So a few weeks ago i posted about the DVD format wars between high-def discs, HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray. Well since then Blu-Ray has undoubtedly won the war, as Toshiba (the makers of HD-DVDs) has ceased all production of HD-DVDs and HD-DVD players.
But news this week shows there is a new war on the horizon. Not a war between two different media formats, but a war for how you will get your media.
this past Tuesday Apple announced (view the press release here) that the iTunes Music Store was now the #2 music retailer in the country passing Best Buy and Circuit City and trailing only Wal-Mart. The significance of this is huge when you take into account the way that media services are going. The next war isn't going to be for what type of media you get, but rather if you will have to go to the store to buy your media or simply download it from the comfort of your own home.
The perverbial "line in the sand" has already been drawn for this war. Sony (makers of Blu-Ray) have taken to the side that believes that consumers will still want to physically own their media, meaning they will want to travel to a store or order online, in order to have a physical representation of their media (i.e. a case, disc, inserts, etc.). However, Microsoft and Apple (an unlikley pairing) have taken to the side that people will want to download their media from home, as both have direct download services in place and are pushing them hard to consumers (apple's iTunes and Microsoft's Xbox 360 Marketplace).
This "war" will be unlike any other format war in the history of media, and it will dictate far more than any other ever has. what ever way wins this match-up will dictate how media is delivered for, possibly, the next 2-3 decades.
Personally, I still prefer to own my media on discs, less of a chance of hardware failure and possible loss of your songs/movies. And plus, my collection of 1,300+ DVDs wouldn't look as impressive if it were just a list of files on a PC...but that's just me.