Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Owning stuff

Basically, I'm against it. I used to collect books, but moving on a limited budget made me aware of the cost of keeping heavy, dust-collecting things around.

The value of keeping a bookshelf full of the things that have meant something to you is now better available in Facebook applications and blogs. So there is no reason to have books around once I'm done reading them. Ditto for DVDs and CDs.

Once I tried reading books on my Dell Axim handheld computer with its little 3 inch screen, I found the experience better than printed books in every way, unless illustrations were involved. If everything I wanted to read was available in that format, I would have switched entirely over. But most of what's really good to read was published before Ebooks and is available much cheaper at used bookstores. That will continue to be the case for some time. But eventually, I won't have to deal with printed books at all and I'll be happy.

I found this interesting quote on the NY Times tech blog Bits, which I keep in my Google Reader.
Until now, Apple has scoffed at the idea of music subscriptions. Steve Jobs, its chief executive, has said that people want to own, not rent music. The company declined to comment.
Steve Jobs is right about most things, but this is surprisingly wrong. Everybody I know who has tried Rhapsody loves it. I think as more people try renting music, they'll look back and laugh at the time they wanted to own it.

The downside of Rhapsody is you can only listen to it on a computer with broadband. But a portable device that can do what rhapsody does would be ideal. I know such devices exist now, but they don't do anything else. If the iphone had that capability, I would want one even more than I already do.

But the main point is, read bits. Because, in the words of Samuel Faber, "Knowledge is good".

1 comment:

Beth said...

Not everyone. I didn't like Rhapsody because I couldn't listen to it in the car and I paid for and downloaded songs only to not be able to put them on my Zune because it's not a compatibe device. However, if there was a portable version of Rhapsody I would love that (provided I could hook it in to my car radio and use it in the car).