The Case for Physical Media

The digital world has become all consuming – understandably so. Digitalization gives users access to their data anytime from anywhere and takes up less space. Individuals and businesses can carry their entire inventory of media in the palm of their hand.

However, contrary to popular belief, physical media is far from dead. While it’s true that digitalization is the most efficient, portable, and often the most secure option, there’s a case for physical media that may surprise you. Keep reading for more information.

What Is Physical Media?

Legally speaking, physical media means a hard copy of paper or a tangible storage device where confidential statistical information, entertainment, and other media is stored. For example, DVDs, CDs, and paper documents are all considered physical media.

In a more granular sense, physical media can vary depending on the profession or industry where the user operates. For tech companies and developers, physical media is hardware that contains enabling software and may be duplicated to store support software or could be imperative in the repair or patching of new software programs.

For IT specialists, physical media is a storage format for personal data. When the physical media has fulfilled its purpose, it is disposable. In some contexts, a virtual private network could be considered physical media.

Ultimately, physical media is hardware or carbon iterations of data or that exist to store data. So, what is the case for physical media beyond storage capacity? In a world with virtual art and currency, why would businesses or users rely on physical media?

Why Physical Media Gets Left Behind

For most people, physical media can be more expensive and take up more space. For example, the price of a single DVD can be as expensive as $20 while users can access seemingly endless movies and shows through a streaming service.

Digitalization also incorporates accessibility in a way that physical media cannot. For example, books are expensive, use precious resources to manufacture, and are not user friendly for readers with vision impairment or dyslexia. Tablets give readers the chance to read at their own pace and with features that make it more accessible for those in need.

One of the most significant reasons why physical media has taken a back seat, is the need for instant gratification. Streaming services, reading tablets, and digital downloads allow users to access their desired media instantly. Readers can go to the next installment of the series immediately after finishing the first book in the series. There’s no need to wait for more books to be printed or movies to come out on DVD. Now, everyone can get the instant gratification they want with the media of their choice.

The Case for Physical Media

While digital media has it’s draws (less space, instant gratification, etc.), there’s something magical and about physical media. For starters, digital media is prone to data loss and is at the mercy of the hardware it’s stored on. A document can be lost if the computer breaks down and movies can be removed from a streaming service at any time.

Physical copies, while they can be misplaced, are harder to lose and are often a smart backup to digitalization. If you are a lawyer working on a case brief and your computer breaks down, you could lose your progress and case notes if you aren’t careful about saving. If you have a physical copy of the case notes and the most recent version of the brief, you don’t have to start from scratch.

It’s also important to note that physical media does not require a baseline knowledge of digital formats. Older generations often do not have the knowledge necessary to consume or collect digital media and may find it frustrating if they have to deal with technology during a difficult time.

Many hospitals and medical practices have transitioned to digital documentation for security reasons, but many patients find it comforting to have a physical copy of their diagnosis to look over at home. Education about critical illnesses and conditions is dense, and hard to get through. For some, being able to annotate the document is extremely helpful.

Your Physical and Digital Media Resource

Using only physical media or only digital media is never a good idea especially for businesses. The best way to keep information safe without inconveniencing your clients is by using a hybrid of physical and digital media.

Acro Photo Print Inc. provides digitalization and conversion services so you can get the most digestible format for the right client with ease. You never have to compromise your data again with Acro Photo Print Inc.