DVDs, BluRays, Streaming, Then What?: A Question That Fascinates Me (For Some Reason)

Blank Dvds Background Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Aside from bullet trains, supersonic aircraft, sound, and light; is there anything that moves faster than technology? Probably; but it still moves pretty fast.

In the brief period that humans have inhabited the floating, spinning rock we call Earth, technology has progressed from stone tools being the cutting edge of technology, to launching civilians into space because Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos were bored.

That's amazing.

One of my favorite areas of technological advancement is when it comes to ways that media is delivered to the masses.

Centuries ago, Guttenberg told the world to hold his beer and blew everyone's mind to pieces with the printing press. A contraption that seems archaic by today's standards but nonetheless changed the trajectory of human history and made books cheaper to produce and accessible to the masses.

Then nothing worth noting happened for a long, long time until that raging douchebag Thomas Edison whipped up a wax cylinder. Now music could be captured and played later. Then came vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, laser disks,  VHS tapes, DVDs, mp3s, minidisks, vinyl records (again), HDDVDs (briefly), BluRays, then... nothing.

I used to sit around as a kid and wonder what would form of consumer media would take next (seriously; I was a weird kid). I always assumed we'd go from disks to little cartridges, sort of like SD cards. But that's not what happened. Streaming came along and made my little thought exercise useless. I mean, where do you go after music and movies are delivered to you instantly? I guess you could have it beamed straight into your brain, but who in their right mind would give mega-corporations access to our brains (aside from every single one of us with a social media account or any online presence to speak of)?

What I do like about this situation is how I'll be able to give some kickass speeches to my grandkids:

Me: You kids have it easy, back in my day, if we wanted to watch a movie we had to walk four miles each way (not true, but embellishing is part of the fun) to Blockbuster. Then, you'd see a movie you wanted, but they didn't have any copies left. Then eventually Netflix came along and told Blockbuster to go screw.

Aiden, My Grandson (Kids in the future will still have stupid names like "Aiden" and "Kyler"): Netflix like we have now? Where they beam quality content like The Big Bang Theory Reboot and season 39 of Stranger Things directly to our frontal cortexes?

Me: (Laughing) Oh, no —that's not quality content, by the way — We had it streamed to these big boxes called "televisions".

Aiden: You mean that thing that Elvis shot because he didn't like Robert Goulet's singing? (For some reason, TVs will be a foreign concept to future kids, but they will know the finer points of Elvis urban legends).

Me: That's it! Before that Netflix sent us DVDs by mail.

Aiden: DVDs? Mail?

See? It'll be like explaining the Pony Express to kids today. Everything from the past sounds wildly inefficient to those of us in the present.

Quick aside on the Pony Express to wrap this up: The Pony Express operated from April 1860 to October 1861; so, a little over a year. The company's only source of revenue was the price of mailing a letter. As far as expenses they had to employ a series of riders and the upkeep for a bunch of horses. How did no one realize that this wasn't a sustainable business model? Thank god, telegraphs came along to put it out of its misery for good.


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