In the mid nineties, I recall car booting all my entire and beloved vinyl collection as I shifted up to CD. Then five years ago I digitised all my CDs to MP3 and stored the old disks in wallets in the loft.
Now the time has come for DVD to suffer the same fate.
So why the shift?
For me, I recognise that DVD is about the worst format available to me now – I prefer streaming online and HD, and I would never buy a DVD today.
If I REALLY wanted to own a film, I would buy the BluRay. If I really want to see it, I would rent it on iTunes in HD (via the US store – sneaky ;-)). Sure not everything is on iTunes yet, but it will be, or a better iTunes like VOD store to come.
What pushed me over the edge? A number of things. First, we are working on the house, rejigging it around, and 500 DVDs take up a LOT of space.
Second, my good friend Eddie Hamilton told me he was doing the same. And finally, the fire at the Sony factory jolted me out of my ‘myth of permanence’ state of mind.
And in letting go of my collection I have felt a both a great sadness and a great relief.
Te be clear, I am not ditching the disks, I am putting them into two disk wallets that will occupy one fiftieth of the space.
I also recognise that the new and younger consumers of today don’t collect like my generation do / did. I remember buying LPs at the record market in my home town and bringing them home to play with friends. Back then we would sit around and listen to an album from end to end, discuss the lyrics, lovingly examine the artwork, read the sleeve notes and generally geek out. And I loved it. It gave me a sense of belonging, of community. The music bound me to my tribe.
And that mindset carried through CD and DVD too. But the days of alphabetised collections occupying entire walls are gone.
This activity and experience has been replaced by online communities and tribes, with creators and artists in deeper contact and more immediate contact with their fans and communities. With fans exchanging material, legally or illegally, because this is what we do in a tribe – we share. Just like I would record an album to cassette for a friend.
As I said, it’s both a sad day for me, and also a liberating one.
Onwards and upwards
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author