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Going All Digital

Andy Vandervell


Going All Digital

Before I start, I’m sad to announce that this is my last piece for TrustedReviews. I’ve been here for nearly four years, and have enjoyed that time immensely. We’re very lucky here to have an audience of intelligent, mostly polite, readers from whom I’ve learnt a lot. Hopefully you’ve learnt a little from me, too. You can catch me on Twitter (@andyvan), and I’ll be popping up elsewhere soon. Cheers.


If you have listened to our most recent podcast, or read the comments section of our review, you'll know I'm among the multitude of people who now own an Amazon Kindle. As Gordon explained in his review, it's a great device, and for me it’s another step in my ongoing battle to banish physical media from my life. I'm no zealot: I don't believe physical media will disappear, or particularly want it to. However, while I believe in people's right to a choice of media, if the means are convenient and the value agreeable, I'll go digital every time. Let me explain why.

My desire is primarily a practical one. Since I left university in 2006, I've lived in no less than five places. Moving house is a pain, not to mention expensive, and as the years have gone by I've accrued more and more stuff. More clothes, more DVDs and Blu-rays, books, and other sundries like my TV.

Amazon's third generation Kindle has made eBook ownership far more attractive.

I can't live without clothes, and can't abide abandoning my TV or Xbox, but all those books and films could be dispensed with. My life would be easier for not dragging them around with me; not only are they a pain to move (a box full of books or DVDs is surprisingly heavy) storing them is an inefficient use of space, no matter how clever IKEA gets. Since flats seem to be getting smaller and more expensive, it makes sense to not waste space storing trinkets to my personal taste.

And that's what they are, aren't they? I'm no Gatsby, and I don't sort my music autobiographically, but save for a select few favourites most of those films and books are consumed once, never to be revisited. Some, such as those special edition DVDs in tin boxes with silly little excerpts of film, seemed cool at the time, but they're little more than an exercise in re-packaging: a convenient way to charge more for the same old stuff. Within reason I have nothing against consumerism, but sometimes you have to admit to being played.

Music, of course, has been on the digital path for a long time and my CD collection was digitised several years ago. Books, meanwhile, are on the way out due to the arrival of my Kindle. Those books that I own will be sold or, if too old to be any value, donated to family, friends or charity. That just leaves those pesky films, be they standard-definition DVDs or scrumptious high-def Blu-rays, of which I own over 150.

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