Monday, February 18, 2008

Keeping up, or trying to.

I see where Wally World will be dropping the HD-DVD format of players and discs from it's stores and selling exclusively Blu-Ray players.

I think I hear the fat lady warming up her vocal cords. No, it's not me, I wouldn't want to assault you with my singing.

Luckily, I am not that much of a "phile" where I have to run out and buy the newest technology so I can have the ultimate veiwing-audio-computer-whatever experience. Hell, I was on dial-up until about 6 months ago. So, that being the case, I'm not stuck with an HD-DVD player that will probably be going the way of the do-do soon, if I were to assume that WM is the deciding factor of what format is going to win out in the end. But, now I'm wondering to myself every time I buy a DVD, "should I just wait til the Blu-Ray version comes out?"

I'm old enough to remember saving my allowance so I could go down to the corner appliance store (if that in itself doesn't age me, "corner appliance store") where the owner stocked 45s and LPs in the back. The smell of vinyl as I pulled the album out of it's sleeve. Pouring over the lyrics printed on the back. Drooling over Barry....whoa, that's for another post, and hey, I was young...anyway...and it was the 70's...and I was a dork...Then 8-tracks were the thing, then cassettes, then CDs. As one format took over, older formats collected dust as the devices needed to play such formats became oddities found only in thrift shops.

I remember the story my daughter's music teacher told when my youngest was in grade school...first day of class, she takes an LP and places it on the turntable. "Mrs. A, what is that?" These kids had never seen an LP before. My youngest had seen LPs before. Her uncle has at least 6,000 of them. A blind person needs a hobby, afrter all.

So, now I'm glancing over at my bookcase and all the DVDs lined up on the shelves. I actually have videos. More or less obsolete. Like the case of my 8-tracks in the basement (why do I still have them, it's not like they'll make a comeback, or anything).

And, then there are my books. The one medium that through my life has not become obsolete, although the hardware needed to access them has needed upgrades through the years, ie, bifocals.

I enjoy a good movie, I like being able to watch a whole television series without commercials (right now, I'm catching up on "Torchwood" from the fine folks at BBC), but they will never totally replace a book. Especially a good book, one that can make a movie in my head. Nothing to plug in, no technology that will eventually fall into least the medium. The "player"...I hope it keeps running glitch-free for many years to come.

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