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Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

A Random Walk - Video, CDs, and Gold

Big picture trends are happening all around us but sometimes we need to be in the right frame of mind to notice them. In my neighborhood, I've seen several.

1) The local Rogers Video store closed down. Rogers also closed their Calgary warehouse.  This coincided with the launch of Netflix in Canada (I was using a VPN to access my US account) which was tarnished by the hiring of actors for the grand opening event in Toronto. Also, Blockbuster declared bankruptcy in the US today.

Death of the video store.  #TwitPict on Twitpic

2) Digital media has hit the physical music retailers pretty hard. Calgary's Megatune's was probably the last independent music retailer of any size. While the crate diggers still have their dark corners to find vinyl, picking up a CD of an independent artist just got significantly more complex. The convenience of online music is hard to beat.

Sadly, I'm starting to notice that my massive iTunes library spanning the history of rock and soul doesn't sound nearly as good as my wife's Ann Murray CD. I love being able to walk around the house and call up any song in my iTunes library using my iPhone (using an Airport Express connected to the home theater system) but CDs still sound better. I'm sure vinyl records sound even better than CDs but my hearing isn't what it used to be after playing all that loud music.

Death of the "record" shop.  #TwitPict on Twitpic

3) The prevalence of gold buyers. Advertisements on television started a couple of years ago but they could have a hard time competing with the distribution network that "money stores" offer, especially if they can start to offer instant assays and cash offers.
 #TwitPict on Twitpic