Sunday, 15 December 2013

What I want for Christmas

gift box
Picture by SalFalko on Flickr
It used to be so much easier to buy people presents.  There was always a book, an album or a movie that would be a winner.  And I'd usually have a good long wishlist of what is now called 'content' that would serve as a decent response to the ever-difficult question 'what would you like for Christmas?'

But now I don't want the physical CD - it's just a pain to rip.  I read books and magazines on my iPad, or listen to audiobooks. It's so much easier to rent a film than it is to clean a DVD to the point where our hypersensitive player will actually make it the whole way through the movie.  As well as the convenience of the electronic version, I actually prefer not having the physical clutter.

Giving content electronically is possible. But it feels pretty heartless to go and buy an iTunes voucher - it has all the charm of sticking a banknote or two in an envelope. Receiving a gift feels better if you think the person put some thought into what you'd like, and personally I'd far rather not know how much it cost. So I'm not a big fan of receiving vouchers*.

But I would like to be able to buy content in gift form, and send it electronically.  I should be able to pick the album or the title, maybe even a subscription to a magazine.  I should be able to set the date (even the time) that the recipient will get a notification that they've got a gift.  It should come with a little note from me, and let's recreate the element of surprise by having a nice little animation for 'unwrapping' the present.

Amazon, Apple and Google: feel free to take idea that idea on board as a gift from me!

* Actually that's not true. Send vouchers, I won't turn them down! But I always prefer to receive a gift for which I don't know the price.

Update: guess what you can now do in the iBooks store!

1 comment:

Ed said...

I couldn't agree more. My usual staple wishlist entries of DVDs and Games (books having been dropped since I got a Kindle a few years ago) have now been replaced by some very unimaginative "Microsoft vouchers please". It feels wrong, but is actually the most useful thing for me at the moment.

As you say, if only the "download" retailers would let you gift eBooks, games, albums, videos, etc.