Every now and again, we talk here at The Digital Bits about the need to fight for the preservation of physical media. Meaning discs.
And every time we do, we get a few emails from our younger readers saying that we sound ridiculous for doing so, because discs are for dinosaurs and digital is awesome and that’s the future and you can watch it on your phone.
But we continue to fight for physical media for a very good reason... and older readers will know from experience why we do.
If you own all your movies and music on discs, you’ll have them indefinitely, whenever you want to watch or listen to them. You can still rip those discs to a digital file to watch your content on whatever device you want to. Sure it takes a little more effort to do so, but you still have that disc sitting on a shelf or in a box. And that’s very important.
Here’s why: If all your content is digital only, and your library exists only in the cloud, you don’t actually have those movies. You don’t own them, even if you’ve “purchased” them with your hard earned money. And the studios or streaming services can take them away from you whenever they want to. [Read on here...]
Yes, folks, it’s true… this month marks the 20th anniversary of the beloved DVD format. The exact date is a matter of debate; some technically consider March 1, 1997 as the official date, though our records show that March 19 technically marks the official start of the U.S. launch, and the format was actually launched first in Japan in November of 1996. Either way, the first players and movie discs weren’t available in the seven initial U.S. test markets (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Washington) until much later in March 1997.
Specifically, the first DVD titles appeared at Best Buy, Tower Records, The Good Guys, and other video/electronics stores in those markets on March 24, and the first actual players didn’t arrive in stock until March 26. Warner launched the format with an initial slate of 25 titles, including Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (as it happens, the first title I purchased – you can see it below), Twister, Batman, GoldenEye, Eraser, The Fugitive, The Glimmer Man, The Mask, and Space Jam, among others. Those titles sold for $19.95 to $24.98. Tell me... do these old Snapper cases (below) look familiar to you? [Read on here…]