Recently I read somewhere that all geeks should be subscribed to XM or Sirius Radio. And like any good geek, I looked into the services. And it’s a lot of money! I have a hard time justifying the $100+ dollars I’d have to pay per device plus the monthly subscription rate. With that much money I could buy a lot of albums on iTunes.
Which is a familiar feeling for me. A few years ago I questioned why anyone would ever choose to buy an online album when for just a little bit more you got the physical CD and artwork! I’ve come around on needing the physical object. Now I’d much prefer a digital copy kthxbye. No need to waste physical space in my house or office, and the digital copy saves me the step of ripping the CD to get it on my iPod.
So, in two(ish) years I’ve made the transition from analog to digital, and this gets me thinking of libraries. We’re going through this transition, too. It’s hard to give up the physical thing for a digital version, even when there are merits to the digital one. (For me, it’s one less thing to put away. In the library it might be that the digital version is easier to search.)
So now that I’m down with the digital, why can’t I wrap my head around leasing? That’s another issue libraries are dealing with, but this is one I’m not as sure about. It’s really scary to pay money and not know for sure if you’ll have access to the things you love most in the future. This is why it’s easy for me to get behind iTunes but hard to get behind satellite radio or rhapsody. With iTunes I know exactly what I own, and exactly what I will own in the future. If I’m leasing the content, who’s to say that I will have access to my favorite song in 5 years?
This is why even though I use Netflix, and have all kinds of fabulous movies delivered to my house, I still have a wish list of movies I want to own. I want to make sure I have access to them if they become so unpopular that Netflix quits offering them or they change their pricing.
So I wonder if two(ish) years from now I’ll be thinking back to how there once was a time where I insisted on ownership. For now, though, I’ll happily take spending a little extra to know I’ll have ownership later over the ethereal nature of online leasing. I wonder, too, if my professional life will impact my personal one. If because I become comfortable with the idea of leasing at work, will I become comfortable at home?
How do you feel? Own physical? Digital? Lease?