Blog Post Aims to Be Allofmp3 For Movies

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Spiderman 3, The Simpsons Movie or Transformers for $2 to $3 a pop, downloadable in the format of your choice, without any DRM or OS-specific media players at all? The offerings of the new movie download store sound too good to be true — or at least too good to be legit. And in fact, they aren’t. isn’t licensed by any of the Hollywood studios. The site is selling hundreds of blockbusters anyway, referring to a collective licensing agreement with an obscure Russian rights holders agency.

Sound familiar? That’s right, this is essentially the model that made one of the biggest and most controversial music download stores — at least until the site was forced to shut down in early July. Could become a similar success, them similarly blow up under legal pressure? And how good could a download site like this be in the age of Amazon Unbox and NBC Direct? We gave it a try to find out., which stands for “The Movie Library,” really is a trip down memory lane for anyone who has ever taken a look at The site makes references to the same obscure Russian copyright loopholes, states it’s licensed by the same agency (ROMS), and even uses the same payment provider to sell download credits to its users. Giving your credit card number to some company in Russia isn’t for the faint of heart, which is why I decided to go with a prepaid Visa gift card. Turns out that works just fine.

The grey and spartanic design of makes it look more like a hobbyist torrent site than a tricked-out video download service. The site lists a total of a thousand or so movies, with 50 titles from this year and some 160 that were released in 2006. Each movie detail page features some basic information that has obviously been taken from IMDB, plus a gallery of movie stills and some technical information about the different download formats.

Each movie is offered in at least two different formats, with DivX and iPod being the most common options, followed by DVD and PDA. DVD downloads cost $5, DivX flicks are $3 and mobile formats, $2. This pricing structure is fairly consistent, something that can’t be said about the download formats themselves.zml4.jpg

The so-called DVD formats aren’t actually burnable DVD ISO files, but DivX or XviD files with a screen resolution of 720 x 292 points. The encoding rate does, however, vary dramatically, and so does the file size, with complete “DVD” downloads totaling anywhere from 800 to 1400 megabytes. Oh, and did I mention that the bigger downloads are split up into two files, P2P style? does offer free preview clips for download, so you have an idea what you’re getting yourself into. The movie downloads are quick and easy. I was able to download a 700-megabyte DivX flick in about an hour over a standard residential DSL connection. The picture quality was comparable to some of the better downloads from torrent sites, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those sites were among the sources of ZML’s catalog.

Speaking of catalog: This is where really disappoints. Sure, they have a few recent hits, but most of the time I was reminded of those dreadful visits to the local Blockbuster when all the good stuff has already been checked out. Lots of movies you’ve seen over the years on airplanes and cable TV, but that’s about it. No foreign releases, no art house, and only a handful of documentaries. Search for Stranger Than Fiction and you’ll get results including Pretty Woman and some flick with Lindsay Lohan, but no Will Ferrell.

OK, doesn’t really have a catalog for movie buffs, but Allofmp3 wasn’t really known for its indie cred, either. The site was a big challenge to the music industry because it featured DRM-free downloads and unbeatable prices. Think less than $2 for an album that costs $15 or so in the store. ZML is cheap too, even though $5 movie downloads aren’t unheard of in the world of Amazon Unbox and other online rental platforms.

The one thing has going for it is the complete absence of DRM. This could attract couch potatoes that don’t want to deal with the choice of either Windows Media Rights management or torrent sites — if Hollywood doesn’t shut the site down first, that is.

23 Responses to “ Aims to Be Allofmp3 For Movies”

  1. Have used for a while with no complaints. Now will not start any dowwnloads & they do not respond to my emails. Sounds like they like to take your money but don’t care about customer service. Can no longer recommend this site.

  2. ranne

    How do you cancel? Took WAY to long to download on a brand new laptop that could have def. held its own. Now I cant get away from ZML HELP!!!!

  3. was replaced by on July 13 of this year. It’s the same database, which means that your balance will still be there – right where you left it. You can also use the allTunes application as already mentioned.

    You may be able to log into MP3Sparks with your “old” AllOfMP3 username – but if you’re not, we have made a step by step guide explaining how to get your AllOfMP3 username migrated to MP3Sparks. We used to actively submit usernames to MemphisMembers Assistance but soon we were flooded with requests, so we made this guide instead:

    We also have a guide how to fund your account in case you don’t have a MasterCard. This can be found here:

    There are A LOT of these Russian/Ukrainian online music stores. Once again, we have made a guide to all of these:

    The reason that the story about ZML hit the news is actually my “fault.” I ran across it a couple of months ago and mentioned it in our forum. A guy from ZeroPaid read it and wrote a story (full of inaccuracies) about it a couple of weeks ago and then things really took off. The story (picked up by ArsTechnica) even made it to the front page of Digg!

  4. Here in Sweden, the home of The Pirate Bay, people are getting used to get theirs for free at an alarming rate. Music and movie companies are so busy selling plastic discs to old people that they completely forget about the younger generations.