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
    Cleverboy, 8 Sep 2006 @ 6:40pm

    That Loud Noise is Apple Sucking the Air out of th

    "Honestly, Apple's "free to burn then re-rip, we don't care" policy is the best thing you can have, really. Major label's won't even listen to you without having DRM" - Trey

    Rock on, Trey. People sneer at Apple and imply that burning and then re-ripping is somehow some hockey violation Apple frowns on. Sure, Apple seems set on making sure iTunes doesn't work with virtual CD schemes (where ur burning to a special file on your HD pretending its a CD), but for the most part, WYSIWYG. Burn and rip your way to another platform all you like, they don't care. Its about derrance not prevention. --Microsoft on the other hand lets its licensees turn on and off things like "CD burning" for some files and not for others. I can't see myself going for a platform like that... sorry (for those who think "PlaysForSure"="Freedom").

    Steve Jobs went for "purchase to own" over "subscribe and bind" for just that reason. I mean, I'm amused that I have a wi-fi network and through iTunes sharing, I can play movies/music from my Mac collection through my PC's iTunes interface. Frickin' rocks is what it does.

    DRM critics seem to think digital rights management just popped up out of no where in the last couple of years. I'm no angel. I remember the day I realized my CD copy of Jedi Knight wouldn't work. Or way back when my backup of "Leander" or "Hybris" on my Amiga wouldn't play like the original floppy would. I just shrugged my shoulders and took good care of my media. These days, music and movies are digital, and now due to the ease of copying and transmitting digital data over the Internet, the same issues of copy-protection legitimately come into play. Have software vendors given up on "serial numbers" just because hackers have created patches and serial generators? No. DRM won't stop either.

    But, PlaysForSure is a pretty bearish situation that doesn't appeal to me at all. Movies or music... Windows ONLY is not cool. I'm pretty sure given the open nature of PlaysForSure, it will remain much more easier to hack around than FairPlay.

    "Look at it like this...at least you are getting some money versuses getting none." - Like Hello!!?!?!

    Ha ha ha. That's so fucked up. Create content for me, and sell it to me dirt cheap or I'll rob you. that's just so fucked up.


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