“Apple offered a hostage to fortune when it chose, as the teaser for the launch of its movie download service [yesterday], the tagline ‘It’s ShowTime!’ Headline writers only needed to find one significant ‘No Show’ for the pun writers to have a field day. Unfortunately for Apple, the ‘No Show’ turned out to be quite hard to miss: Hollywood itself,” Andrew Orlowski writes for The Register.
“Five of the six major corporations – Universal, Viacom, Sony, NBC Universal and Fox – have chosen not to grace the service with their content. Compare this to the launch of iTunes Music Store three years ago,” Orlowski writes.
MacDailyNews Take: Why compare to music and go back three years? Let’s compare movies to the similar content of TV shows that debuted less than a year ago to get a clear picture: Apple launched TV shows via their iTunes Store with just one (1) network, Disney’s ABC, and only five (5) TV shows. Take a look at how many other networks, cable outlets, and TV shows there are now, less than a year later: 40 networks and 220 shows. Mr. Jobs won’t have to go out to get other studios, the studios will come to him soon enough.
Orlowski continues, “Apple announced today that it will allow US broadband users to buy, at a price much higher than a Blockbuster rental or a straight DVD purchase, an inferior VGA-resolution movie copy – one that only plays on Apple’s proprietary hardware. Consumers will be able to enjoy this ‘on demand’ service with fulfillment times of only half an hour – that’s the time it takes to download one of these low-res movies. A gift to amnesiacs, perhaps, if no one else.”
MacDailyNews Take: The quality is better than Orlowski seems to want his readers to believe. As for the download time, you can start watching the movie as it downloads in less than 1 minute. What part of the 4-foot letters on the 20-foot screen along with Steve Jobs stating that fact did Orlowski miss? Did Orlowski watch the presentation or at least read the press releases before banging out this insipid article?
Orlowski continues, “Nor did Jobs offer much in the way of home ‘convergence’ magic that could conceivably give a broadband-connected PC any advantage over a set top box. Apple did give a preview of “iTV” – a $299 set top box, but it does exactly what Wintel’s set top box already does – and make the viewing of PC content possible on that great HD-ready TV of yours in the living room – and that hasn’t exactly caught the world on fire. It’s a catch-up, rather than a leap forward.”
MacDailyNews Take: How much configuration does that “Wintel set top box” require? Is Microsoft planning on making a Windows PC that can reliably “sleep” and “wake” as Apple long ago mastered with the Mac? How fast is the wireless on that “Wintel set top box?” Andrew doesn’t get it, that much is obvious.
Orlowski continues, “Robert X Cringely, has been predicting Apple will own the movie downloads business for years now, and only 18 months ago confidently predicted that “the movie studios will play along, too”. We now know they won’t – or only their terms.”
MacDailyNews Take: Fact break: We don’t know how other movie studios will react, but – as has been proven with TV networks and cable outlets – the studios should come to Jobs soon enough.
Orlowski continues, “The opportunities remain as they were. The frustrations, you could say nightmares, of the ‘converged’ living room – why do we need two hundred and fifty remote control buttons, spread over four or five remote controls? – look like they should be easy to fix and look like a job for an Apple, fixing them won’t be easy.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Andrew got Microsoft’s talking points, too. And Apple’s remote has just six buttons, Andrew. No nightmares. Those six buttons let you watch TV shows, videos, movies, video podcasts, listen to music, and view photos with ease. Apple’s already gone a long way towards fixing Orlowski’s frustrations with the converged living room with yesterday’s announcements whether he wants to admit it or not.
Steve Jobs gives sneak peek of Apple’s “iTV” wireless set-top box:
The Telegraph: Steve Jobs’ genius making people desire gadgets for which they have absolutely no use – September 13, 2006
The Guardian: Steve Jobs needs ‘a charisma download, Apple risks being left behind’ – September 13, 2006
The Observer’s iPod FUD: Apple iPod is ‘wilting away before our eyes’ – September 10, 2006
Mark Cuban: Things that are special about Apple’s announcements – September 13, 2006
Apple’s ‘iTV’ strategy – September 13, 2006
How will Apple’s ‘iTV’ work? – September 13, 2006
Apple eyes living room market with device codenamed ‘iTV’ – September 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple gives sneak peek of ‘iTV’ set-top box to debut Q1 2007 (with images) – September 12, 2006
Apple’s QuickTime stream of Steve Jobs special event now live – September 12, 2006
NFL and Apple team up to offer 2006 NFL game highlights via iTunes Store – September 12, 2006