Archive for the ‘iTunes’ category

Godin, “It’s Important To Charge SOMETHING”

January 21, 2008

Apple’s move into online movie rentals is setting right another misconception (this time, one of THEIR own): Online movie rentals are the way to go and pricing models matter. As Seth Godin points out… Free ain’t going to cut it. He posits 99 cents. I dunno about that. Apple’s probably taking it in the shorts badly at that pricepoint. ‘Course having a premium tiering for HD is absolutely right. The model of rent v. buy is going to have a halo effect on BUYING too.

No one’s really glommed onto this little tidbit yet (‘cept maybe those wiley folks at Apple). Imagine all the content we’re going to have less expensive access to in the form of rentals. If Apple will create just one more tier like “Rent now and apply $2 to purchase price of the movie within 60 days”… I bet they’d get a big boost in their movie sales. Frankly, if I rent something from Blockbuster now and like it… I typically buy it. I may be odd guy out on that one. Still, it’s a bit of programming on their part and they’re still net ahead of the game. As it is, when a rental expires… all the cookie crumbs of that transaction evaporate. Seems like wasted energy to me. They could covert a fraction of us to upgraded owners with just a little more effort.

Apple sure doesn’t need our help Monday morning quarterbacking their business models. They’re doing okie dokie without us meddling kids running around. :)

The Magnificent Seven: iTunes Rental Experience

January 16, 2008

iTunes Rental

Just rented “The Magnificent Seven” via iTunes. Saw it a LONG time ago. Hmm, description reminds me of Bug’s Life.

Anyway, well within my first 24 hours of the rental and have started watching it as it’s downloading. So far, so good. Will be interested to see if there are any practical limitations. Such as – multiple viewings within the first 24 hours. What happens if I’m not connected to the net once the download is complete? Will it expire as expected? What if I change my laptop’s clock so that it never truly shows 24 hours have elapsed? What if it expires and I set my clock back to the a time the movie was valid?

I’m full of questions and it’s too early for me to answer much of anything. Yet. So, come back in 25 hours and I should have some more details.

Couple things I’ve learned since initial rental:

  • Yul Brynner made for one crappy cowboy. Cool look. Still… definitely a “dude”;
  • There seems to be no practical limit to how many times you can watch the rented video in the allotted time (once the meter begins running);
  • Loading onto the iPhone was as easy as any other movie;
  • The iPhone reminds you how much time remains on the rental;
  • Closed Captioning isn’t “in there” yet but chapters are;
  • I put my iPhone in Airplane mode and set the date ahead one full day. My rental disappeared from list of available. I set the date back and the rented movie didn’t come back. The space it occupied is now freed up.
  • So, if we go by the clock of the device… what happens to the road warriors whose computers get their time from NNTP servers and gets screwed on the rental? Admittedly rare… still, makes me wonder about these things.

More tomorrow.

Well, it’s like the rental never happened. I watched it yesterday. Plopped it on the iPhone (nice and intuitive). And, today, 25 hours later there is no residual image of the rental at all. Nothing that tells me I ever rented it. Seems un-Apple-like.

Finally. iTunes Rental Links.

January 15, 2008

Rentals are finally beginning to appear on the iTunes store tonight. Several hours passed after the Macworld Expo keynote without anything in the way of movie rentals. Many of us were beginning to wonder if we’d misinterpretted the statements from the stage. No worries… Rentals are appearing.

Appears there are 150 rental videos if the advanced search count can be trusted. Some are rent only and can’t be directly linked to yet. Or, they’re buy/rent. I don’t specifically remember the days when there were this few of anything in the iTunes Store (music or otherwise). Jobs sure got a lot of buzz and press out of 150 files.

The following are the only movies I can link directly to (there are several more. However, the “copy iTunes URL” method isn’t working for those. Need to poke around a bit and get my bearings back. Be advised: These links WILL launch iTunes and you’ll need to have upgraded to iTunes 7.6 in order to “rent”):

iTunes 7.6 Available

January 15, 2008

Be quick and you can nab iTunes 7.6 before it’s generally “found out”. I’ve downloaded it and confirmed it’s 7.6 (Mac anyway).

Leopard/iTunes Visualizer Video

October 2, 2007

OK, how about some early Halloween eye-candy folks?

Pixar’s Lifted

ListenUp –>>

September 26, 2007

Back and podcasting to boot. Yep, that’s right. The “first corporate podcast” kid is back in the ring to take another swing. 

It’s not polished. It’s done with stock kit. It’s not edited. It’s done in one take.

It’s as much as I can fit in THREE minutes. I’ll try to do this daily with the hope of getting better and more focused. But, if I don’t have anything to say… I’m not going to waste your time and mine with more rambling stupidity than I’m already known for.

Robert… This is your doing man! Well, you, Adam and Jeff. The whole idea of a personal, do it yourself media space… Yeah, you guys are the reason this high-quality production stuff is being driven down to the desktop. And, for that, thanks!

Colophon

The production of the gWH!Z podcast is done with a MacBookPro, QuickTime Pro, the old school iSight (GREAT audio recorder when handheld), Box.net, files saved as .mov and converted to 22.050 MHz MP3s via iTunes, and last and certainly not least… Leopard for the OS.

Amazonmp3 v. iTunes Store

September 26, 2007

Folks, it’s WAY too early to be drawing any kind of conclusive comparisons of Amazonmp3 (beta) and the iTunes Store (I’ll call it version 7). Although, Om Malik has a very good side by side and where our options weigh in at.

First, the online music business is really just getting started. It’s by no means a mature market. Maturing? Yes. Mature. Nope. No one place has the whole package. The recommendation engines are weak. The social sharing of lists is far from ideal… The list of deficiencies and possible innovation is long.

Second. Remember back when Bezos and co. came on the scene? They were pooh-poohed and discounted. Then they promptly began pulling judo moves on the BOOK industry of all boring things and look at them now! No. To be sure, Amazon’s got the clout, the respect, the scalable computing and the prowess to get into this market and make some amazing things occur (89 cents at a time).

Sure, they’re not selling music in far flung countries yet. It’s not even a week old folks! (sheesh)

Third. Pricing is, um, interesting. I’ve bought one whole album on iTunes. Everything else has been onesy-twosy singles. They’ve chosen to offer almost all of their Top 100 singles at 89 cents per. OK, that’s Long Tail thinking. Buy the pop business with a dime discount and market the peeps like crazy and feed them on the Long Tail at 99 cents a bite.

Fourth. Their DRM policy is Spot Freakin On The Money. Why they have better DRM deals than Apple I can only imagine. They may have had to give a LOT of concessions to swing those deals. Concessions Apple just wasn’t willing to make. OK, fine. That simply left the door open for someone else to come in and put on a show to challenge Apple’s dominance. Keep in mind… Bezos has show us time and time again he’s willing to LOSE LOTS OF MONEY to eventually own a category. If they had to sell their Soul to get to DRMless R&B – he’s the guy that would have done it.

Finally. We’re in the very early moments of the first round of the bout. Up to this point Apple’s been shadow boxing. Now, someone with some real teeth and competitive umpf to them is bobbing and weaving across the deck. And, this isn’t even the championship round. There are some contenders out there we haven’t even heard from yet.

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