The Bell Begins to Toll for Physical Media

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

So this news greeted me this morning: future seasons of The Simpsons will not be released on DVD (and the article presumes this applies also to Blu-ray). And so it begins: the decline of physical media now approaches an actual death. It won’t be immediate, and I hope the collector’s market will stave off the final demise for some time to come. But I fear the worst now.

As a collector and as an instructor, I find this very depressing news. Yes, all sorts of stuff will be available instantly with a few clicks, but the current situation with streaming gives me little confidence. To take the example of Netflix, its offerings not only vary wildly from country to country (having the Canadian feed is often very frustrating), those offerings are limited, and they are unreliable. Movies appear and disappear from streaming services. What we can watch is perpetually at the mercy of everything from “we lost the rights” to “there isn’t a market for this.” The latter is a particular problem for anything that isn’t mainstream. Cult movies, classics, indies, new voices — everything that is not multiplex material could well become a bit harder to see, or at least with any reliability. Yes, there are plenty of B and off-the-beaten-track options now, but which ones and for how long?

To put it another way, I don’t want to have to rely on the cloud for my viewing options. I grew up when all continents were a single land mass and there was no such thing as home video. The movies I could see were limited to what the networks chose to broadcast. Streaming is not that different except in the number of choices, but they are far from unlimited. Maybe things will improve. But they might not.

I don’t trust the ephemeral cloud and its illusion of unlimited choice. I’m going to make sure I have my own copies of the movies that matter to me. And I’m going to hope that the collector’s market remains strong enough that some manner of continuing to do so will exist in the years ahead.

  1. I understand your pain somewhat. I love Netflix though. Just love it. And I can’t even come close to keeping up with the tv series they offer up. My god, the gold mine alone of British crime drama is staggering. And the original programming, from Marco Polo to Orange is the New Black, is amazing. And one thing I’m terribly grateful for with ebooks and streaming video is the cost. It is so economical. And the trees that are saved, and the garbage and pollution not being produced is also great. If I had a first born son, I’d consider calling him Netflix. Maybe.

    • I also wanted to add that I do understand what a giant pain in the ass it is to try and show anything that’s online, or streaming, in the classroom. Really unreliable. DVD’S are so much more reliable in that context.

  2. Stig-ove says:

    Physical books, physical cds all you need for collecting. Hardcover books in a shelf! IF i visit someone i look at their bookshelf. Empty shelf empty man, dont be offended remedy it.

    And another note, i dont understand people WHO critisize the damnation of pythos a masterpiece of iron hands characters and Nice 40 k action in perfect brittisk english. What more does a finnish swedish chap like me need 😃

      • Stig-Ove says:

        And the final with the huge lizards and stuff adding to it a daemon of chaos shows that breaking stereotypes and using imagination is all that is needed to create true art and literal masterpieces.

        Aside from Mr Abnett and Mr McNeill id say that mr Annandale here is perhaps one of the more creative writers for black library.

        I suggested some while back for a grande finale of the Horus heresy some special huge tomes like the Emperor or Horus editions of certain books could be produced, or tied to all legion primarchs and key figures that sums up or puts to memory the horus heresy. And i think Mr Annandale here would be a prime choice to commemorate the Iron Hands legion and the Gorgon.

        Keep it going mr Annandale

      • Thanks so much! I mean that. And I certainly intend to keep it going.

  3. Stig-Ove says:

    Did you mr Annandale influence any descision made on the new Primarch series upcoming at black library?
    I remember suggesting a similar idea to conclude the Horus heresy back about the same time i wrote the posts above here!
    Any guilty authors please step forward now…..:-)