Saturday, March 19, 2005

Physical media

Right now we are in the process of taking our old negatives to the photo shop and having them transferred onto photo CDs. In other words, we are taking the pictures from one physical medium (film) to another (CD).

Once we have the photo CDs, however, we will copy the photos to the network. From there on we will never have to deal with physical media again. Once they are on the network, we are done. The photos will live there, in all likelihood, for eternity.

Think how much easier these photos will be to deal with once they are on the network. It will be impossible to lose them. If the house burns down, they are safe. I can share the photos instantly with anyone on the planet. They take up no space in the house.

Since the dawn of the electronic age we have had physical media to store the content. In the musical realm we have gone from wax cylinders to vinyl records to cassette tapes to CDs. In the photography realm we have gone from film to flash memory cartridges. In movies we have gone from film to video tape to DVDs. But at this moment in history, every form of physical media is under attack.

It is most obvious in the musical realm. MP3 files have replaced CDs and CDs are in the process of dying. It will not be long before all music is accessed wirelessly from the network -- even an iPod will seem passe.

The same thing is happening to DVDs. As high speed network connections proliferate, DVDs will give way to Internet streaming. Cameras are heading in the same direction as well. In the not-too-distant future, cameras will save all of their images automatically on the network via a wireless connection.

In 20 years, the notion of physical media for storing content will be dead. Everything will be stored on the Web and available instantly. People in 2050 will look back at our CDs, DVDs and memory cards and laugh, in the same way that we today look at wax cylinders.



At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Popcorn, DVD's and TiVo, Moviegoers Are Staying Home

Add movie theaters to the list: "For 13 weekends in a row, box-office receipts have been down compared with a year ago, despite the blockbuster opening of the final "Star Wars" movie." and "Last year Americans spent an average of 78 hours watching videos and DVD's, a 53 percent increase since 2000, according to a study by the Motion Picture Association of America, the film industry's trade group. DVD sales and rentals soared 676.5 percent during the same period, and 60 percent of all homes with a television set now also have a DVD player. DVD sales and rentals alone were about $21 billion, according to the Digital Entertainment Group."

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