Re: "In other words they want you to rent rather than buy"
Depends on the additional services that the cloud can offer as to whether the cloud is really inferior as you might claim
- there is an overhead of time managing your own files: backups, organising, cataloging. A cloud service looks after all that for you. I've done all of these things with my own media and it can be very time consuming. Fast Duplicate File Finder, Beyond Compare, mp3tag. PFrank File Renamer -- help a lot though!
- a cloud service can track how much you have watched/read and synchronise this information to all the authorised devices. Think Kindle, for example.
- a cloud service can potentially make your media available anywhere. Again think Kindle.
Don't get me wrong, I see the pitfalls of proprietary cloud services. But today, I'm also not one to collect physical media. Most films I might watch once or just a few times. A few I might want to keep for longer.
But I prefer the minimalist clutter free life; can't take it to the grave and life is all about experiences and all that. I'm partly over the need to own something tangible.
As one commentator put it very well right here on ElReg, DRM'd services are like a perpetual hire of the material, that might actually suit some more than the albeit small worry of looking after a DVD collection that might not even play on machines in the future, become obsolete.
They can't and never will be able to DRM the discussions one would have among friends about a film, a tune or a book.