Browsing the Black Friday sales, I saw a heavily discounted 15 inch Samsung Galaxy 2-in-1 computer. I’ve been thinking about switching from Mac to Windows, so I went ahead and got it. Since then I’ve been wrestling all of my data out of various walled-gardens. I had to say goodbye to most of my music: I took the core of my music library, acquired in college, out of iTunes and put it in MusicBee, and now I’m just selectively purchasing other tracks from Amazon Music (which sells music DRM-free) and adding them to the library. It’ll mean fewer musics than back when I exclusively listened to streaming services, but the music won’t be quite as disposable, and I won’t have to say goodbye to it every five years when I switch to a new service.
When it comes to my books, I’ve gotten everything out of Kindle and am reading now using KOReader. I still have to get new books from Amazon, since they have the widest selection, but I have a system to crack the DRM when I need to (I didn’t / couldn’t use a similar system for my music downloads on Spotify bc I hadn’t really ‘bought’ them, and it wouldn’t have been right to yank entire albums and tracks out of Spotify for just the price of a streaming subscription).
TV / movies don’t worry me bc I never buy those, really, so I’m content w/ streaming. If I lose access to some movie or show someday, that’s fine, c’est la view.
I have a lot of audiobooks stuck in the Audible system. I believe there’s a way to crack the DRM on those, but here the problem is they take up A LOT of hard disk space. I might have to use an external drive for this.
Then at some point I’ll need to get all my notes out of Apple Notes, and put them into a third-party system like Obsidian. But that’s next week’s job.
Now you might ask, does this improve my life in any way? Is the time I spend doing this at all worthwhile?
And the answer is no and no. It’s just a hobby. I mean sure, probably in 20 years I’ll be glad I still have that one song (the way I’m glad I still have songs I downloaded in high school), but would I feel particularly bad in 20 years if I _didn’t_ have the song? No, of course not. All this effort does is turn you into the kind of open-source nut who cares about computer ecosystems. But I’m fine with that. It’s my version of tinkering with a car.
I’m liking the PC though! The performance is a lot snappier than my 2019 MacBook Air. The fan noise isn’t too bad, and I can throttle it when I need to, but I never have that sluggishness I would have when typing on the mac. And although the 2-in-1 design isn’t great for most people, I like it a lot. The screen on the laptop is extremely bright and great for watching stuff. Windows 11 is a bit hard to get used to–not nearly as intuitive as the mac–and I’ve already had crashes and corrupted files. But Scrivener and Office work fine. And all my passwords are in 1password already, and that, combined with Firefox, means that 90 percent of my browsing experience is the same. But we’ll see how long it lasts!