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optical media needs to DIE

To those who aren't aware, optical media is (taken from Wikipedia)...

..a flat, circular, usually polycarbonate disc whereon data is stored in the form of pits (or bumps) within a flat surface, usually along a single spiral groove that covers the entire recorded surface of the disc.

In other words, a compact disc (CD) or a digital versatile disc (DVD). All CD's and DVD's are optical media.

The optical disc has existed since the late 1970's. We didn't really start using it until the mid-80's, and didn't start mainstream use of them in computers until the 90's.

Blu-Ray and HD DVD's are generating a lot of discussion. Which is better? What's more cost efficient? And most important, which has the better picture quality?

Answer: They both suck, and I'll tell you why.

How I would love to smack all these Blu-Ray/HD DVD morons upside the head. Why? Because it's an optical disc, meaning it already sucks. Yet again we have another technology based on an unreliable, scratchable medium that's over 25 years old.

Optical discs need to GO AWAY.

The replacement? Anything that doesn't require moving parts of any kind.

Want an example? Okay. No problem.

Contrary to what people think, we will always have the need for physical media. If we didn't, there would be no physical product to sell in stores. The need for physical media will never go away as long as people are buying and selling things.

The next generation of physical media will probably be a card. It will be about the size of a poker card. You will be able to take it, insert it into a player, and your movie will start playing. And yes it will be that easy.

There will be three types of cards.

One will simply be a card that expires. You rent your movie from the rental place, the card is set to allow 48 hours of use. After that it simply expires and stops working. And to be more Earth-friendly, the place you buy the cards from should offer a ten-cent recycle payback for any card returned so they don't end up strewn about in landfills everywhere.

The second type will be an non-expiring version, allowing unlimited playback just like the DVD's you buy today.

The third will be a reusable card.

By today's standards, the throw-away expiration card will cost about five bucks. The unlimited version will be about thirty bucks. The reusable depends on how many movies can fit on it.

For example, if you had a Blockbuster reusable playback card, you just bring it to the store, pay a fee to rent the movies you want, load 'em up on the card and then go home. The card will be "smart" enough to expire playback after 2 days or however long you rented the movies for. And if the technology was really smart, you could rent the movies you want online and download them to the card.

None of the cards will have any Big Brother we-track-you technology in it. Simply put, they're just designed for playback of movies.

For data mediums, the cards are all "unlimited" use and act exactly like USB flash drives, save for the fact they'll transfer data much faster and hold a lot more.

Optical disc - please go away. Now. You're old, your unreliable, you just suck.

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