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
    Jerry Armage, 14 Oct 2006 @ 2:22pm

    The Truth (massive rant for the clueful)

    I not only pirate movies but I actually pay a premium to the facillitators. I do this because I want the content when I want it, how I want it. I am entirely amoral and do not give a crap that I'm stealing from the movie studios.

    The reason I don't want DRM isn't so I can copy it around and put it on the internet or sell it - it's because I enjoy being able to manipulate the media in any fashion I desire (i.e. make a DVD or put it into a Matroska) and be assured of interoperbility between the devices. I don't care a whit if the movie studios think they should be able to dictate I have to buy a Microsoft Zune - while they try and cripple my usage I will just pirate your movies and you will never be able to stop me.

    Further, I entirely dislike the movie studios and television companies releasing their movies in a staggered fashion so I wouldn't otherwise get to enjoy the things I read everyone talking about on the internet from the US where everything is released first.

    While these two situations exist I will pirate and not only that, I will pay people who make it easier for me to pirate - even though I'm purely a consumer and will not make any financial gain from my piracy - I won't even share any of it with anyone else on the internet.

    Now, if the movie studios actually LISTENED to people like me, intelligent, affluent casual pirates who "steal" purely to consume the product and are WILLING to PAY for the product so long as it's delivered in the same versatile format I can get when I pay a pirate - they'd see an increase in sales amongst some of the people who prop up the serious players in piracy.

    We ARE the GENUINE LOST SALES. Leave the STUDENT and unemployed BUMS alone - they will never pay for your stuff because they CANNOT afford to PAY. They are NOT lost sales, but people like me are.

    If I buy a stolen car radio the wires are generally cut, it might show slight visible damage and probably has the brackets missing. If I buy a car that was stolen from a show room - it will be exactly the same as a new car. Online medis is the ONLY ITEM where the STOLEN VERSION is BETTER QUALITY than the LEGAL equivilent. I'm SHOCKED the movie studios don't get this. Offer a SERVICE on PAR with the PIRACY enablers (naming no names) and YOU will GET my MONEY instead.

    Oh, and to the argument that stealing movies is the same as shop-lifting or stealing car radios oh please - did you really manage to convince yourself that was true? Perhaps on the basis that you have a loss since you would have gained if that person didn't make a copy. From what I know (and I know an awful lot about piracy) this is true perhaps less than 1 in 100 downloads for movies and 1 in 1000 for songs with common people. Also - even in the case you DID lose a sale you didn't LOSE you just didn't GAIN. If someone stole your car radio you'd not only have LOST a car radio (which you already had in the past) you would now have to go and buy another one if you wanted a car radio. This is a highly negative personal emotional experience and not in any way related to you not gaining any of my money which you may otherwise have done.

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