The New York Times has a fairly detailed look at the options available for converting video files into various formats — cell phones, games, iPods — and the alphabet soup of codecs that render the data. The Times has been paying more attention to alternative video output platforms in recent months, a good thing since they’re usually on target. That’s why they’re The Times.
At the end of the piece comes this bit of wisdom, more or less what I have been prophesizing for ages. (My own enlightenment came via an arabesque chat with video visionary Todd Rundgren). Where we’re going, the concept of owning something so rarely useful as a movie will be laughable.
Over to the Times:
All this effort could become as passé as dubbing to a cassette tape. Steve Perlman, the chief executive of the San Francisco media and technology incubator the Rearden Companies, thinks that the technical snafus and the legal debate will disappear when the average household gets a much faster Internet connection that can download movies in real time.
“While adults may listen to music tracks hundreds of times, they are unlikely to watch movies more than once or twice, so there is little point in storing movies,” he said. “You might as well watch movies live as they stream from the Internet.”
So it’s going from physical software ownership (CDs, DVDs, games), to downloaded content, to streaming everything. Count on it!