I Know, Let's Make The More Expensive, Less Useful Movie Downloads Tough To Use

from the not-listening-to-the-criticism dept

One of the key services that entertainment companies can sell is an easy, enjoyable experience. The lack of effort involved with syncing an iPod with iTunes is what makes that product so seductive, even though cheaper, more flexible options (like piracy) exist. So it's amusing to read a first-person account (via BroadbandReports) of trying to download a film from Movielink, which looked inconvenient from the description alone. The process was riddled with errors and hurdles so it took over an hour just to get the download going, which itself took over 4 hours. What's funny is that Movielink was taking harsh criticism three years ago, so you'd think they would have gotten the message. If you're asking consumers to pay for something that is already available online, the selling has point has to be convenience, something that Movielink hasn't figure out.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Avner Ronen, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:53pm

    not that bad

    i have used movielink several times, and while not perfect, it does work.

    the download took me 35min, and not 4 hours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    fsckr, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 7:22pm

    I'm surprised...

    the cable companies haven't jumped on this opening. Convenience is king when it comes to home entertainment. If you make your users jump through hoops they will leave when a more convenient service comes along.

    I've been harping on this issue for a few years now. The box my cable company ships me has a fairly large HD (80GB if i'm not wrong) and a pretty fat pipe.

    I know this might be oversimplifying things a little but why can't they just license all the movies in (say) the Netflix database, encode them in mpeg4, and give me an interface to download them and charge me a fraction of the DVD cost (since there's a much lower comparative distribution cost)

    And no, I'm not talking about the crappy collection of last weeks features that they offer OnDemand, I'm thinking older, less popular movies- you know, the long-tail of the movie selection.

    If they took this route, they'd put companies like movielink and netflix out of business because those businesses have a larger convenience cost.
    ~
    fsckr

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 7:56pm

    usenet, netflix get bent

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    lex, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 8:49pm

    Movielink works for me

    You can ony use IE with movielink and you have to download a client and reboot your system the first time you download the movie.
    Other then that the process is pretty painless.
    With a decent broadband connection you can start watching a move 3 minutes after starting the download.

    And if you still have your college email active you can get 25% off each download.

    I say its pretty convenient if you are willing to fork out 4bux to watch the movie now rather then wait a day for the torrent download.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 9:01pm

    i wqas sued for downloading a movie off a torrent, not a good idea anymore. the mpaa has been getting ip address from the torrent hosting sites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 12:53am

    Re:

    plant

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    danny, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 1:34am

    Convenience should be the foremost motive of the company if they r selling something that is available online. It is where movielink flopped. Just by making the product seductive doesnt guarrentes to make it a hit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Laughing, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 3:49am

    Bush

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Happy Gilmore, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 8:20am

    i've used movielink from the get-go, i like it, never had any problems with it. never had to restart my system after any downloads, and millitary gets dicounts also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Bassboat, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 9:17am

    movielink

    The reason i-tunes sincs so well with the I-pod is that apple takes its software serious. It doesn't have to have all of the fixes windows based systems seem to always need, plus they don't let johnny come lately's mess with their products.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Johnny Come Lately, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 9:33am

    What?!?

    Man, Assboat, what did I do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 12:19pm

    Why should they make it convenient? The MPAA doesn't *want* it to succeed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    James, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 4:10pm

    Sorry must support Firefox

    Sorry IE is not secure enough for me to use it just to get to once site..once they really want to do business then I will come back and try again

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Don Long, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 7:58pm

    it works great; what's the deal?

    The ONLY problem with Movielink is a poor selection. I've been a member for a few years. The downloads (for a 2-hr movie) are exactly 35 min w/consumer grade broadband and it's so simple to work the Movielink Manager even a shaved ape could do it.

    I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 12:37am

    Re:

    "Why should they make it convenient? The MPAA doesn't *want* it to succeed."

    Thats ok. We'll just keep using the "free" services.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Brian Ward, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 8:13am

    Not quite there

    I reviewed both Movielink and Cinema Now's new VOD offerings about a month ago. The speeds of both services were fine actually. The software download was a painful experience, but you only have to do that once. The biggest problems with the services are selection, DRM and proprietary deals studios are making. I agree that ONE selling point should be convenience, the second should be quality. The studios need to offer all of the added features available on DVDs along with downloads and provide top quality audio and video guaranteed to be free of spyware and viruses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Bill Satterfield, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 11:08am

    MovieLink

    I got some free dollars for MovieLnk on a cereal box. I have downloaded two movies and found the process to be easy, flexable and even intuative. The quality of the movie, on my HP 7020 widescreen, was quite acceptable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    THEY, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 3:42pm

    MovieLink gone on Safari

    Yeah, you can't even use MovieLink with Safari (OSX browser) yet. I'm pretty sure FireFox wouldn't let it happen for me either. Terrible service. F.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    mthorn, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re:

    People who steal is the reason why we have to put up with DRM and other roadblocks to actually making digital movie/music downloads a reality.

    Why don't you pay for things like you should or do with out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    mthorn, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 11:14pm

    Re: I'm surprised...

    Actually netflix should just do the service. They already have a library of new and old movies to start ripping from.

    However I prefer netflix's current method. Having the DVD in hand means more features, better quality, and more possibilities of watching.

    Typical wait time is only a day or two, who needs to watch a particular movie right now? If you have a queue you have a constant stream of movies to watch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    butt_erfly, May 1st, 2006 @ 12:08am

    MovieLink

    I use Vongo, $9.95/mo, and while it's a rental, not a purchase, it works fine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Greg, May 1st, 2006 @ 1:28pm

    Re: MovieLink

    I currently subscribe to Vongo, but I'm quitting this week (before my subscription renews) because it's a terrible service - I don't know how yours works "fine." Besides poor movie selection and bulky client, Vongo has deleted my movies 3 times for no reason - they weren't expiring, I didn't delete them, they just disappeared one day before I watched them. Movielink is much better on the whole, I think. But I've switched to Netflix anyway because I don't need to take my movies with me anywhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This