Is Physical Media REALLY Dying?

MadMaverick wrote on 10/19/2015, 11:45 PM
The thought of not physically having any movies, games, music or books makes me sick to my stomach. I really hate the idea of everything going digital and just kinda being in the air.

Can't physical media and digital media continue to co-exist? Do we really have to sacrifice one for the other?

Captain Picard frequently reads physical books, so maybe there's hope after all lol.

Comments

john_dennis wrote on 10/20/2015, 12:20 AM
Books will die last.

I still buy CDs but haven't played the actual media recently. I played the .WAV files from a flash drive in the car yesterday.

DVDs and [i]Blu-rays[/I]: I have multiple copies of Somewhere In Time, Amadeus and Apocalypse Now and still play them. I watched Amadeus last week while I was installing Windows 10 on my laptop. It's rare that I buy any title anymore with a steady stream of Netflix. I never have been one to buy a title just to fill a Saturday night. That's why Red Box exists. I have so many personal DVDs and [i]Blu-rays[/I] that it's just about certain that I'll never spend the time looking for a particular one.

If hard drives count as physical media, I have 22 of them.

I'm untypical.

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ushere wrote on 10/20/2015, 12:47 AM
pretty much so for me. transferred everything (dvd, cd, vhs, etc., etc.,) over the years to media server (and backed up to other hd's for safety).

the only dvds' i've produced in the last few years have been for elderly friends who don't understand technology, and the odd one or two requested by clients for 'personal' use rather than distribution - all of which is now net, intranet or flash-drive.

i like not having to deal with the clutter of cases, etc., instant access to whatever i want, along with online lookup of whatever i'm looking or listening to...

i still have a huge collection of lp's which i keep for nostalgia and their covers. i even have a turntable (somewhere?).
PeterDuke wrote on 10/20/2015, 1:51 AM
I am happy to have movies on flash or rotary drives, where I start playing from the start and finish at the end. I don't care for "bonus" (a euphemism for "padding") features. The movies can be in MPEG2 or MP4 format.

For my travel videos, I like to have a menu, to permit selection of specific places, so I use ISO format, and play them on my TV using my hardware media player. I have no solution yet for playing full progressive HD with menu on my TV, unfortunately.

And for those movies and videos that I love to watch often, I like the convenience of a shiny 12 cm disc.

No cloud for me, thank you very much. I like to have full control over my media, AND not be at the mercy of the ISP and other operators.

I will leave you to ponder on the future of "digital" and "physical" media, and whether you really meant something else.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 10/20/2015, 6:47 AM
I tried using Netflix. Bleh. Not much on there. It's like wanting to watch a specific TV show & you have cable/satellite, but it's not on there so you waste your time and settle on something you didn't want just so you watch TV,

Every movie I wanted to watch on Netflix wasn't there. I wasn't trying to stump it, just every movie i wanted to watch wasn't there.

Apples tells my dad that physical media is dead. He still uses DVD/CD's. I still use them.

It will be like PC gaming: as long as there's used stuff it will be widely used. Eliminate used (IE make them illegal) and the physical will dry up. Console companies want to eliminate the used gaming market because they claim they loose lots of $ with it. I'm sure publishers & Hollywood say the same thing about used. Once used goes then I lower my purchases quite a bit. I know lots of others too who only buy PC games on big sales (IE 75% off or more).
Marc S wrote on 10/20/2015, 8:41 AM
I regularly have clients that want DVDs. Only two requests for BluRay. I still like physical media myself at least as a back up.
Chienworks wrote on 10/20/2015, 2:26 PM
Most of my physical media IS digital. Every CD & DVD in my collection is a physical instance of digital media. Even all the music & video i have on my various stacks of hard drives and flash drives is both physical and digital. For that matter, every media file i stream from the 'net is digital and also exists physically on some hard drive somewhere. So, yes, they do coexist quite nicely.

I think you may have really meant to ask one of two different questions:

1) Physical copies vs. streaming from 'the cloud'?
2) Digital vs. analog?

but i can't tell for sure which of these you actually meant.
OldSmoke wrote on 10/20/2015, 3:01 PM
[I]but i can't tell for sure which of these you actually meant.[/I]

Seriously?

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

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PSU: Corsair 1200W
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Geoff_Wood wrote on 10/20/2015, 3:37 PM
Maybe it will with the current generation where everything is expected to be free, disposable, and has no inherent or lasting value ;-|

I still buy CDs/DVDs/BluRay, books, and magasines .

geoff
FixitMad0 wrote on 10/20/2015, 4:32 PM
I myself still buy physical media if I can. I like the fact that if a Hard Drive crashes or an SSD fails, I still have my paid for software.

It is funny, but I still prefer physical books to electronic ones. That is why I still have printed manuals and guides on the software that I own. Bookshelves keep my software in order and also all my guides.

I also buy CD's still since I can then convert the music into whatever format is better. (.mp3, .mp3pro, ,ogg, etc)

I still like the idea of giving family members physical media like a DVD when I create something. Telling them to go download it seems like it is not "real".

I would hate to have everything in the "cloud" and then not having the means to restore it or retrieve it should the hosting site go out of business or close due to our over reaching movie industry. ( I should make it clear I am not pirating movies or other copyrighted stuff but the hosting site could close down because of other users doing this)

I guess the reality is that things will go online digitally but I still like having something physical in my hand.

GeeBax wrote on 10/20/2015, 5:01 PM
I can do without physical books, both my wife and I love our Kindle, it is far more convenient than a book. I have a collection of all books by Terry Pratchett, but they sit up in a cupboard in a box doing nothing, what is the point?
videoITguy wrote on 10/20/2015, 6:32 PM
Physical media will always have a place , just like radio is besides TV.
After publishing for years in digital format, some magazines stand to come back to life as they have a different attraction and value than the cheapened digital cross-overs that have been attempted to date.
Rob Franks wrote on 10/20/2015, 6:45 PM
I still buy action movies on disc (Blu Ray) for the quality. There is nothing as of yet which can beat the overall audio/video quality of Blu Ray.

For personal stuff though, I haven't burned a disc in 7 or 8 years now. It all goes on hard drive. I'm not sure I even remember how to use DVDarchitect anymore.
Tim Stannard wrote on 10/21/2015, 5:53 AM
Again, probably a generational thing, but something on it's own individual media (BD/DVD/CD) gives it substance and meaning (to me anyway). I filom my daughter's school Christmas production and sell DVDs to the parents. I don't know how else I could distribute these (not allowed to put on social media/internet). If I provided it on a USB stick
(a) it would be more expensive
(b) I suspect people would think it's "alright" to copy it - moreso than with DVDs (not only protecting covering my own costs, but the shows/music themselves are licenced) and
(c) it would probably be perceived to have lower value

Ditto music. I have all my music on my smartphone and can plug it into my car audio system. I have space for only a few CDs in my car. Yet I play CDs. Why? I grab a handful of CDs at the begining of the week and play then, perhaps a few times.

I suspect this is because it is similar to how I listened to music in my formative years - I'd buy an album and play it many times whilst I become familiar with it.

Having millions of tracks available at your fingertips doesn't really focus the mind in the same way as having 40mins of music created as one body of work by an artist.

But younger people did not grow up listening to whole albums in the way I did, so their idea of what is "normal" is different from mine.
Chienworks wrote on 10/21/2015, 7:23 AM
"Seriously?"

Yes, seriously.

Mad Maverick refers to "movies, games, music or books". There is no indication in that statement of the format of any of them. All have existed in analog format, digital format in local, hard copies, and "in the air" format as online streaming from the cloud. I'm not sure which distinction is being made.

Then the question posited is "can't physical media and digital media continue to co-exist?", to which i pointed out that in a huge amount of cases, they not only coexist but are in fact the same thing.

My issue is with the use of the term "digital" in the original post and wondering exactly what Mad means by that term. To me, and presumably most other people, that term is distinct from "analog", but can still exist in a number of different formats and locations in a variety of hard and physical states. Compare that to Amazon's recent change in their website where things like CDs, DVDs, and BluRays are no longer referred to as "digital" (which is wrong, of course, as they most certainly are digital), but they now reserve the term only for media which you download rather than receiving a physical copy.

So i'm merely trying to ask which of these Mad is referring to. His questions aren't specific enough to make that determination.
OldSmoke wrote on 10/21/2015, 7:48 AM
[I]His questions aren't specific enough to make that determination.[/I]

And yet, so far everyone on this post could.

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

System Spec.:
Motherboard: ASUS X299 Prime-A

Ram: G.Skill 4x8GB DDR4 2666 XMP

CPU: i7-9800x @ 4.6GHz (custom water cooling system)
GPU: 1x AMD Vega Pro Frontier Edition (water cooled)
Hard drives: System Samsung 970Pro NVME, AV-Projects 1TB (4x Intel P7600 512GB VROC), 4x 2.5" Hotswap bays, 1x 3.5" Hotswap Bay, 1x LG BluRay Burner

PSU: Corsair 1200W
Monitor: 2x Dell Ultrasharp U2713HM (2560x1440)

Chienworks wrote on 10/21/2015, 7:53 AM
Everyone else may be making incorrect assumptions. ;)
Tim Stannard wrote on 10/21/2015, 11:33 AM
I may also be making an incorrect assumption, but my thought was that MadMaverick was distinguishing, not between either of your siggestions, Kelly, but between material on a medium you can physically package and hold as a specific unit of work, and stuff which is a bunch of bits that might exists in the cloud, on a hard drive library, on your phone or ... I'm sure you get the picture.
Chienworks wrote on 10/21/2015, 11:46 AM
Yep, that was pretty much my first suggestion.
Tim Stannard wrote on 10/22/2015, 5:40 AM
That's not how I read your first suggestion. In the context of Physical copies vs the Cloud, files stored on local hard drives/sub sticks would come under the former. These hold numerous items not "a specific unit of work" (what's more they are re-writable). The media is not significant.
I read the discussion as being between that sort of media ( ie single work/body of work, supplied on a physical medium that cannot be overwritten where the medium is a significant part of the "ownership" ) vs basically, files.
Chienworks wrote on 10/22/2015, 7:53 AM
I guess in this discussion the terms "physical" and "digital" are too broad, since we can classify almost any non-analog media to be contained in either depending on our own interpretations. Maybe they should be "tangible" vs. "intangible", if that is in fact what Mad is really getting at.

How about this: would you consider a single movie ripped from DVD to a USB memory stick to still be a "physical copy"? Maybe not because it's rewritable, but what if the producer offered it for retail sale in that format? I've already seen that happen commercially in nice little retail boxes, as well as we know quite a few of this forum participants are distributing that way. Now how about if you put three movies on a single stick? Before you object to the blurring of "not a specific unit of work", consider how many DVDs you currently have in your collection that contain more than one movie on the disc.

How many printed volumes do you have on your bookshelf that contain more than one "book" inside a single set of covers? Maybe the publisher and authors worked together to make it a "specific unit", or maybe some 3rd party simply bought the rights long after the original publication of individual books and combined them without consent or knowledge of the original authors.

All these concepts get confused under the term "physical". I believe what Mad is trying to discriminate is between having something you hold in your hands with an identifying printed cover that tells you "this is what you'll hear/see/read when you use what's inside", vs. a nebulous collection of data somewhere, either locally or remote. The problem is that "physical vs. digital" doesn't make this distinction.
Tim Stannard wrote on 10/22/2015, 8:45 AM
"I guess in this discussion the terms "physical" and "digital" are too broad, since we can classify almost any non-analog media to be contained in either depending on our own interpretations. Maybe they should be "tangible" vs. "intangible", if that is in fact what Mad is really getting at."

Totally agree. We don't really have the terminology to define it.

I like your expanded definition: " something you hold in your hands with an identifying printed cover that tells you "this is what you'll hear/see/read when you use what's inside"". (Even if we don't currently have a word or phrase that it defines!)

To me (and probably many others of my generation) something like that has more perceived value than a copy of a film or music album on a smartphone (even if that version has a higher bit rate or sample rate). I feel I "own" it - even though I am very well aware that I only own the medium and have a licence to listen to/watch/read the contents)

I don't think people who have grown up in a world of ebooks and downloads have the same "ownership" concept though. My son (28), for example, laughed last time I asked whether there were any CDs he'd like for Christmas. On the other hand, my daughter and her husband (26) like to have BluRay and DVD copies of their favourite films.

So, at least for the immediate future, I'd suggest "Physical Tangible Media" as defined above, may be dying but it will be a long, drawn out death.

No doubt we will lose something with it. My wife and I both read Kindles. We have no idea what the other is reading because we don't see the book lying around. What's worse, I have no idea what I'm reading as I do not subconsciously read the cover every time I see it. My wife has just finished the latest Lee Child novel and I've begun it. Neither of us could tell you what it's called!

I also miss seeing LP Album covers under people's arms - that used to prompt me to explore new bands and new music.

But now I'm getting nostalgic, and nostalgia ain't what it used to be...

Dach wrote on 10/22/2015, 9:22 AM
Unfortunately with as media (all forms) have gone digital and into the cloud it really has had a negative impact from a macro economic perspective.

IMO a physical media is what provides substantial value to any item.

Chad
Hulk wrote on 10/22/2015, 9:40 AM
Like tape I'm happy to see it go.

Except for books. Gotta have books.
Chienworks wrote on 10/22/2015, 12:30 PM
Since a whole string of little bookshops have opened in my village 10 years ago i've purchased probably 150 books. I also recently purchased about 100 albums on 1/4" reel-to-reel tape! I'd love to see that format come back into use again.