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Chris Raymond

Shouldn't Technology Make Life Easier?

By January 16, 2013

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Apple launched its iTunes media-player software 12 years ago this month. At that moment, I decided to "go digital" and convert all of my CDs to digital files and to only purchase music in digital form going forward.

"How much easier life will be," I recall thinking, "when I can access all of my music on any device I want."

Well, I can do the latter, but, over a decade later, I can't say life is easier because of it. If anything, it's just the opposite.

First, all of those old CDs I had now sit in storage boxes, taking up space. After all, what if I want to look at the liner notes? What if a file corrupts and I need to re-import it? I'll probably never touch the CDs again, except when I haul those boxes to a new home, but I just can't toss them away.

Next, because my digital music library now consists of thousands of songs, and computer hard drives can fail, I had to add a second external drive to backup my files. I also had to install special backup software to automate the process because human memory is even more fallible than computer hardware.

And now I'm wondering if I should add another external hard drive that I would keep somewhere other than my home. After all, a burglar or a fire could wipe out my original music library and the backup at the same time.

Maybe buying music on CDs was easier after all.

Do you buy music, movies or books in digital format but also have physical copies somewhere? Have you thought about what you'll do with your digital assets after you die? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

January 17, 2013 at 8:50 am
(1) Tony says:

I think of this quite often. While I would hate to lose the hundreds of songs I’ve downloaded and the movies I now have at my ready, I am most concerned with digital photos.

Years ago, I only needed to worry if I would lose them in a fire, tornado or some other natural disaster, which seemed very unlikely but now I fret over losing my precious memories due to a hard drive crash, which is much more likey.

How many backups should you have, where should they all be stored, how long is the integrity of the backup, i.e. disc?

All these questions… I need a nap.

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