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Friday
Jun082012

When Access Feels Like Ownership

 Remember the days when you used to lug your record collection from place to place that over time could fill a small bedroom? The advent of cassettes and CDs, not to mention VHS’s and DVD’s that we kept on shelves before being transferred to boxes in the garage didn’t change things much either but you were proud of your collection and investment. 

  Come Mp3, downloads, hardware capable of storing thousands of tracks on a device the size of your finger, WiFi and whala!! Music streaming. No storage, no shelves to rearrange, no garage sale, no boxes to fit all that old music into while you relocate just the press of a button and all the tunes you’ve paid for access to at your fingertips, arranged in neat playlists to suit the mood of the day. The tunes of the past? No problem, somebody else took the time to upload those old tracks to a hard-drive maybe in someone’s garage that they’re calling a cloud.  Hmm
          So what’s the difference if you can access music 24/7 on multiple devices without the responsibility of actually owning it? Awesome huh? Except our lives have become full of stuff we have access to but don’t actually own, it just feels like ownership. We just make endless payments to some company with a web address that we can only visit virtually or speak to someone usually stationed in another country. We tell our friends that we own our cars, our homes, our furniture, vacation homes, until we miss a payment and then the real owner takes it back. 
          So what will total access to music without actual ownership look like? Well, stop making payments and your playlist info will be deleted, all the music you’ve savored over the years will disappear. Of course technology would make it possible to reconstitute what you’ve lost I’m sure. But just think of the implications, endless payments for access only, how many albums will that amount to? I like the idea of portability, building a song list of music that I like rather than having shelves full of CDs, records, or cassettes that often feature one or two songs out of ten or twelve that I listen to. On the other hand I prefer the control over what I can physically handle versus what I’m given access to, let’s be real access is just that, [access], not ownership. Additionally, I like the idea of not having to plug into a network just to enjoy music. In short I want my privacy, and making a playlist or just random listening that only I know about however minuscule isn’t something I want logged onto a remote computer somewhere in someone’s garage err cloud as part of a never-ending profile build. When that happens “Access will feel like ownership”.

 

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