updated 04:35 pm EDT, Fri September 8, 2006
Unbox suffers "teething"
Amazon's new Unbox video store has marked the highest-profile movie download launch thus far, but poses some significant quality issues and "teething" problems, according to various members of the press. CNET's Tom Merritt says purchases require intrusive and imperfect custom Amazon software to work, while underlying issues potentially hurt the long-term success of Unbox Video, according to BusinessWeek. Aside from the common but glaring inability to burn to DVD, rental restrictions are especially limited, according to Electronista: rented movies must be played in their entirety 24 hours after playback begins, or they must be rented a second time. Amazon additionally suffers from the longer-term conflict of interest that might arise from its existing movie sales; as it benefits from purchases of physical DVDs, the online retailer has little incentive to extend its usage rights or lower prices.
Apple is expected to unveil its own movie offering in the near future, and recently released a new iMac with high a enough screen resolution to play HD video without downsampling. Industry watchers also expect the Cupertino-based company to produce a new widescreen video iPod in the near future -- possibly at the company's upcoming special event scheduled for September 12th touting "one more thing" with an Apple logo amidst Hollywood spotlights.