It's no secret that Amazon has been preparing its own video download store, and with most people believing that Apple is going to announce their own offering early next week, it looks like Amazon tried to jump ahead in line by announcing its own offering today. Unfortunately, the offering is about as "me too" as you can imagine. It's got all the problems of just about every other video download offering out there. It only works on Windows. Copy protection galore. Limited usage. Relatively high prices compared to alternatives. Rather than making the content portable, you basically get to download two files: one that must stay on the computer you downloaded it on, and one that can be transferred to an approved (i.e., has Windows media copy protection) mobile device. You can burn the movie to a DVD... but it's of almost no additional value, since that DVD will only play on the computer you downloaded the movie to. While it's quite likely that the Hollywood folks put many of these restrictions on Amazon, it's a disappointing service. There's nothing new here and nothing compelling. Amazon has shown in the past that it understands a lot about making the online shopping experience work well for consumers. It's too bad they were unable to transfer that knowhow to video downloads. Hopefully it's a temporary situation that they'll be able to improve over time.
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