Clickstar’s Kludgy Debut

To launch such a kludgy movie site in 2006-2007 is almost unpardonable. Yes, true to what I expected, Clickstar, the online movie service backed by Morgan Freeman and hype, launched this weekend, and it takes only a few minutes of playing with the site to realize why this went wrong. First things first: it only works in IE 7. Second, the site design makes it look 2000, not 2007: too slow, multiple clicks to do anything, all dark in ambiance (I get the “dark-as-theater” bit, but this is ridiculous). Among the restrictions on the site: you can’t burn the movie on a DVD, not even to watch on the PC DVD player. You can’t transfer movies to another PC, and you can only have one registered PC on the account.
We all know CinemaNow and Movielink have come a long way, despite all kinds of restrictions from movie studios, as well as their usability mistakes over the years. But try them out now, and then try Clickstar. You’ll see what I mean. If Web 2.0 has taught us anything, it is to keep things clean and simple. I am not sure they learned anything. One thing going for them, though: the streams and downloads are excellent quality.
The co-founder and chairman Lori McCreary has a blog post about the launch, in which she quotes Freeman: “ClickStar is our effort to make films easier to buy than to pirate.” Yep.
Staci adds: Morgan Freeman ranks awfully high on the list of charming celebs I’ve had the chance to chat with sans notebook and even higher when it comes to talent. Like others, I’ve been waiting a year for this venture to hit this stage. When Rafat asked me to see if he’d been too tough, I hoped the answer would be yes. Unfortunately, my experience was even worse. It’s unforgivably slow on a high-speed connection, looks too much like the first Star Wars, and does a poor job of leading the user in the right direction for a good experience. My effort to watch a one-minute free video led to a pop-up telling me I didn’t have the right license. It never mentioned I might not have the right software. Then again, it is marked “preview-beta” so perhaps there’s hope.
— <a href="; title="Freeman

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