Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Video Methadone

It's always oddly amusing to watch me manipulate my own habits. A classic example is The Great Dubbing Project, going on right now. As part of eliminating nearly all of the videotapes, I'm transferring a small subset (still an enormous amount of video -- probably 500 hours' worth) over to DVD. But the reality is that it's a pretty slapdash job, and that's not entirely accidental. I'm using a VHS-to-DVD dubber from Panasonic, which is very convenient but pretty crappy quality: the unit does a fairly poor job of vertical-hold on the old tapes. (They're viewable, but sometimes a bit jittery.)

On the one hand, that seems like a weakness, but in reality it's kind of healthy for me: it's part of weaning myself away from the collecting meme. I'm quite frank with myself that I'm trying to get away from the idea of owning all the media I've ever liked (which is how we wound up with 1400 videotapes). Instead, I'm just keeping emergency copies of anything that can't be obtained on DVD: anything that we *can* get a better copy of (the vast majority of the collection) is being scrapped. And I'm very deliberately not worrying about actually getting those DVD copies -- the theory is that it should be enough that I can get them if I ever care enough. Given that I'm pretty sure that all of it will be available by download within about five years, that seems rational.

I haven't quite broken the archivist meme: if I can't find evidence that a worthwhile item can be obtained legally, I'm keeping an emergency copy, so that it isn't lost to the ages. But it's a good step in the slow process of moving away from it. Bit by bit, we're getting unchained from our Stuff...
Tags: diary

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