Retaining it actual: Spare me downloads and streaming providers (Viewpoint)

After I purchased “Unrequited Infatuations,” the memoir of rock guitarist and “The Sopranos” actor Stevie Van Zandt final week, I selected hardcover, not Kindle.

On my procuring listing this month is the six-disc “Let It Be Tremendous Deluxe Field Set” for $139, despite the fact that I can obtain these Beatles songs for a fraction of the worth as MP3 recordsdata. I plan on grabbing the Criterion Assortment’s 4K ultra-high definition launch of “Citizen Kane” subsequent month, regardless of the very fact it’s available to HBO Max subscribers.

Within the age of downloads and streaming platforms, I cling to what’s referred to within the leisure commerce papers as “bodily media” — books, vinyl albums, compact discs and DVDs or Blu-rays.

It’s not that I’m a technophobe, however I would like to have the ability to purchase a high-quality e book and flip although its pages, or rip the shrink-wrap off of a brand new album or just put a traditional film on Blu-ray again on the shelf when I’m achieved.

Make no mistake, there isn’t a possession or permanence with streaming.

Amazon Prime Video person Amanda Caudel filed a category motion lawsuit final yr over bought packages later pulled from the platform. The e-commerce big argues that when a person buys content material on the platform, what they’re actually paying for is a restricted license for “on-demand viewing over an indefinite time period.”

It’s unclear what misplaced movie sparked the courtroom motion, although the animated “Puss in Boots” is talked about within the pile of authorized paperwork.

Whereas I don’t personal a replica of “Puss in Boots,” I’ve amassed a group of 1000’s of 45-rpm singles, albums, eight-track and cassette tapes, compact discs, books, VHS movies, laser discs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

Past the reassurance that “Rio Bravo” with John Wayne, “Johnny Money at Folsom Jail” or “All of the President’s Males” will all the time have a spot on my cabinets, I admit there’s a sentimental attraction to proudly owning bodily media.

I treasure the vinyl copy of the Frank Sinatra album “All of the Approach” that my Uncle Jack gave me 50 years in the past. When the diamond stylus drops onto the groove, I consider him and our shared love of music and high-quality audio gear.

The almost worn-out copy of Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Fringe of City,” which I purchased at J.M. Fields days after seeing him dwell on the Springfield Civic Middle on Sept. 13, 1978, isn’t going wherever, although I repurchased that title a decade afterward compact disc and once more a couple of years again as a part of a lavish field set.

I used to concern that it was solely child boomers who share this attachment to CDs, books or vinyl albums.

So I used to be relieved not too long ago to listen to that, within the first six months of this yr, vinyl album gross sales reached 19.2 million copies — a soar of 108% from the identical interval in 2020. The commerce publication Billboard is predicting gross sales may attain $1 billion this yr.

Perhaps with the ability to maintain an artist’s work within the palm of your hand isn’t outdated in spite of everything.

Ray Kelly is the managing editor at The Republican. He could be reached at [email protected]

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