23 Edited by MrGeezer (56345 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Physical...much much better and it will be a sad world when that ends.

It won't end. People always say "this or that is dead", but when it comes to art most of that stuff is still here. People said that opera was dead, but they're still here. People said that vinyl was dead, but it's still here. People said that large format film photography was dead, but it's still here. There's always going to be a conflict between convenience and quality, and most people do in fact gravitate towards convenience. But we're still talking about art here, and as long as there are people around to appreciate the quality, then the inconvenient (but better) will usually remain. If I want to see a da Vinci fresco or an Andreas Gursky image, I could just download the image off of the internet. But then, that image is shit, and I haven't seen the work unless I was there in person viewing the actual physical work. And that's why that kind of physical work is still getting made.

There's a psychological aspect too. People feel like if it's all digital then it isn't actually worth anything. That if it's "just" information, then it should be free. So a collector is gonna be hard pressed to shell out the same money for a digital file that he's willing to shell out for physical media. Suppose someone has a rare album that's highly sought after for the obscurity of the songs. Another dude rips the album and puts the stuff on the internet. Even if the audio quality of both versions is equally as good, the physical version is gonna be worth more because one is scarce and the other is not. One is endlessly reproducible at the same quality, the other is not.

Of course, in MOST cases people just go with convenience because they feel it's convenient while still being "good enough". But there's usually enough people adhering to the old ways for the old ways to survive. Sure, not EVERY musical artist is gonna be releasing their music on vinyl, but there's enough demand for it that SOME of them still do it. Now, this isn't to say that CDs and Blu Rays won't die. Sure they might. 8 track is dead, floppy discs are dead, and laserdisc is dead. But PHYSICAL media is still freaking here, and I think it always will be in some capacity.

#24 Posted by TheFlush (5558 posts) -
@MrGeezer said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Physical...much much better and it will be a sad world when that ends.

It won't end. People always say "this or that is dead", but when it comes to art most of that stuff is still here. People said that opera was dead, but they're still here. People said that vinyl was dead, but it's still here. People said that large format film photography was dead, but it's still here. There's always going to be a conflict between convenience and quality, and most people do in fact gravitate towards convenience. But we're still talking about art here, and as long as there are people around to appreciate the quality, then the inconvenient (but better) will usually remain. If I want to see a da Vinci fresco or an Andreas Gursky image, I could just download the image off of the internet. But then, that image is shit, and I haven't seen the work unless I was there in person viewing the actual physical work. And that's why that kind of physical work is still getting made.

There's a psychological aspect too. People feel like if it's all digital then it isn't actually worth anything. That if it's "just" information, then it should be free. So a collector is gonna be hard pressed to shell out the same money for a digital file that he's willing to shell out for physical media. Suppose someone has a rare album that's highly sought after for the obscurity of the songs. Another dude rips the album and puts the stuff on the internet. Even if the audio quality of both versions is equally as good, the physical version is gonna be worth more because one is scarce and the other is not. One is endlessly reproducible at the same quality, the other is not.

Of course, in MOST cases people just go with convenience because they feel it's convenient while still being "good enough". But there's usually enough people adhering to the old ways for the old ways to survive. Sure, not EVERY musical artist is gonna be releasing their music on vinyl, but there's enough demand for it that SOME of them still do it. Now, this isn't to say that CDs and Blu Rays won't die. Sure they might. 8 track is dead, floppy discs are dead, and laserdisc is dead. But PHYSICAL media is still freaking here, and I think it always will be in some capacity.


Yeah, if you will buy blurays, boxed games and cd's in the future, you'll be like the vinyl buyers and photo film users of today..... a hipster ;-)

#25 Posted by MrGeezer (56345 posts) -

@TheFlush said:
@MrGeezer said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Physical...much much better and it will be a sad world when that ends.

It won't end. People always say "this or that is dead", but when it comes to art most of that stuff is still here. People said that opera was dead, but they're still here. People said that vinyl was dead, but it's still here. People said that large format film photography was dead, but it's still here. There's always going to be a conflict between convenience and quality, and most people do in fact gravitate towards convenience. But we're still talking about art here, and as long as there are people around to appreciate the quality, then the inconvenient (but better) will usually remain. If I want to see a da Vinci fresco or an Andreas Gursky image, I could just download the image off of the internet. But then, that image is shit, and I haven't seen the work unless I was there in person viewing the actual physical work. And that's why that kind of physical work is still getting made.

There's a psychological aspect too. People feel like if it's all digital then it isn't actually worth anything. That if it's "just" information, then it should be free. So a collector is gonna be hard pressed to shell out the same money for a digital file that he's willing to shell out for physical media. Suppose someone has a rare album that's highly sought after for the obscurity of the songs. Another dude rips the album and puts the stuff on the internet. Even if the audio quality of both versions is equally as good, the physical version is gonna be worth more because one is scarce and the other is not. One is endlessly reproducible at the same quality, the other is not.

Of course, in MOST cases people just go with convenience because they feel it's convenient while still being "good enough". But there's usually enough people adhering to the old ways for the old ways to survive. Sure, not EVERY musical artist is gonna be releasing their music on vinyl, but there's enough demand for it that SOME of them still do it. Now, this isn't to say that CDs and Blu Rays won't die. Sure they might. 8 track is dead, floppy discs are dead, and laserdisc is dead. But PHYSICAL media is still freaking here, and I think it always will be in some capacity.

Yeah, if you will buy blurays, boxed games and cd's in the future, you'll be like the vinyl buyers and photo film users of today..... a hipster ;-)

I wasn't even specifically thinking about blurays or boxed games or CDs. I'm not sayijng that ALL physical media doesn't die. After all, VHS pretty much DID die (AFAIK) because it fucking sucked. But note that it wasn't just "let's go digital". It got "replaced" by another physical medium, which means that physical media still freaking lasted.

Physical media is NOT going away. It's just gonna get marginalized.

And to say that it's just hipsters who prefer physical media is ignorant. The point is in the final product, and the preferred medium is gonna differ. Is Gravity on my iPhone the same as Gravity on an IMAX screen? Hell no. So don't google Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel work and then act as if you've freaking seen it just because you saw a simulacra on your cell phone.

#26 Posted by TheFlush (5558 posts) -

^ Serious much?

#27 Edited by vl4d_l3nin (970 posts) -

@MrGeezer said:

Of course, in MOST cases people just go with convenience because they feel it's convenient while still being "good enough". But there's usually enough people adhering to the old ways for the old ways to survive. Sure, not EVERY musical artist is gonna be releasing their music on vinyl, but there's enough demand for it that SOME of them still do it. Now, this isn't to say that CDs and Blu Rays won't die. Sure they might. 8 track is dead, floppy discs are dead, and laserdisc is dead. But PHYSICAL media is still freaking here, and I think it always will be in some capacity.

What I see happening is physical media becoming a niche. The "collectors" edition will be a standard for big releases, because those are the only type of people who want physical media..I guess.

The thing with vinyl is that there is a reason for it; better sound quality/alternative mixing. There is nothing on a DVD/BluRay that can't be done with a download. Other than the packaging and.."smell" *facepalm*

#28 Posted by MrGeezer (56345 posts) -

@vl4d_l3nin said:

@MrGeezer said:

Of course, in MOST cases people just go with convenience because they feel it's convenient while still being "good enough". But there's usually enough people adhering to the old ways for the old ways to survive. Sure, not EVERY musical artist is gonna be releasing their music on vinyl, but there's enough demand for it that SOME of them still do it. Now, this isn't to say that CDs and Blu Rays won't die. Sure they might. 8 track is dead, floppy discs are dead, and laserdisc is dead. But PHYSICAL media is still freaking here, and I think it always will be in some capacity.

What I see happening is physical media becoming a niche. The "collectors" edition will be a standard for big releases, because those are the only type of people who want physical media..I guess.

The thing with vinyl is that there is a reason for it; better sound quality/easier to mix. There is nothing on a DVD/BluRay that can't be done with a download. Other than the packaging and.."smell" *facepalm*

Yeah, that's why 8 track and VHS died. It wasn't because they were physical media, it was because they were garbage. People were willing to put up with how shitty they were because of convenience, but convenience was pretty much the ONLY thing they were bringing to the table. As soon as more convenient (and higher quality) stuff came along, those older media died. Take CDs, for example. The physical disc's only purpose is for storage of the data, which renders them kind of pointless once vastly superior storage becomes available. My mom recently had to go on a trip, and she complained to me about how the rental car didn't even have a CD player. And I'm like, "of course it doesn't, CDs are crap. The car comes with a USB slot and you own a freaking iPhone, so why the hell do you want a CD player?"

#29 Edited by Serraph105 (28074 posts) -

Digital and physical compliment each other well imo. I like having a library of books, movies, and games (especially books). That being said streaming movies and shows to my tv is extremely convenient. Not to mention having all your movies and tv accessible on your computer is a wonderful tool.

So you I'm not exactly ready to let go of my library of physical possessions there is definitely merit to having both.