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View Full Version : Robert Cringly weighs in on future movie offerings from Appl...


MacBytes
Jan 20, 2005, 11:16 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Robert Cringly weighs in on future movie offerings from Apple (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050121001654)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

tubedogg
Jan 20, 2005, 11:36 PM
You can't even burn a DVD with it, at least not yet.Um...yes you can...it's called a SuperDrive?!?

dejo
Jan 21, 2005, 03:07 AM
Um...yes you can...it's called a SuperDrive?!?

True. I emailed him as much.

FlashXL
Jan 21, 2005, 06:52 AM
Except for the DVD burning error, I think he hits pretty close to the mark with the future capabilities of the mini. Part the being the top ten internet providers in the coming future.

Diatribe
Jan 21, 2005, 07:23 AM
There could be something to it and if there is this would be huge. If Apple can pull this off then millions and millions of the mac minis would sell. And after the flash iPod and the mac mini I'll never take Steve's word for "we won't do this" or "there is no market for this" anymore.

We'll see if there's any truth to it but it is another step in Apple's plans.
Together with this (http://www.apple-x.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1161&mode=thread&order=1&thold=-1) Apple could be the dominating player in multimedia offerings.

SuperChuck
Jan 21, 2005, 08:38 AM
His argument is pretty sound, but let us not forget that this is the same guy who reasoned that a Tablet Mac would undoubtedly appear last year. I hope he's right on this one, but his track record at second-guessing Cupertino is less than stellar.

birdherder
Jan 21, 2005, 08:40 AM
The iMovies store is inevitable. I was thinking that when they added the music videos and movie trailers to the iTMS. The question is how the DRM will work. Will you have to buy movies or 'rent'/'pay per view' them like you can with that Windows company [forgot the name] allows you to. Back in my Windows days I tried renting a few films for a flight to Europe.

Cringly also forgets that the Mac mini only has stereo output. Perhaps the Mac mini 2 will support 5.1 [or 7.1] but that is still long way away.

The question is will the Movies store bring an iPod-like device for portable viewing or will Apple use it as a way to sell more iBooks.

shamino
Jan 21, 2005, 10:24 AM
First, the inevitable nit-picks. As others pointed out, a SuperDrive is available as a BTO option. And television output (composite or S-Video) is available via a $20 cable from Apple.

WRT the media-PC, I've been saying this since the mini shipped. I think if you add on a TV tuner and an IR remote control (both of which can be purchased as FireWire/USB devices), you've got all the components. I personally think that the rumored "asteroid" project may tie in to all this.

WRT an iMovie store, it sounds like a great idea, assuming the H.264 codec can get movies down to a reasonable size. Current DVDs use about 6G to hold a feature film. That's far too large for download. But if it could be cut down to something around 500M-1G, people with broadband connections would be willing to use it.

And if Apple is the original source of the movie, you don't have the DMCA issues that make DVD-ripping (e.g. for loading into an iPod) an impossibility.

Of course, any such store will have to include some mechanism for getting these files off of the computer. Even with an 80G drive and 500M movies, you're not going to be able to keep a large selection on-line. Perhaps simply burning the DRM-protected files to CD or DVD data discs is sufficient. Even better, however, would be a DRM that allows you to burn the downloads to a video-DVD.

But burning downloaded movies to DVD has one insurmountable problem. The studios won't approve it unless the resulting DVD has CSS encryption, and consumer DVD burners can't burn CSS-encrypted discs. (This is one of those features designed to prevent bitwise duplication of commercial DVDs.)

Still, burning data discs with the DRM-protected movie files can become a viable option. You'd have to play the movie on the Mac, but I could see a future where standalone players (perhaps those HD players we're all hearing about) can play these DRM-protected files as well. After all, the QuickTime container format has already been accepted as the standard file format for MPEG-4 content.

But at this point, I think I've gone so far off into the realm of speculation and future-telling that all this could also be complete nonsense.

mrsebastian
Jan 21, 2005, 11:22 AM
i say bring it on! the things that i wonder/worry about are: 1, downloading a 500 mb file even on broadband takes quite a bit of time (a little short of instant gratification) and 2, apple has to follow the itunes model in allowing people to own the movies and also be able to burn them to dvd. which brings me to the most important point and why i think the premise of this article is good, but there are a few holes in the reasoning and i'll mention just one, which is the most important, burning hd dvds. the industry can fight amongst themselves, but i'm not spending a dime on an hd dvd player till there is a standard. which also means that apple can't include an hd superdrive till the standard has been set.

nice reading between the lines by this article, but maybe you're reading a little too deep.

stcanard
Jan 21, 2005, 12:33 PM
But burning downloaded movies to DVD has one insurmountable problem. The studios won't approve it unless the resulting DVD has CSS encryption, and consumer DVD burners can't burn CSS-encrypted discs.

I expect if this ever happens you will see it modelled after the VOD systems cable companies are providing. Shaw Cable here provides VOD for a decent set of movies and some TV shows. ~ $4CDN, you get access to the movie for 24 hours then it disappears.

If iMovieStore ever becomes available, I'm sure you would see the same thing. Movies are available for 3 days then self destruct. There's no intention of letting you save it (and hence no need for a burner). Modelled after the video rental industry, which doesn't have a North American equivalent in music, and thus doesn't need to be modelled like the iTunes store -- people are already used to renting their movies.

If that works I could quite easily see streaming TV shows next, thus bypassing any need for a TV tuner.

Loge
Jan 21, 2005, 12:36 PM
The question is will the Movies store bring an iPod-like device for portable viewing or will Apple use it as a way to sell more iBooks.

I think the latter is more likely; as it will play your existing DVDs with no further ado (and you get a decent size screen). I don't see a successful iPod like device for this until you can seamlessly transfer DVDs to it.

Diatribe
Jan 22, 2005, 04:44 AM
Same speculation, different guy... (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=1229016#post1229016)

Weird coincidence... ;)

Lacero
Jan 22, 2005, 05:02 AM
The mini is too underpowered to be able to play back 1080i video, nor is the hard drive large enough to accomodate any number of movies. If one to burn them off onto DVD, you'd need to order Superdrive, plus memory, and harddrive sizes over 80GB, which already puts it within the same value as the iMac. I don't see the mac mini more than a music server for the home. It doesn't seem ready for movies quite yet.

shamino
Jan 22, 2005, 02:33 PM
The mini is too underpowered to be able to play back 1080i video, nor is the hard drive large enough to accomodate any number of movies. If one to burn them off onto DVD, you'd need to order Superdrive, plus memory, and harddrive sizes over 80GB, which already puts it within the same value as the iMac. I don't see the mac mini more than a music server for the home. It doesn't seem ready for movies quite yet.
I hate to break it to you, but people have been playing movies on Macs a lot less featured than a mini for many years now. Heck, feature films have been produced on 800MHz G4 systems.

Yeah, you need a Superdrive to burn DVDs, but where do you come up with the idea that it's not possible with 256M RAM and a 40G disk? Sure, you'll need buffer space on your hard drive if you can't encode the data in real-time as you burn the disc, but a 40G drive is just fine for that. Especially if your original data (e.g. purchased via some kind of web store) is already in a format that can be burned with little or no additional conversion.