Tuesday, April 8, 2008

consumer convenience

I understand why Jenkins is seemingly overwhelmed that his cell phone has more than one function, and perhaps the ability to access several types of media diminishes the purpose of the main function of a telephone -- however, i believe that to benefit the average consumer, perhaps this “magic black box” would be the most convenient. First of all, a consumer won’t need a million different technological “boxes,” rather s/he would just have one, eliminating the amount of space used in the home for new media; also, it's easier to use one medium rather than having to switch back and forth between several. Second of all, consumers won’t have to spend thousands of dollars on different types of mediums - DVD players, TV’s, radios, cell phones… when they can buy ONE medium that does all of that…. and it sounds like the computer can take the place of each of the mediums (considering the average laptop has a camera, applications like SKYPE for communication, email, DVD players, music players, etc)

Maybe I'm missing something but I don’t get why Jenkins finds it so hard to believe that one day, all types of mediums will be replaced by a superior one that can supply people with all media and contents. I believe that the computer is well on its way to doing that. I think that once we all come to terms on what this superior piece of technology would be, we will be able to perfect that black box, so that it is portable, user friendly, and won’t have a cumbersome interface.

Perhaps it is a little ridiculous to say there will be ONLY one “black box” that “controls the flow of media into the home,” but I feel like there will definitely be a medium that can surely be enough to supply you with all your media needs. For example, all I really need is my laptop - I can do everything I want to do on it (I understand this varies for each individual because I am not into Xbox and video games). I check my email, talk to my friends via webcam or skype, take pictures, make movies, watch movies, listen to music, download music…. this is the only piece of technology i actually need to access media I find most interesting, and I would be fine giving away all my other “black boxes.” However, it might not be as convenient/comfortable to watch a movie on my laptop than it is to watch it on a 60 inch television.... but that's optional. It also may be easier to carry around an iPod for music rather than my laptop. Still, this doesn’t mean that there can’t be one medium that satisfies all our basic needs for media.

I feel like consumers have a really big role in media convergence; I don’t understand how media producers having to “renegotiate their relationship with their consumers” means that the “magical black box” won’t actually be a positive thing for consumers.

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