iPod Amazon.com starts video download service

Peel

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 30, 2004
573
84
Seattle
This just posted in the Seattle PI

Seattle Post Intelligencer said:
SEATTLE -- Amazon.com launched a digital video downloading service Thursday, ending months of speculation that the Internet retailer would be getting into the online TV and movie business.

The service, dubbed Amazon Unbox, will offer television shows, movies and other videos from more than 30 studios and networks, the company said.

TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99.

When customers download a show or movie, Unbox will automatically give them a second file that can be viewed on portable digital players that use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Player.

Hollywood studios already sell films through other online services, such as Movielink, CinemaNow and Guba, but they haven't yet attracted a huge following.

Studios started renting films online several years ago in hopes of combating illegal downloads. Video downloads have grown more popular since Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes started selling episodes of TV shows last October.



Rumors that Apple is poised to launch a movie download service gained traction earlier this week, when the company sent invitations to the media saying "It's Showtime," for a Sept. 12 event in San Francisco.

Sources at several Hollywood studios confirmed Tuesday they were in talks to sell their films through Apple's iTunes online store. The executives asked to remain anonymous because talks were still ongoing.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700AP_Amazoncom_Online_Video.html
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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New England
Both the Minimum System Requirements and the Recommended System Specifications for Amazon Unbox are listed below. While you can download and watch Amazon Unbox videos using a system that meets the Minimum System Requirements, Amazon Unbox is designed for the best experience using a system that meets the Recommended System Specifications. Also, while it may be possible to run the Amazon Unbox video player on an Apple computer running a required Windows operating system, we cannot guarantee performance on those systems.

AMAZON.COM ACCOUNT: Amazon Unbox works through your Amazon.com account. You should use your existing account or establish a new one before downloading and installing the Unbox Video player.
Minimum System Requirements

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

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

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

COMPUTER HARDWARE: A PC with a 2.4-gigahertz (GHz) processor or faster, at least 1024MB of memory, and a DirectX 9.0 complaint Video (128 MB Memory) and a Multi Channel 5.1 Capable Sound Card.

INTERNET CONNECTION: Broadband internet connection capable of 1.5+ mbps of sustained transfer speeds.
:(

http://unbox.amazon.com

B
 

balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
19,368
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New England
More info from the site:

Supported Devices
The devices in the list below have been tested with the Unbox Video Player. If your device is Plays for Sure compliant it may work, but we cannot guarantee performance on untested devices.
Creative Zen Vision: M
Creative Zen Vision
Toshiba Gigabeat S
Archos AV 500
Archos AV 700
iRiver PMC (Portable Media Center)
Can I use Amazon Unbox with my TV?
Amazon Unbox only works when installed on a personal computer or Media Center PC. You can also transfer videos to an approved hand-held device using the Amazon Unbox. If you have the capability to connect your TV to a PC or hand-held device, you can watch videos purchased at the Amazon Unbox store on your television. Please refer to the documentation for your computer hardware for more information about your machine's capability to interface with a television.

In most cases, connecting your computer to your television is as simple as using an s-video connection. S-video is a standard 4-pin video connection available on most televisions and video cards. S-video only transfers the video image, so you will also need to connect the audio out port on your computer to external speakers or to a home stereo system. Some video cards also come with standard RCA adapters for video and audio and will allow you to connect your computer in the same way you would connect a VCR or video camera.

If you are using a Microsoft Media Center PC, detailed information is available on their Web page at: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/default.mspx.

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

What is the difference between renting and purchasing Amazon Unbox videos?
When you choose to rent an Amazon Unbox video, your access to view the file is limited by the rental license agreement in our Unbox Video: Terms of Use. After you rent and download an Amazon Unbox Video to your computer, you will have 30 days in which to view it. After you begin playing an Amazon Unbox Video, you will have 24 hours to complete viewing it. After these expiration times, the Amazon Unbox Video will automatically be deleted from your computer and Your Media Library.

If you purchase Amazon Unbox Video, your rights to view the file do not expire, except as provided in our Unbox Video: Terms of Use. The license agreement for the videos you purchase allows you to download an Amazon Unbox video onto a total of 2 different personal computers at one time. Each of those computers will, in turn, be able to transfer that video to one portable (e.g., hand-held) video device.

What if my computer crashes and I lose an Amazon Unbox video?
Your Amazon Unbox purchases may also be stored in Your Media Library, accessible through Your Account on Amazon.com. If you want to re-download an Amazon Unbox video stored in Your Media Library or authorize it for download on another computer, you can make these changes online.

Please note: We recommend that you backup your purchased Amazon Unbox products after download. See the Managing Your Amazon Unbox Videos Help page for more information.
The Media Library bit is a nice feature since it saves you from having to back up and it has been a complaint about iTMS.

B
 

Manzana

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2004
603
8
Orange County, CA
balamw said:
:(

The Amazon Unbox video player is not compatible with Apple/Macintosh operating systems
screw 'em. we get ours next week, and i predict the ipod video integration will be much tighter, and hopefully also a solution to stream easily to tv; these guys don't stand a chance!
 

Bibulous

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2005
716
0
No Mac Support

Minimum System Requirements

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

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

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

Recommended System Specifications


COMPUTER HARDWARE: A PC with a 2.4-gigahertz (GHz) processor or faster, at least 1024MB of memory, and a DirectX 9.0 complaint Video (128 MB Memory) and a Multi Channel 5.1 Capable Sound Card.

INTERNET CONNECTION: Broadband internet connection capable of 1.5+ mbps of sustained transfer speeds.
 

Manzana

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2004
603
8
Orange County, CA
TFA said:
When customers download a show or movie, Unbox will automatically give them a second file that can be viewed on portable digital players that use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Player.


damn, that is gonna be one huge download!

i guess if i really wanted it i would use parallels or bootcamp on an mac.
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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New England
aricher said:
Without iPod support I smell failure. If the rumors are true how did Amazon swing 30 networks and studios while Apple only has a few?
What's more interesting to me short term is that the TV Shows Amazon is offering overlap a lot with iTunes, but each have some items the other doesn't. Weird. Amazon also doesn't seem to have season passes... So iTMS can be much cheaper, even if the resolution may not be as good.

B
 

technocoy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2002
765
0
Raleigh, NC
dude...

when will people get it...

It doesn't work with the portable with like 70 percent marketshare.... FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.
 

balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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New England
hyperpasta said:
Well, i hope Apple follows the same buy or rent model.
Have you browsed the store? It doesn't seem to be up to you if you rent or buy, and the terms of the rental are pretty harsh, I mean DIVX harsh. 30 days and 24 hours to complete viewing.

The restrictions on the Amazon files are also pretty harsh compared to iTMS. 2 PCs and 2 portables as compared to Apple's 5 computers and unlimited portables.

B
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,545
Nice, renting + DVD quality. Apple, are you listening?

Apple better include these features to stay competitive. The fact that it's not iPod compatible won't be a deal breaker for most, like it is for music stores.
 

zwida

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2001
587
0
NYC
balamw said:
Have you browsed the store? It doesn't seem to be up to you if you rent or buy, and the terms of the rental are pretty harsh, I mean DIVX harsh. 30 days and 24 hours to complete viewing.
If those are the terms the studios are requiring of Amazon, it's easy to see why Apple is going with Disney only at first.

I'll be pretty surprised if this model is successful, but who knows...
 

hyperpasta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
680
0
New Jersey
balamw said:
Have you browsed the store? It doesn't seem to be up to you if you rent or buy, and the terms of the rental are pretty harsh, I mean DIVX harsh. 30 days and 24 hours to complete viewing.

The restrictions on the Amazon files are also pretty harsh compared to iTMS. 2 PCs and 2 portables as compared to Apple's 5 computers and unlimited portables.

B
I wasn't saying I liked Unbox. I said I hoped Apple offered both purchasing and rental options.
 

MacBoobsPro

macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2006
5,115
6
Unbox? WTF. Wouldnt it make more sense (and sound better) as NoBox?

Anyhoo... no ipod support and strangely high minimum specs seems to me it might not do too well.

I might of tested it out if it was mac compatible but oh well. :rolleyes:
 

MacVault

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2002
1,144
59
Planet Earth
Manzana said:
screw 'em. we get ours next week, and i predict the ipod video integration will be much tighter, and hopefully also a solution to stream easily to tv; these guys don't stand a chance!
Except, according to most recent news, it will only include Disney movies, at least initially. Also, I like Amazon's way of accessing everything through the browser rather than a seperate app such as iTunes.
 

rockandrule

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2004
448
0
Jacksonville, FL
Wow, so I find this to be an incredibly intriguing step, but there is no Mac support nor much to find! They have many publishing houses but lack much support from any of them. Obviously, they're going to take a huge hit since a large chunk of the movies coming out these days are through Sony and their Lions Gate subsidiary. This is just a wretched program when it comes down to it. I searched for a few things: Fight Club, The Boondocks, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Office, Lord of War, and Nuremburg and found NONE of these titles. Guess they're missing out on a demographic or something, oh that's right, EVERYONE. Good try Amazon, but you'll need to capture the portable market by including the iPod if you want it to really sell, and you'll also have to get many more publishing homes.
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
398
291
um...on a sidenote, the ship time for Airport Extreme Base Station has been pushed to 1-3 weeks.

hopefully this means something.
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
hyperpasta said:
I wasn't saying I liked Unbox. I said I hoped Apple offered both purchasing and rental options.
I wasn't saying you liked it, but I wish if Apple offers both it would be for all content the store offers and with more NetFlix like terms. (i.e. 1-2 movies at a time, unlimited views.)

This model seems weak, yet I wish them luck. I'm one of the few who really likes Amazon for most things.

B