When you look at how we store and transfer information today, there has been a remarkable shift from just five years ago. Digital/streaming content is now the standard in regards to how we entertain and educate ourselves.
Many of you reading this today have used applications like Dropbox. For the uninitiated, this is free cloud storage you can access anywhere.
For example, say you have a job interview and must give a presentation as part of the process. You create the presentation and save it to your Dropbox folder; the file is stored in your disk space located at the Dropbox data center. You can add the application on a smartphone with full access. Simply log into Dropbox from any computer and share the documents from there.
Dropbox can also create a custom link for an individual file that you can share with anyone. Instead of uploading your child's school concert to Facebook or Twitter you can create a link to share in the post that will allow people to view the video.
Probably the most common digital content is music, be it the MP3 or MP4 song or album. These formats allow you to store your music on just about any device for easy access. Many providers like iTunes and Amazon also offer storage options similar to that of Dropbox for digital content purchased from them. Amazon will give you a digital copy of any CD or vinyl album you purchase, plus it will provide free storage on its website.
Video game platforms are just now truly beginning to embrace digital content. The standard scenario is that you buy a platform such as Xbox, PlayStation or something similar. The game disc accompanying the platform runs on a proprietary operating system based on the platform you purchased. The gaming companies have created specialized programs within the game designed to work in harmony with the original code of the game disc.
These apps and downloadable content can be of several types, ranging from aesthetic outfit changes to a new, extensive storyline, similar to an expansion pack. As such, DLC may add new game modes, objects, levels, challenges or other features to complete an already released game.
When I was a kid and went on a road trip with my family I had a Walkman with a box full of cassettes to pass the time. Now with a fraction of the space, children and adults can carry thousands of hours of music, video, games, books and other entertainment.
And if you forget something, don't worry - when you arrive at your destination you can reach into your personal storage drive (from just about anywhere) and get what you want, when you want. Digital content has revolutionized what content is portable for us and how much we can take with us along for the ride.