Which ecosystem to get into, iTunes or Amazon?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Capt Crunch, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    I've been using plex for ages and I've "loved" it. The ability to serve up all 5 TB of my movies anywhere was fantastic, and I even went and got a cloud server to run it so that I wasn't limited by my paltry upload speed.

    Then I sat back, and counted up how much I watched TV. It hovers around 1 movie/month. I barely watch TV. The cost of doing it via streaming services is comparable. I'm seriously thinking about biting the bullet, and just starting fresh by buying movies that I want to watch.

    I can't decide between Apple's iTunes of Amazon. As far as I can tell, there really isn't much of a difference. I already have an Amazon prime membership, but that doesn't really help me with movies.

    Are there any opinions on whether to go with iTunes or Amazon? I'm locking in myself for a god long while by doing this, so I want to make the right choice. I've enjoyed Apple's ecosystem for most of my life, but amazon works on my xbox one. Is one service generally more reliable than the other, or does one have a better selection than the other?
  2. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    I use both. I find that Amazon has a lot of "content" but not much good stuff to watch. iTunes usually has a newer and better selection.
  3. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    Neither. I'd continue buying physical media and use Plex so I had the freedom to play it on whatever I want. However, if I had to choose between those 2, I'd pick Amazon so I wasn't locked into having to use Apple hardware/software.
  4. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    The bad thing about iTunes is once you've committed, that's it. There is a Windows app for iTunes fortunately but to get access to your content just about anywhere else, you'll need other Apple devices. I'm an iBot so it works for me but it is worth consideration if you see yourself using a mix of devices.

    I still use Amazon for a lot of stuff that Apple doesn't have. I would keep Prime membership regardless because of the 2 day shipping. I also prefer Amazon for ebooks because I use an e-ink Kindle. Fortunately Amazon is pretty universal so everything exclusive to them I can still do on all my Apple devices. Same can't be said for iTunes.

    You can't beat buying movies on DVD and ripping DRM free copies with Handbrake though. I've got a pretty beefy collection from doing that.
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    If you're only watching 1 movie a month, I don't see any reason to buy movies at all, I'd just rent them. Unless you're actually rewatching movies with a "budget" of only 1 a month, you are wasting money.

    Also keep in mind that media services can and will be shut down some day, in which case your purchases can be lost. Historically I've seen several services shut down, often leaving their users in the dark. Sure it seems extremely unlikely that large, rich companies like Apple and Amazon would do so, but why not? We've seen Microsoft, Target, and Walmart do it (Microsoft PlaysForSure, Target Ticket, and Walmart Music).

    So that's two reasons to rent. (1) I assume your sparse viewings don't include rewatches anyway, and (2) you don't really own digital purchases, even local copies, unless they are 100% DRM free. Anything that relies on a DRM server will stop working when that server stops serving.

    Personally, any movie I absolutely love and truly care about I will buy on BD so that I can get the highest quality available and so I still have the movie (as opposed to a service which can be shut down). Anything that isn't a big deal I'll just stream.
  6. Capt Crunch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    I would be perfectly happy to rent, but I find that the ability to rent videos is relatively rare, especially for newer movies. Is there a service that has a large rental catalog?
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Most of iTunes movies can be rented. Not the brand new movies but I'm having trouble finding any other movie then The Martian that doesn't have rental atm (maybe I'm not looking hard enough). It will be available 1/12 for rent, so only a few days.
  8. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
  9. Creek0512 macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2012
    I know a lot of people who use Redbox. DVDs are $1.50 and BR are $2.

    You can rent almost every movie on iTunes, but I hate how expensive digital movie rentals are on every service. New releases cost $6, and anything else worth watching cost at least $4.
  10. Agent2015 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2015
    Sonoran Desert
    I use them all, Plex, Amazon and iTunes. I've recently begun to swing towards iTunes simply because they seem to have better selection of newer releases in a crisp presentation (can't say the same about Amazon on my so called smart TV). The way I look at it, a rental of a recent release on iTunes is still cheaper than going to a movie theater especially when you the consider the cost for 2 or 3 or 4 persons. Plus you save on popcorn and soda! Once Amazon does a port of their app over to the ATV4 (so say the rumor mills), the ATV4 be truly convenient for me as I will have access to about everything else I watch including Netflix and HBO Now.
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't think one is better than the other with respect to iTunes and Amazon. I think they are different things given that iTunes requires Apple front end while Amazon sits with other services such as Vudu which to me means getting a streaming device that can handle a few services. Roku come to mind as an excellent choice for carrying nearly all the top services (sans iTunes of course).

    In my world - Netflix disc rental and streaming, Redbox disc rental, Vudu and Amazon gives me pretty much everything. I am able to buy movies at my local brick and mortar (Best Buy) or via Amazon. Notice I have zero mention of iTunes for movie/tv rental/buy.

    Last - one has to be careful on what device they use for streaming. I find that smart TVs usually don't do as good a job as some of the streaming boxes so services like Amazon are dependent on the player used.
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You're absolutely right, streaming rentals are rare for newer movies. Disc rentals are first, then digital rentals come later. I don't think this can be helped.
  13. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    New movies usually become available for renting once the DVD/Blu-ray goes on sale. With the recent trend of early digital releases, that can be several weeks after they first go on sale on iTunes/Amazon.

    Personally I prefer iTunes, primarily because you can download the movies/TV shows, copy them to local storage, stream them locally, move them to an iPad etc. In a pinch it would even be possible to remove the DRM, although I generally don't see a need for this because Apple's DRM is pretty liberal. Amazon movies can only be downloaded directly to mobile devices in the Amazon app, and the files are tied to the download device by the DRM.
  14. Capt Crunch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    I read somewhere that HBO Now get movies earlier than most because they have more favorable agreements with content providers. Does anyone know if this is true?
  15. tanfan macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2015
    Buy the bluray, use it for your backup. Most blurays come with UV codes that can be used several places including Vudu which may have the best picture quality in HDX and... Vudu is available on almost every device.
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    They might get movies earlier than other streaming services but that's not saying much. Nothing on it is "new" unless you are talking about and HBO series. Plus their selection is very limited.

    However it's more than adequate for watching 1-2 movies a month.

    Just talking about it is going to make me watch Band of Brothers.
  17. Robnsn2015 macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2015
    Depends on your use cases. If you are going to rent a movie to watch on a flight on your iPad, iTunes might be slightly more convenient. If you want to be sure the movie can play on ALL of Apple's devices, iTunes might be slightly more convenient. If you have a mix of iOS and Android devices, Amazon will be a lot more convenient.

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