1. Lack Of Special Features
I may be in a niche audience here but I like the little things that are added to films for DVD and blu-ray releases. For example, whilst I’m not a fan of the Thor film, the commentary by Kenneth Branagh is superb, insightful and full of interesting details which help you enjoy the film, and when the credits are going on he makes sure to point out how important different members of the crew are even though they’re not talked about that much. David Fincher too has delivered some absolutely stunning commentaries on his films, particularly on the platinum release of Seven which had so many commentaries that you almost feel that you know absolutely everything about that film.
But with downloads you don’t get that as often, you get them sometimes but not as prevalent as they are with physical releases, and that disappoints me. I like the weird stuff, it shows passion that the film-makers have towards what they’ve done.
2. No Ownership
Random fact, if you download something, be it a game or an album or a film, you don’t own it. You’re just leasing the content. As such it’s not really yours to do anything with. If you want to leave your downloads to someone when you die, you can’t do that (well, unless you give them the password beforehand) as it’s not yours to give away. That’s if it lasts that long of course, after Disney’s licensing deal with Amazon ran out in 2013 people found they couldn’t stream or redownload Disney soundtracks or movies that they had already brought. They had been essentially locked out of content that they paid for. You may think “yeah, but if I’ve already downloaded it, what’s the problem?”. Oh you poor naive fool, then it gets deleted off any device you’ve downloaded it onto. In 2009 some users of Kindles found their digital book collection lighter. It turned out the company who supplied the digital books to Amazon wasn’t 100% legit and didn’t own the rights in the first place. So Amazon took the books down from their online store, and then DELETED IT OFF PEOPLES KINDLES! That’s right, even if you pay for, and download something, you still might not be able to access it. Interesting fact; one of the books effected by this: 1984 by George Orwell.
3. The Thrill Of The Chase
The beautiful thing about downloading content is the wide variety it gives you access to. Think back to the 90’s, or even the early 2000’s. You hear about a film that could be good so you scour the local shops to find it, and if they didn’t have it they had to order it in, and who knows how long that will take, especially if it’s an import? Now? Just click on a button and it’s there. There can be a film made on a budget of £1,000 in Brazil (only, you know, in Brazilian Real, not Pounds Sterling) and if the makers decide to upload it onto their website, you can have it. I don’t think people truly realise how great that is, almost every film in history is at your fingertips, accessible in seconds, it’s amazing. But part of me likes buying in a shop. It’s not just having a hard copy of what you’ve brought (although that is quite important, it’s nice to have something you can physically hold), it’s being disappointed that you can’t find a film, being in a dingy charity shop in a random town, and seeing it there. That thrill when you FINALLY find it, after months of searching to no avail and suddenly you have it right there in your hands, the waiting is over. Nothing can touch that moment. There’s no streaming equivalent, it’s far far too easy and convenient. I kind of touched upon it earlier, but there is also something special about actually owning a DVD. You organise them in a way that means something to you, in a unique way that confuses everybody else yet makes complete sense to you (if you ever meet someone who orders their DVD’s autobiographically, give them a hug, they probably need it). You FEEL like you own it, you look at it like a king surveying his kingdom, basking in the greatness of your purchases.
This one, admittedly only applies to kindles. People love them, they constantly talk about how convenient they are, and they are, I won’t deny that. But I will never buy one for one simple reason; I can’t transfer my books onto it. You can transfer your CD’s onto your iPod or MP3 player but books you can’t for obvious reasons, and that annoys me. I’ve already paid for these books, I don’t want to buy them again just for convenience. But maybe that’s just me.
5. I’m Old And I Don’t Like Change.
Here’s the most important reason, the one that I feel overshadows and is the cause of all the others. I remember when MP3 players came out and I stuck with my portable CD player, which required you to change the batteries every 90 minutes and would skip if you didn’t hold it in just the right way. But I still kept on, even when I had to replace it on an almost yearly basis I still maintained “no, I like cd players better, mp3 players lack that special something”. I now have an iPod and I was wrong, very very wrong. Right now, because of my iPod, I carry around 1,912 albums, 23,717 songs in total, all in my pocket. If you had come up to 10 year old me and said that in the future that would be possible I wouldn’t have believed you (mainly because you’d be an adult talking to a 10 year old child, you creep), and if you told me I’d reject that out of some ridiculous notion of authenticity I’d have slapped you in disbelief, and then slapped myself for being such an idiot. So when you see me in a few years time, reading my kindle and then watching a film on my tablet on the train (with headphones in, I’m not a dick), remind me of how stupid I used to be, I deserve it.