So in my local comic store, there was a brief discussion on physical media like comic books, CDs, DVDs, etc. The general consensus seemed to be that pretty soon, they would be nonexistent, in favor of online/data-based forms like Netflix and iTunes.
This produced some mixed feelings, as well as questions. Would computer-based (only) music, movies, comics, and so on give too much power to media companies? There are companies out there that will cut off your access to bought music forever if you drop their service, after all. Will this create a “bottleneck” of access (OTOH, I acknowledge that the big media companies haven’t been too successful so far in stopping music or movie swapping)? Is this destruction of the secondhand physical media market a good thing (after all, I don’t have to worry about viruses and Trojans when I buy a used CD at a store)?
Even disregarding the media companies, it puts a lot more “pressure” on computers and their health. Getting a virus or a hard drive crash suddenly becomes a disaster on par with your house burning down (when it comes to your music and movies). I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
What about the poor? Are we cutting off their access by going online-only? It’s one thing to listen to music when you can go to a store and buy a CD. It’s quite another when you’re required to buy a computer, buy a high speed Internet connection, and THEN buy the music. (OTOH, both are becoming cheaper and more a vital part of modern life every day.)
So I’m kind of undecided on whether this whole trend is a good or bad thing. Thoughts?