I have to say I wasn’t surprised to read that HMV is going the way of the Dodo. I honestly can’t remember the last time I visited one of their stores.

On top of that, I can’t remember the last time I bought any physical media.

All my music comes via Spotify, with the occasional detour into my older collection now in my iTunes library. I don’t possess a single DVD, as all movies are bought on the iTunes Store. Or simply streamed via Netflix if I’ve missed them in the cinema.

There’s nothing else HMV sell (as far as I’m aware) that I would want.

While it’s sad to read about store closures and the inevitable job losses, I can’t help but think the writing has been on the wall for some time. Digital media have been in the ascendancy for quite some time, with occasional blips when it comes to people buying vinyl.

Damn dirty hipsters 😜

For me, the move to digital was not about the technology or ideology. It was practical. I own a small apartment in London – I simply don’t have the space for an enormous (and growing) collection of CDs and DVDs.

Plus, there’s the convenience. I can buy a newly-released movie from iTunes and watching it virtually instantly, connections permitting. And Spotify creates the most incredible playlists for me, based on previous listening habits.

I’m happy with how these work, though I realise everyone is different in this regard and your mileage may vary.

But if you’d asked my 21 year old self if I’d be happy to simply ‘own’ digital rather than hard copies of my favourite albums, the answer would be a definitive ‘no’. My attitudes to these things, along with a lot else, have changed as both technology and society’s norms have developed.

I still have a fairly sizeable CD collection, stacked neatly in a case in my study at home. I’m wondering whether to dispose of it as part of my ‘Year of Less’. My very own attempt at simplification and minimalism. I cannot honestly remember the last time I played a single one of them – and it was definitely before we moved into this apartment, over five years ago.

This begs the question: why hold on to them at all?


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