Mark Llobrera

Slate: “My Husband Was Right About DVDs All Along”

Writing in Slate, Torie Bosch rediscovers the value of DVDs/Blu-rays, now that streaming services have started removing even their own original productions:

I like to rewatch my favorite shows and movies, often as background noise while I do something else. And the idea that platforms are now removing even their original programming—which I had assumed was sacred—makes me worry about the future of other digital content, too. So I’m glad we hauled all of those DVDs and Blu-rays (even if I still think we could remove them from their cases and organize them some other way to save a bunch of space).

Jordan sent me the link to this story, and I felt both seen and trolled at the same time. The last few years I’ve grown convinced of the need for a physical archive for the digital things that matter to you. Make photo books/prints. Buy a copy of books/movies/tv that you reread/rewatch frequently.1

But even disc-based physical media has an expiration date—I’m curious what the life span of a DVD or Blu-ray disc is: 20 years? 40? I’ve tried to archive some of my collection to MKV (partly for the convenience of streaming via Plex, partly as a hedge against disc rot). Perhaps what I really want is an open, non-DRM format for movies/tv that I can purchase and own without fear that they will become unplayable due to expired rights or some other corporate whim. We already have this for music, despite the industry’s fears of piracy. Why not for movies/tv as well?2

  1. A few years ago I experimented with Day One as a digital journal, but I’ve shifted back to paper again. This is partly because Jordan got me a fountain pen for Christmas and it’s such a pleasure to write with, but I like the idea that when I’m gone someone can read them without having to worry about some weird digital format. ↩︎

  2. I wonder if the state of streaming libraries is more stable for music. Perhaps, due to fewer licensing rights to manage? ↩︎