I once believed that we’re done with physical media, but now I’ve a different view on this. Yesterday, I paid for a rental movie on iTunes store and to my horror I was paying for the second part of the movie. The movie was Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2. So, OK, it was careless of me, because I should have rented Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 1 first. Frantically, I searched on iTunes Store for Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 1. I could not find the darn movie anywhere on iTunes Store, and so I searched for it on Amazon Instant Video. It turned out Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 1 wasn’t licensed to be streamed on most online streaming and downloading services. Oh, I too had checked out Netflix, and this very movie could only be rented as in DVD or Blu-ray. Finally, I had to give up and went to Blockbuster.
Go figure, I had not been back to Blockbuster for more than three years or so, and there I was checking out a Blu-ray for Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 1. This is why I think physical media is still so important, because streaming and downloading services might have plenty of problems in acquiring licenses for various popular movies. Without physical media, I might have to watch Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2 before I could watch Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 1, and that would be just suck. Badly!
I also think that the more stuffs moving online and abandoning the physical media, media companies will have more control over customers than ever before in certain circumstances. Perhaps, they can censor stuffs way faster and easier? Instead of burning books like millennia ago, they now could just snap their fingers to have someone instantly erases all digital copies in seconds. I think we be better off if physical media will be around for unforeseeable future.
Let us take a look at a hypothetical situation in regarding to what if physical media is no longer available. Let say ISP raised prices for Internet connections and customers could not find physical media, therefore customers had to pay higher prices for Internet connections than usual just to be able to watch their favorite movies. We had only talk about a scenario which pertains to physical media for movies, what chaos would ensue if physical media that pertains to much more important stuffs could not be made readily available? You there, yes you, I’m talking to you Cloud service!