The Electronic Frontier Foundation was the first to report on a remarkable example of how copyright abuse can harm consumers.
Microsoft’s Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or “rented” from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. As the EFF points out, “That’s right — the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn’t even play on Microsoft’s own device.” Of course it also will not play music or video purchased from Apple’s iTunes. […] continuedRead more
Postpone your shopping for photo and video editing software for a few weeks. Later this month, Adobe is shipping upgrades to Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 and Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0. With luck there will be more progress on integrating the programs with each other – and integrating the photo organizer more deeply with the editing tools. […] continuedRead more
I’m seeing more and more half-baked, unstable products from hardware and software vendors. Here’s two anecdotes to show you what I mean.
Paperport goes back years and years, and at one time was given away as the software accompanying many, many scanners. It was always buggy and used a proprietary format and the support from the company was nonexistent, so it had trouble getting much traction, but there was also never anything better. […] continuedRead more
Cory Doctorow, one of the chief contributors to popular web site BoingBoing.net, has written a compelling article about digital rights management for Information Week. It’s a nice overview of the effects of DRM on consumers. There’s a compelling argument that DRM is bad business – bad for the music and video industries, bad for consumers. […] continuedRead more
Content creators and publishers are engaged in nonstop efforts to lock down the products you purchase from them. This is a fascinating article about the history of digital rights management and what to expect in the future.
Most restrictions have been cracked so far, whether on CDs, DVDs, E-Books, or downloadable audio. […] continuedRead more
Over the years, QuickTime has been one of the most frustrating bits of software available. Conflicting versions would wind up installed simultaneously, banner ads for paid upgrades would appear every single time a movie was launched, and why, oh why, is it impossible to make a Quicktime clip run fullscreen?
Now Apple has taken a lesson from RealPlayer by hiding the link for the new version 7 of the free QuickTime Player – just the player, not the bundle with iTunes, not the “Pro” version, just the QuickTime player so I can watch stupid movies online. […] continuedRead more
It’s easy to imagine movies on demand, streamed to your television over the Internet. Unfortunately, there’s also reason to think that it will be many years before that becomes real. Not only are there significant technical barriers, but movie studios make a lot of money from their long-term deals with channels like HBO. […] continuedRead more
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“Just contemplating the rise of a new DVD format is enough to make you feel played. What’s wrong with the original DVD format, anyway? It offers brilliant picture, thundering surround sound and bonus material.
The hot tech topic of the day is “viral videos,” a term invented to describe the links circulated by e-mail to short online movies. Out of nowhere, Chris Bliss’ juggling routine was viewed by 50 million people within 45 days – after languishing for years on the performer’s web site. This week it’s Stephen Colbert’s extraordinary performance at the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner. […] continuedRead more
Sony is gearing up its marketing department behind Blu-Ray DVDs, its next-generation disc for high definition movies. Toshiba and its partners are lined up behind HD DVD, a different, incompatible format. Sony hopes that you’ll buy its Blu-Ray players and movies this year, and it’s especially hoping that you buy a PlayStation 3 next year with a Blu-Ray drive. […] continuedRead more
There’s a lot of talk online today about the malicious software installed when you play a protected Sony CD. Here’s my first reaction to it a few days ago, and here’s an article in the Washington Post and one from PCPro, for example.
Watching Sony’s home entertainment division implode with one poor decision after another is sad. […] continuedRead more
When XBox 360 is released in a few weeks, Microsoft will be doing two different promotions.
The gamers will be told that the XBox 360 is the best gaming console yet, combining raw power and a huge video card with high definition output. Some new game will be promoted as the best-thing-ever, the way Halo carried the original XBox. […] continuedRead more
The new video iPod is a mediocre product. Similar products have been on the market for months, some (like the Sony PSP) with far superior screens. Battery life is low and it’s deliberately crippled by copy protection. And think about it – are you interested in watching an episode of Lost on a two and half inch screen? […] continuedRead more
There have been screensavers for a long time that would display a slide show of your photos. Now video is coming into its own, as evidenced by the Microsoft Video Screensaver. It comes with canned movie footage from countries around the world, but it can be configured to play your own video files. […] continuedRead more