Amazon's Video Downloads About As Me Too (Read: Not Interesting) As You Can Get

from the disappointing dept

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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  1. identicon
    Lateral Thinking, 8 Sep 2006 @ 1:04am

    Different forlks different strokes

    We can all go to a video rental store and rent a DVD for the night, to watch it at home.. How many people actually bother going through the trouble of ripping it, cracking it etc.. in order to copy it?

    We can all go to cinema to watch a movie. How many people actually bother going through the trouble of brining a camera in order to copy it?

    In the world we live it's perfectly normal to pay for video screening, and it has been like that for a very long time.

    My girfriend's father (age 73) asked me for help with buying music from Apple iTunes service, because he couldn't find that music on CD in shops. I explained to him how it works, he got out his credit card, and now he's a very happy man that he's finally found what he was looking for. This was all done in 15 mins.

    In some people's opinion here I should have done the following - install some bit torrent software on his machine, then WinRAR, VLC media player, DivX etc.. Then teach him how to search for stuff he wants, how to download it, where to find the downloaded file, then how to uncompress it, then how to get the password from the net, in order to decompress the files.. In the process his PC would probably collect tons of spyware and adware, so I'd need to teach him how to protect himself from that, then ultimately explain why the content he downloaded actually isn't what he wanted, what it appeared to be, but recording of some very bad demo band..

    I'm trying to say that a lot of people who aren't "techies" use computers too. I believe they are also target market for Amazon, maybe even more so than us who post out comments here :-)

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