When was the last time you moved? Actually, scratch that. Let’s narrow it down to when you first moved out of your parent’s house. If you were a movie nut you probably had a healthy collection of DVDs (and dare I add a few VHS tapes you just couldn’t throw out) and if music was your thing you might have a hefty case or two of CDs, maybe even a couple crates of LPs if you were cool or something like that. Or you might have been like me and just had a bit of everything.
You don’t realize how stupid it all is until you’re too far invested and you just can’t tell yourself to cut it out (I’m not insulting you, just myself). The first time I heard of someone completely getting rid of their CD collection in favor of the digital age, I was a junior in high school. One of my teachers was giving all of his CDs away to his students because he was switching to digital. I thought to myself, “Man, what an idiot! Of course I’ll take his CDs.” Two or three years later when I was moving into my first apartment in college I was still collecting CDs but realized how much of a pain in the ass it is to move a couple hundred CDs and DVDs from point A to point B. But I kept on trucking, buying CDs like it was going out of style but at this point I was just putting them all on my computer and occasionally listening to them in the car.
Let’s fast forward to present day. I have stopped buying CDs and only buy music digitally but still have a stupid amount of CDs that I just need to sell (or give away at this point). I pretty much sold or gave away most of my DVD collection to switch to the “must haves” on Blu-ray and hope that the rest could be found on Netflix. I just bought my first Blu-ray in months and that’s because I really want to watch the third season of Archer before it ends up on Netflix instant watch. The bottom line is that it’s time to get rid of the clutter and accept the digital age.
There are countless ways to stream wireless content straight to your TV. Take your pick: a smart TV, a gaming console, Roku, Apple TV, or a plethora of other choices. And from there you can pay $7.99 for Netflix and $7.99 for Hulu Plus and you’ve pretty much covered all the ground you need. Just like that, 16 bucks a month is your “cable” bill.
Even video games are making a transition. Sony has even recently submitted a patent for technology that blocks second-hand games. There is a lot of speculation that the next generation of gaming is going to push digital sales pretty hard. XBLA and PSN (the online stores for the XBOX360 and PS3 respectively) have started selling full retail games, some on the actual release date.
And if you’re worried about storage on your computer for all your music and/or HD movies and TV shows you might be buying, well, you can get a 1 TB portable hard drive for under a hundred bucks. And with all the great advancements in Cloud storage over the past year, you might not even need a physical hard drive. Not only is this all far cheaper but it also eliminates what is essentially clutter from your home.
I thought I was ahead of the curve until I moved in with my current roommate who has Apple TV and has successfully linked all of his devices to it. I suddenly felt outdated, like he was a kid showing his grandpa how his new toy worked. “Wait, you’re watching that YouTube video on the TV through your iPad? And you’re telling me you can do it with your phone too? And all of your movies on your computer can play seamlessly through the TV?” Mind officially blown. No cables needed, no pixilation problems, it was just like watching TV.
I don’t know if betrayal is the right word, or in this matter the right feeling, but I almost felt betrayed by my old ways. Everything was so simple and easy to use. My eyes were opened.
With all this being said, I don’t think I will ever go full digital with books. And having been a collector for so long, I don’t think I will ever get rid of all of my LPs. But with Wi-Fi essentially in every home and the rate at which cloud storage is evolving, why have so much stuff when all you really need are a few pieces of modern technology?