longwing: (Default)
Quality is crap: The native res is 320x240, not unwatchable, but not DivX either. In a window on a PC, it will look okay, but don't expect to throw this up full screen without being annoyed at the quality.

You don't need a video iPod: Buy an episode and you can watch it in Quicktime.

DRM: There's some digital rights management in it, of course. It can't be converted to other formats, it can't be burned to DVD or VCD. It CAN be copied, not sure if it can be migrated between computers though.

Cost: Season one is available from Amazon as a DVD for $40, and from iTunes for $36 (as a bundle). For the DVD quality, Amazon wins hands down.

Availability: Season 2 can't be acquired legally, so if you really want to know what's going on on the Island, this may be the best way to catch up.

End Assessment: Missing a few episodes and want to know what's going on? $2 a week ain't that bad.
longwing: (Default)
Apple released their new iPod yesterday. Significant upgrades? It finally comes in black, and it finally stores and plays video.

That's right, Video.

This becomes more significant when you consider Apple's contacts in big industry. They've already secured several deals for releasing video through the Apple Music store. The one that people reading this will care about? LOST is available for $2 per episode.

...LOST is available for $2 per Episode.

Two single-line-for-emphasis's in a single post, can you feel my smug conviction between the lines of text? Yes, yes I believe you can. In truth though, I'm a little torn about the announcement. On the one hand, Apple is pretty much the only thing keeping Peer to Peer software from being banned. On the other hand, Apple is becoming synonymous with the online media revolution, and I wonder if we're not just trading one set of middle men for another. How long before Apple starts jacking up prices? How long before they start inserting advertisements between media? In the middle of media? After all, there's no one to stop them, no real competition.

In a way, I just described the evolution of television. In the beginning, you paid for the service, and that was that. Then they got sponsors, and then advertisements, and then adverts in the middle of the show. Now, television has become totally unwatchable. This sparked the success of TiVo, as thousands ran screaming from the adds to a service which promised to let you skip past them... and now TiVo is adding advertisements while you're fastforwarding/rewinding. Apple's effective monopoly on legal digital distribution worries me. Sure there are competitors, Napster, etc., but these other companies hold just enough market share to prevent claims of Monopoly. Apple's in the sweet spot, wildly successful, but not totally successful. Is this stuff really a step forward, or a step back?

The wild technological west which was first opened up by Napster is getting settled a might faster than expected. Pretty soon my open digital range will be crisscrossed with barbed wire.


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September 2010

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