Friday, January 20, 2006

DRM, Apple's Music Store, Google Video

While I support Open Source and free Open Content (see my main web site for my contributions to the 'commons'), I don't see anything wrong at all with Digital Rights Management (DRM) when it is properly implemented, and is just for non-work related entertainment.

I have just had a good experience with Apple's iTunes music store DRM: in the past I have just bought music and I have been happy so far. My daughter and son in law gave me an iTunes gift card recently and I decided to purchase some videos instead of music for a change: an old Alfred Hitchcock TV show and the Battle Star Galactica miniseries. These can be backed up to a CDR or DVD-R just like music, and installed on another computer in your house (up to 5 computers). Anyway, I bought the videos on my old dual-G4 Mac tower, and also 'authorized' them to play on my Windows laptop. So far, very cool. It is also great to watch TV shows without the commercials.

I am still not so happy with Google Video but I noticed that it does seem to work better with Windows than a Mac. I searched for "sci-fi" and played several free 2 to 4 minute clips, which were nice, but I am still looking for a full length movie that I want to buy. I have been increasingly unhappy with the value from our cable TV provider, and coupled with my OK experience with NetFlix (so far), I am thinking of dropping premium cable channels and relying more on NetFlix rentals and rentals/purchases from the internet. So, while I am still a little dissapointed with Google Video, I am rooting for them and other providers.

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