Why I hate digital media? Part 1

1) I hate digital media, cos I can’t touch it.
The RIAA’s lawsuit on illegal p2p music sharing hit a poor old lady by the name of Patricia Santangelo. Naturally infuriated, she fights back, particularly because she has no idea what music sharing is or even an Mp3. She is not alone.
Check out: http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/5002/santangelo.html
What I found particular enlightening, is not the bully tactics, nor the mindless blanket lawsuits, but how she saw Mp3 or digital media for that matter. She summarized the biggest problem that I have been mulling in the last 2 years since digital made it big.
I quote:

“p2pnet: You’re reported to have said you’ve never used Kazaa and that, further, you didn’t even know what it was before the RIAA turned up on your door-step. It’s also been said the software belongs to a friend of your children’s and was installed without you, or anyone else in your family, knowing about it. Is that an accurate summary?
Santangelo: That’s correct. I had no idea what Kazaa was or what it was used for. I think of software as an actual disk that you hold in your hand so I’m not sure about that or how it was installed. The screen-name that was used for the Kazaa account did not belong to any of my children is what I said. I never said that one of my children did not know this person had a Kazaa account.”

This is the crux of the problem of digital media. You can’t touch it, thus you cannot feel its value. That’s why people have no respect for MP3 or DivX. Its has no value because it is intangible, you can’t touch it, eat it, smell it, sell it, or make you gain 2 kilos and most important of all you can easily loose it. (via a hard drive crash, accidental deletion). This is a good sign for me, as an Industrial Designer, this means humans will still need products in the future as they are the vessels of the intangible.
However we cannot ignore digital media, this is the way of the future. The focus now for any one of us to forge ahead we need to bridge this gap of making intangible digital media, tangible. This leads me to my next rant.
2) I hate digital media, cos I can’t manage it.
When you have something you can easily accumulate and hoard, it rapidity moves out of control. I think we can safely look at anyone’s music, digital photos, and movies folder and you can see why. Almost every single product out there that has a relation to digital media, internet radio, pod casting has in some way a connection to a PC to manage this media. This cannot be. This means digital media systems will not stray far from the PC. Wireless helps but in the end, people still associate it as a extensions of a PC product. For consumer electronics manufacturers to implement digital media in our products we need to re-package how it is used and interacted with.
On to Part 2.

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