Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The end of the optical disc

As I read this article, it got me to thinking, with the advent of HD and richer content, what will the next device look like to hold, distribute and share content. History has shown that a new format tends to completely replace an older format. Who needs a VCR today? The DVR has quickly replaced it. It's interesting to recall all the formats we've owned (and obviously your age will determine which format you recall): the LP, EP, and 45 record, the 8 track, tape reels, cassette, beta tape, VHS, floppy disc, zip drive, mini disc, cd rom/compact disc, flash drive, etc. I'm sure I'm missing some more. Of course, the concern remains with digital rights management.
The article suggests that the optical disc (CD/DVD) will fade away in the next 5 years. Seems possible as the flash drive has become more accepted. Maybe the cable box can add a USB port to read those flash drives, or better yet put it on the TV. Makes me think fondly to the old Star Trek series, plastic rectangles inserted into the computer to share content. Makes me think they got it right.