“Amazon’s Unbox movie downloading service launched last night. Sadly, I think it is going to go nowhere. Why? Because it’s not a service designed to meet the needs of real users; instead, it’s all about protecting the studios and accepting Microsoft’s very limited view of consumer rights in the digital world,” Carl Howe writes for Blackfriars’ Marketing.
Why so negative? Because Amazon’s Unbox service provides:
• No living room experience.
• No guarantee of a good portable experience.
• No support for anything other than Amazon’s Media Player on a hefty Windows XP computer.
• No discount for all these restrictions.
“I predict you are going to see a very different service from Steve Jobs next week, and consumers will get to vote with their wallets for which version they prefer. But Jobs at least understands that any movie download service has to create a rich, valuable experience for the consumer, and not just be a way for studios to pocket more money for less work. And until someone else in the digital media business starts to understand that balance, Apple will continue to rule paid digital downloads,” Howe writes.
Full article here.
Michael Gartenberg writes for JupiterResearch, “It’s an interesting move but the real issue is where will you watch these things? There’s no way to burn content to DVD for playback and unless you have a media center PC or some inclination to hook up your TV to your PC, it’s a pretty much PC only experience. While Amazon does support some devices for WMV playback, the site had the following warning notice.”
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.
Creative Zen Vision: M
Creative Zen Vision
Toshiba Gigabeat S
Archos AV 500
Archos AV 700
iRiver PMC (Portable Media Center)
Gartenberg writes, “Not exactly a ringing endorsement, Plays for (Almost) Sure strikes again. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The iTunes music store succeeded because of the iPod, not the other way around. iPods drove people to the store. Without a compelling device story (and it’s not clear YET whether Zune will play protected music or video from Plays for Sure services) it’s hard to see this as a real threat to Apple.. for now. Pricing isn’t likely to drive folks to use this so for now it’s mostly a mobility story without a super interesting mobile device to use it with.”
Full article here.
Cringely: Apple, Amazon, and what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve for next Tuesday – September 08, 2006
Amazon.com launches ‘Amazon Unbox’ DVD-quality video download service with TV shows and movies – September 07, 2006