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Amazon Instant Video launches on Apple's iPad App Store

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Amazon on Wednesday launched its new Instant Video application for iPad, giving Prime subscribers access to more than 20,000 titles from Prime Instant video.

The new application gives those with Amazon Prime access to TV shows like "Glee," "Downton Abbey" and "Fringe, and movies such as "Mission: Impossible 3," "Mean Girls," and "Ocean's Eleven."

?We want to give customers the convenience of being able to watch all of their movies and TV episodes, wherever they are, on their iPad,? said Anthony Bay, Amazon.com vice president for video. ?Today we?re excited to extend our ?buy once, enjoy everywhere? approach to iPad, giving customers the chance to enjoy more than 120,000 titles from Amazon Instant Video and more than 20,000 titles from Prime Instant Video anytime, anywhere.?

All Amazon customers can also view any content they've already rented or purchased from Amazon Instant Video, including new movies like "21 Jump Street," "Mirror Mirror," and "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows."

The new iPad-only application includes a "Your Watchlist" feature that lets customers make a list of all the movies and TV episodes they want to watch in the future, regardless of whether they own the video or not. And "Your Video Library" gives iPad customers access to purchases and rentals from Amazon Instant Video on the Web.

Amazon


To circumvent Apple's requirements for in-app purchases, new content must be bought from Amazon via the iPad's Safari Web browser. Purchases made on Amazon.com through the browser will appear in the Your Video Library section of the iPad application.

Amazon Instant Video for iPad is the second major product launch from the online retailer this week. On Tuesday, the company announced a new scan and match feature for its Cloud Player service, competing directly with Apple's own iTunes Match subscription service.
post #2 of 30

Cool.  With Hulu Plus now on AppleTV, this can't be far behind.  

post #3 of 30
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post
Cool.  With Hulu Plus now on AppleTV, this can't be far behind.  

 

Absolutely it can.

post #4 of 30

So far every show I try to watch gives me the same error:

 

Warning: Playback is not allowed on this device.

 

Hopefully they'll figure out the issue.

post #5 of 30

Does it support Airplay? If it does then this could be really big. If not it's not a bad thing to have on the road but if it supported AirPlay you'd have me looking there first when it comes times to watch movies and TV shows since I'm already a Prime subscriber.

post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow349 View Post

So far every show I try to watch gives me the same error:

 

Warning: Playback is not allowed on this device.

 

Hopefully they'll figure out the issue.


Disappointing. I've been waiting for this for a long while.

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post #7 of 30

I'll wait for it to show up on @TV. Although, I am not sure that there is much more there than what, say, Netflix has to offer.

post #8 of 30

I'm unclear...will it only work for Prime customers or can you rent or purchase individual movies on a per movie basis like I can already on Amazon.com through my Tivo?

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I'll wait for it to show up on @TV. Although, I am not sure that there is much more there than what, say, Netflix has to offer.

 

In my experience as both a Netflix subscriber and an Amazon Prime member, the stuff they offer is extremely similar.  I have occasionally been able to find a movie that wasn't on one on the other, but rarely.  I'm sure it has to do with whatever the studios allow to be streamed.  Otherwise, it wouldn't make any sense.

 

At least that's my guess.

post #10 of 30

Works well, except that the play/pause/volume of my Apple branded headset doesn't work, like it does with most apps.

 

Fix please.

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Does it support Airplay? If it does then this could be really big. If not it's not a bad thing to have on the road but if it supported AirPlay you'd have me looking there first when it comes times to watch movies and TV shows since I'm already a Prime subscriber.

Good question! Or user should be able to 'mirror', correct?

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post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanTiger View Post

I'm unclear...will it only work for Prime customers or can you rent or purchase individual movies on a per movie basis like I can already on Amazon.com through my Tivo?

It works like the Kindle app does. I can't rent or purchase shows or movies directly through the app (Apple's restrictions), but I can access the shows I've already purchased, and can either stream them or download them. You can access Amazon.com through Safari and make your purchases there, then switch back and have the purchases available.

 

I don't know about rentals, however. I've never tried it.

 

Update: Spoke too soon. Here's the front page of Amazon.com:

 

"P.S. You can also rent or buy new release movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video in your iPad browser or on any PC or Mac. All your rentals and purchases are synced to Your Video Library in the Amazon Instant Video app for iPad, ready for instant viewing or download. Your Video Library is also available anywhere you can stream Amazon Instant Video."

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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow349 View Post

So far every show I try to watch gives me the same error:

 

Warning: Playback is not allowed on this device.

 

 

Looks like it may be because the device is jailbroken. Since I don't actually use the JB for anything (more curiosity than anything else), I have no problem doing a restore to see if that solves the problem.

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow349 View Post

Looks like it may be because the device is jailbroken. Since I don't actually use the JB for anything (more curiosity than anything else), I have no problem doing a restore to see if that solves the problem.
Install Xcon from Cydia; problem solved.
post #15 of 30
AirPlay does not seem to work on my non-jail broken iPad 3 (the AirPlay icon shows up in the Amazon player UI but when I click on it I hear audio but see no video on my ATV2.)
post #16 of 30
There's an iPad App Store? All this time, I've just been going to the regular App Store.
post #17 of 30

It appears from the posts I have read "Instant" is NOT anywhere near the speed of light !

post #18 of 30

Glad to see this finally happen.  I had been hoping Amazon Instant Video would make its way to the Apple TV, but we finally got it on the PS3 last month so that's not such a big deal anymore.  :)

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post #19 of 30

Doesn't stream through an HTTP proxy. The web version does... Maybe a future version will address the problem.

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Glad to see this finally happen.  I had been hoping Amazon Instant Video would make its way to the Apple TV, but we finally got it on the PS3 last month so that's not such a big deal anymore.  :)

 

This is why I finally joined... PS3 support. It's been a mixed bag. The selection is good , but I have only seen a tiny amount of content updated in the 2 months... maybe a dozen new movies and another dozen tv series.

The browser interface is horrible though. Trying to find content is much more difficult unless you want to watch only the most popular items. Otherwise you have to wade through a lot of B movies and misc. forieng films ( some of which are actually good, but many are terrible )

For the non-free stuff there's  the silly weird limitations on Movie rentals and selection... for example: You can rent Alien in SD, Alien 3 and 4 in HD, but you can't watch Aliens at all. ( Alien 1 is now available in HD I see, but you still can't rent aliens... )

I guess that's not Amazon's fault.

 

The quality of the TV series(es?)  they support is often terrible, The episodes of Star Trek Voyager, for instance, are worse than VHS quality ( I know, I still have a VHS player! hahahaha )

Yet, some titles are amazing quality. Many TV series that are in HD are fantastic ( Arrested Development, Cheers, The original Star Trek TOS episodes ... ) 

I wonder why this is.

 

I wonder if the people who own the rights to the titles are who encode it maybe

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


Install Xcon from Cydia; problem solved.

 

Awesome. Much easier than restoring. Thanks!

post #22 of 30
The app only shows a subset of what's available to rent . Looks like it specifically excludes the newer releases which makes the app almost worthless.
post #23 of 30

Seems to work fine, from the short test I gave it.  I played the first few minutes of the pilot of "Pretty Little Liars" (SHUT UP!  I like that show!), and the quality was ok, it buffered fairly quickly.

 

But like I said, I already have Netflix streaming, and the two offer basically the same stuff with few differences, so it is somewhat redundant.  But I'll hang it to it, just in case.

 

AirPlay not working doesn't really bother me, since my 27" iMac is in the same room as my TV.  What I REALLY don't get it is why AirPlay doesn't work with HBO GO.  But that's a different discussion.

post #24 of 30

It does NOT support AirPlay.

post #25 of 30

Yep... I agree. I could see Amazon failing to release an Apple TV app (although, from what I understand, this is much more selective and closed than the App Store). I wrote a review for the Amazon Instant Video app for iPad. I don't think very much of it. As we all have noticed, it doesn't have proper AirPlay support. You can either AirPlay the audio or do screen mirroring with 4:3 aspect ratio. Given the myriad choices for content that the Apple ecosystem offers, this Amazon app is not compelling. It's like they are trying to play in the major leagues with a minor league product. Even Comedy Central, Adult Swim, and PBS app fully support AirPlay. Amazon is a huge company with a lot of money. They can hire talented developers. My suspicion is they did this so the iPad will not outshine the Kindle, especially given that an iPad Mini is likely.

 

iOS is not starved for content. The Amazon Prime offerings are ridiculous -- stuff like "Superstar" and the Beavis and Butthead movie that is over a decade old. Turner and Hootch anyone? Sure, you can access a much better selection of content from Amazon, if you are willing to pay a la carte. It is sometimes slightly less expensive than iTunes, offers the convenience of streaming, but has lesser quality. One major reason iTunes does not offer streaming is that it is difficult to get high frame rates. HD resolution is one thing. 30fps is another. Why buy an HDTV only to watch jittery video? I have compared iTunes content to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon -- all the same show. iTunes is clearly the best picture. The last time I rented a movie from Amazon, it was a disaster of stuttering, low resolution video, and my internet connection was fine (tested it on SpeedTest). I'm not going to pay for crap.

 

I am downloading Season 5 of Breaking Bad from iTunes right now. It is dead slow. I would rather watch it with quality than save a few bucks and have it "now". I only watch 1-2 hours of TV in the late evening. Breaking Bad season 5 in HD is actually slightly more expensive on Amazon. The annoying thing is they don't show you the price. They say the season pass is 5% less than buying each HD episode and have a link to buy it with one click. Lame. So I did the math -- it costs 74 cents more than iTunes, but has lesser quality. That's why they don't show the price. Most people won't do the math and may assume Amazon is cheaper than iTunes, because in general it is. Cheap trick. The only advantage to Amazon is that you can watch it right away, at the expense of quality.

 

Amazon's content is great if you have a Kindle Fire, as there are fewer options than the Apple ecosystem. For me, Amazon is not a compelling selection. I also rarely buy from iTunes. Netflix Streaming + DVD and Hulu Plus pretty much covers it all. If I really like something and want it right away, I buy it from iTunes.

 

It's always nice to have options. I deleted the Amazon Instant Video app. Without proper AirPlay support it is useless. I don't really watch content on my iPad. It wasn't worth the space on my iPad!

post #26 of 30

You can rent or buy content from Amazon, but you have to do it through their site. They don't want to pay 30% to Apple. I don't think they can afford it -- they would lose money. It makes for a much more cumbersome user experience. I personally don't like the way Amazon sells some things. Look at Breaking Bad Season 5 -- they don't even show a price for the season pass. Do the math, and you'll find it costs more than iTunes. Probably why they don't post the price, but make it a word problem. Bad user experience, all around... I have been an Amazon customer for about a decade, and even have their credit card. I am not an Amazon hater. That said, I think sometimes they resort to cheap tricks. It is reasonable to be informed of the price of a purchase, without having to do the math yourself. Why do you think they didn't implement proper AirPlay support? It would make the Kindle Fire appear to be inferior, and if an iPad Mini is released, the Kindle Fire will be kindling...

 

I mean, even the PBS app has proper AirPlay support. NPR Music has proper AirPlay support (you can watch full length concerts on your TV!). So Amazon, this super huge mega corp, can't implement AirPlay properly?

 

iOS users, just as an aside, there is a plethora of free content for the Apple ecosystem. I am probably preaching to the choir, but Comedy Central, Adult Swim, PBS, TV.com, and many more have apps that let you watch free content (with ads) and AirPlay it onto your AirPlay receiver (be it an Apple TV or an AV receiver that supports AirPlay, which is a standard, just like Podcasts). The PBS app, in particular, is pretty awesome. The video is not HD, but you can watch quite a lot of PBS content via AirPlay, including the PBS NewsHour, which is updated every day on the PBS app.

 

The way I see it, iOS users are swimming in content. Amazon's offering brings nothing new to the table, and it was delivered late and with inferior quality. I deleted the app. Not worth the space...

post #27 of 30

It partially supports AirPlay. The app has an AirPlay icon, but when you tap it, it is audio only. You can do AirPlay screen mirroring, but you only get 4:3 aspect ratio (not widescreen) and the video stutters when there are key-frame transitions (an edit from one scene to another). I wrote a review of it, if you are interested. The long and short of it -- given what iOS/Apple users already have, and our expectations to be able to watch content on an HDTV, the Amazon app is minor league. I deleted it.

 

In the wake of Hulu Plus being released for Apple TV, and the fact that they vastly improved their iPad app (with a really cool AirPlay mirroring "split screen" implementation), the Amazon app seems inept. Late to the game with inferior quality...

 

Netflix + Hulu + iTunes have all the bases covered with major league quality. Amazon shows up with a minor league app, and spits chaw all over their cleats...

 

Netflix, in particular, has vastly improved over the past year. I cancelled it a while back, as I had seen everything that was good, and the quality was lacking. The streaming would pause, stutter, etc. I signed up for Netflix streaming a few months ago, because they had season 6 of "Peep Show" (an awesome British comedy series), and when I saw how much better they had become, I kept the membership. I have oodles of content lined up on my queue. Out of all the content providers, I'd say Netflix is the best. Hulu Plus is a great way to save money if you want to watch recent TV shows, albeit with a 1-7 day delay and commercials. For everything else, iTunes fills the gap. I would never use iTunes on it's own, as it is expensive. But I often buy seasons of the premium cable shows, such as Breaking Bad. As I have cancelled cable, buying a season of Breaking Bad in HD quality for $22 is a great deal!

post #28 of 30

The Kindle app is great. It works well enough and the titles are cheaper. It is not as pretty as iBooks. I'm sure this is old news for most, but Apple was caught red-handed, colluding with publishers to fix prices on e-books. The price of iBooks was so expensive (as much as the physical book) that I naturally went with Kindle.

 

I'm not an Amazon hater. I even have an Amazon credit card. I use the Kindle app for my e-books. I just think their Instant Video app fell short and isn't worthy of the storage space... I mean, come on... PBS and NPR have better media apps than Amazon. I would consider this app an epic fail, given the competition.

 

When the Kindle e-reader came out, my gut reaction (which I still believe) is that it is silly to have a tablet dedicated to reading. Computers are general purpose machines. I would never buy a Kindle, and the Kindle Fire is too locked down (even compared to an iPad!) and limited to appeal to me. Sure enough, my iPad can do e-books, video games, create music (GarageBand, Music Studio), create video, yadda yadda. It is a general purpose machine, as computers are intended to be. That's what I learned in CS101 in college. Sure, a computer can't do everything, but one thing that separates a computer from a TV or DVD player, is that it can do many things... If you look at all the game consoles, they figured that out too. They can surf the web, play music, play video... Even the newer TVs and disc players have converged with computing technology.

 

The original Kindle tablet, albeit with a really cool e-ink display, never made sense to me. E-readers don't make sense. The Amazon advertising that shows people struggling to view their iPad in sunlight is bogus. That's all they got going for them -- an e-ink display. Sure, the Kindle looks better in sunlight, but if you crank the brightness on your iPad it will do fine. Now try writing a multitrack song on your Kindle...

post #29 of 30
Originally Posted by Apple Dystopia View Post
…Apple was caught red-handed, colluding with publishers to fix prices on e-books.

 

Gonna have to stop your website spam right there. Not what happened.

post #30 of 30

Actually, it is what happened...

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