The Other Multimedia

Like it or not, most of the music and movies we buy still comes on physical media. Whether it be CD, DVD, UMD, Blu-ray, HD-DVD. VHS, Vinyl, whatever, we have lots of choices, and lots of opportunity to buy the same thing twice. In today's world, we take media with us. We consume it in multiple places and multiple sizes. Some of us even spend a lot of time converting from one format to another. The question I have for all (both) of the readers out there, is...

Would you pay more to have multiple formats in a single shrinkwrapped package?

This isn't an original idea, but it is an interesting topic to me. Bandai is already shipping DVD and UMD together. Too bad UMD isn't doing too well. Is this a move to plant a few more UMDs? You can get BT's Monster soundtrack on both DVD and CD in the same package. DJ Shadow has done similar with his releases. This has been fantastic because I can grab the CD when I'm off to the car, or watch it at the computer or from the couch when I'm at home.

As we move to high-def movies, won't we still want to watch those movies on our old DVD players? You can watch DVDs on Blu-ray players, but not the other way around. In this case, I think I would pay an extra $5 to have a fully produced DVD along with my shiny new Blu-ray.

What about digital files? All of the media producers are scared to death that the second a movie is bits, it is shared with everyone with an Internet connection. I really don't think that's true. You'll always have the pirates (arrrrr) that, no matter what the price, will think it is too much and will delight in getting it free on the Internet. Those people are a lost cause. Forget about them. What about folks like myself? I pay for my media, and I am penalized for it. If I want to put a DVD on my iPod, I have to use illegal tools to do so. Even worse, the morons over at the RIAA want us to think the act of ripping tracks to play on our favorite MP3 player is not fair use. Would the world end if pre-shaped digital copies of our media were included with our DVDs and CDs? By pre-shaped, I mean mp3s formatted for DAPs and MPEGs with the appropriate bitrates and dimensions for iPods.

If it really is all about licensing content, rather than owning it, why don't we already get all of these physical formats for free, or at least at a small shipping cost if requested?

Would you buy it?

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