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MacRumors
Dec 28, 2007, 07:14 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

After launching (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/06/wal-mart-launches-movie-download-service/) their movie download service in February, Wal-Mart has quietly shut down the service (http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/071227/walmart_downloads.html?.v=1) after HP decided to discontinue the download service that powered it:HP spokesman Hector Marinez said the company decided to discontinue its video download-only merchant store services because the market for paid video downloads did not perform "as expected." He noted that the Internet video business remains uncertain and is changing rapidly.Wal-Mart's entry into the movie and TV download business was described as a "game changer" due to partnerships with all the major Hollywood movie studios. Wal-Mart's movies, however, were only offered in Windows Media format, which is not compatible with Apple's iPods.

This news comes amidst rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/26/apple-in-online-film-rental-deal-with-fox-studio/) that Apple was planning on expanding its online movie offerings to include rentals.


Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/28/wal-mart-closes-movie-download-service/)



Consultant
Dec 28, 2007, 07:17 AM
Great. Another wannabe hits the dust. We should start making a list of these companies.

It shows that NO ONE wants Microsoft's DRM (which MS may abandon at any time)

mangis
Dec 28, 2007, 07:28 AM
rentals are the way to go. why do I want to pay 14.99 to buy a movie that I'll watch once. Bring on the rental service!

Popeye206
Dec 28, 2007, 07:32 AM
I think this comes down too the fact that consumers don't want to own movies digitally, but want to rent. Plus there has to be an easy way for the movies to get from your PC to your TV. Otherwise, this is too complex for most people.

If Apple can enhance AppleTV and give us a good rental service, I think we'll finally have something to get excited about.

Merkuryy
Dec 28, 2007, 07:35 AM
rentals are the way to go. why do I want to pay 14.99 to buy a movie that I'll watch once. Bring on the rental service!

Just wait until MacWorld 2008, Steve will surely please you. And BTW, another sucess of "iPod + iTunes", this means you have to have both amazing hardware and software to win the game. A good selling system don't mean everything

FJ218700
Dec 28, 2007, 07:35 AM
reminds me of the XFL

flyguy451
Dec 28, 2007, 07:36 AM
It's like the Clash of the Titans. Not often you see Walmart take one to the chops but if anyone could do it it's Apple.

twoodcc
Dec 28, 2007, 07:38 AM
i'm really surprised here. kinda glad, actually

Jarra
Dec 28, 2007, 07:43 AM
Great. Maybe more fuel for Apple success.

krye
Dec 28, 2007, 07:48 AM
Good. Maybe now that Walmart has a clue, the rest, including iTunes, will follow.

No one wants to pay full price for "near DVD" quality when you can get the whole box and disc for the same, if not, close-to the same price. I watch movies once. If it's worth watching more than once, it's worth owning the DVD. So why pay $12.99 and up for a sub-par digital download? It makes me wonder if any of these corporate fat cats actually buy movies or music. Sure, to them $13 for a movies is like 10 cents to the average joe, so I think a reality check is in order.

marco114
Dec 28, 2007, 07:52 AM
I watched a friend of mine for 30 minutes try to buy a movie through amazon and play it on their windows media center pc.. went home and rented my movie through my cable service, 10 seconds. until apple or any company makes it easier and cheaper with more selection, you just won't win.

if the cable company made it hook up with the iPod, now that would be the killer app.

sushi
Dec 28, 2007, 08:00 AM
I think that the best solution is a combination of rent and own. This way you can purchase a movie outright if you want it. Or you can rent the movie for a cheaper price for a limited viewing time.

But here is what would really a nice addition. To have the option of purchasing movie outright after you have rented it. You would only need to pay the difference between the rental fee and the purchase fee. So if the movie costs $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own, you would pay the rental fee of $5.99 up front, and then if you decide to purchase the movie you would be charged an additional $9.00 to cover the difference.

surferfromuk
Dec 28, 2007, 08:03 AM
How to ignore a 150 million iPod userbase and restrict portability? Use windows media format!

MacBoobsPro
Dec 28, 2007, 08:04 AM
The only way to win this game is to have the majority of Studios on your side and offer cross platform files, be they DRM or not.

However for that to happen the rival companies (Apple, Microsoft, Sony etc) need to get together and agree on a standard file format, which is not very likely to happen.

Once the standard format is agreed then its down to the marketing and service provided that will prove the winner.

Simple in theory! :D

At the moment all these 'rivals' cant really be classed as rivals because they are operating in different classes of the same market.

Also I feel eventually the studios will go it alone and not use third party vendors. Doesnt make sense really does it. Why pay someone to sell your own products?

GoCubsGo
Dec 28, 2007, 08:16 AM
When a company expects to succeed and fails to offer movies (and music) in a format suitable for all players/OSs then it is bound to fail. Their music store won't do well either because you can't get to their music download site on a Mac.

ilogic
Dec 28, 2007, 08:30 AM
.99 - 3 Days, 1.99 - 7 Days... :rolleyes:

Island Dog
Dec 28, 2007, 08:40 AM
I have never had the desire to purchase a movie digitally. I would much rather rent them at a reasonable rate.

Flight102280
Dec 28, 2007, 08:51 AM
1. Needs to be a cheaper Apple TV express thats only 99$ (with out the bells and whisles about to be mentioned) for people not sure what it is, but want to move to into the digital movie world (299$ and 399$ is too much for these people) Apple will make money from rentals and the next time the buy an apple product because they loved this one.

2. Apple needs to partner with Netflix, even if its just to allow use of brand name. The name Netflix is trusted and will instantly show consumers what apple is trying to do. Apple can ditch Netflix 2 years later after everyone has bought an apple tv.

3. Have a DVD drive built into apple tv, with a click and rip system that auto rips any dvd from your collection to the hard drive.

4. Have a Tivo type system built in so that is can rip live programs (tuff considering most have DVR w/ Comcast or w/e now)

5. Apple should BUY the company that makes Slingbox.... and use it to allow iPhone owners to watch TV or any movie from there Apple TV even if they are not home. Sending the signal to Apple only products like my Powerbook G4 when Im at (not starbucks) a strip club lol.

PaulinMaryland
Dec 28, 2007, 08:57 AM
NetFlix DVDs will continue to earn my business. For me, I haven't truly "experienced" the movie until I've watched the special features like behind-the-scenes, outtakes, and director's commentary.

210
Dec 28, 2007, 08:57 AM
Was this any surprise? Did many Americans even know Wal-Mart has an online movie store? I guess the main problem was that it used Windows Media. Most people would ask, "can I play this on my iPod?" As soon as the answer is, "no" they won't even take a second look at the site. Same with able to play the movie on TV. I'm not sure there was a way with Wal-Mart's movies, but with the :apple:tv, there is a way with iTunes Store. I still don't understand why the movie studios are fighting with Apple. Some money is better than none, no?

Of course, for :apple:tv to really take off, content needs to be there, but HD quality (DVD quality at worst) and surround sound needs to be there, too.

madmax_2069
Dec 28, 2007, 09:00 AM
this feature is standard for Mac users and we embrace most of what iTunes offers and only use iTunes for it.

when there is already iTunes for its users why go anywhere else but iTunes. this is what walmarts is finally understanding and pulled it before they was humiliated further (like we didn't already know when this originally happened)

the market is just over saturated with this type of service with people and companies that think they can compete with iTunes and or other well known service like this. but they finally realize its not possible to do so and pull the plug.

this is just proof in the pudding.

i have allot of movies on my HDD, but most of them are in DVD form. i like to own the actual media that i can hold in my hands. which i can put the movies to CD or DVD just as well.

Ted13
Dec 28, 2007, 09:17 AM
Also I feel eventually the studios will go it alone and not use third party vendors. Doesnt make sense really does it. Why pay someone to sell your own products?
Because they have proven again and again that they are incapable of doing so, either due to technical incompetence, or due to unchecked user hostile DRM restrictions -- in other words they offer a product they want to sell, not one their customers want to buy.

I think this plus the Fox deal is strong evidence of one thing: every store that isn't iTunes is failing miserably, and (some of) the studios are beginning to realize that if they actually want to sell stuff on line they need iTunes (more than Apple needs them -- those iPods/iPhones/Macs continue to fly off the shelves with or without Hollywood's cooperation).

rockthecasbah
Dec 28, 2007, 09:24 AM
Doesn't affect me one way or the other, I don't use download services for movies and the few i have on my iPod i ripped straight from DVD and converted. Watching movies on off the computer just doesn't appeal to me, and I rarely use my iPod for anything other than music, just have some video in case i'm at an airport or something... It is nice to see a Wal-Mart venture fail though :)

Orng
Dec 28, 2007, 09:29 AM
Maybe they shut it down because their tech staff tried to unionize (http://www.google.ca/search?q=Walmart+Quebec+union&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a)?

I didn't actually know they had a download service, but if I did, I would have assumed three things about it;

1. That the downloads would have some mysterious flaw that would cause them to develop glitches after six months and need to be replaced, like my wife's sandals that disintegrated after three days.

2. That the files were encoded in China at a bit rate so low as to render the file garbage

3. That no matter how many claims they made about their service being cheaper, it would actually be the same or more expensive - or alternately, it would be 1 cent cheaper and they'd be touting that like it was a fire sale. Like that dumb ad they had before xmas where the guy goes to Walmart for an iPod, but when I checked their prices were a whole 3 cents cheaper than the Apple Store.

Anyways, I don't know whether any of those points are true or not, but they reflect my experience with Walmart purchases. So I wouldn't buy downloads from them either.

wakka092
Dec 28, 2007, 09:31 AM
The reason Wal-Mart's video download service failed is because no one wants to buy the devices the videos work on. Have you walked into a Wal-Mart and went to the MP3 player case right beside the iPods? The MP3 players are absolute crap.

Stella
Dec 28, 2007, 09:33 AM
How to ignore a 150 million iPod userbase and restrict portability? Use windows media format!

And only a very small minority of iPod owners watch movies / TV content on their iPods.

The vast majority of people don't watch movies on their iPod so I very much doubt the DRM being used had much influence of the WalMart DVD download service failing.

I expect it had more to do with one or more of the following:
1. Did people know of the Walmart movie downloads?
2. Movies on Demand is more convenient - you can watch the movie on your TV
3. Movie rental from blockblusters et al is still too familiar and used.
4. Download time
5. Hardware to play back the movie. Not many people have their PC set up by their TV so watching movies on anything other than a TV is going to be awkward
6. Quality - Visual quality, audio quality - 5.1 surround sound etc

SkippyThorson
Dec 28, 2007, 09:37 AM
When Wal*Mart is affected by anything, you can expect something great is just around the corner willing to take it's place in the area. Most likely by Apple and some clever Cupertino creation.

Wal*Mart exclusives vs. iTunes exclusives, anyone? Enough said.

rockthecasbah
Dec 28, 2007, 09:46 AM
How to ignore a 150 million iPod userbase and restrict portability? Use windows media format!

And only a very small minority of iPod owners watch movies / TV content on their iPods.

The vast majority of people don't watch movies on their iPod so I very much doubt the DRM being used had much influence of the WalMart DVD download service failing.

Well to be fair, until the iPhone and moreso the Touch, Apple hasn't had a player that was "great" for watching video, the iPod w/ Video (and now Classic and Nano) still have screens which many see as being too small to comfortably watch video. I still see the portable video options of those players as gimmicky and not very functional. Playback hasn't been too great either with battery life but each revision greatly improves on the last. In the eyes of video stores, it makes sense to cater to the Windows video players with larger screens since i guess a person who owns a player with a larger screen is more likely to buy video. Obviously a medium where both are supported is optimal, but I at least see reason stores would choose Windows Media over Quicktime.

paquetja
Dec 28, 2007, 09:50 AM
I think that the best solution is a combination of rent and own. This way you can purchase a movie outright if you want it. Or you can rent the movie for a cheaper price for a limited viewing time.

But here is what would really a nice addition. To have the option of purchasing movie outright after you have rented it. You would only need to pay the difference between the rental fee and the purchase fee. So if the movie costs $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own, you would pay the rental fee of $5.99 up front, and then if you decide to purchase the movie you would be charged an additional $9.00 to cover the difference.

I think this is genius. This is like the tried-and-true upsell. If someone has already paid $5 to rent the movie, offering them just another $5-$10 to buy the movie would definitely be more 'psychologically' attractive and entice more people to buy the movie if they liked it.

howiethemacguy
Dec 28, 2007, 09:51 AM
By not allowing the iPod to be part of the service, Walmart doomed it from the start.

Call42350
Dec 28, 2007, 09:51 AM
Also I feel eventually the studios will go it alone and not use third party vendors. Doesnt make sense really does it. Why pay someone to sell your own products?

I agree with this. Unfortunately, I think the consumer loses until they wake up.

Because there are many studios, it's obvious they can't all have their own formats. They reluctantly recognize we need some STANDARD for the consumers (see BDs versus HD-DVDs) so why do they think digital download is special!? The only thing to differentiate the competition in digital download is the user experience, because the content better be perfect. We all know who will prevail if the competition is fair.

Companies like Universal (both music and movies) scare me with regard to allowing competition to play its course. They take the affirmative action route instead of equal opportunity, which I think is fair. They seem to punish Apple, like pulling content from Apple. They don't want to see which download strategy would win between their commercial laden free version and the $2 a show purchase. I hope they wake up so I can return to buying episodes from iTMS. Ripping from DVDs is a pain...

Personally, I hope Apple offers both the rent and purchase models. If I like the rental, I will buy it. Same as the Pay Per View on the cable TV model.

rockosmodurnlif
Dec 28, 2007, 09:56 AM
i'm really surprised here. kinda glad, actually
Why glad?

1. Needs to be a cheaper Apple TV express thats only 99$ (with out the bells and whisles about to be mentioned) for people not sure what it is, but want to move to into the digital movie world (299$ and 399$ is too much for these people) Apple will make money from rentals and the next time the buy an apple product because they loved this one.

2. Apple needs to partner with Netflix, even if its just to allow use of brand name. The name Netflix is trusted and will instantly show consumers what apple is trying to do. Apple can ditch Netflix 2 years later after everyone has bought an apple tv.

3. Have a DVD drive built into apple tv, with a click and rip system that auto rips any dvd from your collection to the hard drive.

4. Have a Tivo type system built in so that is can rip live programs (tuff considering most have DVR w/ Comcast or w/e now)

5. Apple should BUY the company that makes Slingbox.... and use it to allow iPhone owners to watch TV or any movie from there Apple TV even if they are not home. Sending the signal to Apple only products like my Powerbook G4 when Im at (not starbucks) a strip club lol.

1. is an okay suggestion.

2. is ridiculous. I don't know why Apple would need to partner with Netflix. So you trust Netflix to ship you DVDs through the mail, what does that have to do with consumer electronics?

3. is unnecessary. Don't need it to rip a movie to a digital file. The :apple:TV should at least be able to play DVDs though.

4. this would be nice but probably wouldn't need that feature for the reason you state.

5. did we forget about partnering? Why buy Sling? So they can start to exclude other people? Geez, exclusion is part of the reason you can't rent from Amazon's Unbox or view that Netflix on demand feature. If they followed that strategy all along, the iPod wouldn't be what it is.

When Wal*Mart is affected by anything, you can expect something great is just around the corner willing to take it's place in the area. Most likely by Apple and some clever Cupertino creation.

Wal*Mart exclusives vs. iTunes exclusives, anyone? Enough said.
I'm not sure what you're saying, Wal*Mart has exclusives all the time. And so does iTunes. I don't know if one is better than the other.

crees!
Dec 28, 2007, 09:58 AM
I think that the best solution is a combination of rent and own. This way you can purchase a movie outright if you want it. Or you can rent the movie for a cheaper price for a limited viewing time.

But here is what would really a nice addition. To have the option of purchasing movie outright after you have rented it. You would only need to pay the difference between the rental fee and the purchase fee. So if the movie costs $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own, you would pay the rental fee of $5.99 up front, and then if you decide to purchase the movie you would be charged an additional $9.00 to cover the difference.

Good idea.. but then again when can you bring your movie stub into a store and get a discount on a DVD purchase?

Call42350
Dec 28, 2007, 10:07 AM
Good idea.. but then again when can you bring your movie stub into a store and get a discount on a DVD purchase?

Bad analogy because DVDs come out months after the movie finished its box office run.

It's not a bad idea to give discounts on the DVD if you can prove you saw it in the theatre. Arby's used to give 2 for 1 sandwiches with a movie stub!

yoman
Dec 28, 2007, 10:38 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

I am looking forward to Apple's rental service if all the circulating news stories are correct. Hopefully the price will be right.

NYLawTalkingGuy
Dec 28, 2007, 10:45 AM
5. Apple should BUY the company that makes Slingbox.... and use it to allow iPhone owners to watch TV or any movie from there Apple TV even if they are not home. Sending the signal to Apple only products like my Powerbook G4 when Im at (not starbucks) a strip club lol.

You are a couple of months too late on that suggestion. EchoStar a/k/a DISH Network announced its acquisition of Sling in September 2007.

Otherwise, good comments.

karmapolice63
Dec 28, 2007, 10:58 AM
Another Walmart venture that has failed! Keep 'em coming.

JimmyDreams
Dec 28, 2007, 10:59 AM
Here's my usolicited view:

(and make no mistake, people. The 'powers that be' are watching threads like this to get ideas)

Apple basically dominates the portable music arena with the iPod. It is the '800lb gorilla'. Expensive, but a 'must have' for the 'todays' generation.

Digital media is the coming wave. The music wave is already here, but the video wave is still cresting. iTunes fills a huge void for music and is the standard for people that actually buy music. If Apple can marry the iTunes legacy with digital video, then the 800lb gorilla gains a pound or two.

Alongside the digital video wave is the PORTABLE digital video wave. And by portable I mean wireless, both inside the home and out. If Apple can turn the musical legacy of iTunes into a full-range digital media source, then :apple:TV will have a MUCH better chance of catching on. And if Apple can do that AND then simultaneously make your digital media stored at home (and purchased from iTunes) available ANYWHERE you have a portable device, then IMHO, Apple wins.

Think about it. What makes iPods and iPhones so attractive to people? The ease of use...the GUI that any idiot can use right away without a big manual. If Apple can take that ease of use and apply it to fully wireless and portable digital media, then the 800lb gorilla becomes Godzilla.

Can they pull that off without cooperation from Fox, Warner Bros., etc? I don't think so....the big problem will be to satisfy all the execs who have their hand out and want a big slice ($) of the pie. For this to all work, prices must be low enough that you make the $$ on volume. Studio execs don't think this way, so the challenge is there.

Myself? I love the iPhone so much I bought an iMac. I'm waiting on one more upgrade and I'll buy an :apple:TV. I still use my 1st gen Nano. And I buy Apple stock every month. I think they're on the right track....the question is is can Apple keep everything 'on track' and still satisfy today's "I want it all NOW" attitude???:confused:

Ugg
Dec 28, 2007, 10:59 AM
This is just more proof that walmart is clueless about all things entertainment oriented. If a product can't be commoditized, they simply don't know how to approach it. With walmart withdrawing, hopefully the studios will realize that the iTMS is a much more viable service. Also, hopefully, Steve will learn that some compromise is inevitable.

There needs to be a universal format with minimal DRM. Amazon's approach is getting closer.

The biggest losers here are the studios.

MacsAttack
Dec 28, 2007, 11:00 AM
Well to be fair, until the iPhone and moreso the Touch, Apple hasn't had a player that was "great" for watching video

Which is probably been a major driving idea behind the :apple:TV - which was pitched as an iPod/iTunes companion device from the start. Even then about the only video I have on my iPhone is Heros, and that was captured and converted from free DTV via EyeTV. Even at that, it was as much an experiment to see if it worked - not a "must have" feature.

Cleverboy
Dec 28, 2007, 11:33 AM
5 Things for APPLE TV to take over the market.
1. Needs to be a cheaper Apple TV express thats only 99$ (with out the bells and whisles about to be mentioned) for people not sure what it is, but want to move to into the digital movie world (299$ and 399$ is too much for these people) Apple will make money from rentals and the next time the buy an apple product because they loved this one.

2. Apple needs to partner with Netflix, even if its just to allow use of brand name. The name Netflix is trusted and will instantly show consumers what apple is trying to do. Apple can ditch Netflix 2 years later after everyone has bought an apple tv.

3. Have a DVD drive built into apple tv, with a click and rip system that auto rips any dvd from your collection to the hard drive.

4. Have a Tivo type system built in so that is can rip live programs (tuff considering most have DVR w/ Comcast or w/e now)

5. Apple should BUY the company that makes Slingbox.... and use it to allow iPhone owners to watch TV or any movie from there Apple TV even if they are not home. Sending the signal to Apple only products like my Powerbook G4 when Im at (not starbucks) a strip club lol.1. Currently, Apple's price point is $299. I think $150-$199 would be ideal. $99 is "cheap" and unnecessary, and doesn't begin to appreciate that this is a mini computer without a screen.

2. Apple doesn't need Netflix AT ALL.

3. DVD... perhaps (DVD/HD DVD/Blu-Ray), but it would cost more (ideally a $50+ option that is super-thin, dependently powered, and sits on top). Click-Rip? That'll never happen. (Unfortunately). Copyright gray zone and too costly.

4. Not for the price point. A DVR completely gets away from the point of the device, doesn't it? The device isn't supposed to be "all things". That said, I think a DVR "option" would be nice. They really need to open up the system to remote upgrade/add-ons and unleash the USB port. If this thing could be opened to developers, EyeTV would gladly pop-right in there and add a DVR module to the FrontRow software. Apple needs to stay away from DVR technology in general.

5. Apple doesn't need to buy Slingbox. They could benefit for personal re-broadcasting though. It's a fairly iffy proposition however. Again, though... EyeTV already answers this one:
http://www.tuaw.com/2007/10/03/eyetv-2-5-offers-free-slingbox-style-video-streaming/

All and all... Apple ONLY needs to open up AppleTV for 3rd party developers.
Just like its doing with the iPhone. Just like Apple added YouTube to iPhone AND to Apple TV... they need to let others add new features too. Lower the price, free the USB port (currenty only for authorized service usage), open the platform... and this will just SOAR.

AGAIN, your 5 requests are answered by 3 moves by Apple:

1. LOWER the PRICE
2. FREE the USB
3. OPEN the PLATFORM

AppleTV will truly take off at that point.

~ CB

whatever
Dec 28, 2007, 11:39 AM
1. Needs to be a cheaper Apple TV express thats only 99$ (with out the bells and whisles about to be mentioned) for people not sure what it is, but want to move to into the digital movie world (299$ and 399$ is too much for these people) Apple will make money from rentals and the next time the buy an apple product because they loved this one.

2. Apple needs to partner with Netflix, even if its just to allow use of brand name. The name Netflix is trusted and will instantly show consumers what apple is trying to do. Apple can ditch Netflix 2 years later after everyone has bought an apple tv.

3. Have a DVD drive built into apple tv, with a click and rip system that auto rips any dvd from your collection to the hard drive.

4. Have a Tivo type system built in so that is can rip live programs (tuff considering most have DVR w/ Comcast or w/e now)

5. Apple should BUY the company that makes Slingbox.... and use it to allow iPhone owners to watch TV or any movie from there Apple TV even if they are not home. Sending the signal to Apple only products like my Powerbook G4 when Im at (not starbucks) a strip club lol.
Interesting, but I think you're wrong on all five points.

1. Apple TV should be competing with the likes of BluRay and HD-DVD, which do less (beyond movie quality) and cost a lot more.

2. Why partner with NetFlix if Apple can do the same thing but cheaper (by not having to partner with them). Apple is a much more recognized brand name than Netflix.

3. Ripping DVD's is illegal. Plain and simple, however....Apple could use the lack of DVD as a part of their green initiative. How much oil is wasted in a CD or a DVD! One of the reasons I'm resisting both BluRay and HD-DVD is that I do not want to be wasteful. There is no reason why I can't receive this content with out the hard media. I know people are going to say, the files are too large, but come on a 750 GB hard disk cost less than $200.00. I can buy a Drobo for under $600.00. Which solves what if....

4. Now, if I was Apple I would buy TiVo, just for the name. I would then add TiVo support to the Apple TV and flip NBC the bird! I really wish Apple would buy TiVo, I used to think my DVR was cool, then I saw a TiVo and I have to say TiVo is so much better!

5. Since Apple already has all of the pieces of the puzzle to do everything that a Slingbox can do already (all they have to do is put the pieces together) and the average person doesn't even know what a Slingbox is, buying them would be a giant waste of money! Again I would buy TiVo!

Of course as an Apple TV owner I pray everyday that Apple will update Quicktime so that will support Dolby Digital! Once it can everything will change for us.

Oh yeah, here's one more idea, which is a paradigm shift for Apple, allow the new rental service and iTunes for that matter to work on xBoxs, Wii's and PlayStation 3's. In other words devices which are already plugged into the home theater. I'm not saying give away the farm, but make it so people/customers can order movies from Apple and play them on other devices.

whatever
Dec 28, 2007, 11:42 AM
Here's my usolicited view:

(and make no mistake, people. The 'powers that be' are watching threads like this to get ideas)

Apple basically dominates the portable music arena with the iPod. It is the '800lb gorilla'. Expensive, but a 'must have' for the 'todays' generation.

Digital media is the coming wave. The music wave is already here, but the video wave is still cresting. iTunes fills a huge void for music and is the standard for people that actually buy music. If Apple can marry the iTunes legacy with digital video, then the 800lb gorilla gains a pound or two.

Alongside the digital video wave is the PORTABLE digital video wave. And by portable I mean wireless, both inside the home and out. If Apple can turn the musical legacy of iTunes into a full-range digital media source, then :apple:TV will have a MUCH better chance of catching on. And if Apple can do that AND then simultaneously make your digital media stored at home (and purchased from iTunes) available ANYWHERE you have a portable device, then IMHO, Apple wins.

Think about it. What makes iPods and iPhones so attractive to people? The ease of use...the GUI that any idiot can use right away without a big manual. If Apple can take that ease of use and apply it to fully wireless and portable digital media, then the 800lb gorilla becomes Godzilla.

Can they pull that off without cooperation from Fox, Warner Bros., etc? I don't think so....the big problem will be to satisfy all the execs who have their hand out and want a big slice ($) of the pie. For this to all work, prices must be low enough that you make the $$ on volume. Studio execs don't think this way, so the challenge is there.

Myself? I love the iPhone so much I bought an iMac. I'm waiting on one more upgrade and I'll buy an :apple:TV. I still use my 1st gen Nano. And I buy Apple stock every month. I think they're on the right track....the question is is can Apple keep everything 'on track' and still satisfy today's "I want it all NOW" attitude???:confused:
I think Apple already has such a device. It's the Apple TV. It's easier to use than an iPod.

johncarync
Dec 28, 2007, 11:46 AM
http://www.subarusvx.com/haha.gif

Random Ping
Dec 28, 2007, 11:46 AM
From the article:
A message at www.walmart.com/videodownloads said the service was stopped on December 21 and Wal-Mart offered no refunds for the downloaded videos.

Videos purchased on Walmart.com can be played using the Microsoft Windows Media Player or the Wal-Mart Video Download Manager, but cannot be transferred to a computer other than the one used to download them, according to the site.

So another example of DRM screwing consumers. If you bought a movie, when you upgrade your computer you will no longer be able to watch your movie. This sucks big time.

Random Ping
Dec 28, 2007, 11:51 AM
I think Apple already has such a device. It's the Apple TV. It's easier to use than an iPod.

My biggest beef about :apple:TV (which I absolutely love, by the way) is that I cannot use it to download new content such as songs, TV shows, and podcasts. I have to do that at my workstation right now.

I hope Apple adds a content browser and download capability to :apple:TV in future updates.

Counter
Dec 28, 2007, 11:56 AM
Rental is the way for movies. As others have said, it's $15. You can buy the dvd for that or rent a whole bunch. Absolute insanity.

Cleverboy
Dec 28, 2007, 12:00 PM
From the article:
So another example of DRM screwing consumers. If you bought a movie, when you upgrade your computer you will no longer be able to watch your movie. This sucks big time. From what I understand, Verizon does the same with music you purchase for your phone. No one seems to talk about that. A bunch of zombies out there for sure.
http://support.vzw.com/faqs/V%20CAST%20Music/faq.html#item7
If I get a new phone, can I play the music that I purchased on my old phone from V CAST Music on my new phone?

No. The license for a purchased V CAST Music file is downloaded directly and resides on the phone it was originally loaded onto. Therefore, the song will not play on another phone. However, when you purchase music from the phone you are provided 2 files:

o One file that is downloaded to the phone.
o One file that is available to you on V CAST Music Online Store.
o This file is a version for playing on your PC and serves as a back up to your phone's music database and can be downloaded to your PC and then synchronized to your phone.

To access the online store requires Windows XP® and V CAST Music Manager or Windows Media Player version 10 or higher. Once the songs have been downloaded to your computer, you can use the Music Kit for your phone (requires a separate purchase) to sync music to your phone. Music purchased from V CAST Music is protected and therefore cannot be transferred from phone to phone via a memory card. Wonderful, huh? If I purchased music on my iPhone (WiFi music store), I'd think it a load of BS if Apple said I couldn't MOVE my music to a NEW iPhone. How truly lame is that?

~ CB

iMikeT
Dec 28, 2007, 12:01 PM
I guess Wal-Mart couldn't keep up after all. Who's next, Amazon?

lazyrighteye
Dec 28, 2007, 12:02 PM
After launching (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/06/wal-mart-launches-movie-download-service/) their movie download service in February, Wal-Mart has quietly shut down the service (http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/071227/walmart_downloads.html?.v=1) after HP decided to discontinue the download service that powered it:Wal-Mart's entry into the movie and TV download business was described as a "game changer" due to partnerships with all the major Hollywood movie studios. Wal-Mart's movies, however, were only offered in Windows Media format, which is not compatible with Apple's iPods.


Pffft. Hilarious.
A show of hands for those that honestly thought Wal-Mart's Windows Media formatted, non-iPod friendly, downoad service was going to be anything resembling a "game changer."

Exactly.

This development merely illustrates just how complex a scenario movie distribution can present. It takes software, hardware, an understanding of the market, of the way people use (or want to use) their media, trends, projections, etc. - things neither Hollywood nor retailers can claim to understand nor posses. And what Apple has invested in the past 2 decades.

It also illustrates how ill-prepared most companies are for such things. Tech savviness aside (which in online distribution is HUGE), a common mistake amongst those eager for a piece of the pie, is thinking they can just partner up and jump in the game. Strength in numbers, right?
In this case, wrong.
There just aren't any shortcuts. You have to do your homework. And that is exactly what Apple has been doing the past 2 decades. And they are now well poised to reap the fruits of their labor(s) - and why this bodes incredibly well for Apple (and APPL): a company that continually demonstrates a solid understanding of and legitimate concern for the user experience. Combine that with their brilliant software/hardware (iTunes/iPod) biosphere and it's game over. Apple wins. Especially if they can offer a rental service... one that also allows the user to purchase after viewing the rental. ;)

We'll see.

Bosunsfate
Dec 28, 2007, 12:13 PM
It's like the Clash of the Titans. Not often you see Walmart take one to the chops but if anyone could do it it's Apple.

I must agree that it is nice to see Walmart fail at something.

I watched a friend of mine for 30 minutes try to buy a movie through amazon and play it on their windows media center pc.. went home and rented my movie through my cable service, 10 seconds. until apple or any company makes it easier and cheaper with more selection, you just won't win.


Two things with this that I agree on. It needs to be easier to download content. I fully expect that the AppleTV will have a similar ability like the iPhone does for buying TV and movies. I think the trick is how to make it easy with such a simple remote. Just try and search for a YouTube video and you'll understand why its not been released already.

Second, download speeds need to get faster soon. Unfortunately this is not within the control of Apple. The ISP companies have just been dragging on this forever. We need simple and cheap access to over 5mb download speeds at least.

Random Ping
Dec 28, 2007, 12:50 PM
From what I understand, Verizon does the same with music you purchase for your phone.

From the Verizon FAQ:Q: I have purchased and downloaded a song to my phone from the V CAST Music mobile catalog and saved it to my memory card. Can I take that memory card and play it on another phone?

A: No. The license for V CAST Music files purchased and downloaded directly to the phone resides on the phone that it was loaded to. Therefore, the song will not play on another phone.

Also, from an ars technical article (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071228-wal-marts-online-movie-failure-drm-high-prices-to-blame.html) on this topic:In order to obtain distribution agreements with all of the major players, and to protect the sale of physical goods like DVDs, Wal-Mart allowed the studios to dictate the pricing model. New releases were priced equally with the physical DVDs and the content was all heavily encumbered with (Windows-only) DRM that prevented playback on more than one computer.
...
The message here is very clear: draconian DRM and unrealistic pricing are turning consumers away from legitimate retail channels and giving them a big incentive to adopt underground file sharing.

The major media organizations, while pretending to embrace the Internet, are essentially just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Until they stop treating their customers like criminals and accept that they might have to face lower per-unit sales costs they are just blindly holding on to a dying business model.

carlgo
Dec 28, 2007, 12:51 PM
Another Walmart venture that has failed! Keep 'em coming.

But, what will we do with all the empty and abandoned Walmart buildings? Fill up all the landfills? Make them into condos? Affordable housing as 2000 families can fit in one building? Use them as informational sites so students can be bussed out to see the evil created by corporate greed combined with child labor? How about detention centers for terrorists? Keeping them in a Walmart is torture, but without the baggage of traditional torture centers. Even the most hardened terrorist will vote Republican after two months of detention.

Buran
Dec 28, 2007, 12:59 PM
Do ANY of these services caption movies?

I don't use even iTunes video because I'm hard of hearing and REQUIRE captions. I know there's an option now for "show captions", but do any of the offerings in iTunes actually support this?

Right now I can get captions on DVD, pay $15 or less, watch as many times as I want on any player I want, including my TV.

What do online services have to offer me that is something I can actually use?

whatever
Dec 28, 2007, 01:01 PM
My biggest beef about :apple:TV (which I absolutely love, by the way) is that I cannot use it to download new content such as songs, TV shows, and podcasts. I have to do that at my workstation right now.

I hope Apple adds a content browser and download capability to :apple:TV in future updates.

I agree 100%. I figure that must be coming, since you can do that with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

One of my friends got an Apple TV for Christmas and her question to me is once she syncs a movie from iTunes to her Apple TV, can she delete it? And can you sync movies from Apple TV back to iTunes. I haven't tried this myself (I stream my movies onto Apple TV), but has anyone else.

I still rank Apple TV as one of the coolest products of 2007.

theBB
Dec 28, 2007, 01:19 PM
So another example of DRM screwing consumers. If you bought a movie, when you upgrade your computer you will no longer be able to watch your movie. This sucks big time.
I started using iTunes long before I had a digital music player. iTunes provided a lot of attractions:

1) I could buy only one song from an album and save money if I think the rest of the album is not worth having. That is a big advantage over the then current CD technology.

2) I could burn songs on a CD, so I don't get locked up into one company's hardware.

3) If Apple abandoned the service one day, I could still listen to them as they can be burned on a CD.

Wal-Mart's service did not provide the last item and now worst case scenario happens, so the purchased movies are fading away. A rental model gets rid of this worry, as you would not care what happens to the service provider in a year. You'll just watch the movie tonight.

Still, even if iTunes provides rentals, I don't see this service taking off as quickly the music store. The hardware lock will stay, so you'd need an iPod or aTV, all of which are more expensive than a DVD player. You could use a computer, but that is not as convenient as a DVD player. The advantage over DVDs is not large, either. Depending on the price, either it will be faster than Netflix or cheaper than walking into a Blockbuster. I already have an AppleTV, so I'd probably use it, but for most consumers it is hard to make a case. Once HD-DVD vs. BluRay battle gets decided, it is much easier to convince somebody to buy one of those players than an :apple:TV. It makes sense for iPod owners if they want to watch a movie on the plane or train, but that's about it.

cdinca
Dec 28, 2007, 01:30 PM
4. Now, if I was Apple I would buy TiVo, just for the name. I would then add TiVo support to the Apple TV and flip NBC the bird! I really wish Apple would buy TiVo, I used to think my DVR was cool, then I saw a TiVo and I have to say TiVo is so much better!

5. Since Apple already has all of the pieces of the puzzle to do everything that a Slingbox can do already (all they have to do is put the pieces together) and the average person doesn't even know what a Slingbox is, buying them would be a giant waste of money! Again I would buy Tivo!

I would love this

audioruckus
Dec 28, 2007, 01:31 PM
I guess Wal-Mart couldn't keep up after all. Who's next, Amazon?

Not for nothing, but the Amazon MP3 download service is really good. It intergrates into iTunes with ease, and everything is DRM free and high quality. It has more DRM free stuff than iTunes does as well.

I still use the iTunes Music store to search for music, since I have yet to find a better online music service that is as easy and fun to navigate as iTunes, but when I find something I like, I always hop over to Amazon.com to see if I can buy it there first.

I love Apple, but Amazon.com has made a convert of me in terms of buying music.

hscottm
Dec 28, 2007, 01:59 PM
I think this is genius. This is like the tried-and-true upsell. If someone has already paid $5 to rent the movie, offering them just another $5-$10 to buy the movie would definitely be more 'psychologically' attractive and entice more people to buy the movie if they liked it.

some of you may be too young to realize there was something similar in play around time of the birth of the DVD. It was called DIVX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX).

The difference was that Circuit City and some law firm decided it would be easier to get rich upselling purchases this way. Basically you could buy cheapo "rental" discs ($4 for 48 hours) and then the player would let you upgrade, or Divx GOLD discs which were unlimited play (I dont think any were ever released though).

It failed - quickly, in like 6 mos - for a few reasons:

1) backlash - privacy issues with the hardware players "calling home" to report, encouraging people that after viewing the discs, they could be thrown away
2) arguments that given the same capacity and bandwidth on a DVD, the DIVX picture was inferior (not sure that was proven)
3) lack of adoption. CC was the only store selling them, and most people chose DVD instead.
4) cost of hardware - there were relatively few DIVX players (all sold at CC), and they were a little more expensive.

Anyway I agree with the digital rent / upsell-buy idea but wanted to point out some relevant history in the digital video domain. The reason I think its so interesting is that it was somewhat of a format war too - there were studios that originally released only in Divx (eg Dreamworks) and not DVD. I think we see the same things happening in digital rentals/purchases.

There are some issues related to all of this still relevant today. Namely that the rental/buy/etc market for movies for non-traditional methods (traditional meaning the studio sells you a $15 DVD) is still a mess, mostly because the studios want as much money as possible. What I remain unable to understand is how a studio doesnt see why $10 of pure profit from a download is worse than a $20 MSRP on a DVD that Best Buy sells for $12 (meaning the studio cant be getting much different than $10 for after shipping/etc). AND why a $4 rental (again, pure profit) to someone who had no intention of buying the DVD isnt a good deal either.

kresh
Dec 28, 2007, 02:03 PM
I'm not going to directly quote anyone, but why do people translate their own personal feelings into an absolute truth for the rest of mankind? A statement saying that "nobody wants to buy a movie for $15.00 that's sub-DVD quality" is a personal opinion.

I've bought almost 40 movies from iTunes. A few were $14.99, some were $12.99, and most were $9.99. Others in my family buy movies from iTunes as do several of my friends. Our only commonality, other than Macs, are our AppleTV's. To say no one is doing so is misleading.

Has anyone paid any attention to the actual iTunes video sales figures? Daniel Eran Dilger (http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/12/12/should-apple-tv-copy-tivo-and-media-center/#more-1334) does a wonderful job extracting the truth from all the noise when it comes to video downloads.

Apple owns 42% of paid movie downloads and 99% of paid TV episode downloads. How does this translate to "No one is going to buy and download sub-DVD quality movies"?

inkswamp
Dec 28, 2007, 02:09 PM
Good. I don't even care how it relates to or affects Apple either. Any time Wal-Mart fails, it's a win for the rest of us. I despise that place, and any time they get their butt handed to them is a good day. :)

inkswamp
Dec 28, 2007, 02:15 PM
Not for nothing, but the Amazon MP3 download service is really good. It intergrates into iTunes with ease, and everything is DRM free and high quality. It has more DRM free stuff than iTunes does as well.

Except Amazon fails miserably in one area that Apple has time and time again shown to be a critical thing for customers: user interface. The Amazon interface for buying music sucks out loud. I can't tolerate it. It's one of the worst music browsing experiences I've ever had and that says a lot when you've got abhorrently bad designs out there like Rhapsody (gah... don't even get me started on that whole stupid floating playlist window thing. What an awful UI.)

Amazon's interface problems are twofold. 1) they have lots of non audio download products scattered all over the margins of the pages which, I think, overwhelms the average consumer. They're just looking for music downloads, not books or software or god-knows-what-else; 2) the browsing process is just flat-out badly designed and clunky to use. If you think that doesn't matter, you have never sat down with a non-tech-savvy person. Those are the bulk of the consumers out there and I've watched people like my own wife browse through iTunes and have lots of fun doing it while stumbling and giving up on other online shopping experiences with bad UIs. It really does matter and Amazon botched that.

CWallace
Dec 28, 2007, 02:24 PM
It should be noted that HP pulled the plug on the back-end, but if Wal-Mart found value in the program, they could have continued it with someone else. That they didn't implies they don't find value in it.

Quite frankly, rentals appeal to the studios (video and audio) more then sales because their "holy grail" goal is to get you to pay everytime you access the content. That way, they have a constant revenue stream and the return on investment lasts much longer since even if you don't listen to a song for years, when you do, they can get paid for it.

kornyboy
Dec 28, 2007, 02:25 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

I think this comes down too the fact that consumers don't want to own movies digitally, but want to rent. Plus there has to be an easy way for the movies to get from your PC to your TV. Otherwise, this is too complex for most people.

If Apple can enhance AppleTV and give us a good rental service, I think we'll finally have something to get excited about.

I agree. The content needs to be full HD though.

mattvolp
Dec 28, 2007, 02:28 PM
Does anybody know how many people we're subscribed with their program/how much revenue came from it?

Beefeater
Dec 28, 2007, 02:43 PM
Walmart had a movie download service?

tuneman07
Dec 28, 2007, 02:48 PM
Originally Posted by sushi View Post
I think that the best solution is a combination of rent and own. This way you can purchase a movie outright if you want it. Or you can rent the movie for a cheaper price for a limited viewing time.

But here is what would really a nice addition. To have the option of purchasing movie outright after you have rented it. You would only need to pay the difference between the rental fee and the purchase fee. So if the movie costs $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own, you would pay the rental fee of $5.99 up front, and then if you decide to purchase the movie you would be charged an additional $9.00 to cover the

Blockbuster is already doing this- Every game I have bought for the past 2 or 3 years since Blockbuster has had the "no late fees" thing has been from Blockbuster. You pay 6 bucks to rent a game, and if you don't return it within 7 days they charge you 1.25$ and you can keep it for another 3 weeks. Sometime in that 3 week period they auto charge the cost of the game to your card. The amazing thing is they don't just deduct the cost of the rental (6 bucks) they actually give you a cheaper price- Most games are about 30 dollars for the xbox 360 and Wii. This makes a grand total of 37.25 dollars for an Xbox360/Wii game which is a good 20 or so bucks cheaper at least than the store. Pure genius if you ask me and great way for them to stay relevant in a world of internet/digital download everything.

benpatient
Dec 28, 2007, 03:08 PM
i don't know...i didn't even know that walmart was doing this to being with. Maybe if they spent as much on TV commercials as Apple does...

it's funny, I got an xbox 360 this weekend because I'm tired of waiting for (i know it sounds crazy, but i swear it makes sense!) the new Mac Pro....

I signed up for Xbox Live and saw that they have movies and TVs shows and stuff. I didn't know this. And then I saw that a lot of the things on there were in HD for a bigger charge (still less than 5 bucks in real money). They've got Ratatouille in HD for under 500 "MS points" and it is a 2-3 week rental...can't remember when it said it expired. I don't have an HD player, but I have an HD-TV hooked up in 1080p to a 360, so all of the sudden, for 1 dollar more than blockbuster, I can rent an HD movie for a couple of weeks instead of days. And from what I can tell, you don't have to leave it on your hard drive...download when you want, and delete, but as long as you're still in the rental period, you can download again.

They have a bunch of old movies on there, too. Pleasantville is 240 credits for a "rental" that expires in 2014 AD! That's basically 3 bucks for 7 years of "ownership."

It isn't a perfect system or a perfect model, but i've already spent money on it, and I haven't bought any videos of any type from iTMS yet despite owning an iPod video and a bunch of Macs and having 150gb of Apple Lossless music on an external hard drive.

The funny thing is, I presume all of that stuff on XBL is copy protected at the moment, but I didn't even think about it until now, and I certainly didn't notice anything interfering with my experience. I guess I find the video functionality of the ipod to be a gimmick. Just a way for Apple to sell me more stuff. I notice a lot of people talking about how they don't want to watch TV on a computer, so they want to get an AppleTV...

Well, I don't want to watch TV on a 2.5 inch screen. Ever. I have one that is capable, and I can't see the point. I want everything to be in HD and huge. I can't help but think that probably most people want something similar, because there are a LOT of big screen TVs going out the doors of electronics stores.

People who claim they can't tell enough of a difference to want HD programming have never seen real HD programming. Going to Wal Mart and looking at 100 TVs under fluorescent lamps with their brightness and contrast at 100% and a ratty HD-Lite loop of content playing on them that is being split and amplified and attenuated 100 different ways from a single source device is not HD programming. Apple's "almost DVD" purchases are of sub-par quality. They are marginally better than hulu's streaming video feeds (the SD ones, not the HD ones!). They look like SD digital cable that is being highly-compressed when you watch them through an AppleTV at an Apple Store. Sure they look good on an ipod, but I don't watch TV in my car or at my office or while I'm jogging. I watch TV on the couch or in the bedroom. Walmart's video service was probably junk. I didn't know it existed. The truth is that Apple's video service is only marginally better. If it were being asked to justify its own existence by being profitable, or even by bringing in hardware sales, it would have been closed already, too. Apple is sticking it out because they want to be there when the corner turns...Right now, as a fairly big media consumer, I'm very unimpressed with Apple's video offerings. I am certainly not willing to pay for what is currently available.

seashellz2
Dec 28, 2007, 03:10 PM
I see Amazon has kicked the price of a song from $.89 to $.99 cents-
Was 89 cents a teaser/starter rate, or is the service floundering, so they had to raise the price?

Would be nice to see a progress report on the Zoon ® and Amazons new book gadget...
---
>>Keeping them in a Walmart is torture, but without the baggage of traditional torture centers.

had I not seen an official Army training film on waterboarding (horrible) I might have also suggested a visit to Wal Mart as the worst form of torture
for 'terrorists'

(Anyone seen the recent Bhuto interview on David Frost (Youtube) before her death where she stated that a Shiek Omar murdered Osama Bin Ladden 3 years ago-yet we still keep gettting these bad central casting Bin Ladden tapes rolled out for us every so often-put on greasepaint, a fake beard and a turban and Viola! a do-it yourself OBL) I was already kind of suspicious of these.

villainx
Dec 28, 2007, 03:29 PM
Aside from making sure the downloaded video is of as high of quality as possible.

And make sure there are options to include the extras and commentaries and etc.

The model, as already mentioned, that has legs is either straight rental or rent with buy option.

But I don't see why no one has this spin: let the service provider be the one storing the files; or basically make the movies download as needed into a customer's account. This way one can buy or own like a hundred movies, and a lot of people easily have that many DVDs, and not have the hassle of the hard drive upgrades and so forth.

I guess this is sort of like a subscription service. Though the difference is that the customer actually owns the movie. Maybe some premium for third party storage or monthly storage charges. I also do not see/understand how more or less convenient it is for Apple or Amazon or whoever to be the place where the file is stored.

benpatient
Dec 28, 2007, 03:29 PM
Except Amazon fails miserably in one area that Apple has time and time again shown to be a critical thing for customers: user interface. The Amazon interface for buying music sucks out loud. I can't tolerate it. It's one of the worst music browsing experiences I've ever had and that says a lot when you've got abhorrently bad designs out there like Rhapsody (gah... don't even get me started on that whole stupid floating playlist window thing. What an awful UI.)

Amazon's interface problems are twofold. 1) they have lots of non audio download products scattered all over the margins of the pages which, I think, overwhelms the average consumer. They're just looking for music downloads, not books or software or god-knows-what-else; 2) the browsing process is just flat-out badly designed and clunky to use. If you think that doesn't matter, you have never sat down with a non-tech-savvy person. Those are the bulk of the consumers out there and I've watched people like my own wife browse through iTunes and have lots of fun doing it while stumbling and giving up on other online shopping experiences with bad UIs. It really does matter and Amazon botched that.

Actually, I completely 100% disagree. I found Amazon's mp3 store interface to be easy to use and simple to understand. In fact, i was buying things a little TOO easily and I got nervous. The music previewing system for MP3-available albums is perfect. I love being able to listen to all of the 30-second previews with one click, or listening to an individual one if I want to. I already had 1-click checkout enabled on my amazon account, so after the 1-time download for the itunes-integrator application, I was ready to roll. Click, click, and a song/album is downloaded and goes automatically into itunes, just like with the iTMS.

I like seeing the physical product on the digital product pages, because it lets me see if the digital product is a good value for a particular album. It works both ways, as well. Amazon's CD entry for an album will have the "also available as mp3 download right now" link on valid items. Now that includes every major label except Sony, and LOTs of indie labels, too. If I go to look for a CD on amazon and think I might want to order it, but there is a link right there in the product info for the 4-dollars-cheaper digital version of the same album, I just might get that instead. I like the option. I like that some albums are 5.99. I like that some tracks are less than 90 cents. It is a very good system and I can't help but think you haven't actually used it, but are just nay-saying out of habitual defense of Apple. Your comments don't match up with what I and other people I know have experienced with the amazon mp3 store. It is fast, easy, and functional. I find the iTMS interface to be a bit clunky compared to Amazon's system, honestly. Amazon has a lot of "smart" custom metadata links between products. It suggests alternative spellings if you search for someone whose name is not always spelled the same way (Tchaikovsky, anyone?), or if the content provider has made a link between their product and another product, related searches will return those results as well if there isn't enough useful material in the direct search results. It is...robust.

benpatient
Dec 28, 2007, 03:37 PM
But I don't see why no one has this spin: let the service provider be the one storing the files; or basically make the movies download as needed into a customer's account. This way one can buy or own like a hundred movies, and a lot of people easily have that many DVDs, and not have the hassle of the hard drive upgrades and so forth.

I guess this is sort of like a subscription service. Though the difference is that the customer actually owns the movie. Maybe some premium for third party storage or monthly storage charges. I also do not see/understand how more or less convenient it is for Apple or Amazon or whoever to be the place where the file is stored.

XBox Live Video:

• Your "purchased" TV/movie programs can be downloaded an infinite amount of times to an infinite amount of consoles provided you are still within the "rental period"; you may also play them back on friends' 360s with your removable drive.
• Deleted HD items can be re-downloaded in either HDTV or SD.
• Some movies are 24 hour rentals, some are 2-3 weeks, some are 7+ years. This is effectively "buying" the movie and storing it on MS's servers...exactly what you're describing.

kornyboy
Dec 28, 2007, 03:42 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

Does anyone else find it funny that Walmart sells iPods yet their movie downloads weren't playable on the iPod. I don't think you can even play the songs from Walmart's music store on the iPod.

seedster2
Dec 28, 2007, 03:49 PM
i don't know...i didn't even know that walmart was doing this to being with. Maybe if they spent as much on TV commercials as Apple does...

it's funny, I got an xbox 360 this weekend because I'm tired of waiting for (i know it sounds crazy, but i swear it makes sense!) the new Mac Pro....

I signed up for Xbox Live and saw that they have movies and TVs shows and stuff. I didn't know this. And then I saw that a lot of the things on there were in HD for a bigger charge (still less than 5 bucks in real money). They've got Ratatouille in HD for under 500 "MS points" and it is a 2-3 week rental...can't remember when it said it expired. I don't have an HD player, but I have an HD-TV hooked up in 1080p to a 360, so all of the sudden, for 1 dollar more than blockbuster, I can rent an HD movie for a couple of weeks instead of days. And from what I can tell, you don't have to leave it on your hard drive...download when you want, and delete, but as long as you're still in the rental period, you can download again.

They have a bunch of old movies on there, too. Pleasantville is 240 credits for a "rental" that expires in 2014 AD! That's basically 3 bucks for 7 years of "ownership."

It isn't a perfect system or a perfect model, but i've already spent money on it, and I haven't bought any videos of any type from iTMS yet despite owning an iPod video and a bunch of Macs and having 150gb of Apple Lossless music on an external hard drive.

The funny thing is, I presume all of that stuff on XBL is copy protected at the moment, but I didn't even think about it until now, and I certainly didn't notice anything interfering with my experience. I guess I find the video functionality of the ipod to be a gimmick. Just a way for Apple to sell me more stuff. I notice a lot of people talking about how they don't want to watch TV on a computer, so they want to get an AppleTV...

Well, I don't want to watch TV on a 2.5 inch screen. Ever. I have one that is capable, and I can't see the point. I want everything to be in HD and huge. I can't help but think that probably most people want something similar, because there are a LOT of big screen TVs going out the doors of electronics stores.

People who claim they can't tell enough of a difference to want HD programming have never seen real HD programming. Going to Wal Mart and looking at 100 TVs under fluorescent lamps with their brightness and contrast at 100% and a ratty HD-Lite loop of content playing on them that is being split and amplified and attenuated 100 different ways from a single source device is not HD programming. Apple's "almost DVD" purchases are of sub-par quality. They are marginally better than hulu's streaming video feeds (the SD ones, not the HD ones!). They look like SD digital cable that is being highly-compressed when you watch them through an AppleTV at an Apple Store. Sure they look good on an ipod, but I don't watch TV in my car or at my office or while I'm jogging. I watch TV on the couch or in the bedroom. Walmart's video service was probably junk. I didn't know it existed. The truth is that Apple's video service is only marginally better. If it were being asked to justify its own existence by being profitable, or even by bringing in hardware sales, it would have been closed already, too. Apple is sticking it out because they want to be there when the corner turns...Right now, as a fairly big media consumer, I'm very unimpressed with Apple's video offerings. I am certainly not willing to pay for what is currently available.

Great response.

I have an iphone and while I watch some short shows here and there on the Acela, I would never consider it a great tool for watching a movie.

Unless Apple does things dramatically better than Walmart and adopts some of the approaches that XBL and PS3 leverage, they will experience a similar failure. It will likely go unnoticed as itunes is really just there to sell music and ipods.

:apple:TV is a bust. Standard definition when people are in a 1080p market???? In order for this venture to be successful they will need to upgrade their hardware so it appeals to a niche market that they will be catering to.

seashellz2
Dec 28, 2007, 03:52 PM
Heres the dealbreaker:
---
DAD: Childs MP3 came loaded with porn

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP Dec 26) A father gave his 10-year-old daughter a Christmas present that would make Santa blush.

Now Daryl Hill wants to know why an MP3 video player he bought at a Wal-Mart in Sparta was preloaded with pornography and explicit songs.

Hill bought three of the players as Christmas presents for his children. He said one of the devices had apparently been returned to the store from a previous owner who loaded sex clips and songs with lyrics about using drugs.

"Within 10 minutes, my daughter was crying," Hill said Thursday. "I wish I could take the thoughts and images out of her head."

Hill questioned why Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would sell used merchandise as new, which he said violates its own policies.

A company spokesman said in an e-mail to WSMV-TV of Nashville that stores are not supposed to return opened packages to the sales floor and that the matter was under investigation.

Hill said he declined Wal-Mart's offer to replace the MP3 player. He said he has already bought his daughter a new one and is hanging onto the controversial one until he talks to a lawyer.

MacFly123
Dec 28, 2007, 04:03 PM
Here\\\'s my usolicited view:

(and make no mistake, people. The \\\'powers that be\\\' are watching threads like this to get ideas)

Apple basically dominates the portable music arena with the iPod. It is the \\\'800lb gorilla\\\'. Expensive, but a \\\'must have\\\' for the \\\'todays\\\' generation.

Digital media is the coming wave. The music wave is already here, but the video wave is still cresting. iTunes fills a huge void for music and is the standard for people that actually buy music. If Apple can marry the iTunes legacy with digital video, then the 800lb gorilla gains a pound or two.

Alongside the digital video wave is the PORTABLE digital video wave. And by portable I mean wireless, both inside the home and out. If Apple can turn the musical legacy of iTunes into a full-range digital media source, then :apple:TV will have a MUCH better chance of catching on. And if Apple can do that AND then simultaneously make your digital media stored at home (and purchased from iTunes) available ANYWHERE you have a portable device, then IMHO, Apple wins.

Think about it. What makes iPods and iPhones so attractive to people? The ease of use...the GUI that any idiot can use right away without a big manual. If Apple can take that ease of use and apply it to fully wireless and portable digital media, then the 800lb gorilla becomes Godzilla.

Can they pull that off without cooperation from Fox, Warner Bros., etc? I don\\\'t think so....the big problem will be to satisfy all the execs who have their hand out and want a big slice ($) of the pie. For this to all work, prices must be low enough that you make the $$ on volume. Studio execs don\\\'t think this way, so the challenge is there.

Myself? I love the iPhone so much I bought an iMac. I\\\'m waiting on one more upgrade and I\\\'ll buy an :apple:TV. I still use my 1st gen Nano. And I buy Apple stock every month. I think they\\\'re on the right track....the question is is can Apple keep everything \\\'on track\\\' and still satisfy today\\\'s \\\"I want it all NOW\\\" attitude???:confused:

Very good! What we need is all that content in the right flavor (HD etc.) and add to the iTunes WIFI store ALL MEDIA or make it possible to stream from your home computer and Apple TV all of your media and movies etc while you are out on the go. WOW that would change the game beyond belief.

Now I know its complicated because of Hollywood etc. but someone please tell me why iTunes or anyone can\\\'t sell the movies like a DVD disc image with the cover art, the movie, AND the special features like a REAL digital version of the DVD that plays just as if you put an actual DVD in your computer. I know there is a piece of software that does that. THAT is what I want my digital downloads to be like!!!

Digitalclips
Dec 28, 2007, 04:10 PM
Walmart had a movie download service?

Yep, but as it was not made and run in China with sub-standard parts and manned by slave labor Wal-Mart were unable to make a profit. :(

MacFly123
Dec 28, 2007, 04:22 PM
Yep, but as it was not made and run in China with sub-standard parts and manned by slave labor Wal-Mart were unable to make a profit. :(

LOL, I LOVE it. By far the funniest post I have seen in a long time :) And so true!

aarond12
Dec 28, 2007, 05:30 PM
:apple:TV is a bust. Standard definition when people are in a 1080p market????
Although it is not 1080p, the AppleTV does 720p quite nicely. Considering a majority of the flat panels sold on the market only do 720p anyway, the current AppleTV ain't so bad.

That being said, I would love for a new, upgraded AppleTV that IS capable of 1080p, with true surround output, where you can rent (or buy) HD movies from the iTunes Store. A built-in DVD player would be icing and would let consumers really see the difference between SD (DVD) and HD (iTunes Store) content.

Having ONE format that all the movie studios can back is what consumers are waiting for. Apple might be able to pull this one off...

-Aaron-

brewcitywi
Dec 28, 2007, 05:42 PM
I think people really do want their content closely tied into their playback device, and maybe that's why iTunes has an advantage. I think that the rental model for movies might be interesting, cause people can have a bit more fun. Perhaps there can be a case made that downloadable music is a bit more "disposable," in that it's instant, and you can go from song to song and build a library. Maybe people would like their movies to be the same way, and they don't mind giving up a movie after having it for a week or month.

On the other hand, who wants to look around the Wal-Mart website...for anything?!? The Wal-Mart brand hasn't built itself into a destination where you'd want to spend any online time.

For that matter, NBC's Hulu might suffer the same fate.

Amazon might have a better chance at competing.

I do think that the length of time it takes to download a movie is still a shortcoming for iTunes. I have purchased 2 movies there, and I basically had to wait til the next night to watch them, cause I fell asleep during the download!

theBB
Dec 28, 2007, 06:03 PM
I do think that the length of time it takes to download a movie is still a shortcoming for iTunes. I have purchased 2 movies there, and I basically had to wait til the next night to watch them, cause I fell asleep during the download!
I think you can start watching them before download is complete.

ChrisA
Dec 28, 2007, 07:28 PM
I think people don't want o buy a DRM'd movie. Not that they want to make copies but I think because most people are smart enough to know that the move they paid for will be useless when the DRM system goes away. Yes DVDs have DRM built in but people know that DVD players will be available for decades, A Wallmart or Apple DRM player software could go away at any time without notice. So your DRM's video collection is at risk. I think more then at risk it is a certainty. Any DRM'd video collection will become usless likely in just a few years. Everyone knows this.

ChrisA
Dec 28, 2007, 07:44 PM
Although it is not 1080p, the AppleTV does 720p quite nicely. Considering a majority of the flat panels sold on the market only do 720p anyway, the current AppleTV ain't so bad.

The problem is that everyone who as a 720 screen thinks that some day they will buy a 1080. No one wants to spend $400 on a 720 ATV box knowing they will have to replace it later with a 1080 box. If Apple was willing to sell me a 720 ATV box got for $50 then I'd buy it with the idea I's simply chuck it in the trash when the 1080 becomes available but if they are going for $400 I'll wait for the one I want.

I don't even watch DVDs. I want an ATV so I can show the content I made on my TV screen

pjarvi
Dec 28, 2007, 08:01 PM
I can't wait until Apple offers HD movies for download/rent. Everyone will soon hit their monthly bandwith quota and get disconnected from the net. :p

As for rentals themselves, it will be a greatly welcomed option, but they need to increases their library to make it worthwhile. The selection available right now is sorely lacking.

walnuts
Dec 28, 2007, 08:03 PM
I think people don't want o buy a DRM'd movie. Not that they want to make copies but I think because most people are smart enough to know that the move they paid for will be useless when the DRM system goes away. Yes DVDs have DRM built in but people know that DVD players will be available for decades, A Wallmart or Apple DRM player software could go away at any time without notice. So your DRM's video collection is at risk. I think more then at risk it is a certainty. Any DRM'd video collection will become usless likely in just a few years. Everyone knows this.

I don't think that that is a certainty. This is sort of a situation that's never happened before. Maybe this has happened with music DRM, but usually something has to happen first. To use your example of a DVD, when the world stops manufacturing DVD players, it will only be because they have been replaced with something better (hi-def or downloads, or something we haven't imagined yet).

If something comes along to make the current DRM obsolete enough to make most of us replace most of our collection, then maybe they could do it. Otherwise, a lot of people would be really upset.

Besides, software DRM presents itself with the unique opportunity for retailers to do a bunch of things:


Provide software that is backwards compatible to older DRM (much easier than maintaining a factory to make VHS's)
Make a converter that converts to new DRM if the old one is valid
Simply release something that removes the DRM (only if something truly obsoletes the old stuff)
Finally, if the stuff really gets old, some hacker could make their own software to break/circumvent old DRM and it being old, no one would care to stop them

SPUY767
Dec 28, 2007, 10:19 PM
Although it is not 1080p, the AppleTV does 720p quite nicely. Considering a majority of the flat panels sold on the market only do 720p anyway, the current AppleTV ain't so bad.

That being said, I would love for a new, upgraded AppleTV that IS capable of 1080p, with true surround output, where you can rent (or buy) HD movies from the iTunes Store. A built-in DVD player would be icing and would let consumers really see the difference between SD (DVD) and HD (iTunes Store) content.

Having ONE format that all the movie studios can back is what consumers are waiting for. Apple might be able to pull this one off...

-Aaron-

Having a 47" 1080p LCD TV, and various HD playback devices, I can honestly say, that if you're not looking at still photos, it is hard to tell the difference between 720p and 1080i sources.

sushi
Dec 28, 2007, 10:33 PM
All this talk reminds me of when CDs were introduced. There were many naysayers that said CDs did not sound good, cost too much, etc.

But convenience over quality has seemed to take over during the past 20 years. Now many folks happily listen to MP3 or other formats on their iPods with headphones or iPod playing devices.

My guess is that video will go the same way. Convenience will win over qualify. Being able to DL a movie for rental or to own and watch it on a variety of devices is very convenient for many users. The wave of the future.

Digitalclips
Dec 28, 2007, 11:00 PM
Although it is not 1080p, the AppleTV does 720p quite nicely. Considering a majority of the flat panels sold on the market only do 720p anyway, the current AppleTV ain't so bad.

That being said, I would love for a new, upgraded AppleTV that IS capable of 1080p, with true surround output, where you can rent (or buy) HD movies from the iTunes Store. A built-in DVD player would be icing and would let consumers really see the difference between SD (DVD) and HD (iTunes Store) content.

Having ONE format that all the movie studios can back is what consumers are waiting for. Apple might be able to pull this one off...

-Aaron-

Problem is where can you get a 720p movie for the ATV?

karmapolice63
Dec 28, 2007, 11:09 PM
But, what will we do with all the empty and abandoned Walmart buildings? Fill up all the landfills? Make them into condos? Affordable housing as 2000 families can fit in one building? Use them as informational sites so students can be bussed out to see the evil created by corporate greed combined with child labor? How about detention centers for terrorists? Keeping them in a Walmart is torture, but without the baggage of traditional torture centers. Even the most hardened terrorist will vote Republican after two months of detention.

I like the sound of most of those ideas...except the terrorists voting Republican. haha. Why not also mow down a couple buildings for nature preserves or project housing or better yet...recyclable building materials.

Digitalclips
Dec 28, 2007, 11:15 PM
All this talk reminds me of when CDs were introduced. There were many naysayers that said CDs did not sound good, cost too much, etc.

But convenience over quality has seemed to take over during the past 20 years. Now many folks happily listen to MP3 or other formats on their iPods with headphones or iPod playing devices.

My guess is that video will go the same way. Convenience will win over qualify. Being able to DL a movie for rental or to own and watch it on a variety of devices is very convenient for many users. The wave of the future.

All true to a point but watching 480i or p on a 50" plus HD TV would be like listening to AM radio in terms of lousy quality. CD or MP3 are all pretty good quality. Videos for iTunes / ATV will have to be at least 720p to catch on ... and yes that is good enough to get the ball rolling. Anything better is just icing on the cake.

p.s. The first CD was available in 1983 I think :( ... wow, time shoots by!!!

Cleverboy
Dec 28, 2007, 11:16 PM
Has anyone been keeping track of this?

Neflix Launches - 1998
Netflix Launches Online Video Downloads - January 16, 2007

Walmart Announces Online Video Rentals - October 15, 2002
Walmart cuts DVD rental prices - June 11, 2003
Walmart Closes service, sending Video Rental customers to Netflix - May 19, 2005
Walmart Launches DVD/digital download bundle (Superman Returns) - November 28, 2006
Walmart Launches BETA movie download service - February 06, 2007
Walmart Closes movie download service - December 28, 2007
Walmart Announces Online Music - Dec. 18th, 2003
Walmart Announces DRM-Free Mp3 music available - August 21, 2007

Amazon Launches Unbox - September 8, 2006
Amazon Launches Unbox TiVo compatibility - Mar 7, 2007
Amazon Launches Mp3 store public BETA - September 25, 2007
Amazon Launches Kindle eBook Reader - November 19th 2007

Guba introduces WB video downloads - June 26, 2006

Vongo Launches for Starz - January 3, 2006

MovieBeam in development - Before November 2002
Disney "spins-off" MovieBeam business - January 2006
MovieBeam ceased operations - December 15, 2005

Google Video Store Launches (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060106-5924.html) - January 06, 2006
Google Buys YouTube - October 10, 2006
Google Closes Video Store - August 10, 2007

Microsoft Launches XBox - November 15, 2001
Microsoft Unveils XBox 360 - May 12, 2005
Microsoft Launches Xbox Live Marketplace with 360 - November 22, 2005
Microsoft Launches HD video content rentals for XBox 360 - November 22, 2006
Microsoft Launches the Zune media player - November 14, 2006

Sony released the original Walkman - 1979
Sony Sonic Stage music program Introduced in Japan - October 2001
Sony Announces Connect Music Service - May 7, 2004
Sony Introduces Hi-MD players supporting Mp3 playback - 2004-2005
Sony Introduces PSP, "the Walkman of the 21st century" - January 5, 2005
Sony Releases first Walkman phone - August 12, 2005
Sony Announces PSP video rentals - December 2, 2005
Sony Announces support for AAC - May 10th 2006
Sony Introduces "iTunes-like" PSP Media Manager - November 21, 2005
Sony Announces Closure of Connect (http://esupport.sony.com/perl/news-item.pl?template=EN&news_id=215) no earlier than March 2008 - August 30, 2007
Sony Introduces first Video Walkman - August 31, 2007
Sony Closes Sony Connect - Sometime after March 2008

Apple Introduced iTunes for FREE for Mac - January 10, 2001
Apple Launches iPod - October 23, 2001
Apple Introduces first Windows compatible iPod - July 17, 2002
Apple iTunes Music Store Launches - April 28, 2003
Apple iTunes Music Store Launches TV shows - October 12, 2005
Apple Announces iPod with Video - October 12, 2005
Apple iTunes Launches Movies, renamed "iTunes Store" - September 12, 2006
Apple Previews Apple "iTV" - September 12, 2006
Apple Announces Apple TV/iPhone - January 9, 2007
Apple Announces iPod Touch/iPod Nano with Video - September 5, 2007
Apple Introduces WiFi Music Store - September 28, 2007


It's dizzing, but a little sad. In the end, Apple just keeps creating more value to its ecosystem like a raging monster of a consumer crack dealer. Everyone else keeps floundering and gasping for air as Apple sucks it slowly out of the room. Only Amazon seems to be moving in a slow but consistent manner, compared to Apple... yet provides somewhat inferior services (not that they aren't trying). Netflix is consistent but terribly slow. For all of Microsoft's "wins" they are leaking money in this area like a straw hat in the rain, and whether its Zune or XBox, seem like they're playing a much "longer" game.

~ CB

sushi
Dec 29, 2007, 01:57 AM
All true to a point but watching 480i or p on a 50" plus HD TV would be like listening to AM radio in terms of lousy quality. CD or MP3 are all pretty good quality. Videos for iTunes / ATV will have to be at least 720p to catch on ... and yes that is good enough to get the ball rolling. Anything better is just icing on the cake.
That's true. 720p seems like a good compromise quality verses file size.

p.s. The first CD was available in 1983 I think :( ... wow, time shoots by!!!
I purchased my first CD in 1983. :)

Rocketman
Dec 29, 2007, 09:01 AM
Good riddance.

They also recently changed their sayng from "low prices always" to "Always Wal-Mart." Kinda cult-ish if you ask me.

It seems other firms got good at compelling suppliers to source from low labor rate, forced labor, and slave labor countries, cutting out the distribution middle man and selling cheap goods directly to the public.

Mean time Apple is also sourcing asian suppliers for goods and services but doing all the ENGINEERING, design, marketing, and distribution themselves with the exception of a portion of the retail network being partners.

They also sell third party products and services, much of which is designed, produced and sold entirely from the USA and other developed countries.

Rocketman

carlgo
Dec 29, 2007, 01:38 PM
Hill said he declined Wal-Mart's offer to replace the MP3 player. He said he has already bought his daughter a new one and is hanging onto the controversial one until he talks to a lawyer.

So, Wal-Mart is now associated with porn and it will cost them money? How could this be better?

Somebody is a genius! No fooling around with severed fingers, used condoms, dead rats or any of that. Just a nice, clean digital download and get more money than any of those fast-food fakers.

And the kid, her head filled with porn she cannot forget? This lawsuit should be filed in a the reddest state possible.

If I was the lawyer, I would work for percentage only, no need for an hourly fee here.

AtomicPunk
Dec 29, 2007, 02:16 PM
Wal-Mart's movies, however, were only offered in Windows Media format, which is not compatible with Apple's iPods.

Here's a clue. When you open up a video download service, if the most popular product is the iPod and iTunes, then to just use only Windows Media is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. Even other third party players like, MS Zune and Creative Zen can use MPEG4 Video file formats. err... Duh.

Wow, is brain-power at a premium lately.

madmax_2069
Dec 30, 2007, 03:22 AM
Here's a clue. When you open up a video download service, if the most popular product is the iPod and iTunes, then to just use only Windows Media is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. Even other third party players like, MS Zune and Creative Zen can use MPEG4 Video file formats. err... Duh.

Wow, is brain-power at a premium lately.


Its walmarts we are talking about, they haven't put it on sale yet so none of them can afford it.

RRutter
Jan 2, 2008, 01:45 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

After launching (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/06/wal-mart-launches-movie-download-service/) their movie download service in February, Wal-Mart has quietly shut down the service (http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/071227/walmart_downloads.html?.v=1) after HP decided to discontinue the download service that powered it:Wal-Mart's entry into the movie and TV download business was described as a "game changer" due to partnerships with all the major Hollywood movie studios. Wal-Mart's movies, however, were only offered in Windows Media format, which is not compatible with Apple's iPods.

This news comes amidst rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/26/apple-in-online-film-rental-deal-with-fox-studio/) that Apple was planning on expanding its online movie offerings to include rentals.


Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/28/wal-mart-closes-movie-download-service/)

That doesnt suprise me one bit!! Who would buy something thats only windows compatible? Someone with an old-skool Dell DJ. HAHA!!

:apple:

CWallace
Jan 2, 2008, 11:27 AM
That doesnt suprise me one bit!! Who would buy something thats only windows compatible?

The tens of millions of people who use Windows? ;)

Marky_Mark
Jan 2, 2008, 04:57 PM
The tens of millions of people who use Windows? ;)

Apparently not, or they wouldn't have gone bust. Or were you referring to the tens of millions of Windows users who happen to own an iPod, and its free companion, iTunes?

Good riddance. So much hype, so little substance. Apple is the only one who keeps a consistent momentum going, and good for them. All these other bit part players who think they can court the media publishers and knock Apple off their perch are just going to have to try harder. When iTunes and iPod have 70-80% market share, Microsoft DRM is sheer lunacy. I'm a numpty and even I know that. Walmart's shareholders should be asking for the board's heads to be presented to them on sticks. Their whole business model is based on 'pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap', and so they should pander to the lowest common denominator: MPEG. Their buying power alone should knock the publishers into line, but between them, they just can't see the path.

pamon
Jan 2, 2008, 07:47 PM
What killed the walmart model was amazon and tivo teaming up on unbox on the windows side. Itunes will be the killer mac app and will take a huge player to take them down. itunes works, it's easy to work, and its there. Walmart's model was clunky, DRM protected, and windows media... enough said there