Friday, July 17, 2009

They Can Have My Orwell When They Pry It From My Cold, Dead Hands

Okay, I'm a bit of a Luddite.

As I mentioned on my previous post, I'm not on the Twitter. And I still buy CDs, rather than downloads. It's not that I don't know how to download music -- that's easy enough. The Avett Brothers offered a free track off their new album to mailing list subscribers about a month ago, and you better believe I jumped on that.

But music I buy? I want to make sure I can keep it. I don't want it to be lost in a system crash, or be unable to transfer if I decide to upgrade my computer (or heaven forbid, swithc platforms!), or prevent me from lending it to a freind. (I'm not a big filesharer, but it's really nice to hand someone a CD of a band I like and say "check this out.")

I'm the same way with books. The Kindle looks cool as hell, but a book is a book. Not all reading has to come from books, but I'm not quite willing to make the leap. Because who knows what could happen -- I want to own the books I own.

Case in point: As the result of a publisher deciding it didn't want to offer electronic copies -- some of which had already been sold -- Amazon reached into everyone's Kindle and plucked out two books: George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm. (They credited the customer's accounts for the deletion.)

Sure, doing this with Orwell books is poetic irony at its finest. But it doesn't make me any more likely to buy a Kindle, that's for sure.



SNeelyArt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SNeelyArt said...

I download everything anymore. Mostly all for free. I walked through Best Buy the other day and didn't buy a damn thing. I was saying to myself, "I can get that online..."

The business model has to change quite a bit since it all keeps evolving and it's hard for them to lock it down to a workable format.

I belong to and download books and such. If you lose them on your iPod you can just download them again from Audible from your Library history. They can't pull it like they do from a kindle. If you buy it, it should be ok to go from a kindle to a CD so you don't lose it. So I have all my Star Trek audio books backed up on hard drives and cd's.

Greg! said...

When the Kindle2 hit, I read a bunch of the reviews on Amazon, mostly out of curiosity (and, I expect, general online boredom). To their credit, Amazon did not pull a long, detailed and vitriolic review from a serious fan of the "original" Kindle. (I'm posting this from work, where the internet is presently slow enough to discourage me from hunting for the link.)

This guy embraced the Kindle. Accumulated a sizable library. Books, magazines, what have you. Really loved it. And then Kindle2 came out and, from what he says, the platform jilted him.

He has a couple of tales of titles being pulled, others being discontinued such that he couldn't retrieve them from the Kindle Store if he somehow lost his original e-copies. He also lists a lot of technical specifics that changed with the new model, which would certainly mean more to an existing Kindle user than they do to me. One thing that caught me, though, was the mention of removable media. Apparently the original Kindle supported SD cards, and the new one doesn't. Bummer.

I confess that I am a touch concerned about losing things I've bought on e-media. I haven't bought a lot, largely because when it comes to music I like having the CD and its packaging. (Although I saw the appeal of that trend of fat binders for storing and toting your CD collection, I never understood the people who actually tossed the discs' packaging, which some people told me they had.) Still, iTunes has allowed me to get some cool stuff -- they offer some titles that are out of print in the physical world. I was able to buy an out-of-print live disc from Steve Forbert and Kenny White's first album. I've burned myself a CD of the Forbert, just to be safe.

Travis said...

I've mentioned it before, but at one point I too really wanted to stick to CDs, and if I can't find it through a d/l (which does happen from time to time) I will buy the CD, but when I have been able to by an $18 CD for $3 online as a d/l, well then that is no decision at all for me. I try to backup my music once a week on my external hard drive. Of course my computer ended up being the back-up one after I dropped my hard drive, and I had to go buy a new one.

As for tossing someone a CD, get into the new millennium man, I toss my friends a flash drive :P

Sharon GR said...

As a side note, have you read the Zusak book of which you put up a picture? I haven't read it yet, but I hear it's good.

Rob S. said...

I just put "book thief" into Google images and it popped up.