Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Media Rental Services We Trust

Why, in the age of Netflix, do any of us want to worry about buying thousands of little MP3 files individually, managing them in a directory structure, moving them from place to place, etc.? Could the folks at Spotify please hurry up and launch in the US so we can get out of this one-at-a-time, file-based model of music?
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I am not criticizing the above poster at all but it's interesting to me that on the one hand you have users complaining that they don't want to trust Amazon or any other cloud provider with their media files for privacy and a whole host of reasons so they want to store their music on their own hard drive and have no use for "the cloud" whatsoever  and then you have OTHER users like this poster saying that they will trust subscription services to always provide the full selection of media that they want at a reasonable subscription price forever until the end of their life.

Me, I'm going to hedge my bets. I want my stuff 97% in the cloud (there may be a few things so rare and precious that I will bother to store at home) but I want to own it.  As in Title. As in Property.  As in Po-SESS-ion.  That way, I am guaranteed always to have access to that song.  Even if my cloud provider goes belly up they will at least owe me my songs back in receivership.  A subscription service goes under it's by-bye songs.  Anybody having any luck getting their stuff back from MySpace?

And btw ... Who is Netflix that we trust them so much that we are willing to forego ownership?  I can buy Casablanca, which won 8 Academy Rewards, right now on Amazon for $1.79.  I can drop ship it to the Digital Content Exchange (my cloud provider) and watch it for free as many times as I want.  How much is Netflix going to charge me for it over the next 40 years?  Even after the film is OUT OF COPYRIGHT?  What if Netflix' license with the studio falls apart and it is deleted from offer? What if the film is banned for political reasons (I dunno "stereotypes"?  Too much smoking of cigarettes??).  For films that I am unsure about, yeah, maybe Netflix.  But for anything I might truly want to watch again, I'd rather buy it and if it sucks sell it back on Amazon or eBay for 80% of what I paid for it. Or 96% of what I paid for it if I sell it back through the DCE: on the DCE there is no deterioration of quality since it never leaves the user's digital locker and there is no packing or shipping.

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