How Unlimited Data Storage Made Content (Like Music) Worthless

How’s that for a headline? It’s part of a story in The Guardian on what they called “the iPod effect.”

Choice is good. But unlimited choice is changing our appreciation of what it takes to create material with quality.

It may seem trivial on the surface. But in a world of 69p apps and freemium gaming goliaths, it’s already hard for creators to carve their way outside a commodity perception. If we continue to cultivate a society where even the most crafted and artisan digital items are throwaway flash sale detritus, how can we expect to continue enjoying the talented minds that create them?

Some recognise this and break free, most notably in the area of music. Here, there’s a relatively low ceiling for storage requirements and therefore it’s still the most easy commodity to hoard en masse. The ins and outs of this were recently summed up by legendary recording engineer Steve Albini.

As a result, you see more and more musicians abandon the idea of making real money from their digital music and instead refocus around live performance and merchandise. Or if you’re lucky like Taylor Swift, you can opt out altogether.

It’s time to stop all this. I’d say 16GB is fine – but that’s not really the point. This is a matter of apathy toward art, where technology’s elimination of cost has damaged our perception of value by collateral damage.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? Read the whole story here.

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