DVDs. I just rediscovered them. (Of my technical achievements, mastering the mastering of DVDs ranks up there. I still find DVD authoring insanely cool. And I also never do it.)
The sweet science of everyday DVD authoring was quickly usurped by the web. Not that I’m complaining. The web is a way better mass-distribution platform.
But frankly, I’d gotten so used to watching short films and music videos on YouTube that these gems at the bottom of one of my many “old media” boxes hit me in a way they never had before. I sat down and watched them, all of them, with undivided attention.
When was the last time I gave anything my undivided attention?
I didn’t even watch these as intently when I first got these in the mail with my RES magazine subscription (Speaking of tired media, remember “mail” and “magazines”? )
The DVD is past its prime. It just is. (Even BluRay feels like a stopgap measure trying to hold off the inevitable.) It brought us the random access we yearned for, and then quickly ceded its reign to the ‘tubes. And it will be remembered, at least by me, as still cool, and still tangible, still a medium that can deliver high-quality video in a way the web may never be able to replicate – at least until bandwidth limits are truly limitless (and really what kind of fiber optic connection will ever be able to match 4.37GB served up instantly?)
But we’ve happily traded it in for grainy, streamed, thumbnail-sized video because it seems convenience trumps all these days.
Oh my God, am I turning into grumpy new media grandpa? “When I was a kid you couldn’t use open source Sorensen code to compress video, you had to use canvas sacks!”