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Amazon Unbox Video Store Launches

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the online-box-offices dept.

308

andrewl6097 writes "Amazon.com has launched it's Amazon Unbox video store. Looks like about 1300 movies and 350 tv series, at $9.99 and up for movies and $1.99 per TV episode. Downloads come with a DVD quality version and a version more appropriate for portable players (using Windows DRM). Also, videos can be re-downloaded from your Amazon media library. Cool!"

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"Cool!" (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063320)

slashdot is now running accolades for DRM crippled movie downloads? uncool!

Re:"Cool!" (4, Insightful)

x-kaos (213378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063342)

Yea well, it still costs to much money imo. May as well get the movie mailed to me if the download has all that junk with it. Thumbs down.

Re:"Cool!" (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063377)

Yeah, as a faithful open source fan and reader of Slashdot, there is no way I'm ever going to support this DRM-infested crap! They may take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom!!!

Now pardon me while I go back to buying stuff from iTunes...

I agree, this sucks - can't transfer b/t comps (5, Informative)

eliot1785 (987810) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063427)

You can't even transfer the file that you download between computers. Check this out, from their FAQ:

"You can only view the files using Amazon Unbox installed on the computer that originally received the downloads."

So that means if I buy one of these files and burn it on a DVD to transfer it to another computer that I own, I won't even be able to play it on that other computer. I will have to actually download it again from Amazon.com. You can store it on up to 2 computers (and 2 corresponding video players) at any given time, but files can only be played on the computer to which you downloaded it.

So that means if I want to use up to the 2 computer limit, I have to actually download it twice. There is no way to save download time by using alternative transmission methods, like a flash drive or a DVD-R. This sucks.

Remember all the early iTunes-like stores that failed? Although iTunes has DRM, it succeeded in part because its restrictions were less strong than, say, AOL's. I think Amazon.com's is too restrictive.

ITMS could beat it by being nicer about it, at least allowing you to transfer it between computers however you like. Honestly, that restriction doesn't even make sense from a DRM point of view, because you could always just require people to "authorize" a computer like ITMS. Maybe they aren't as skilled at this as Apple is?

Re:I agree, this sucks - can't transfer b/t comps (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063445)

"You can only view the files using Amazon Unbox installed on the computer that originally received the downloads."

I'll stick with DVD purchases or torrent downloads, thankyouverymuchAmazon.

Re:I agree, this sucks - can't transfer b/t comps (4, Interesting)

abandonment (739466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063649)

yup, pretty much.

i download everything off the net onto my laptop, and then burn &/or otherwise transfer to my other machine (desktop) with a nice big flat panel screen for watching.

this 'locking to one machine' system is completely bass-ackwards and a non-starter...

Re:"Cool!" (1)

phatvw (996438) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063447)

The question is, were the movie files encoded before or after Microsoft fixed its DRM issues [slashdot.org] ?

Re:"Cool!" (5, Interesting)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063590)

slashdot is now running accolades for DRM crippled movie downloads? uncool!

The submitter might be a shill. Seems way too obvious in the cheerleading aspect, at least to me. Shall we break down the summary?

"Amazon.com has launched it's Amazon Unbox video store."

Good, if obvious, lead sentence here. It makes sure that the company name is repeated twice, and by using the word "it's" we may get a slight feeling that of "it's amazing" before we read the rest of the product, even if the thought is just subconscious. Interesting, if perhaps unintentional usage of the incorrect "it's" instead of the correct "its", we also may get the feeling doubly reinforced again with the uncontracted "it is amazing".

"Looks like about 1300 movies and 350 tv series, at $9.99 and up for movies and $1.99 per TV episode."

Here we see the information about the service and products, including numbers and prices. This is obviously something that will be brought up in the discussion below, but by introducing the readers to it in the summary, the submitter can keep the content tied to the positive aspects conveyed in the summary. This is in contrast to reading about it below where it is coupled with Slashdot users' negative responses to selection and pricing. No control over those comments, but the initial impression is made.

"Downloads come with a DVD quality version and a version more appropriate for portable players"

Again, more information about the service. Sentence structure gives us the words "quality" and "appropriate", which are rather neutral terms, but may make a positive subconscious impression on the readers. The mentioning of the generic "portable players" does not exclude any type of device on name alone, so it will not alienate potential customers.

"(using Windows DRM)."

Then we come to the most interesting part. By qualifying the "portable players" statement with the phrase "(using Windows DRM)", the submitter may actually gain a small measure of trust from us readers. It is likely based on the demographics of the users of Slashdot. As generally informed people, Slashdot users dislike DRM for both it's technical and philisophical nature. By using parentheses, the submitter seems to be imparting information that is somehow cloaked or not for general public knowledge, like a whispered secret. With these two concepts, we may actually trust the submitter more than we would a normal submission.

"Also, videos can be re-downloaded from your Amazon media library."

Here we get a bit more info on the service itself and another placement of the company name and additional product. We are still possibly affected by the subconscious trust level, so we may have an abnormally positive response to this information. Such as a "Great feature!" reaction instead of an "I should hope so!" reaction.

"Cool!"

This final statement, while seemingly out of place, may be accepted simply because the summary has been crafted to elicit a positive reponse and we may find ourselves in agreement, though there is nothing that special about this company's service. It does have the potential to backfire when the target audience is quick enough that they can pick out the strange concepts, as the other posts already show.

Overall, it's designed to give a positive spin and impression to the service, which will hopefully drive more click-throughs to the site. I've seen plenty of links to the iTunes store, but never went there. I clicked on this link, and I don't even plan to buy anything. I didn't buy anything, but I guess it worked on me to at least go there and check it out.

I'm currently for hire.

Re:"Cool!" (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063660)

My first thought was that it was a shill, too.

Re:"Cool!" (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063652)

slashdot is now running accolades for DRM crippled movie downloads?

Of course not! They're runing accolades for overpriced DRM crippled movie downloads. For example, compare the download of Walk the Line for $20.00 with a 2-DVD special edition [amazon.com] for about the same price.

Attention editors! Please ignore breathless announcements of downloadable media services except in those very rare cases where economic reality is acknowledged.

seems cool to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063700)

I really am totally clueless I guess, do they have to give them to you for free for you guys to be happy? I guess it is the MSness that you hate? Why doesn't slashdot develop their own DRM for nerds that don't understand that businesses are in the business of making money. That's why they are called businesses. They aren't "locking up content" or whatever you nerds call it. Make them an offer that makes sense for everyone and they will be all ears. They aren't here to make you happy, get over it.

One problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063325)

It uses micro$hit DRM so screw it. Just another way for Micro$hit to unlawfully corner the entire market.

Re:One problem (3, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063504)

Wow. I didn't think the kind of people who say "micro$hit" actually existed. I always thought they were a myth, to scare kids with.

Re:One problem (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063565)

It uses micro$hit DRM so screw it. Just another way for Micro$hit to unlawfully corner the entire market.

twitter, is that you?

Marktup (3, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063333)

At 1/3 to 1/2 this price I'd go on a spree.

Revised (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063587)

After reading some of the details of the deal -- viz., how badly fuctup the files you receive are -- I cap my bid at $2.50/movie.

Re:Revised (1)

crunch_ca (972937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063725)

I'll give my $0.02.

iTunes (1)

carlocj (1001174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063337)

Hey just a couple of days before iTunes, way to go amazon, lets try a price war! ;)

Re:iTunes (5, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063443)


Why will there be a price war when the same interests are behind both sites? The face looks different, but the gizzards are the same.

why pay for single-OS content? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063340)

Why would I pay for video files that are tied to a particular OS?

Funny thing is, i *would* pay for non-DRMed movies. I've bought plenty of non-DRM music online.

It deserves to fail, IMHO.

Re:why pay for single-OS content? (4, Insightful)

eliot1785 (987810) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063459)

I would even pay for DRM'd movies (sorry guys), if the DRM weren't so restrictive. I buy stuff from ITMS all the time, partly because I know that if worse came to worse I could always burn them all as CD audio files and then rip them into MP3 format. My feeling on DRM is that I think some DRM is good to protect the artists, but there should be a way around it as long as you put in a little bit of work, to discourage people from doing it. It doesn't look like there's a way around this one.

So basically, rather than balancing customer interests against artist/studio interests, they went wholesale with the artist/studio interests. They'll probably pay for it by not getting a lot of buyers.

Re:why pay for single-OS content? (1)

ejp1082 (934575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063648)

Protect the artist from what, exactly?

Re:why pay for single-OS content? (2, Insightful)

mikefrommcmurray (817962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063474)

In addition to that, why would I buy from a site that I can't buy from in my money? I am in Canada, and Amazon UnBox is not available on Amazon.ca.

I agree with other posters that this was rushed out, perhaps in advance of Apple's announcement next week.

Tying the sale of something as simple as a movie to particular hardware is as stupid as the VHS/Beta war. Oops! I forgot about HD/Blu-ray!

Apple's style of DRM that allows me to make an un-DRMmed backup on a Music CD is the only type I'll accept. Anything more restrictive can be shoved where the sun don't shine.

Re:why pay for single-OS content? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063553)

Why would I pay for video files that are tied to a particular OS?

because you are among the tens of millions of home users running Windows or OSX who don't give a damn about cross-platform compatibility?

Re:why pay for single-OS content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063713)

> because you are among the tens of millions of home users running Windows or OSX who don't give a damn about cross-platform compatibility?

Well, I'm not of course, but let's go with your hypothetical situation for a minute, that I'm a Windows user so this thing works on my platform of choice.

10 years ago, I wasn't using Linux. 10 years before that, I wasn't using AmigaOS. 10 years before that, I wasn't using TRS-DOS. 10 years before that, I wasn't using Unix.

What are the chances I'll still be using the same OS in 10 more years, if I'm using Windows now? What are the chances I'll still be able to play the content I just bought in 10 years? I bet it is well approximated by 0%.

Now, what are the chances I'd still be able to play a physical DVD in 10 years? Or non-DRM'ed video? I've got damn-near 20 year old digital audio and video files from my Amiga days that I can still play just fine today on a totally different platform and CPU architecture.

Even if I was using Windows today, I might not be a while on down the road, so I *still* wouldn't want to buy a video file tied to a single OS.

Support (5, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063351)

No Mac support == dead to me.

No support for iPod == dead to the market.

iTunes movies will probably be dead to me too since I live in !USA.

DVDs are cheaper anyway. the entire concept of movie downloads priced the same, or more expensive, as DVDs is retarded.

Re:Support (3, Informative)

wired_LAIN (974675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063375)

Why is it retarded? The material cost for DVDs make up virtually none of the cost... its the content that we pay for. Now if the content that we download is restricted with DRM, thats another issue, but theres nothing wrong with paying to download dvds.

Re:Support (1)

Yeshua (93307) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063423)

The grandparent didn't say there was anything wrong with paying for downloads, just paying the same. The costs to distribute an electronic version (i.e. no shipping, no retail staff, no retail floorspace, just bandwidth and storage), should be significantly less than a nice shiny plastic and metal version.

Thus if you're paying the same, you're paying too much.

Re:Support (2, Interesting)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063424)

>The material cost for DVDs make up virtually none of the cost

the DRM nature is a big point but not all of it. DVDs are trivial to lend, borrow and move about.

also materials are nice, or can be. so that's a loss. plus downloads have (higher) storage costs for the end user.

also, I use iTunes for 2 reasons:
1. individual song downloads - doesn't apply to movies.
2. exclusive content (exclusive tracks, individual music videos, out-of-print albums) - doesn't apply to movies.

downloading individual TV shows is where I think this kind of service can be really useful.

Re:Support (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063564)

2. exclusive content (exclusive tracks, individual music videos, out-of-print albums) - doesn't apply to movies.

Why doesn't it? They could just as easily put in some exclusive features. Plus out-of-print movies.

Re:Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063557)

No Mac support == dead to me.

Most Macs sold in the last 12 months can run XP, and all Macs sold in the next 12 months can run XP.

Re:Support (2, Informative)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063578)

true, but what's the performance like?

boot camp: is it worth rebooting just to buy something from a company that doesn't care about your custom?
parallels: unbox has some pretty hefty requirements. will parallels play it pefectly?

for me, windows on a mac is about necessity or about making me money. not so I can spend money.

Re:Support (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063645)

Most Macs sold in the last 12 months can run XP, and all Macs sold in the next 12 months can run XP.

So that's like, what? Twelve MACs?

Re:Support (-1, Offtopic)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063589)

Subway? Eat Fresh!

Cheaper?? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063624)

Show me where I can get a copy of V for Vendetta for $14.

Sure, *some* moves are the same as their DVD prices. But some are less.

Mostly the new releases are cheaper than new release DVDs. The older stuff, well youc an get that in the bargain bins at Walmart, sure.. but you have to *find them* first.

FAQ and showstoppers (Mac, Linux, iPods excluded) (4, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063354)

The FAQ here [amazon.com] .

Which includes this showstopper for Mac and Linux users:
Minimum System Requirements

OPERATING SYSTEM: The Unbox Video player application is only compatible with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2, or Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2. The Unbox Video player is not compatible with Apple/Macintosh operating systems.

COMPUTER HARDWARE: A PC with a 1.5-gigahertz (GHz) processor or faster, at least 512MB of memory, and a DirectX 9.0 complaint Video (64 MB Memory) and Sound Card.

INTERNET CONNECTION: Broadband internet connection capable of 800 kbps sustained transfer speeds.

No iPods either:
Can I use Amazon Unbox on my Macintosh or iPod?
Unfortunately, our Amazon Unbox video downloads are not compatible with Apple / Macintosh hardware and computer systems.

Re:FAQ and showstoppers (Mac, Linux, iPods exclude (1, Insightful)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063371)

And here I was clicking every Star Trek episode and ready to give them a fistfull of cash...

But then they had to say "Fuck you Mr. Mac user!"

Re:FAQ and showstoppers (Mac, Linux, iPods exclude (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063478)

When arguing the merits of the mac mini as a media center device, people seem to think this problem doesn't exist yet here it is on a large scale. Macs will not play a lot of DRM'ed video content if MS has its way and this type of content will make Media Center the only viable choice for the living room. I sure hope that changes because MCE blows.

Re:FAQ and showstoppers (Mac, Linux, iPods exclude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063391)

You'd think that they at least would mention Linux.

Re:FAQ and showstoppers (Mac, Linux, iPods exclude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063470)

No indication in the FAQ (or elsewhere that I could find) of the resolution.

The supported devices says you need Plays For Sure... is Zune a Plays For Sure device or is Plays for Sure going to the scrap-pile?

Re:FAQ and showstoppers (Mac, Linux, iPods exclude (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063491)

>is Zune a Plays For Sure device or is Plays for Sure going to the scrap-pile?

Microsoft(TM)(R)'s Zune(TM)(R) will NOT be compatible with Microsoft(TM)(R)'s Plays For Sure(TM)(R) standard.

Microsoft(TM)(R)'s Plays For Sure(TM)(R) standard MAY be playable with Microsoft(TM)(R)'s Zune(TM)(R).

What about Pocket PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063496)

The FAQ doesn't do much to describe mobile device compatibility. All it has is a link to a list which includes a few 'Plays For Sure' media players like Creative Zen Vision, Archos AV, and so on.

Will this thing generally work with PDAs that run Windows Mobile 5.0, or not? Anyone have a clue about this?

Not free? (0)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063355)

DRM or not. If the price is not FREE, I dont buy it.

I will stick with utorrent thank you very much.

"Plays for Sure" ... MUHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (5, Funny)

MarkTina (611072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063366)

The phrase "If your device is Plays for Sure compliant it may work," is quite amusing.

So the device claims to play for sure ... but it might not ... great stuff! ;-)

Re:"Plays for Sure" ... MUHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063558)

Isn't that how all DRM seems to work: Give us your money now. You might be able to watch the movie right after you do that. You may even be able to watch it again at a later date. Then again we may just charge you for it again next time you decide you want to see it, or if the format changes, or if it's a new moon, or... By the way you might want to check out these other movies you may get to watch. Seeya. Have a nice day. Come again (*but not if you have a complaint)

Re:"Plays for Sure" ... MUHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063723)

At least you can be sure it might play! Funny how once computers became powerful enough to end compatibility issues, the industry found a way to intentionally prevent things from working reliably.

WMV files (5, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063367)

The site says they use wmv files. I'm assuming the recently mentioned FairUse4WM will work on them. Looks like I might need to check out one of their $3.99 (-$1.99 first time user discount) movie "rentals" to see how well it works (FairUse4WM, not Amazon Unbox).

Re:WMV files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063406)

I think that vulnerability was patched already.

Re:WMV files (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063471)

Patched, and then broken again... [engadget.com]

Re:WMV files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063465)

Who modded numbnuts here informative? FairUse4WM works only on WMA, not WMV. This has been repeatedly mentioned on slashdot [slashdot.org] and elsewhere.

Re:WMV files (2, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063502)

Supposedly FairUse4WM 1.2 includes video support.

Re:WMV files (2, Informative)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063608)

fyi FAIrUse4DRM 1.1 supported WMV DRM inluding rental DRM ;).

Re:WMV files (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063685)

Bullshit. FairUse4WM works great on WMVs. 1.2 works flawlessly even on a "patched" Windows box.

Re:WMV files (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063721)

I can confirm that FairUse4WM version 1.1 successfully un-DRMs content purchased from Amazon Unbox (a South Park episode, in this case). FYI, the filesize is 432MB for 22:22 minutes at 640x480 resolution.

Plays for Sure (?) (-1, Redundant)

sam1am (753369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063373)

Supported Devices: [amazon.com]
The devices in the list below have been tested with the Unbox Video Player. If your device is Plays for Sure compliant it may work, but we cannot guarantee performance on untested devices.
(Emphasis added)

So now it's Plays for Sure, maybe?

maybe for future (1, Redundant)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063381)

I got all excited.... shouldn't have. Virtually no shows I care about watching are offered (only one major network, CBS has offerings, unless you include FOX). Even if, the offerings are old shows... shows if I'd cared to watch I'd have (and did) watched long ago courtesy of TiVo or some crappy knockoff (Comcast, anybody?).

That aside, I'm guessing many people will consider this a decent offering (I don't). The next hurdle is:

  • XP is the only OS for now on which this will run
  • minimum 1.5GHz processor (I'm guessing that's of the x86 family).
  • minimum 512MB memory (many, many machines out there still don't come close to this)
  • DirectX 9.0 compliant Video 64MB (ironically, Amazon misspells it "complaint"... Freudian?
  • internet connection to support sustained 800kbps transfer speeds. I don't know many people who subscribe to this kind of pipe.

But, further consider the recommended requirements:

  • 2.4GHz processor
  • Direct X 9.0 compliant Video (128MB) (again, the interesting typo, "complaint"
  • internet connection capable of 1.5+ mbps transfer speeds.

What are these guys smoking?

Of course it's all neatly wrapped around the axle of DRM so it can be more of a nightmare for anyone who helps and support friends and neighbors.

DOA

Re:maybe for future (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063453)

They're smoking the "you need a computer fast enough to use a 'nextgen' codec" weed. They're taking content that requires 6gb on a DVD and compressing it down to 1.2gb with little/no quality loss.

Re:maybe for future (1)

tartlhuQ (151372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063467)

What's currently on network tv that's actually worth watching? Fox has some good stuff (Family Guy, Simpsons), but other than that everything good is on channels like Comedy Central, SciFi, or FX (Always Sunny In Philidelphia).

Re:maybe for future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063522)

Cartoon Network, between 10:30pm to 12:00am Eastern.

Futurama, Futurama, Family Guy. Oh, sure, you might have covered Family Guy with FOX, but FOX sucks, and if I recall, were the devious morons behind initially cancelling..

Wait, I must stop before I become Master of the Obvious, High King of No Shit. Of course FOX is responsible for trying to cancel good shows!

Other than that, the History Channel is sometimes entertaining - look for the reappearance of Hitler Month (it usually happens in the Fall) - nothing but a month of WW II goodness. Right now though it's all mostly Modern Marvels: The Toilet and other such not terribly exciting programming.

TBH, if this wasn't asinine technology (Windows, and I'm going to wager it won't run on x86_64 properly) and had a decent price, I'd consider it. Network programming sucks as far as I'm concerned - my ridiculous tax to the local Cable Baron grants me over a hundred channels, and my TV only visits three of them. :P

amazon movies (4, Interesting)

trancertong (992719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063382)

It seems this whole thing is kind of half baked, as if they were in a rush to get out before the itunes movie store.

Why isn't MS drm on macs (1)

MySchizoBuddy (904332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063404)

I'm having this argument with a friend and he says its cause Apple dictates what MS can do on macs. So apple has stopped MS from making drm available on macs Any idea

Re:Why isn't MS drm on macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063526)

Let's see... what benefit does Microsoft achieve by making DRM available on OS X (especially DRM that is compatible with all current Microsoft media files)? Well, they make all sorts of media that was previously only available on Windows platforms now available on OS X. Another reason not to use Windows.

Microsoft is not a software company that makes DRM. They are a software company that makes operating systems - the DRM supports their operating system by making more media available for their users.

And the idea that Apple (for some mysterious reason) has refused to let Microsoft port their DRM to OS X, to the HINDRANCE of Apple's users, is totally absurd.

Re:Why isn't MS drm on macs (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063551)

Microsoft can't modify MacOS X to add copy protection crap in there at all levels. Think of the protected audio path in WinXP, or the protected video path in Vista. Apple have nothing like those, and as far as I can see they don't intend to either. Microsoft can't add those things to MacOS X themselves, so they refuse to support DRM.

MacOS X is also lacking some other bits that MS-DRM uses (like any equivalent of the "protected storage" section of the registry). Not that it really matters, since they obviously don't work, but it's a nice excuse for Microsoft to not support DRM.

Same deal with Linspire, by the way. It has officially licensed WM codecs, but no DRM because Linux has none of the restrictions that Windows does.

Movies Downloaded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063405)

I still don't think I will pay for a movie download I can only watch on my PC, and only the PC I downloaded it on too!
The price for the movie itself isn't high, but you have to add data charges (unless you steal bandwidth from work)
At the cost we have to pay in NZ for broadband, it is still cheaper for me to buy the DVD and rip it overnight. I can then watch it anywhere I want, on any device I own without having to ask Amazon for permission.

Screw DRM! Every day I feel better about spending the time to get familiar with Linux and building a killer media station without making Microsoft rich in the process.

$10 bucks and up, that's fucking ridiculous. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063415)

$10 bucks and up, that's fucking ridiculous.

I pay that or less in a movie theater. I pay much less than that to rent or greencine it. Never go but I would bet movies cost less than that at Walmart, esp when on sale.

Oh, and you can eventually get a whole season or two of shows for $40-60.

All the above options lack the DRM feature, so I guess you get what you pay for.

....but can I WATCH the things? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063416)

Can anyone tell in the gobblygook if you are "allowed" to burn the downloads to DVD so you can actually watch them on a player? It's a no-go for me if I have to sit at a computer monitor just to watch the things.

Re:....but can I WATCH the things? (4, Informative)

eliot1785 (987810) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063437)

Nope, you are not. You can burn it to the DVD, but only in their file type. You can't burn it in a DVD-Player readable format. From the FAQ:

Can I make a DVD from my Amazon Unbox downloads?

You can store your downloaded files on a DVD or other removable computer storage device for the purpose of backup in the same format as the original files. However, any DVDs that you burn with Amazon Unbox files will not be readable by a DVD player. You can only view the files using Amazon Unbox installed on the computer that originally received the downloads..

Basically, this service blows.

When I would buy an Online Movie (1)

pjludlow (707302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063419)

I don't really want to download current movies I can get on a dvd. I can easily just buy them and rip them to my hard drive. There may be a possibility for obscure good movies I might want, but the odds of those coming online soon are probably less than being able to find them through ebay or some p2p/bittorrent solution.

What I would pay for are for movies currently playing in the theater. Heck, you could even make them limited to only play for a week/day after you downloaded them if needed. I would spend $15 to be able to watch whatever is new in the comfort of my home theater with family or friends than rather wait in line and deal with other theater inconveniences. Depending on the movie I would even spend more (split the cost with my friends of course). I doubt this offer will ever happen, but I do think it would be interesting to see how well it could do.

Don't get me wrong, the theater experience is great with the huge screen and the good sound system, but sometimes I'd rather be comfortable on my couch.

Re:When I would buy an Online Movie (1)

fithmo (854772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063534)

"What I would pay for are for movies currently playing in the theater. Heck, you could even make them limited to only play for a week/day after you downloaded them if needed."

Pay for one ticket and watch it many times? YES! The industry loves theater hopping!

"I would spend $15 to be able to watch whatever is new in the comfort of my home theater with family or friends than rather wait in line and deal with other theater inconveniences."

So you're willing to pay about the price of a non-matinee theater ticket to be able to watch current/new teather movies in your home while not giving them a chance to gouge you on food prices? Last of the big time spenders!

"Depending on the movie I would even spend more (split the cost with my friends of course)."

Letting your friends in the backdoor of the theater? Brilliant! What a persuasive argument for financially stability!

"...I do think it would be interesting to see how well it could do."

Yeah, I can't believe the industry hasn't jumped on this vast untapped market!

Steep anime prices... (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063421)

How did Bandai & Amazon come up with their anime prices? I'm not picking on Bandai specifically except they're the only anime company I can find on Unbox.

I'm not sure about the pricing their season passes but the prices for individual episodes are $3.99. In comparison, a DVD costs about $15 and probably has 5 or more episodes. So for approximately the same price...download 4 episodes or buy a DVD?

Re:Steep anime prices... (1)

bizard (691544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063484)

It gets worse. I checked out a couple of the movie prices and they are generally the same as they are for the DVD (ie The Office at $13.45 for the download and $13.45 for the special widescreen edition with flair). As others have mentioned, that comes _with_ DRM and _without_ the flair, and probably at lower quality than the DVD (especially if their low-res trailers are a sample of the movie quality).

"Wonderful" Quotes from the Terms of Use (5, Informative)

ween14 (827520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063436)

"From time to time, Amazon will automatically deliver promotional video content (e.g., movie trailers, celebrity interviews, reviews, etc.) to your Authorized Device. Amazon may automatically delete such promotional video content from your Authorized Device without notice to you."

"If Amazon changes any part of the Service or modifies license terms applicable to Rental Digital Content or Purchased Digital Content, which it may do in its sole discretion, you acknowledge that you may not be able to access, view, or use Digital Content in the same manner as prior to such changes, and you agree that Amazon shall have no liability to you in such case."

The Software automatically checks for upgrades, but the Software will not automatically upgrade without your consent, except as provided herein. If you do not consent to an upgrade that we make subject to your consent, the Digital Content may no longer be viewed on your Authorized Device."

beware if you install and want to uninstall (3, Informative)

ozarkcanoer (808891) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063469)

I bit and bought a tv show and then downloaded and installed Unbox which after installing, started to download the show. I decided I didn't want to wait for the download and stopped that. I then tried to uninstall it from my XP SP2 system and the uninstaller connected to Amazon and restarted the download! Couldn't find anyway to prevent this even having Unbox delete the file it had created (which reserved the full space required for the video). Uninstall still kept reconnecting and trying to download the video. I finally had enough of this and used the restore point that had been created when Unbox was installed, the after rebooting, manually deleted the file that had been created. Not very friendly. Larry

Play For Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063490)

Right here, right now....on Microsoft Windows.

Give me a break.

Guess what Amazon? Torrent DVD rips play for sure as well - on Windows, Apple, Linux, and anything else under the sun with the right codecs. I think a lot of us realise that the content creators definately deserve to get paid, and so we are willing to pay for content as long as we can use that content on whichever platform we chose - when I go to the dealership to buy a car, they don't tell me that I can only drive it on Anzac Highway. If they did, I would simply go somewhere else. On the Internet, there is nowhere else to go to purchase platform independent DRM-free content (apart from Magnatune), and so individuals fill that void by sharing with eachother via p2p networks.

The solution is simple: sell platform independent, DRM-free content online. Make it available at high-connection speeds. Sure, you will still get some teenagers downloading off of bittorent - but you will get a ton of people in their 20s, 30s and onwards who have cash to spend and who realise that people deserve to get paid for their work and for the content they create.

Re:Play For Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063531)

But this would put the people that rip the video out of business. Won't someone think of the children?

Re:Play For Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063687)

Sure, you will still get some teenagers downloading off of bittorent
The thing is, they are ALREADY downloading off bittorrent, DRM or not so the DRM did nothing with regard to that "piracy", which makes one wonder what the true goal of DRM is.

Feature Missing (4, Insightful)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063505)

I'd love it if they were to offer you the ability to download a movie instantly when you buy the same DVD from amazon, so you can watch it while the physical disc is in the mail. That way you get the instant gratification, but you will still control the content you own.

Won't succeed. Here to stay. (5, Funny)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063507)

I would like to point out that when I looked at the website, the top ten downloads included:

#5 Firefly
#6 Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Funhouse Mystery
#8 Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Volcano Mystery

This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Slashdot users are a significant part of the early adoption crowd.

Re:Won't succeed. Here to stay. (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063517)

Are they 18 in those features?

Re:Won't succeed. Here to stay. (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063610)

>#5 Firefly

I had a look at the firefly section and the descriptions for the individual television episodes give away all the twists! they should have spoilers for that stuff.

Amazon's lies about why no Mac support (5, Interesting)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063508)

They are spinning like a politician on this...

from the FAQ:
Unfortunately, Apple Computer Inc. has exclusive rights to the
hardware and software that would make it possible for Amazon.com to
provide Amazon Unbox for these devices. Because of these
restrictions, we are unable to make Amazon Unbox compatible with
these products.

Additional information on using Amazon Unbox and purchasing videos
is available on our Help pages at this URL:

www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeI d=161988011

now wait just a damn minute - there is NOTHING stopping Amazon from writing software for Mac OS X. nothing. Apple allows anyone to write software for Mac OS X. They do not have exclusive rights to the hardware and software to make this work on the Mac.... Microsoft does.

Micorsoft does not write any software to allow non-Windows operating systems to view Windows Media files. (they used to have Windows Media Player for the Mac - but now, they let a small company write a codec for Quicktime to play non-DRM WMP files - Flip4Mac)

Anyhow - screw Amazon - they are lying. They can write any damn software they want for the Mac - and the iPod will play any mp4 file you want.

Nothing is stopping them from making Mac compantible files - its their own problem that they don't.

Re:Amazon's lies about why no Mac support (3, Informative)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063592)

It looks like they fixed it to simply state "Unfortunately Amazon Unbox is not compatible with Macintosh computer or iPods" or some-such. I wonder if someone got the memo.

Re:Amazon's lies about why no Mac support (1)

dodongo (412749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063600)

I appreciate that rant wholly. I actually felt a flash of anger, because, dumbass that I am, brain fried by thesis in progress, I expected this to, you know, be a site where I could go download a fucking movie. Oh emusic.com [emusic.com] you've spoiled me so, advertising content that you make available to anyone who can play an MP3 file. Look at me carrying that expectation that my Xubuntu box and iBook will be allow me to avail myself of this new service.

But no. Windows XP only, it says. Well, screw that.

Someday I'll learn that nobody in the RIAA/MPAA extortium wants to sell me anything anyway.

For now, though, I'll just laugh heartily that the Office Space DVD version [amazon.com] is available used, including shipping, for less than the IdiotBox version [amazon.com] and feel a little smug for noticing that. Ha!

Re:Amazon's lies about why no Mac support (1)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063642)

now wait just a damn minute - there is NOTHING stopping Amazon from writing software for Mac OS X. nothing. Apple allows anyone to write software for Mac OS X.

That may be true, but Apple won't licence the DRM that the iPod will support, which is most likely what they mean. And since they have to release it with DRM, they're forced to use Microsofts, which all in all isn't too bad. It's supported by an overwhelming majority of computers, and pretty much every non-ipod mp3 player.

That, or Real. I think they made the right choice.

Re:Amazon's lies about why no Mac support (1)

eldalonde (772750) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063719)

Well in that case their FAQ should say that they'd love to make their files compatible with any player but the MPAA will not allow them to provide media in it's most useful form to the consumer sans-DRM.

Bad timing (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063515)

A launch like this should have been timed to occure after the Oct 3 DRM protest. With all it's problems, it already has poor opening sales going against it, now it'll jump in front of a protest too.

Re:Bad timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063628)

uh huh. keep telling yourself that.

Windows Media Patch (4, Interesting)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063516)

So this is why MSFT fixed the Windows Media Flaw in 3 days...

heh (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063561)

I'm starting to notice a pattern. First they DRM, then we stop buying it... I'm sure it works great for those that are computer illiterate and have a big wad of cash, but I guarantee they are losing more then they are gaining here. Only thing they do gain is a free pass to backdoor everyone's computer and invade their privacy. Where do I sign up? Yeah right...

Download DVD quality, but can't burn a DVD from it (2, Interesting)

oliverk (82803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063583)

Wait a second: it says specifically that you can't BURN A DVD from the downloaded file. Wha'?

Absolutely the worst idea, and opens the door extra wide for a certain, slightly balding man in a black mock turtleneck...

Outlaw Star (2, Interesting)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063585)

So I can download Outlaw Star for $3.99 per episode, or I can purchase a complete set of 26 episodes on 6 DVD's from Amazon for $43.88 (or $30.17 used). Of course with the on-line download I get all that special DRM goodness.

So what else is new? (1)

FlatCatInASlatVat (828700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063594)

How is this different from CinemaNow?

Quoting a certain SciFi flick (Hugo Weaving) (3, Funny)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063618)

"Tell me (slash-dotter)... what good is a (VIDEO) if you're unable to (PLAY IT ON LINUX BOXES)"

more DVDs? (1)

2020steve (999594) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063625)

Stem cell research? You can get stem cells from lots of places. Umbilical cords and, oh yeah, aborted fetuses. Of course, the religious right doesn't take kindly to stem cells. W ain't funding it. How are the Chinese doing on this one?

Impending fuel crisis? We sure are addicted to oil in this country. We all seemed really into converting our cars to run on booze for a while, but then gas prices dipped down to $2.75 a gallon and we dropped that fad like a bad habit. What's up with that, slashdot? Any good articles about alternatives to fossil fuels?

Oh, wait, what's this? A NEW way to buy movies? Wow. Used to be you had to go to get off your ass and go to Blockbuster, then those Netflix boys started sending 'em to ya in the mail and damn was that convienent. It was easier to rent a movie than get up to use the can. I saw a RedBox in a McDonalds the other day. You can order three big macs and use the change to get a DVD!

Gotta go get in the Esclade and pick up Kyle and Rylee's Ritalin, then clean the McMansion...

Obligatory Matrix Trailer (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063627)

I mean, they have The Matrix [amazon.com] of all things. Does that mean that the Machines can be sued into submission by the MPAA for violating their trademarks/copyrights? If so... YEAH LAWYERS!

Missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16063634)

If you have a less desireable product offer something they can't get anywhere else. How about TV shows and movies that were never released on VHS or DVD? There are some oddball things like the Strange Luck series that I'd happily pay for even with the restrictions since there seems to be no intention of ever releasing it on DVD. I can think of half a dozen series and scores of movies in the same boat. It's a win win. Companies can unload content they can't release due to limited market so it creates a cashflow and maybe creates interest in an eventual DVD release. Amazon wins because they would have a captive audience instead people debating their service when for a few dollars more you can own a proper DVD. The services strength is cheaply getting content into hands of consumers, cheap for the company. They don't have to run off 10,000+ copies and incure advertising and distribution costs. All that has to be paid for other than digitizing is uploading and storing the content on servers. The potential is to have most of the surviving TV shows and movies availible. Focasing on popular content actually doesn't make sense given the cost and restrictions. Let fanatical collectors after rare material drive it into profits then come up with a better model to sell current movies and TV shows. Collectors kept Laser Disks alive until DVDs took over eventhough the average price of a disk was north of $45 ten years ago. I paid even more for rare or special content on laser. Provide superior quality as in HD and rare films and TV. That at least gives you a fighting chance to develope and expand the market. I can't see why anyone would pay given the restrictions for mainstream films that can be bought outright for $15. Kind of like leasing a car for 20 grand for a year when for 30 grand you could own it. Doesn't make much sense.

Blame studios (3, Insightful)

DarkFyre (23233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063644)

Yes, yes, everyone complains about 'teh evil' DRM. I'm sure the studios give Amazon the content with no restrictions at all and it's up to Amazon to decide what happens after that. Right. Sure. The prices must be the same way. Amazon gets it all for free and are just greedy bastards ripping you off like that.

The content owners who set the rules have little relationship with the guys who are providing access to the content. You got a complaint? Buy stock in the content holders and bring it to the shareholders meeting.

There's a reason Apple only has content deals with one studio (I leave it to the general paranoia of this thread to speculate on Jobs' relationship with Disney). It's probably like pulling teeth to get the studios to unclench their sphincters from around those digital copies even in DRM encumbered form.

Amazon Unbox? (1)

benplaut (993145) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063647)

Unpossible!
What's 'unbox' supposed to mean, anyway?

Non-starter (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063695)

Can I burn it on a DVD? Can I play it on more than one device? Does it work under whatever OS I'm using? Does it work with any movie player I want to use?

If the answers to any two of those is "no," this is a non-starter. It's dead out of the gate.

Check the hardware requirement! (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16063716)

From the hardware requirements:

and a DirectX 9.0 complaint [sic] Video

Yeah, I'd complain about DirectX too, because I'd prefer OpenGL compliant, but it doesn't do any good. I bet they even passed that through a spell checker, because they did it twice.
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