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tantryl

The death of optical media

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Something occured to me today while looking at and discussing bargain price Lenovo Thinkpads.

 

DVD & Blu Ray are still strong contenders in the retail home TV/movie business, but they've dropped dramatically in software distribution (replaced by internet) & for personal uses (CD-R, DVDR) as backup or even for creating/showing/sharing home movies (replaced by internet, network shares, HDD PVRs & usb media).

 

When HD/BD where competing it wasn't a common thought among us that it didn't matter so much who won but what was on the horizon after them.

 

But with more and more high selling devices like iPads, netbooks and sub-notebooks not coming with optical drives as standard, online markets like iTunes, Hulu & Netflix providing out music and video needs and worldwide and local data networks improving it seems like it may no longer matters what's next.

 

Thoughts? Will the popularity of optical media in the 90s and 00s die in the 10s?

Edited by tantryl

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For stuff like hardware-bundled software, it's a lot easier on the manufacturers just to stick the files on a server, than to print millions of CDs. Online distribution is getting better, even with the incredibly slow uptake of high-bandwidth internet. So for general technology, optical media is pretty much obsolete in some cases, and definitely on the way out in others. What doesn't help is the massive bloat of software nowadays. I don't want to have to download 120MB of iTunes updates every time I want to listen to music, or wait 20 minutes for needlessly large printer drivers to download from a slow server.

 

For TV and movies though, there is not yet a more efficient way to distribute 50GBs of data trivially. So Blu-rays will be around for a long time yet. Especially in Australia, where apparently they can't be bothered introducing Netflix or Hulu. And they wonder why we're such big piraters.

 

Even if they did introduce those services, which I'm sure they will eventually, I'd still buy Blu-rays. The quality is better than they'll ever manage to stream in a Flash window, they're damn cheap anyway, and there's a much greater sense of satisfaction to having all your favourite movies lined up on a shelf than there is a list under a user account.

Edited by Harmonic Cacophony

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No, unless everyone gets cheap unlimited Internet (which isn't going to happen here in Aussie-land).

Abbott (aka Dr No) is going hobble the NBN when he gets into power so a lot of us aren't going get the fibre connections we want.

Edited by Jeruselem

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... the incredibly slow uptake of high-bandwidth internet.

Phooey. I'm uptaking as fast as those fucking fossils are rolling it out! I should be able to reach ADSL2+ speeds sometime in 2030. :P

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No. OSes still need to be placed on CDs and +1 to all the fast internets.

And you can't exactly trust backups into the Internets either.

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No. OSes still need to be placed on CDs

Nope they can actually be on Flash drives and memory cards as well.

Just that the cost of these is higher than a mass produced CD or DVD.

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Optical media isn't going anywhere for the moment:

- it's disposable and compatible. If I want to give someone a few GB of data, I can burn a DVD or two and not care if I never see the discs again.

- it's still a more reliable distribution system for large amounts of read-only data (i.e. BRDs) than digital distribution.

- people still have an attachment to physical artifacts.

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I actually upgraded my W7 Starter on my netbook to W7 Pro because I needed DVD drive support (I have an external DVD drive already).

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I can't see optical media being phased out very soon. Many companies distribute on-line but there is still the need for a hard copy.

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I can't see optical media being phased out very soon. Many companies distribute on-line but there is still the need for a hard copy.

And some places still don't exactly have reliable Internets.

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I still keep a few DVDs and CD-Rs around, so i can burn music for my car because it doesn't have an ipod/audio in (Stupid ford and their non standard radios).

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I have a spindle of DVD-R and CD-R here that I've never used.

 

I barely use them at work either, just for the odd boot CD from OEM manufacturers.

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No. OSes still need to be placed on CDs and +1 to all the fast internets.

 

Tell that to my Macbook air :P

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No. OSes still need to be placed on CDs and +1 to all the fast internets.

 

Tell that to my Macbook air :P

 

And any netbook. :P

 

 

I was more pointing out the fact of how if I need to re-install it re-downloads the OS from the net.

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No. OSes still need to be placed on CDs and +1 to all the fast internets.

And you can't exactly trust backups into the Internets either.

 

Clouds only need a stiff breeze to disappate ...

Seriously though, building a machine from USB is fine, but you need to get the installer from somewhere. As pointed out, CD/DVD/BD/HD-DVD are all cheap to make, and don't suffer the problems of electronic based distribution, having said that seeing someone leave an optical device in a car for two hours in the sun doesn't help things either. Sure optical has been overtaken in terms of speed and data density by many other distribution forms, and I can't see anyone making more huge advances in the optical market (although the 140GB!? media has been developed for some time now) I think it will stay for quite some time. Hell I even still have some VHS tapes lying around :)

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We were supposed to get holographic storage YEARS ago.

 

I also was told I would have flying cars by the year 2000 too.

 

Where are they?

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im old school...i used opitcal for most things anyway.

 

most of game collection is on CD/DVD becuase i cbf downloading them from steam.

 

once internet gets fast enough to download GB's quick then digital will be the future.

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