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general media Physical or Digital Media?


Luna the Great of all the Russias

Digital or Physical?  

23 users have voted

  1. 1. Books

    • Physical
      14
    • Digital
      4
    • Indifferent
      5
  2. 2. Film

    • Physical
      10
    • Digital
      6
    • Indifferent
      7
  3. 3. Games

    • Physical
      11
    • Digital
      5
    • Indifferent
      7
  4. 4. Music

    • Physical
      7
    • Digital
      11
    • Indifferent
      5


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Do you generally prefer physical or digital media? Does it depend on whether we speak of books, films, games or music? Are there particular physical or digital media formats that you like or find interesting? Why do you have your preferences?

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Can we stop saying digital, when we mean non physical or streamed? Digital means discrete bits of information. The data on DVDs, hard drives, floppy disks, cartridges, and some tapes are digital. DVD means digital versatile disc.

That said, I almost exclusively buy physical media. I can flip through a book faster than a pdf. I also like knowing my content won't disappear some day due to changes in IP ownership, or changes in a company policy.

If I do have to buy something that is downloaded, then I save a copy. There is a musician who made his first album as mp3s. I liked it, so I bought them. He was successful enough to be able to release his music digitally on CD, so I bought it again so I could have a physical copy of the digital music.

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Physical for everything except music. The reason being because I've never cared about owning records or CDs, I've always listened to my tunes on the computer. I also enjoy the convenience offered by digital media with gaming, getting to play anything on my Switch whenever I want, so long as it's downloaded, but I like to always have a physical copy of the games I really care about collecting. 

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Most of these I go for digital save for video games which I try going physical. Unlike most of the others which are easier to track down cheap, it's still incredibly difficult to get a lot of games on modern consoles without paying for exorbitant prices, especially for consoles where a good majority of it's best games are still trapped on the console(Gamecube is the biggest offender)

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I don't know what physical media means anymore. It's like when you are using external hard drives its the best form of storage technology. You can keep your games, photos, music whatever you want. Never use online cloud storage it's a scam  Books is the only thing that I like in the printed on paper form, everything else can be digital.

Edited by RDDash
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Digital for the most part. I'm not very good at taking care of... things. So, platforms like steam or netflix are awesome in this case. Still, some of the merchandise and collector editions are pretty cool, otherwise. A physical reminder is something special, but it gives me anxiety. I don't know the reason, but seeing these things getting older is like a reminder of mortality. Like when I look at some of the stuff from my family. Old pictures, clothing, etc. These things are still here, but they are gone... and it makes no sense. I don't like that. So, I feel this urge to break them. So, they won't remind of it. I know it sounds insane.

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10 hours ago, Brony Number 42 said:

Can we stop saying digital, when we mean non physical or streamed? Digital means discrete bits of information. The data on DVDs, hard drives, floppy disks, cartridges, and some tapes are digital. DVD means digital versatile disc.

8 hours ago, RDDash said:

I don't know what physical media means anymore. It's like when you are using external hard drives its the best form of storage technology. You can keep your games, photos, music whatever you want. Never use online cloud storage it's a scam  Books is the only thing that I like in the printed on paper form, everything else can be digital.

I suppose the factors I had in mind are the following:

1. Whether you access something by clicking on a file or a link to a file, or by other means.

2. The information (book, film, game or music) you are trying to access is not stored onto the device itself.

So media like floppy disks, CDs and DVDs would be categorized as "physical" despite being digital because they are intended to exist separately from their respective devices, and there is the consideration that the devices to which they connect are capable of accessing the data with minimal user input. So hard drives would be categorized as "digital" despite arguably being separate from a device for there is no "hard drive" player that is intended to seamlessly access the desired data; the accessing of data requires more user input (such as navigating through the file directory to access the desired data). Media players would be categorized as "digital" as the device is intended to both store and access the files internally. There may be a better way to convey this distinction, but that is roughly what I had in mind.

I would change "digital" to "non-physical" as suggested, but it is too late now without resetting the results of the poll (or at least I assume that is what happens).

 

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In the question of what is better: Owned vs non-owned (rented by streaming services and game companies), I would say I rather want to own something I buy than renting it for an unknown time.

There are games out there that totally are unplayable without community hacking, because digital stores shut down their network services, which are DRM related. That is one problem in itself, that we are just supposed to forget history when a company don't want to sell the games anymore.

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With movies I would prefer digital but sadly in my country most movies that interest me aren't available for purchase. So I resort to buying DVDs and Blu-rays mostly via Amazon.

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I would rather buy physical media instead of files. The two exceptions are books (a pdf is easier to read) and games (most of them need online activation anyway, so I might as well just use Steam).

When I buy music on a tape or CD, I get to keep it. On the other hand, someone may be paying for a streaming service for years and then an artist he likes gets removed from the service (because the artist said something stupid or some other reason).

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Books physical. absolutely. no question.

Video I'm fine with digital but I like to have physical copies of things I love.

Music I'm fine with all digital but I miss Ipods where you could have your own library.

Video games I don't play, either way.

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I can go either way. Music, I prefer digital, but I prefer physical for books and film. Video games are a bit more complicated, in the sense that I like and find use in both.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, my answers are a little complicated. :sealed:

I had an embolic stroke in 2020 due to Covid, and thus a lot of my preferences changed, along with a number of other things:

  • I struggle to maintain my focus while reading physical books while .
  • I began to prefer physical media to digital in almost every single way, when I used to be the opposite.

Due to these factors, I now:

  • Prefer books digitally via Audible (Kindle only as a last resort, due to focusing issues)
  • Prefer film physically via Blu-Ray (DVD if Blu-Ray is unavailable. I do use video streaming services, which is uncharacteristic for me. If something is unavailable physically, on a streaming service, or in an uncompressed format, well...I don't think I can say, but the method is the highest digital quality available.)
  • Prefer games physically via their respective platforms (digital only when physical is unavailable)
  • Prefer music physically via CD (CD-quality or higher is required for digital if CD is not available, so I use sites like Qobuz, Bandcamp, and OTOTOY. I only use iTunes as a last resort, as their lossy codec is the best out there)

If you couldn't tell, I'm a quality buff, and want the highest quality for everything that is possible. Thus, I never stream music; I don't use Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music at all. I do use video streaming services, which may seem uncharacteristic. However, I find the quality on those tends to be amazing, even if it is compressed (I don't know if it is or not). I still prefer CD and Blu-Ray for as much as possible, though.

However, we're not done. ;)

When it comes to film and music, I rip everything into my desktop computer uncompressed. For Blu-Rays and DVDs, I use MakeMKV, which creates an uncompressed MKV file out of the disc. For CDs, I use CloneCD to make a disc image, and iTunes to rip to WAV and ALAC. Thus, despite preferring physical for everything but books, I like to watch and listen to music and film digitally still, thus the ripping tools.

Obviously, with books, I'm stuck with Audible's quality, which isn't great, but it works.

For games, I think the bullet listing for it explained well enough on its own.

That's it. :fluttershy:

Edited by Crystal Prism
Typo
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Books: As a rule I prefer physical books. I like the feel of them in my hands, especially the really old ones. But I do admit that I have my share of Kindle books as well, mostly because I can do another project while my Kindle reads the book out loud to me.

Film: I prefer dvds of my favorites, because I like the box art and enjoy clutching my faves in my sweaty little mitts. But I watch a lot on streaming because it’s convenient and I don’t have to hunt down a movie on dvd, order it and wait for it to arrive.

Games: Games suck and I don’t waste my time on them, in any format.

Music: I like to load songs into my playlists on my iPod and phone because it’s convenient. And sometimes I just want one song rather than a complete album loaded with filler. But, like with movies, I have my favorites on CD or vinyl.

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Moments ago, Dreambiscuit said:

Books: As a rule I prefer physical books. I like the feel of them in my hands, especially the really old ones. But I do admit that I have my share of Kindle books as well, mostly because I can do another project while my Kindle reads the book out loud to me.

Film: I prefer dvds of my favorites, because I like the box art and enjoy clutching my faves in my sweaty little mitts. But I watch a lot on streaming because it’s convenient and I don’t have to hunt down a movie on dvd, order it and wait for it to arrive.

Games: Games suck and I don’t waste my time on them, in any format.

Music: I like to load songs into my playlists on my iPod and phone because it’s convenient. And sometimes I just want one song rather than a complete album loaded with filler. But, like with movies, I have my favorites on CD or vinyl.

Same here, Dreamy. :):kindness:

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/17/2023 at 4:24 AM, Dreambiscuit said:

Books: As a rule I prefer physical books. I like the feel of them in my hands, especially the really old ones. But I do admit that I have my share of Kindle books as well, mostly because I can do another project while my Kindle reads the book out loud to me.

Film: I prefer dvds of my favorites, because I like the box art and enjoy clutching my faves in my sweaty little mitts. But I watch a lot on streaming because it’s convenient and I don’t have to hunt down a movie on dvd, order it and wait for it to arrive.

Games: Games suck and I don’t waste my time on them, in any format.

Music: I like to load songs into my playlists on my iPod and phone because it’s convenient. And sometimes I just want one song rather than a complete album loaded with filler. But, like with movies, I have my favorites on CD or vinyl.

Sweet opinions Dreamy:kindness::bedeyes:  

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  • 1 month later...

I'm old school I love physical media... I still shop at record shops and own tons of CDs. I miss going to the Mall with friends after school having something to look forward to. I still plan on buying physical media dependant on what it is. For retro gaming I'm fine with digital roms and such. But I like my music and media in physical form.

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Both.
Across the board in all ways, both. I voted indifferent, but really I meant BOTH.
Surprised piracy wasn't an option.

As much as some people might like to think that world is going all-digital, we are still living in a world where we need physical media from time to time. And I can prove it. :toldya:

Digital services like Netflix, Spotify, Steam, and so on don't actually let you own the media. You might be paying a price, but you are basically paying for the right to use their service and enjoy whatever they are offering. However, if the service decides to take down the media entirely, then you cannot return to it and enjoy it legally. At least not legally from them. You'd have to go somewhere else. Netflix can take down plenty of its streaming titles at any time; and they don't usually make physical releases of their originals. Games can be taken down from Steam if there is legal or other reasons. Spotify doesn't have every musician or band under the sun. Now I don't know about you, but when I pay for something or even a copy of something, I like the idea of being able to own it and enjoy it whenever I please, for as long as I please.

That doesn't mean I reject digital. YouTube alone has made it so much easier to legally listen to tons of music that I like. Sometimes I can find audio books there too. Occasionally, I can find some movies that are free with ads. When I'm busy and just want some music or a good story, but I don't have time to whip out the audio CDs or anything else, it's too easy to pull this stuff up on my phone. Digital services have not only made it easy to find games, but made it easy to play or install games. There is an upside to everything, but there's always something to consider.

Sometimes when media crosses over from one medium/format to another, things get lost. Scenes might get removed. Music might get removed. Some things might get caught up in so much litigation, you might never even see an actual release of it. Things like this can make you appreciate the releases or collections you have, especially if they are complete or perfect. Other things might cause you to search for alternatives. And yes, at times, it's either piracy or nothing at all. I don't want anyone to engage in piracy; it really is a last resort, but sometimes piracy is the only way to preserve lost media. I've also seen people say that physical media often gives you the absolute best quality for sound, video, and other technical things. And while I am mindful of quality (I'm more of a videophile than an audiophile), if a song, movie, or TV show is being officially posted by the studio that owns it, I tend to relax a little bit. They are the ones posting it, so it's in their best interest to post the best quality they can. And usually, they do! Still, with all these reasons in mind and way more, we can never go purely in one direction or the other. :proud: For everything that isn't covered by physical release, there is digital, and vise versa. And when both fail, piracy may be your last hope, but it can sometimes fulfill a need no other service is providing.

On 2023-01-29 at 3:10 PM, Gale Wind said:

I wish I could get everything physical but since digital takes up no space, I’ll settle for it. I have lots of physical games but many digital too.

Correction, digital media DOES take space. If not yours, someone else's.
If it isn't taking space on your computer, flash drive, memory card, phone, or some other storage device; then it is taking space on someone else's server. You may be accessing the media through an online service, but that service is hosting the files and the media on their end. If the service or the uploader takes it down, you'll have to find it somewhere else. And if no one is hosting the media, you'll have to consider piracy (as in downloading a copy of it). Which is why a lot of people make their own back-up copies of stuff while they still can.

Not saying everyone should do that. It's a hobby that can take a lot of time and money. Only do it if you are really committed to doing so. But for the most part, you probably don't have to worry too much.

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