Ode to the Movie Store and What Comes Next

My new record player has inspired me to think about all of the content distribution mechanisms I've lived through and author this astounding Ode to the movie rental store (at the end of my reminiscing). When I went to college, the dominate formats for music were vinyl and cassette. Within 2 years at Winona State University, I was fully converted to CDs. Now I'm buying DVDs and online music. My son owns an MP3 player and regularly gets music online.

Movies are undergoing the same transitions! Stores that offer just music are disappearing and have been for years. Northern Lights in Minneapolis closed its doors years ago, my mall doesn't even have a music store in it! That's unheard of! Blockbuster is closing its doors nearby as well. Not only were record stores social gathering places, they were just cool. Now, the social gathering places have moved to the net.

Is it because we aren't listening to music or watching movies at home anymore? For my family its quite the opposite...I have more music and TV at my fingertips than ever before. Its just all digital or going to be soon!

Companies are going to have to invest in massive increases in their data centers and regional data centers to facilitate digital distribution through mechanisms like BitTorrent and CleverSafe (to ensure high reliability and to facilitate the high throughput necessary for distribution). The global storage grid will be driven by digital content delivery and those technologies will, in turn, be driven into our operating systems and the network ecosystem.

You can be a part of this revolution (as I am here at Sun Microsystems), or you can drag your feet (as I decided to do when I purchased my new record player), but the obituarary has been authored and all that's left is to round up the rental stores that don't get with the program and whap them on the head with a Zune or an iPod. If they don't get it then, say your goodbyes and sell the stock!

For now, I will simply write my Ode and then get back to work getting some of these storage technologies defined and out the door ;-)

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Oh movie rental store
I shall miss thee
Wandering your aisles
In hopeless fascination
Of the movies I missed
And those that I should have

Oh late fee
I shall miss thee
The excuses I've made
To account for $3.99
The arguments I've made
For being late by a day

Oh big overpriced candy box near the counter
I will see you at the grocery store
Jujyfruits to throw at friend's heads
Will have to wait for the theater
Bags of Newman's popcorn
We can't digitize you

Oh 2 hours of saved time
How shall I use you
Before I gazed at boxes on a wall
My legs with exercise
Now my thumb will be sore
As I page through my choices

Oh pointless spa
I don't need you
And I miss my movie rental store
My exercise from the couch
My endless hours of staring at your walls
And my DVD scratches

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