directing the digital device life

I have a disaster recovery test this weekend, and as I prepared my survival pack of distractions and entertainment in the case of an all-nighter, I reminded myself I have a shit load of digital devices these days. What’s silly is I’m not necessarily an early adopted nor a gadget hound…
I have a smartphone. (HTC Thunderbolt)
I have an mp3 player. (Cowon J3)
I have an mp3 player in my car. (4th gen iPod)
I have a running-friendly mp3 player. (Cowon iAudio 7)
I have a portable media player. (Cowon A3)
I have a mobile gaming console. (Gameboy Advance SP)
I have a mobile gaming emulator. (rooted “fat” PSP)
I have a tablet e-reader. (Nook Color)
I have a netbook. (Asus Eee PC)
I have laptops. (from 6 to 10 years old)
Amazingly, I don’t have a digital camera or standalone GPS device.
That’s a crazy amount of digital devices, all of which do various things and have actual uses in my life. I hesitate to say “day” because some of these don’t get used all that often (PSP with its crappy thumbpad). I’m even toying with the idea of getting a Nintendo 3DS (probably not) or a new laptop (probably will).
Thankfully these devices are getting smaller and smaller (laptops excluded) so I can port them easily.
What sucks the most is that manufacturers are trying to package various roles into one device, namely all the smartphones and tablets trying to do multiple things. Which drags in people like me who really want good devices that do specific things which also aren’t locked behind DRM, digital walls, or untrusted apps.
I got over someone managing my digital life when I left AOL in the mid 90s.
I really fear the demise of standalone gaming and mp3 devices. That really blows for me, because whenever I play games on my tablet or smartphone, I’m constantly reminded that the roots of mobile gaming as we see it today are Flash games. Addictive but ultimately utterly unfulfilling and pointless when compared to the “real” gaming industry (PC and consoles).
Give me 10 games on a Nintendo device over 1,000 games on a smartphone any day.
The music service industry is also in a strange state of flux where services are now looking to tap into, sort of, what Netflix is doing: rental. You can sign up for a service via a subscription fee and then listen to whatever you want; sort of a leased music collection. While Netflix suffers from not having most of the movies I’d love to have in my collection (my own or leased)
Give me music files I actually can move around and store and use on my own.

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