In a previous post I wrote about how we used Pandora to provide the soundtrack for a camping weekend. That weekend made me realize how easy and convenient Cloud accessed music could be. This week we set up Netflix through our Wii console. I have had a Netflix account for ten years. I first signed up in 2000. Like most people I was fed up with Blockbuster's late fees and jumped at the chance for a company that was focused on customer satisfaction rather than gouging every single time I rented a movie. For years we would have 3 movies in rotation. That changed after my son was born. It became harder and harder to find a 2 hour chunk of time where we could stay awake long enough to watch a movie. So we cut our account back to 1 movie at a time. The DVDs would often sit in a drawer for months on end. A few times when we did want to watch we'd decide that we weren't in the mood for the single DVD option we had on hand (Veronica Guerin! Sounds like a laugh riot!)
We considered closing the Netflix account all together until I saw a Tweet last week that you could connect directly via the Wii. It took about ten minutes to set up.
In the first week we watched 6 movies. Now granted 3 of them were classic Loonie Tunes collections that my son wanted to see but having the selection at the ready when we wanted it for a flat monthly fee? Perfect. This is how the Cloud can succeed.
That said there is still some stuff you might want to own and have access to permanently. (I have to attribute that thought to Eric Garland of Big Champagne)For me personally there are albums that I feel should be a whole, not just a collection of files on a hard drive ( I know that is romantic and a bit unrealistic given that the music I am thinking of is a collection of data on a shiny disc...).
So the most practical thing seems to be that access via the Cloud will be coupled with ownership of some specific titles. One thing that cannot be discounted is the inherent human need for ownership and the emotional resonance that art has. Humans like to own stuff, not just access it.