An interesting rant, but I have a simple issue with DVDs: Scratches.

You're sitting at home watching a DVD you rented or got for free from the library, and all of the sudden, you're in a completely different part of the movie. DVD skipping is abrupt and seamless--there's no pop, flicker or other transistion like there is with a record, say.

It takes a few seconds to register this, and when you do, you're completely baffled. The only solution is to go back to the chapter where you were, fast forward to the spot where it skipped, and try to jump past it. If you're really into the movie this is completely disruptive. At least with a videotape the picture may suck but the linear flow of the movie is usually not interrupted if it works at all.

I know this wouldn't be a problem if I purchased all my own DVDs--but most movies I don't want to own, I just want to watch. We've made a habit of checking rental DVDs for scratches before leaving the video store, but that only helps if they have an extra copy available. Also, we've changed video stores, and the new one (a chain--not Blockbuster) seems to be better about scratchy DVDs.

Of course, I wonder what people do to DVDs to scratch them--I envision a lot of using them as coasters, touching them with their grimy paws, leaving them on top of the DVD player out of their case, etc. If you're doing this with your rental DVDs, just stop it, okay?