In terms of viewing experience, I have undergone a major metamorphosis as a result of viewing video content in files. I believe in the near future everyone will be like this:
Every day, as I go through all of the random downloaded videos in my folder, I click through each file to browse, in a grab-bag kind of way.
This is very much like channel surfing on the TV. Click, click, click.
However, when browsing local content in RAM, the ability to scroll and jump around the video, without latency, allows one to essentially consume the entire work in a variety of ways, in a fraction of the time.
For an example, consider your typical 5 o'clock news broadcast on a TV. In order to get the full 20min of news, you have to watch for 30 minutes. At that point, you may feel sorry for yourself for having wasted 30 full minutes to obtain about 1.5 minutes of interesting information.
A downloaded, scrollable and jumpable file of the same content, allows you to (a) quickly scan the entire file in a matter of a few seconds; to see visually what may be of note, (b) the ability to watch a topic of interest while also micro-jumping around within that topic, (c) stop to frame advance an interesting chain of events, and (d) skip past all the subjectively boring stuff.
For instance, when I click on a new video file, instead of waiting for a commercial or waiting to see what will happen next, I can go right ahead and scroll at variable rates to essentially see the entire lot quickly. In most cases, its not a mystery novel that I'm spoiling.
This will have major effects on the ways in which people will consume content and so the ways in which content will be designed.
In terms of advertising, the fact that the audience is not forced to watch an ad and the fact that they can scroll and skip over it, may be more beneficial for the advertisers in the long run. For instance, if an advertiser on TV is dependent on the alien coach potato to either stick around for the commercial break without wondering what is going about on other channels, or coincidentally land on their commercial while channel surfing, the advertiser on TV does not have a great reach, compared to the available audience on TV.
If ads are attached to each file that you download to you computer, as you click through each random video, and as you scroll through the entire thing, in each case, even for those videos that you decide not to investigate further, you will likely see the advertisement, even if it comes at the end. This may effectively assume more eyes onto the ad as everyone scrolls all of their content.
As a result of my transformation, I can no longer imagine how excruciatingly painful it must be for people who watch all of their video on TV and my oh my, what a waste of time.
Kinda like a TIVO, but much less restrictive on the interface, especially in terms of a variable scroll rate, the instantaneous jumping from file to file, and the ease of sorting, renaming and filing easily.