Don’t ditch your old media just yet.

Organized, optimized and alphabetized.
Organized, optimized and alphabetized.

Call me paranoid or old school, but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of my DVD/Blu Ray collection.

Over the years, I’ve amassed a collection that exceed 1,200 discs. A rough “back of the envelope” calculation at an average price of $15 each, has that coming to an $18,000 investment. That is a significant investment.
I’m a tech-nerd, so I’m not averse to going digital on most things, in fact, I’m usually an early adopter of new digital products.
In addition to the hard discs, I have an additional 10% of my collection in iTunes format.

My reluctance of moving 100% into the digital space with my collection is 2 fold.
First, I don’t want to pay again for something I’ve already purchased the rights to use. There are some digital conversion offerings at Wal-mart, etc. that will convert your collection, for about $5 per disc, and allow you to store your collection in the cloud. That’s still too high of a per disc cost for me, at least right now.

Second, and more importantly, is the possibility that internet service providers will shift to a tier-based “data cap” pricing method of billing.

I’m sure most people remember the “pay per minute” plans that AOL thrived on in the early 90s, or the “pay per minute” plan of the old long distance companies, that were virtually eliminated by voice-over-IP.

I noticed a possible hint toward this shift, in some recent Time Warner Cable ads, that specifically tout, “no-data cap” as one of their selling points for their home internet service. “No-data cap?”, why would that be mentioned?

I believe it’s only a matter of time, before they shift to a tiered plan model, that includes a max amount of total bytes available for download per month, or at least, some type of throttling. I can’t imagine that the big cable network providers, will continue to build out larger capacity, without somehow extracting that cost from their customers.

While I do believe I will eventually shift my collection to 100% digital, I’m going to hold out, just a bit longer.

My music collection is a little different. Sharing services like Napster, reinvented the music industry, with an “all-you can stream” model evolving. The fact that you can rip a music CD in about 5 minutes, and upload it to multiple platforms quickly, makes it much easier and practical to do this with music, without paying anything extra. Amazon, offers their digital music storage service at $25 per year, to store 500,000 songs. When I uploaded my entire collection from iTunes, I barely reached 10% of that capacity, and it made it at least possible for me to maintain my collection across multiple platforms, without any additional investment. I know, movies have evolved similarly with Netflix and Amazon Prime, but the content is continually rotating, and it rarely includes most of the titles that I own in my personal movie collection. In addition, with the falling prices DVDs and Blu-ray discs, (especially used) it’s made it a lot less expensive to expand my collection even further, especially for mass-market movies that are about a year old. I use a $10 app to inventory, sort and organize, so I can find anything in less than 2 minutes.
It seems counter-intuitive, but for now, I’m holding onto this investment to see where the carriers, the platforms and Hollywood take us.

This brings up another interesting topic, once everything is converted and uploaded, how will our heirs inherit our digital assets, including movies, music and most personally, pictures? That’s a topic for a future blog article.

Have you purged all your hard media already?