Archive for February 17th, 2008

“Format Wars” – Are Physical Formats Irrelevant?

So, HD-DVD “lost” the new HD format wars to Blu-Ray…check out this short article at Wired for more details and links:

http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/

It brings up an interesting question: with more and more of us watching video in completely digital formats, are physical manifestations of “content” relevant anymore? In the days of LPs, there was certainly a fetishistic quality about the records themselves, and part of the joy of “listening” to them came from an experience of ownership and organization (High Fidelity, anyone?). I know that I personally value having a binder of DVDs organized alphabetically by genre and title; many people make playlists in iTunes for similar reasons. As the article suggests, however, we seem to be entering an age when much of the media we consume is literally nothing more than trillions of bits of computer memory expressed as 1s and 0s, translated by software into audiovisual grammar we can understand. The one aspect of media consumption that this transformation seems to be affecting is the notion of ownership; to what extent does our ownership of a copy of a song, movie, video game, or television show factor into our reading of it? Has “ownership” become a quaint notion of a bygone system of cultural expression, if anyone can edit and redistribute content at will?

It seems to me that a shift to all-digital media content is in one sense simply the addition of another layer of abstraction; the content of Beethoven’s 5th symphony, for example, is essentially the same whether we listen to it on a CD or an mp3. As McLuhan would point out, however, the practices that surround our listening of the 5th symphony have radically changed. Whereas before we might peruse our collection of records or CDs and find that we were in the mood for Beethoven’s fifth, now (in iTunes, for example) we must specifically seek out the fifth symphony from our 58 days and 30 GB of music. Whenever I have a vague idea about the kind of music I’d like to listen to, I find myself simply hitting “shuffle” in iTunes and stopping on whatever song that pops up that I feel like hearing…there’s simply too much music in my library for me to realistically “browse” it all in any reasonable time. While I “own” all of the songs and albums in my library, I don’t own them in quite the same way I own my DVDs. I expect that something similar will happen to movies and TV shows in the next few years.

Taste of the Internet &Uncategorized Derek Long 17 Feb 2008 2 Comments

There is absolutely no reason why this should be funny.

There really isn’t any reason why this should be funny.
TEE RECK IZ BLOO!! BLOO!!! HAHAHA!
moar humorous pics

Nonetheless, I find it hilarious and laugh every time I see it. Is the cat a mad scientist? Are the cat and the Tee Recks confined together in an asylum for the mentally unbalanced? I don’t have a clue. What’s beautiful, however, is this:
There Will Be Bloo

Ticket stub from the (truly great) film There Will Be Blood, only our friends at the theater managed to make it Bloo. This delights me and maybe one other person, and if it delights any more of you, we might have a proper meme-birth on our hands. Nifty.

Taste of the Internet Jessie Gurd 17 Feb 2008 2 Comments

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