Amazon Unbox: Some Oddities and Idiocies


Staci has listed her first experience and some oddities of’s movie and TV download service below. I’ll list some oddities and idiocies I noticed, though I haven’t yet downloaded anything.
— The biggest thing: A movie/show burned onto a DVD cannot be played on a regular DVD player-TV can only be played on the computer. That’s a huge no-no right off the bat, but that’s the same restriction Movielink faces, but CinemaNow managed to wrangle out the rights from some studios for select movies. This issue will get resolved hopefully in the next 3-6 months.
— The player software is separate from the browsing/shopping…that’s done in the Internet browser. The player software should have an ability to stay within the experience and browse and buy there…online addition is good and should be the other options.
— As Techdirt points out, rather than making the content portable, you basically get to download two files: one that must stay on the computer you downloaded it on, and one that can be transferred to an approved (i.e., has Windows media copy protection) mobile device. I know the portable one has to be optimized, but this is an un-elegant a solution as you can devise. Technology will have to show better ways to do this.
— As this AP story says, those who rent a movie from Amazon Unbox can keep it for 30 days, but have just 24 hours to view the movie once they start watching it, before it expires. That has to go…the studios should realize this is a stupid restriction.
— From the terms of service, this one struck me as odd: “From time to time, videos on Amazon Unbox may become unavailable for further sale or for further downloading from Your Media Library, due to content provider limitations and for other reasons.To make sure you have full access to the videos you purchase should make a backup copy of videos you purchase. Amazon Unbox has an Import function that allows you access videos from a back-up copy.” This is for purchased copies only, not rent…Amazon’s asking you to be responsible for backing up stuff in case rights change…we warned you, kinda.
— Disney’s not participating…of course opting for Apple instead. This feud/partiality can’t last forever if either of these services want to succeed in the long term.

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