What's in my bag?
There's a myriad of treasures. Some large, some small, some expensive, and some serve more of a purpose than others. Of this collection of dear-and-near one is truly deserving of the name: The Classic.
With streaming services and smart phones it can be argued that the time and place for the Classic has passed, that this device is destined the way of the Polaroid and Palm Pre - hipster nostalgia and textbook foot notes. While the underlying technology of the issue makes this statement true there are economic, political, and legalistic roadblocks to fully embracing the future of media consumption.
Data. It makes everything in our lives different. Sometimes better and more enriched, other times more distant and intrusive. Data is the currency of the present and a necessity of the future. Companies know this and there is a quite war raging in the background of our current zeitgeist - the outcome of which will determine the means in which we communicate, collaborate, and consume in the online world. Will there be net neutrality, will certain services and content require a premium? Can ISPs dictate what you can and cannot access?
In many ways the answer is already yes. Not so much in a grand conspiracy theory that is taking away the rights of the huddled masses, but the limitation that many Americans face with tiered data structures the means in which content is consumed depends upon the fore-planning of the consumer. One can always depend on wireless signals and mobile connections for all content on demand; however, many will find with the largest providers in the US that the costs can become exceptionally prohibitive. Does this issue though mean that all users will need high capacity portable storage for audio and video content?
Let's say you're an office worker and spend 9-11 hours a day in an environment that encourages listening to audio but does not provide an unlimited pipeline or access to wireless. In this area the only option is to stream the content via mobile phone or hotspots, or bring the content ahead of time. Podcasts, audiobooks, and long live steaming sets can quickly take large amounts of data. It is here, surrounded by data, swimming in screens, and connected with the world on the desktop workstation, and personal phone that one can find a desert of content consumption.
The only means of avoiding this desert is to bring your own bottle of water. The Classic. Ever faithful. Always waiting.