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Old 03-20-2020, 11:04 PM
Leaper is offline
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How long will major digital media platforms remain? Consequences after?


One of the big reasons I prefer to get physical media is the nagging thought that if the digital media platform I get it from ever fails (or if they ever feel like it), theyíll take the media away forever. I got to wondering how likely such a scenario is in the real world.

So platforms like Steam and Amazonís Kindle service obviously canít last eternally, but is it close enough that my doom scenario will not come to pass in our lifetimes? When the first big one does fall, what will public reaction be like, once their games or books just evaporate into digital ether?

(I have a mild, mild distrust of the cloud for similar reasons, but thatís another story.)
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:56 AM
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I can't answer your questions, but I feel the same way. I usually buy my music in CD form, then rip it to my computer and put the disk on a shelf. Whatever happens (power surge, zombie apocalypse) I've got that music covered. On those rare occasions that I buy music as a download, I try to burn it to a disk for archiving.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:48 AM
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I agree. The rush to dismiss physical media seemed very short-sighted to me, and this it has proven to be with some movies being removed online already (until some nebulous future date).

It's hard to imagine something as seemingly deeply rooted into our lives as YouTube or Netflix or Google could disappear, but it wouldn't really take much. Social pressure has surprising power, and a few missteps in a row can doom a company. Also a natural disaster or financial crisis can break even the largest company.

Hoard your media where you can. When you find your favourite movie or TV series on disc, or an otherwise back-uppable source, do so. It's easy to upgrade if a 4K HDR version comes later, but not easy if it essentially disappears forever someday.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I can't answer your questions, but I feel the same way. I usually buy my music in CD form, then rip it to my computer and put the disk on a shelf. Whatever happens (power surge, zombie apocalypse) I've got that music covered. On those rare occasions that I buy music as a download, I try to burn it to a disk for archiving.
You should be able to freely re-download your music purchases after the power surge. Dunno about the zombie apocalypse though.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:34 PM
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You should be able to freely re-download your music purchases after the power surge. Dunno about the zombie apocalypse though.
Not if the company goes out of business or gets bought out or decides to change their policies for whatever reason. I don't like having to trust something that is beyond my control, if I have a choice.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:36 AM
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Not if the company goes out of business or gets bought out or decides to change their policies for whatever reason. I don't like having to trust something that is beyond my control, if I have a choice.
When Microsoft shut down its Groove Music service in 2017, it offered customers a 3-4 month grace period for customers to download their purchases. It's likely any other reputable online music store (Apple, Amazon, Google, etc) would do the same or similar.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:56 AM
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just from memory:
Yahoo shut down Yahoo Groups.
Tumblr shut down half its users by starting a new censorship policy.
Photobucket suddenly switched from free to pay--or lose all your photos.

I don't put ANYTHING in the cloud, unless I also have my own private copy at home.
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I can't answer your questions, but I feel the same way. I usually buy my music in CD form, then rip it to my computer and put the disk on a shelf. Whatever happens (power surge, zombie apocalypse) I've got that music covered. On those rare occasions that I buy music as a download, I try to burn it to a disk for archiving.
This seems so intuitively obvious that debate should be unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I agree. The rush to dismiss physical media seemed very short-sighted to me, and this it has proven to be with some movies being removed online already (until some nebulous future date).

It's hard to imagine something as seemingly deeply rooted into our lives as YouTube or Netflix or Google could disappear.. .
Or Blockbuster... or Tower Records. The next change may be hard to imagine right now, but it will come along.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:28 PM
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I've got an uncle that still has all his music on 8-track. He refuses to move forward as technology advances, simply because he doesn't trust the future.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:21 PM
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I've got an uncle that still has all his music on 8-track. He refuses to move forward as technology advances, simply because he doesn't trust the future.
Of all the formats to choose for future access to music, I suspect 8-track tapes would rank just above wax cylinders!
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:23 PM
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FWIW, louis CK used to have a website where you could buy all his shows and comedy specials.

Then after his metoo scandal, he ended up closing down his website.

He reopened it (without the media purchase options now), but a lot of people were pissed that all those shows they paid for are gone now and they can't watch them anymore.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post

It's hard to imagine something as seemingly deeply rooted into our lives as YouTube or Netflix or Google could disappear, but it wouldn't really take much. Social pressure has surprising power, and a few missteps in a row can doom a company. Also a natural disaster or financial crisis can break even the largest company..
In the grand scheme of things, those companies aren't even that old. Google was founded in 1998, netflix in 1997, youtube in 2005. These companies feel like they've always been there but technically they're barely old enough to buy alcohol.

And it took a while for them to really reach their peak. Netflix was mostly a DVD by mail service and their streaming only really started getting good around a decade ago.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:32 PM
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Even now, when I look at my DVD queue I see only one or two indicating I can stream them. This is partially due to my occasionally spotting them and saying, "Cool! I can watch it now instead of waiting for it to come up in the queue," but only occasionally. Streaming is fine for all the big blockbuster stuff out there but not everything and that's what I tend to watch.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:35 PM
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The digital platform failing is not a big deal for one reason: piracy. You may say you can't find something for streaming. But I guarantee you that you can find it on a pirate site. It doesn't matter if they gave you an encrypted download or a stream, there's a way to find an unrestricted digital copy.

Hell, if you're like me, you don't ever trust the DRM copy, and break the encryption yourself. You also download a copy of anything you want to keep. Then you keep backups, so that you won't lose it.

People's instincts about digital vs physical are exactly backwards if the digital file is unrestricted. Digital can last forever, while physical copies degrade over time, get lost, get broken, etc. The only reasons digital seems more ephemeral is DRM lockdown and people not backing up their data.

Hell, when it comes to finding stuff I know I own but have misplaced, I'm more likely to go look for it online than to actually bother finding it. And I make a digital copy now of any physical media I get my hands on--to preserve it.
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