I have to agree with Lucas, the future of all media will be as downloadable files or streaming media. The concept that any of us owns the music on a CD or movie on a DVD is of course incorrect.
We purchased a license to enjoy whatever recording, and according to fair use clauses in the license, can enjoy that media either in a traditional player or a digital player. Of course there is examples of media companies and the RIAA ridiculously going after their customers , and individuals engaging in media piracy .
Now the key to all this is a common “fair use” policy that allows us to enjoy any media in a venue we prefer, using a player or format that we choose. In return, we consumers need to agree that there is some type of accommodating digital rights management (DRM) technology to thwart piracy.
In the future, George is right on the money. Whether its a computer, wireless media player (Zune or future iPods), home media center, etc… we will likely not have to worry about where the movie/song is located, we’ll simply select it from a catalog of our preferred online media service and enjoy.
With a mass market, the scale of economies kicks in and for some reasonable charge per month, we’ll have access to huge volumes of recorded works. The differences in these online media services is their pricing, and the type and quality of value-added services they offer. That may simply be an extended library, or maybe conversion of a DVD to an old Beta videocassette that is mailed to you (who knows).
This will be the next generation of media enjoyment.