Eulogy for VHS
Remembering a Dead Medium
The last VHS player will be made this month, a few months shy of its fortieth birthday. The first VHS VCR was announced in Japan, on September 9, 1976. JVC designed the HR-3300 after [goals]
First job was at a video rental store.
- Linear: Couldn’t jump around
- Degrading: It decayed with each watch. A medium became worn. Functions like a YouTube view count, but proof of consumption. Also conveyed precious quality of message. Everything dies.
- Emphervesant: pause didn’t real freeze the frame. You couldn’t stop a moment
- Imprecise: Try stopping after fast forwarding through a commerical.
What replaced me, doing my homework at the desk while eating french fries? You gave me your box, I found your cassette, I took your money, and told you when to come back.
What we lose with intangible media is explicit exchange.