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Thread: Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

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    Otaku Luminous is off to a good start
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    Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

    We are currently seeing an advent of services popping up everywhere on the series of tubes known as the interents for selling media, such as Direct2Drive, iTunes, Steam, and the various download services found on consoles(PSN, XBL, WiiWare). Heck, I've even heard about a service coming to the DS in Japan called Vision that is supposed to bring a variety of mediums to the portable.(Anime, books, movies, etc...).

    PC Gaming as an example. Due to piracy, sales of PC titles have almost dropped off. However, Steam, Valve's digital distribution for PC games is bringing in loads of money, and developers are quickly flocking to it as a great means of selling a game. The prices are a lot lower, since you bypass the costs associated with making boxes, discs, and so forth. With these competitive prices, we are seeing higher sales of products that would usually fail if sent to the Gamestops of the world.


    So, here in lies the questions of the debate. Is the future of media firmly planted in the power of digital distribution? Are the days of music CDs and movie DVDs fast dissapearing in the rear view mirror? Will the trend of artists and developers moving to the world wide web for selling products continue, or will the love of having the product in a physical form outlast this system? Will piracy continue to be an issue if convenient downloads at far cheaper prices are available? Or will this so far successful form of distribution fall flat on it's face?

    Well, those are just a couple questions to muse over for discussion, feel free to add more, respond to one of them, or just add a opinion. What doth AO think of this new fangled way of selling products?

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    Re: Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

    What doth AO think of this new fangled way of selling products?
    I think it sucks!!

    I like my music CDs and movie DVDs in the physical form. I like the artwork, and the actual physically owning it. What suc** if you Download it is, if you want to keep it forever you have to keep it on your PC HDD or a back up one. And with movies and games that fills em up quick, even with a TB one. Doing that way is just too dam expensive(A 1 TB HDD cost like $250). Cant imagine how fast HD DVDs would fill up a hard drive. I could just get rid of em, but i like collecting stuff. With having them on discs make it easier and cheaper.

    I think its a conspiracy by the movie and Record industry to get you wanting to get into these legal pay downloads. I mean if you have to keep paying every time you want to watch your fav movie it can add up quick. Also when you dl movies(From legal places) you don't get all the bonus features and extras like on DVD's. No bonus features, no alternative versions.

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    Re: Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

    It's nice. It's sad, but it's nice.

    Example:
    I remember good ol' LA when it didn't really have internet sprawling all over the place- it had everything. All these foreign entertainment stores and even foreign movie theatres scattered here and there. All these used book stores and old video stores. I remember when pawn shops were the thing (they still are, just not so much). I remember when there would be an electronics store every two blocks! I remember when imported goods could be bought almost everywhere! I remember when you could buy hentai PC games at your local supermarket through a glass window! And I remember when there were TONS of music and video game stores out there!!

    ... -*sigh* when the internet came like the flood, the big stores became even bigger, and the small stores just disappeared off the face of the planet... good ol' dangerous LA just wasn't the same anymore...
    ... but ever since the internet came, we've had a huge surge of new things come our way...

    I mean... come on, if it weren't for the damned-to-hell internet, I couldn't be talking to you guys! And during my emo-years, how the heck was I supposed to survive without my ol' internet buds?

    I know this isn't just about the internet, but digitization was inevitable when the internet became more powerful... it's a sad thing that some of us had to give up our old ways and old stores and etc... but now we have such a broad choice of things! Things we never knew and never would have known are right in front of our faces! And though that's not always a good thing, at least we've adapted.

    Piracy and the such? I remember when bootlegging was the "ish"... bootlegged rentals and bootlegged movies straight onto a tape.
    Yes, it's much faster and stronger now, but we'll adapt to it and make it even harder for pirates, just like we always do. (Just like how they always adapt to us and make it harder for us)
    But I don't care much for them, I'm a profit-supporter! I BUY things from the people I like even if there's a free version of it online! I even go out of the way sometimes to buy the more EXPENSIVE version.
    If I like a company, I support it. And most of you people should do the same.

    People work hard on these things we love, the least we could do for them is buy the SALE-prices...

    ... digital distribution is a bad thing in a way... but it's an improvement in our society just as well, and we'll try our hardest to mold it to make it safer and better for all of us. And besides, we still have a choice. We can still leave our house and try to buy something from that small store near our hang-out spot, we can still rent a movie from the small rental store, and we can still try to find the cheap prices they have at our closest electronics store!

    PROFIT SUPPORT!

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    Re: Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

    While I prefer products I can embrace, the environmental side of me is waking up... It's alot better for theenvironment to just download something rather than have it produced, packaged, and shipped... With that said, I have to say that my love for CD cases I can drool over has still prevailed. All the stupid manuals, cards, papers, the shininess of the CD itself... Just too much. I don't think this sort of distribution would hurt me as much when it comes to PC games, though. Or at least the Asian ones... Most of the ones I have imported just dump the files on my computer. Perfectly fine with me... Concerning music... I guess I'd still prefer my CDs, but ugh, the prices are outrages, especially when it comes to shipping... Think of all the glee that will be brought to all those swag importers when all they have to pay is the download price (sure, it'll probably be a bit higher if they're holding a mirror up or something) and not the hellish shipping rates... Heaven.

    Thinking back to all the pros of Digital Distribution... You know, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Afterall, I'd still have all my books to embrace. And the environmental footprints, as said before, wouldn't be so bad... And if it means lower piracy rates for PC games, and higher profits for the developers, then all the more pwoer to digital distribution! Just not distribution for movies. No. Because those movies would clutter up my harddrive space, and suck on a comnputer monitor and two speakers when compared to those enormously huge plasma TVs and those surround sound stuffs that those of upper-middle class and higher own.

    I have no idea if this trend will come out as top though.
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    Re: Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

    What I wonder is when these systems are outdated what is going to happen to all the downloaded materials?

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    Re: Digital Distribution: The way of the future?

    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    One of the fundamental issues with digital distribution is the one of Digital Rights Management, (or DRM for short), which introduces a whole new paradigm's in the way movies and videos are purchased.

    When you purchase a Blu-Ray, DVD or CD disk, you have the defacto right to play the disk on any hardware player you own, or to take it with you, and play it on someone else's player to enjoy the media. With DRM protected downloads, your not purchasing the unconditional right to play the media. Instead, DRM downloads or closer to a rental service, which often have limitations on the number of times you can view the media, and what players your allowed to view it on.

    The biggest limitation with DRM protected downloads is that they are usually limited to play on a single host. This also means that when you computer breaks down, or your digital signature credentials get lost or corrupted, your DRM collection (and all the money you spent to purchase it) are essentially gone, even if you have backups of your media files. Whats really needed is the means to transport (and transfer in an approved fashion) your digital credentials on a readily available security token (such as a smart cell phone perhaps?) which can then communicate with the media player for a onetime unlocking of the DRM protection.

    As it is right now, DRM issues (which is also the reason why you can't record HDTV broadcasts on your DVD Burner Deck) are one of the major limitations, and has yet to be addressed by the industry. It may take a Government act (as Congress had to pass a special exception to the law to allow VHS recordings of TV programs) to clear up this mess... (grumble grumble grumble)
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