My Digital Library is Cloudy

A few days ago I tweeted about Amazon’s Cloud Player which started a discussion about the cloud and how to deal with a digital storage of music. It quickly reached the point where I should blog about it.

My music collection is roughly 22GB of music I’ve purchased in the past 15+ years; Moving to digital when it was easy to buy digital. I wasn’t much of a file sharing person in the days since I just didn’t have the time. Course with that large of a library, I’ve had to make some choices between all the devices I use for music play. While it’s changed over the years due to technology, my current layout works for me.

Central storage of music is important for me as it helps to keep things consistent between the devices, unless the device can’t store that amount. I also concerned about backups of this music data. While I still own physical CDs, the digital purchases can’t be re-download (except new purchases). So here’s my system I’ve established for myself. I’ll explain it in a typical workflow.

Continue reading My Digital Library is Cloudy

Xbox Live: Wasteful Physical Products

Not pictured: Plastic casing; Shipping

For Xbox360, any online communications beyond buying/downloading digital products requires a subscription to Xbox LIVE. I don’t find this a problem outright (subject for another post). What I do find is the mixed signals in the costs of the subscription. Buying a physical object for the service ends up cheaper than renewing a subscription.

Here’s the costs of a the same product: An Xbox LIVE subscription for 12 months.

  • Buying via
    • $49.95 (automatically applied)
  • Buying via
    • $49.95 (No physical thing; E-mailed code)
    • $39.96 (Physical thing; Free Shipping)

For $10 less, a physical object is being manufactured and shipped to you. Even at having the option to e-mail you the code, it costs more to e-mail a set of numbers and letters.

I don’t expect an abolishment of the physical cards. I don’t expect online retailers not to carry them. What shocks me is that even when offers a non-physical and immediate delivery option, it’s the most expensive option. Can Microsoft, Amazon, and other online retailers work on a less wasteful way of selling this service?

Update (1/26/2012): As reported by Destructoid, it’s still happening.