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A lament for physical media and/or video stores

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A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Old 01-21-22, 04:27 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Camelot always had an amazingly deep music inventory for retail. I thought it had a wider inventory than Tower, though both seemed to specialize in different things. The only chain with a deeper inventory was the short-lived Blockbuster Music experiment. Blockbuster actually had a few music outlets by the late 1990s.

Last edited by PhantomStranger; 01-21-22 at 05:03 PM.
Old 01-21-22, 04:54 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Ha! I remember when it was Blockbuster Music Plus, then Blockbuster got peeved that customers were just referring to it as “Music Plus”, so they dropped the “Plus” for branding.
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Old 01-21-22, 05:35 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

We got a small Musicland store in the mall here - for a very shot time. Everything was MSRP or higher (yes - higher). They had the audacity to add $1.99 to the sticker price at checkout. I didn't know this and took a "find" to the checkout and when they told me the total I asked "What? That's not right!" and they pointed to the small sign at checkout about the "handling fee" or whatever it was called. I laughed, said "No thanks!" and walked out. I never went back in.

Hastings, I *do* miss... they usually had a good selection of used music and books at reasonable prices plus regular sales on those. Not so the movies - their used product was often higher than the same title new online or even at WM, even when on sale. But the last couple of years their online store was fabulous. Used titles were half what they were in store and they shipped from the stores. I often had stuff shipped from the local store for half or less than the price they had posted (I knew the prices as I'd go in, look around, then go online to order). Towards the end they started looking like a 3rd rate junk store - it was sad.

I rarely rented anything - tape or disc - as it generally cost more than I was willing to pay for a 24 hour rental and, even though I was no more than 15 minutes away, that ~half hour round trip for a return was a buzz-kill and frequently inconvenient. When Hastings went to 7 day rentals I'd do a few on occasion as I'd go by there once a week on the way to the comic store so at least the rental or return was "on the way" (and the rental fees had dropped significantly by that time as well).

My daughter rented frequently from Blockbuster - I thought they were mostly a joke. Very poor selection and rarely had the newer stuff in stock.
Old 01-21-22, 05:37 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

As far as a 24-hour rental being more than someone was willing to pay, I remember renting Megaforce for 50 cents and not finishing it. I felt like I was owed money. Oddly, I'd probably buy it today if it were ever released on 4k.
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Old 01-21-22, 06:32 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by milo bloom
I also miss Fry's. They were more likely to have weird scifi/horror titles than Best Buy and such.
Ditto. The nearest one was like an hour or so away, but whenever I would go to visit my sister who lived near Portland, I would stop by there.

There was another chain store that closed some time back, but can't remember the name.
Old 01-21-22, 07:44 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

I used to enjoy looking at videos at Suncoast and Camelot, even though their prices were usually way higher than I wanted to pay, every once in awhile they'd have something for me. The only time I ever shopped videos at Borders was at their Going Out Of Business sale and their sale prices were STILL outrageous. FYE was another place I used to enjoy looking, every once in awhile the store in Hermitage PA would have something for me, the one in Niles OH not so much. The one in Hermitage closed up shop (as did pretty much the entire mall), and I haven't been to the one in Niles for a LONG time. I miss shopping for media in B&M stores, but anymore the only time I can find the ones I still want, the only place I can find them is online.
Old 01-21-22, 09:29 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

It is very sad, from both a tech and a quality standpoint that physical media is on its last legs. The quality of presentation of streaming is most certainly not up to physical media. It's 1/5th to 1/10th the bitrate and it's compressed all to hell, a DNR, smudgy blurred mess of abomination. It forces you to rely on your own internet connection (with its probably monthly bandwidth cap and the hassle of dealing with an ISP), forces you into a residual income profit model for the greedy companies streaming the content, and most importantly, sets you at the complete and total mercy of the streaming companies and the releasing studios. That's bad, awful, and in my eyes totally unacceptable. It's another great failing of the American people!! We just accept what's served to us, without standing up for a better model; the slippery slope of diminishing returns and quality, the "easiest" way out. It's hideously awful.

So, I'll be hanging onto my physical media -- in the highest quality formats ever released. All the other, lower-quality things will be thrown out. I've backed up my physical media to hard-drives in untouched, remuxed quality, from which I may serve on my own home-NAS without having to bother with "company" streaming in poor quality, or residual income models. It's thousands of titles, and it shall serve me fine for years to come without ever buying into the fallacy, corruption, or greed of the current Streaming nonsense that most of the American public has lapped up like some mentally-crazed puppy dog.
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Old 01-22-22, 06:16 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by zyzzle

I've backed up my physical media to hard-drives in untouched, remuxed quality, from which I may serve on my own home-NAS without having to bother with "company" streaming in poor quality, or residual income models. It's thousands of titles, and it shall serve me fine for years to come without ever buying into the fallacy, corruption, or greed of the current Streaming nonsense that most of the American public has lapped up like some mentally-crazed puppy dog.
Can you elaborate? This sounds like a good idea but I wonder how much time that took, what storage space was needed and what programs you can use to do this?
Old 01-22-22, 06:48 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

^ Yes, I'd be glad to elaborate, and as I recently explained in the landlord cleanliness thread, it really isn't at all expensive to do. The real cost is the hard drives, and you can get very good sales on them once a year or so, and stock up then. This is assuming you want the very highest quality possible. About 200 complete BD (1080p24) films can fit on a 4TB drive (remuxes, stripped of extras). I of course ripped the physical media I own in untouched quality (and then remuxed them into .mkv streams, eliminating unnecessary audio tracks and extra features, with the program mkvmerge). Then, put all my original media into binders, throwing away the space-consuming plastic cases, and storing those in a big file cabinet, about 3000 titles in one wall of one room. Ripping each film to a HD file has been done gradually over a period of years, so it's not like it has been a huge major project or anything, it's routine now whenever I pick up new physical media to remux and archive to my NAS. This uses a server which is a cheap Core2Duo system, running Linux and a serving program called Plex. There is a video quick video available here:

I am probably already skating on legalities (I couldn't care less about them, but the forum does), so if you wish more precise information, feel free to PM me and I would be delighted to take it to the realm of unmoderated private discussion.
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Old 01-23-22, 12:47 AM
  #60  
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by milo bloom
I also miss Fry's. They were more likely to have weird scifi/horror titles than Best Buy and such.
Fry's definitely had quite the selection in their prime!

I will say that in the early to mid 2000s, Best Buy was carrying a lot of DVD titles from Cult Labels, such as Blue Underground, Anchor Bay, Unearthed Films, Dark Sky Films and Synapse Films.

There was a time where I lived in an area that only had big box B&M stores as the choice to buy DVDs from and Best Buy was the one store I could get my Cult Titles at.

I still have the copy of the Guinea Pig Box Set that Unearthed Films released in in 2005, which I purchased from a Best Buy B&M.
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Old 01-23-22, 11:00 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by zyzzle
It is very sad, from both a tech and a quality standpoint that physical media is on its last legs. The quality of presentation of streaming is most certainly not up to physical media. It's 1/5th to 1/10th the bitrate and it's compressed all to hell, a DNR, smudgy blurred mess of abomination. It forces you to rely on your own internet connection (with its probably monthly bandwidth cap and the hassle of dealing with an ISP), forces you into a residual income profit model for the greedy companies streaming the content, and most importantly, sets you at the complete and total mercy of the streaming companies and the releasing studios. That's bad, awful, and in my eyes totally unacceptable. It's another great failing of the American people!! We just accept what's served to us, without standing up for a better model; the slippery slope of diminishing returns and quality, the "easiest" way out. It's hideously awful.

So, I'll be hanging onto my physical media -- in the highest quality formats ever released. All the other, lower-quality things will be thrown out. I've backed up my physical media to hard-drives in untouched, remuxed quality, from which I may serve on my own home-NAS without having to bother with "company" streaming in poor quality, or residual income models. It's thousands of titles, and it shall serve me fine for years to come without ever buying into the fallacy, corruption, or greed of the current Streaming nonsense that most of the American public has lapped up like some mentally-crazed puppy dog.
In terms of Video and Audio presentation, you cannot replace the physical discs and I get where you coming from but the heydays of the DVD during the late 90's and early 2000's are long gone to never return again. I don't think that physical media will disappear but it will be a niche market with the cost being less prohibitive than what it was in the VHS days.

Only "old" people like us, care about that. The younger generation don't care to watch movies on the best presentation possible, with their inclination to watch films on their cell phones and tablets. Also, the desire to own is not something that they desire so a streaming service does the job for them. Even you, went ahead and created your own digital library instead of just playing your Blu-ray for convenience sake. That's how the younger generation feel about watching movies...
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Old 01-23-22, 06:42 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

I have a long history with physical media whether it's owning (Laserdiscs, DVDs, HD DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and now 4K), and also worked in a couple video stores in college and loved picking up the movies and putting them out on the shelf every week and also wandering the aisles. I've been doing more streaming during working from home pandemic times but will go to physical media when I want the best presentation of a movie I like.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:09 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Dinosaur Dracula did a fun series a few years back exploring still existing mom & pop video rental stores in the New Jersey area. Check it out if you want a rush of nostalgia.

https://dinosaurdracula.com/blog/category/video-stores/
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Old 01-24-22, 06:36 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Talk of Camelot Music ... bite that hits me in the feels. I spent a crazy amount of time there during my high school years. The nearest Best Buy or Circuit City was about an hour away, so Camelot was my spot. I took good advantage of my Camelot card. I know I got a few free CDs out of that.

I also remember the massive book they had that was nothing but album listings that you could special order if they didn't have. I took advantage of that a few times. At one time, they'd order for you with nothing down, but they eventually made you start to put so much down. They'd send it away, and then you were stuck waiting for about 6 weeks until something finally showed up and you got that phone call. I'm pretty sure that's how I got the Syd Barrett solo albums. I think I also ordered some soundtracks and compilations.

Looking back, I remember almost anything took like 6 weeks if you ordered it at a store, over the phone or by mail. It's really remarkable how quick everything is now. That really is one of those things where younger generations just don't understand.
Old 01-25-22, 01:08 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

I remember buying obscure titles just for the very fact they were there on the shelf at the time and I might never find them again. I hated doing special orders, especially when it was something the clerks had never heard of. I still hate waiting for online orders to get here.

I had a Camelot punch card too, got most points from buying cutouts and then exchanging them for full-price laserdiscs.
Old 01-25-22, 07:05 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

My parents weren't much in the way of movie buffs, but my dad did install cablevision so we got all the premiums for free growing up. I spent a lot of my childhood in the 80s reading the weekly TV guide to see what movies would be on tv that week. After my dad got a new job, and the cable company eventually caught on that we weren't supposed to be receiving the channels for free anymore was when we started to hit up the local rental stores. I remember having to pay for memberships, just for the privilege of paying to rent movies. We never went to Blockbuster as my parents thought it was too expensive, so it was always the little mom and pop shops, and the large grocery and five and dime stores that had a rental section.

When I got to be about 12-13 and able to watch more mature movies was about the time the local stores started to run better promotions, like the 5 movies, 5 nights, for 5 dollars. We would go there on a Thursday so that the selection wasn't wiped out on Friday evening, and pick up a bunch of movies for the weekend. My parents would pick up five for themselves and I would pick up five to watch. I wasn't allowed to rent new releases because my parents thought it was a rip off when you could just wait a few months and get the same movie for a dollar. But man, did I love perusing the shelves to see what I wanted to rent. My tastes were very much those of a young teenage boy....lots of action and horror, and anything with boobies. While we were probably just getting internet at that point, it was very much in its infant stages, so there weren't good resources for finding movies online. Instead I'd go through those huge movie guides during the week trying to pick out what I wanted for that weekend...a couple good horror and action movies, and I'd try to discretely throw in one or two that I knew had that revered "N" and "SSC" next to the content rating in the movie guide.

As I got older, got a car and job, was when I was able to start branching out a little more. Weekends were also spent having late nights hanging out with friends. A Friday or Saturday night often was spent at Blockbuster for an hour or two trying to pick out a couple movies to watch, and it seemed like half the town was there. The stores were so busy back then, crowded aisles, seeing the person next to you looking at the same movie box and trying to grab it before they did. Whatever the new releases were, there was an entire wall dedicated to it, and even those were usually out of stock. I ended up working at Blockbuster for a few months one summer as well. As others have said, younger generations can never fully understand how much enjoyment there was to just spend that hour with a couple friends trying to pick out a movie.

I definitely remember Suncoast, Tower Records, etc and loved to go in and browse but rarely, if ever bought anything from there. My tastes were not very niche and I was too cheap to pay full retail when I knew I could rent something or buy it from Wal Mart or Best Buy cheaper. Obviously this, plus the internet, really killed those stores. I'd love to be able to have places like that now to go in and look around, to actually pick up a movie box and read the back and decide if it's worth buying, but we all know the reasons why they aren't around anymore.

And to touch on streaming vs physical. We're all dinosaurs on here in our preference of physical media over streaming. It's obviously a trade off over owning a physical movie that is ours that we can watch in the highest possible quality vs the convenience of watching it whenever and wherever we want. I think eventually the technology will catch up to allow higher bitrates for streaming, but my bigger concern is studios modifying or pulling old titles due to whatever outrage is popular at the time. Obviously there's a lot of things that have happened in the past that we wish we could erase and change, but that's not something we can do. Art is an important part of preserving the past and presenting the ugly truth of it, and we can all learn from that to provide a better future. I also really worry about the future of the immersive experience of movies. We've been making huge strides in technology to allow this amazing experience of watching movies in the best possible quality, both at home and in the theater. But Covid has wiped out a bunch of theaters, and completely changed the attitudes towards them, while younger generations simply don't care. Again, they'd rather watch a movie on their ipad while on a plane than devote a room of their house to having a high quality experience. Will production companies continue to devote resources (money) to provide amazing audio and visual experiences when they know the media is going to be consumed on a 9" screen?
Old 01-25-22, 08:00 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by LorenzoL
Even you, went ahead and created your own digital library instead of just playing your Blu-ray for convenience sake. That's how the younger generation feel about watching movies...
Well, I already have a "digital" library, with the media I've purchased over the last two decades+. What I did was make it more convenient by eliminating some of the "artificial" limitations of my physical media, eg DRM, Prohibited user operations, being tied down to a standalone player on a single monitor / display device, being forced into watching previews and some very awful, Javascript-heavy and bloated menus, etc. In short, making my digital movie collection work better for me, in the manner in which I want and enjoy. Eliminating artificial constraints, and using the tecnology of networks to a very justifiable means: being able to watch my entire "digital" film collection -- without any loss in quality -- from anywhere in my home, on any set, etc. It's been a very, very liberating project and a true labor of love.
Old 01-25-22, 11:08 AM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by zyzzle
Well, I already have a "digital" library, with the media I've purchased over the last two decades+. What I did was make it more convenient by eliminating some of the "artificial" limitations of my physical media, eg DRM, Prohibited user operations, being tied down to a standalone player on a single monitor / display device, being forced into watching previews and some very awful, Javascript-heavy and bloated menus, etc. In short, making my digital movie collection work better for me, in the manner in which I want and enjoy. Eliminating artificial constraints, and using the tecnology of networks to a very justifiable means: being able to watch my entire "digital" film collection -- without any loss in quality -- from anywhere in my home, on any set, etc. It's been a very, very liberating project and a true labor of love.
A lot of words just to basically say that, yes, his solution for his collection was to set it up so that he can stream it over the internet.
Old 01-25-22, 12:51 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by clckworang
A lot of words just to basically say that, yes, his solution for his collection was to set it up so that he can stream it over the internet.
Yes, because he is able to take advantage of the positives of streaming (convenience) and eliminate the negatives (lower quality, buffering, and lack of "ownership"). I think there's only one person on this forum that would still be buying physical media if we were able to buy a movie and download a perfect 1:1 presentation of the exact same data that comes on a disc.
Old 01-25-22, 02:00 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

For me, no matter how good the video/audio quality gets for streaming and no matter how cheap or how convenient it is, I just prefer the disc format.

I've made the comparison before but it's like having a perfectly immaculate collection of baseball cards floating in the cloud that I can access whenever I want, from wherever I am and they'll always be perfect. They'll never tarnish, bend, rip, or lose their color but they have no soul. I value the physical baseball card in my hand with all of its inherent imperfections. Some people can relate to that, others don't.
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Old 01-25-22, 02:02 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Originally Posted by orangerunner
For me, no matter how good the video/audio quality gets for streaming and no matter how cheap or how convenient it is, I just prefer the disc format.

I've made the comparison before but it's like having a perfectly immaculate collection of baseball cards floating in the cloud that I can access whenever I want, from wherever I am and they'll always be perfect. They'll never tarnish, bend, rip, or lose their color but they have no soul. I value the physical baseball card in my hand with all of its inherent imperfections. Some people can relate to that, others don't.
Are you talking about NFTs? lol
Old 06-13-22, 03:01 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Current situation of physical media in places NOT the US. I spent about 2 hours today rummaging here. this is a bookstore in Milan, and this is the smallest section of the bookstore.







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Old 06-13-22, 03:06 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Some fun stuff. I just got the Batman steelbook - and Ford vs Ferrari, aka Le Mans ‘66





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Old 06-13-22, 03:15 PM
  #74  
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

Godard directed The Batman???

Nice finds! Seems like a cool store.
Old 06-13-22, 03:21 PM
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Re: A lament for physical media and/or video stores

lolz. Sorry, I posted the steelbook of The Batman on that thread. Although “The Batman, un film réalisé par Jean-Luc Godard” would be another interesting approach. Kind of hard to do these days though.

It’s not just this store, most bookstores have pretty extensive physical media sections. Think the B&N’s and BB’s from like 10 years ago, but bigger.

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