Culture

by Mike Masnick




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
    10layers, 8 Sep 2006 @ 4:03am

    Spot on!

    I believe the winner in the movie download space will be the player that allows for convenient viewing on PCs, mobile devices, and on your TV. Unbox does not appear to be the service that will provide this flexibility. The question is, who will bring this to the market first, Microsoft with Zune/XBOX/Media Center or Apple with “one more thing” next week? On the positive side, Amazon is launching with an impressive array of content. Over 1,000 movies are available from Warner Bros., NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and other content providers. Will be interesting to see if Apple will/can match this. We are also covering this in Amazon Unbox launched; pieces of the puzzle missing.

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