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"No stack of crappy DVDs I never watch."

I'm starting to rip all my DVDs to a portable hard drive with the eventual aim of selling off my entire DVD collection. I smile to myself when I think of the CD collections of some people older than me have (MP3 players started to become affordable in my mid-teens). Now I have a sizable collection of music, but it's simply rearranged bits on a hard disc rather than a ton of CDs. No clutter.

I'm toying with the idea of selling of my large book collection and getting an iPad, but books have a high sentimental value for me plus I value the notes I've scribbled in the margins. Even the idea of having a portable hard drive will go away soon with cloud computing and the ever expanding services like Spotify and Netflix. It's amazing the amount of media you can accumulate without ever having to really "see" it (DVD cases etc).

Although not applicable to DVD collections, I realized the following:

When I started using Dropbox, I uploaded some media files onto my account and realized that even for the most obscure items, someone out there has already done so before me. As a result, backing up those files was merely an exercise of data deduplication in most cases.

Exactly. Physical media is pretty much redundant in the case of things that are easily pirated. I still buy CDs and movies to support the artists I enjoy, but I've pirated albums and movies that I already own simply for the convenience of having a well done rip without the knowledge required to do so myself. (I've started making FLAC copies of albums as soon as I buy them now, but for older CDs that wind up scratched, pirating was generally easier and of better quality)

Does dropbox do global file de-duplication? How does that fit in with their policy of encrypting user data?

This is why, in 2001, I made fun of Rhapsody. Why wouldn't you want to actually own your music? I mean, that's the whole reason I have this HUUUGE iPod, right?

Now I stream Pandora to my phone. I think I have 4 CDs ripped on my laptop.

Funny how times can change...

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