Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  The Perils Of Digital Buying

The Perils Of Digital Buying

Tags : 

Late last week, the company behind the Borders and Angus & Robertson book chains put them into administration, citing mounting losses in the physical retail space. Online sales of books (and other items) may have played a part, and to a lesser extent, because it’s still quite a nascent market, e-book sales.

Borders Australia was a keen seller of eBooks, promoting the Kobo platform as its own, as well as selling Sony’s e-readers in its stores. One of the first stories to emerge from the collapse of Borders in Australia came from Kobo representatives (it’s actually a Canadian company) stating that Australian Kobo e-book purchases would still be valid and could still be accessed even if the physical Borders stores went under. I’m not sure what’ll happen to the physical stores, but the spectre of online sales vanishing in a puff of data centre is something that I suspect we’ll all have to face in the not-too-distant future.

Considering that it’s now possible to buy books, movies, music and software as purely digital goods, spread across devices that may have their own storage or may rely on “phoning home” to a specific server to verify that you’ve got the rights to play them, it’s a problem that’s only going to grow in scope. As an example, Nokia made a lot of noise a couple of years ago with its “Comes With Music” service, which promised unlimited music downloads for specific phone models as long as a subscription was paid, but the take up of the offer (and Nokia smartphones in general) hasn’t been great. Nokia’s virtually axed the service outside of a handful of countries (Australia’s not one of them), so if you pick up a Comes With Music phone, you’ve got a lot less value than you might think, especially if you’ve not verified your playback rights, or if your PC dies on you.

With physical goods, you’ve always got something that you can open up to read, pop into a player to listen to or view, and, naturally enough, sell on to other people. Digital goods don’t have those benefits, although they’re easier to buy, sometimes cheaper and much simpler to store. Good backing up is obviously essential, but be wary if you’re buying goods that require some kind of DRM validation (Digital Rights Management); that could come back to bite you if the DRM service goes offline.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

pc-clean

Most people, if given the choice, will try to skip out on doing the evening dishes, or for that matter even loading a dishwasher. It’s not exactly the most thrilling of chores to undertake, but if you don’t clean your dishes somehow, everything ends up dirty and unusable. It’s much the same story for your… More 

fb

Facebook is a service beloved by many, because it makes it so very easy to keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances and more in an environment that’s generally easy to use and that can be quite fun. It’s one of the world’s busiest web sites, and one of the tech world’s most valuable companies…. More 

browsers

The chances are good that when you browse the web, you’re doing so via Google’s own particular browser, Google Chrome. Chrome has anywhere between 47% to 60% of the browser market sewn up. That might not seem that impressive, but the next largest market share is usually given to Apple’s Safari browser at between 13%… More 

mackeyboarda

Apple sells itself as a premium brand, both in style terms, but also for the quality of the computing equipment it sells. That’s a proposition that can very much become quasi-religious for some folks, although few would suggest that Apple sells bad computing equipment. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, there’s no doubting that consumers… More