Together, Spotify and Netflix probably represent the best $20 I spend each month. For basically $10 each, (Ok, eight bucks for Netflix), I'm given nearly unfettered access to massively huge libraries of media. I can check in from just about any device, at any location, and can watch things that simply stream straight to my location, from outer space or wherever, in high definition.

Welcome to the future, right?

It really seems like we're moving away from a model of media consumption that revolves around ownership, and towards one that revolves around subscription. It's very awesome, in theory.

It's also very awesome in practice. Until it isn't.

What happens when the cloud evaporates?

What happens when a company decides that the service you love simply isn't profitable anymore?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about "the cloud." I basically do everything that I do in Google Docs, I'm a pretty hopeless Google devotee in general, and I listen to Spotify on a near-constant basis. I absolutely love the connectivity and mobility that the cloud gives us.

Because it makes sense! We're an increasingly mobile species, the human race.

And we're getting more and more comfortable that there is just a LOT of stuff out there.

Does anyone give a shit about an iPod anymore? No, because you can pay $10 a month and just have access to all the music on your smartphone or computer. Why wouldn't someone do that?

But sometimes I feel a pretty genuine concern for what would happen if, say, those wonderful Swedes just decided that Spotify wasn't really working out, anymore. It's not you, Spotify, it's me. Sorry.

It's not you, Google Reader. It's me. Sorry.

If Spotify disappeared, I have no idea how much music I'd lose. Granted, I don't HAVE any of that music to begin with. But say the service just shut it down. Lights out. And I didn't get any forewarning. All those playlists (which is how I keep track of albums in Spotify) would be gone. I'd basically lose forever any music that I didn't happen to remember. And I listen to a lot of music!

Granted, I don't think something like that would happen without Spotify...but it makes me give pause as I cede more and more of my media-watching abilities to third parties whose decision-making process has to do with me.

By the way, seriously. Someone just tell me what I should do when Google Reader goes offline.


photo | tensaibuta