Movies and music not safe in digital transition

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2014

Movie and music sales of are moving away from physical media, such as CDs and DVDs, to digital formats.

I have mixed feelings about the transition.

On one hand having all of my music on a device I can carry in my pocket is quite convenient. I own an iPod, which is usable no matter where I go.

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The same can be said for movies, digital versions have a convenience factor to them.

There is also the question of longevity. As CDs were becoming popular there was a camp of enthusiasts who swore by the quality of LPs, otherwise known as records.

At first I scoffed at the statement. My thought was that CDs are digital and were therefore superior. Honestly I can’t hear a difference, other than the static heard on records.

However, as my physical collection ages I have noticed some disks have stopped playing, typically this affects DVDs and not CDs. They will skip in the middle or freeze up. It’s not that I mistreated them; they were kept in their case when not in use, stored in alphabetical and chronological order mind you.

As it turns out the dye used to store the information on optically read disks begins to degrade over time, forcing me to have to repurchase a beloved movie. This degradation process varies based on how they were made and stored.

However, so long as you keep a record in good condition it should last a lifetime.

Digital versions also have a down side; they are prone to hard disk failures or the accidental deletion.

So which one do you invest your hard earned money in? It all falls back to personal preference. Personally I like having a hard copy of a movie or album, but they take up precious space. In the end, nothing lasts forever, even data.