June 14th, 2012

Blather about digital something or other

First, what I wanted to blog about, because I'm feeling rant-y. I want more Where's My Water merch. Honestly, it's a little ridiculous how much effort I've put into buying Swampy merch and how little I have to show for it. You can get good Angry Birds merch: hats, plush toys that make sounds, t-shirts, backpacks, etc. (altho I really think there ought to be an Angry Birds themed leather bomber jacket. It just _feels_ right, doesn't it?) But Swampy merch is tricky. I found a poster, which is now framed and up on my son's wall. He has a t-shirt and I also found some figurines, but it is thin upon the ground out there. I'm posting here because I just stumbled across this:


The Swampy booth at E3 was a hit and they were mostly giving away vitamin water. Fuck that. I want to be able to buy a Where's My Water bedding package for a single bed, with additional draperies, valance, small lamp, wall applique stickers, blah, blah, bleeping, blah. You can buy everything you need to decorate your kid's room to look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Disney is _really_ screwing up here.

Anyway. Enough with that. By this time next year, I'll be regretting I said anything at all as I drown in Swampy, Cranky and Ally merch and am forced to dig my way through, to, er, never mind.

Last night, I decided I needed some more music to listen to. Obviously, this included some Adele. A while ago, I was too lazy to go upstairs and find the extremely worn copy of _Say No to Joe?_ and bought it on the kindle in my hands instead. Last night, I was too lazy to go downstairs, locate my copy of 21 (which I'm fairly certain R. bought me), rip it and stick it on my phone. I also got some Janelle Monae (wow, ArchAndroid is _awesome_), the Coldplay album I delayed on for months, and surfed through the billboard website charts to see if I wanted anything else in particular (yes, I preordered Maroon 5 so I now have "Payphone" as a single).

After doing all that, I then read an article online about Amazon having a cloud player app. It was at this point, that I started chuckling, attached everything to its charger, turned off the lights and thought a little bit.

Economic downturns are strikingly associated with massive innovation. Sometimes the innovation predated the bust but developed enormously during the depression/recession/wtf. Sometimes the innovation occurs during the bust. Doesn't really matter. But as that innovation is polished down to its essential excellence and is increasingly adopted, it spawns a virtual cycle of consumption and economic development that fuels a more general recovery. (Someone has probably written about how successful innovation _is_ the confidence fairy.) It took me a _long_ time to commit to digital downloads in any form as a medium. R. bought me the first kindle. I didn't buy any mp3 player until the 2nd or 3rd generation iPod, and I bought CDs rather than buying digital downloads until quite recently. I was still buying DVDs by preference until some time in the last year for movies/TV -- that switched partly for the kids (instant gratification) but mostly for me (no physical storage occupied!).

Format changes are disruptive (duh). But they are particularly bad when people are uncertain whether they should commit. I'm never the lead sheep on these things (altho I'm very, very, very rarely, if ever, after the midpoint in adoption). The tech blogosophere is having a ton of fun quoting Anthony Wood of Roku that Blu-Ray is peaking and will be largely gone in four years.


Last year, I was trying to explain to someone over 60 what Roku is -- and failing, even tho the conversation started after I did an apparently excellent job of explaining basic gaming categories. Maybe I should put together a little blurb. I bought a Blu-Ray player not too long ago, but it was mostly one of those, yeah, whatever, I guess I have to while I obsessed about video download formats. I _still_ cannot figure out Ultraviolet -- and I still don't own an Apple TV box, which means I'm still buying Amazon Prime Video when I need instant gratification movies. But I'm still in the game, willing to entertain other possibilities.

Especially if Roku would get me around the free streaming/paid download issue over at Amazon. I haven't figured that out yet, tho.