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Saturday, December 03, 2005

iPod scuttlebut: New content deals, streaming

Think Secret has this piece hinting that Apple is on the verge of announcing content deals with NBC, CBS, and Paramount Pictures. Wonder if we'll start seeing full-length films on the iTunes Music Store soon - and what the price will be. (My guess is somewhere around $3.99 or $4.99 - certainly not the $1.99 they're charging for hour-long TV shows.)

Think Secret also says that new technology from Apple will enable the company to sell streaming movies or TV shows that never exist on the buyer's hard drive (IE, a one-time-only viewing). Think Secret's Ryan Katz writes, "The system will also likely support downloading the video content to supported iPods but at no time will it ever actually be stored on a computer's hard drive." I have no idea how you can get content from the iTunes Music Store to a Mac to an iPod without ever having a copy of it on your hard drive. You?


  • I read that "never exists on client's hard drive" statement differently - that it would show up on their iDisk (part of .Mac service) so they could hotlink it to get it copied over to an iPod associated with an authorized account, BUT that the file itself lived on an Apple server and not on a local drive.

    Lots of problems with this concept:

    1.) You can't play back/download the file reliably unless your broadband service AND the Apple servers the file lives on are both fast enough to maintain the stream with a reasonable read-ahead buffer without stalling, glitching, slow response, etc.

    2.) No watching the file on a computer not on fast broadband - no download and watching Planes, Trains & Automobiles while in a train/plane/automobile. Yuck. Or just at the coffee shop or sitting around. Double yuck.

    3.) Of course, unless Apple substantially increases the security of the iPod file system, it'll be cake to copy those files off. Circumventing DRM beyond that point to watch it on your big laptop screen without the iPod being present is a drag.

    4.) So does that mean to watch it on laptop, iPod has to be there plugged in to stream from? This is only a so-so solution, acquiescing too much to content providers and not enough to consumers if this is the case IMHO.

    5.) And, umm....forgot. It's late, to bed. Maybe more later.

    By Blogger Mike Curtis, at 12:56 AM  

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