Technodamus – The Death of CDs/DVDs

Today was my first day at work with my HP Mini.

The 1 GB of memory definitely has to go. I’ve ordered a brand new 2 GB chip from NewEgg.com for $30 (3-day shipping, rush processing). I don’t know about upgrading the harddrive yet.When I worked for HP, a co-worker showed me how to gain access to the harddrive from the keyboard – a trick HP uses for most laptops. There’s usually a key that slides over or a tab to switch. I was also trying to find a low-cost external CD/DVD-ROM, but the cheapest one at Best Buy is $89… I suppose I could go buy one and take it back afterward.

I hate to do that, but don’t really see an easier way. I’m going to work on installing VS 2008 after lunch today, I’ll have the ISO downloaded and copied to my jumpdrive (all 3.4 GB!!)

I also came to the conclusion that the Netbook, if it catches on for middle- and low-income households, will be the death of CD/DVDs. With iTunes and the Amazon Music Store, the only reason to spend $30 on a movie or $20 on a CD is so you can have the plastic.

Since anyone can treat themselves to a specific tune, a cheaper iTunes flick or Netflix download without having to go to the store, battle crowds, wait in line, or worry about if the store will even have the movie or cd you’re looking for… I think we might be nearing the end of the CD/DVD era.

Portable external harddrives (and jump drives) have the capacity to hold almost everything you could want or need. There’s not really a market for massive, unchangeable storage besides video games, home-movies and permanent backups.

Disney is already feeling the pull – they’ve started adding digital copies (codes for iTunes downloads) into their new DVDs. On the other hand, ultra-affordable PCs include DVD/CD-RWs in them, but they are also cheaply produced and easy to break. BluRay also faces this challenge – not only is BluRay ridiculously expensive, but it has a very cheap, readily available competitor in internet media. And – the previous format, DVDs, are still good enough for the majority and half the price, most of the time.

The only real positive BluRay has over downloaded content is that it’s tangible, you can touch a DVD or CD… you can’t touch a download. I’ve seen a BluRay movie side by side with an up-converted DVD and then with a high-def stream on identical TVs. There’s hardly any difference.

I’d think most people would be okay sacrificing a little bit of quality to keep a ton of cash. The only viable BluRay option I see is the PS3 – because then at least you get something good for your $399 (unfortunately, you still have to buy the movies to go with your player – and the peripherals for games!)

Technodamus has spoken!

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