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Video industry plans escape from iTunes with 'open' standard - Page 3

post #81 of 86
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Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post

I feel like saying... here we go again.. yahh, can't wait to use their proprietary crappy video player. Have you used NBC's or TNTs player...bugs with going full screen, having the screen saver kick on in the middle of watching it and re-buffering all the time. <slick> I don't know, I can't even stand to use Microsoft's Media Player not because it's Microsoft but because the darn thing buffers and hiccups all through a video not to mention you can't fast forward or rewind without it taking forever to start playing again. Yahh, mmmkkk lemme know how that works out.

Oh, and if they don't let iPod play = FAIL right away.

I somehow feel you people are not understanding what Sony etc are trying to do.

It will not just be some software for a PC, or providing a portable device support, they are trying to open the purchasing of downloadable media.

The interface to the PS3 is perfectly acceptable, it plays full screen just fine, so do other CE devices.
post #82 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Wow. Talk about conspiracy theory. First, the App store is only for the iPhone not for all Mac software. Apple has not declared any plans to turn the App store into one repository for all Mac software. Second, the reason they do that for the iPhone is so that they can monetize software distribution (which works equally as well for the developer as it does for Apple) and so they can offer a level of security that is lacking in the Windows mobile world. Apple is not planning that for the Mac and even if they did - buying Adobe CSX would cost the same as buying it directly from Apple because the developer decides the price - not Apple and that goes for the App store too.

You really need to remember your own comments. I stated that I don't want to be locked into buying my software and hardware from one vendor. To which you replied that I must not own a Mac. I wasn't jumping into an Apple conspiracy, just trying to point out that I can buy software for my Mac from multiple sources. The only truly practical place to buy video for the AppleTV is from iTunes.

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I agree with you about the Apple TV as I stated in my previous post. Right now it sucks. As to your complaint about limited formats - that can be said about a lot of other devices - the Roku, Zune, PSP, but with most of those devices (and yes even the Apple TV), there are programmers that create ways to add that functionality on.

Even the PSP supports more video formats than just one. And hacking a device shouldn't be the ONLY way to unlock additional format support.

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As to your concern that the Apple TV becoming your "only option" - that is absurd. There is no way for the Apple TV in it's current state to become the iPod of the video world - not yet at least. The iPod would not have become as popular as it is today if it was released with the quality of the Apple TV. If Apple wants the Apple TV to become it's "4th leg", then they will need to devote some attention to it.

That's what my I'm talking about, a theoretical situation where AppleTV or at least iTunes videos have reached the same level of the iPod's marketshare. Why anyone would want that is beyond me. It's okay with the iPod because iTunes is only one of many sources of content, but as I already stated the only really good place to get video content for the AppleTV is the iTunes Store.

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Conspiracies aside, look at the history of the iTunes Store and you'll see why the movie industry doesn't want Apple to "control" distribution. The music labels tried several times to hike download prices up - Apple rejected that. Then they wanted a piracy tax from Apple for each iPod - Apple rejected that. Apple turned all that down because they are selling directly to the end-user who will assuredly blame Apple for the price hike and Apple doesn't want their investment tarnished by fluctuating pricing schemes and confusing rights-management.

And look at the flip side. When was the last time the iTunes Store actually had a sale worth mentioning? Has there ever been one? When was the last time an album dropped in price on the iTunes Store? Has an album ever gotten cheaper? This is one area where physical media definitely has an advantage. Retailers need to clear shelf space so will actually be forced to lower prices. Digital distribution has no real such concerns. Likewise, one vendor having control will also provide no reason for them to lower prices. Apple even more so has no reasons to lower prices since the more videos you buy, the more you lock yourself into their hardware.

Maybe you find iTunes prices reasonable. I don't. I regularly buy music at cheaper prices than iTunes provides.

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Your Walmart CD/Walmart CD-Player analogy doesn't really apply here since you can purchase un-DRM'd tracks from iTunes.

I've mostly been referring to video, which you can't buy without DRM from any legitimate source, physical or digital. Which is where the analogy fits perfectly. If I buy an iTunes video, where can I play it? Only on Apple's hardware or via Apple's Software. If I buy a Sony DVD, where can I play it? In any DVD player, not just Sony's DVD players.

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As to your analogy, do you expect Apple to add PCI slots to the iMac and Mac mini so they can keep the PCI industry happy?

No, what I'm saying is that Apple has made it unprofitable for hardware manufacturers to support the Mac, be it mp3 players or any computer hardware that can't use Firewire or USB. Would the percentage of Mac owners using a non-iPod mp3 player even be visible on a pie chart? Doubtful.

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There is where you're wrong. The whole point of this ecosystem is to take control away from Apple so do you think that they will let Apple be a part of this? This isn't conspiracy either - look at the MP3 music available from the big three music labels - you can buy un-DRM'd tracks from Amazon, Napster and the Zune marketplace - but not iTunes even though Apple has publicly backed (and even instigated) such an initiative. The music labels want to wrangle distribution control from Apple so they can control pricing.

Considering that the diagram they showed had iTunes as a part of the vendor cloud, you're back into conspiracy mode until they actually roll it out and exclude iTunes. As for pricing, the studios already control pricing. It is their product after all.

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I personally have no problems with Apple's current iTunes structure - not because I'm a "fanboy" who blindly likes anything Apple does - but because it works for me. I have not been inconvenienced by Apple's Fairplay system. It has not interfered with how I use my music, if it did I wouldn't use it. That's not to say that other people might not like it - but they have other choices as well now, so they are not "locked" into buying music only from Apple.

And Apple's system has inconvenienced me. That's why I purchase nothing from me, but either buy it on CD (my preferred method) or I'll go look for it for it on Amazon's mp3 store. I stop by the Amazon store every morning to see what album is on sale that day. I've picked up lots of great music for around $1.99 an album. And don't have to worry about it playing on any media device I own.

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A "universal download scheme" is a subtle way for the big studios to control pricing. They don't care if there are 10,000 vendors out there selling their movies - they want that. But remember - this is about monetization. Who cares if you have 10,000 vendors to buy movies from if they all come from a few big studios. All the studios need to do when they decide they want a raise is hike prices up. If they decide that a download should now cost $20 guess what - the vendors will be forced to raise prices too. That is the control they want to wrangle from Apple.

Back to conspiracy theory mode. Apple's iPod/iTunes system is just a way for Apple to have control. If the studios wanted they could price every DVD at $50 and if the retailers wanted to charge less than that, they would have to take the loss. The same goes in the digital world. Providing a universal system changes none of that except opening up the field to more vendors, who may in fact actually be willing to charge less than Apple to gain customers.

Sorry, but Apple is no more your friend, is in no way looking out for you any more than any of the movie studios. But so many people, yourself included, seem to believe otherwise. If the studios were to raise prices, Jobs will just come out and shake his and pass the blame onto the studios saying they were forced to do it, all the while trying to hide a smirk because he knows none of the bad press will stick with Apple.

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These studios all talk about "choice" but in the end, we will have no choice but to pay whatever they decide we pay.

They already have that power, whether or not you want to realize it. But they also know what the market will support. The conspiracy theory that if they can defeat Apple then prices will skyrocket is just that, a conspiracy theory.
post #83 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

When was the last time the iTunes Store actually had a sale worth mentioning? Has there ever been one? When was the last time an album dropped in price on the iTunes Store? Has an album ever gotten cheaper? This is one area where physical media definitely has an advantage. Retailers need to clear shelf space so will actually be forced to lower prices. Digital distribution has no real such concerns.

A local cheap retailer here in Australia was selling $50 gift cards for $30. That seemed a good deal - we bought 3, my parents bought 3.

That was 2 weeks before movie rentals were released and Apps were just starting... really, should've bought more.
post #84 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

The only truly practical place to buy video for the AppleTV is from iTunes.

You can opt to buy video from iTunes or you can rip your own purchased DVD's yourself from your own DVD collection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Even the PSP supports more video formats than just one. And hacking a device shouldn't be the ONLY way to unlock additional format support.

Then if you don't like the formats supported - don't buy the Apple TV! Why is that hard to understand?


Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

That's what my I'm talking about, a theoretical situation where AppleTV or at least iTunes videos have reached the same level of the iPod's marketshare. Why anyone would want that is beyond me. It's okay with the iPod because iTunes is only one of many sources of content, but as I already stated the only really good place to get video content for the AppleTV is the iTunes Store.

And like I said - the Apple TV will never reach the level the iPod has unless there were some serious improvements. If iTunes for video reached the same level as the music side, then it would be because of those improvements - not because Apple is forcing people to use their system.

Right now, Apple offers HD and SD video rentals. The rental prices are the same as everyone else as are the rental terms (24 hours), but those terms suck. If Apple vastly improved their video library, included 5.1 SS for SD movies, expanded the rental terms as well as made rentals available the same day as the purchase versions - then they could be on to a winner once they got the hardware up to snuff. That is a lot for them to do, but if they could swing those deals then they would be better than the cable company's video-on-demand service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

And look at the flip side. When was the last time the iTunes Store actually had a sale worth mentioning? Has there ever been one? When was the last time an album dropped in price on the iTunes Store? Has an album ever gotten cheaper? This is one area where physical media definitely has an advantage. Retailers need to clear shelf space so will actually be forced to lower prices. Digital distribution has no real such concerns. Likewise, one vendor having control will also provide no reason for them to lower prices.

Wow. It's starting to sound like you haven't even used iTunes in a while. iTunes regularly has sales. In addition to offering the "complete my album" feature, they have bargain bins of albums available for $7 and under. Add to that the free single of the week they've offered for years as well as the ¢99 movie of the week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Apple even more so has no reasons to lower prices since the more videos you buy, the more you lock yourself into their hardware.

If anything - that is more of a reason for Apple to lower prices. They don't have a "lock" with video hardware at all, so if anything they need to give people a reason to use their system more.

Has Apple raised the price of music? No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

I've mostly been referring to video, which you can't buy without DRM from any legitimate source, physical or digital. Which is where the analogy fits perfectly. If I buy an iTunes video, where can I play it? Only on Apple's hardware or via Apple's Software. If I buy a Sony DVD, where can I play it? In any DVD player, not just Sony's DVD players.

That's true though of any DRM download service and that's a problem with the video wrapper not exclusive to Apple. Apple uses H.264 for video while most other services use Window Media. Amazon's VOD service is much more open as it supports computers, Sony Bravia TV's and TiVo's - but they don't have a method of transferring your videos to your iPod or portable device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

No, what I'm saying is that Apple has made it unprofitable for hardware manufacturers to support the Mac, be it mp3 players or any computer hardware that can't use Firewire or USB. Would the percentage of Mac owners using a non-iPod mp3 player even be visible on a pie chart? Doubtful.

The reason Apple isn't "profitable" for some third party hardware makers isn't exactly Apple's fault as that is related to their slim market share helped along by a decade of Windows dominance. As to the percentage of Mac owners using a non-iPod mp3 player - that would be slim, but again this is Apple's fault how?


Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Considering that the diagram they showed had iTunes as a part of the vendor cloud, you're back into conspiracy mode until they actually roll it out and exclude iTunes. As for pricing, the studios already control pricing. It is their product after all.

Right. Did you happen to even look at the diagram directly above where it says in pretty large letters: "iTunes is the best example of the problem"... there is no conspiracy here. The studios don't like Apple's position but they are partly to blame.

The music studios where the ones that demanded DRM in the first place. Apple bowed to that and created a least offensive DRM system that lets you use several computers and iPods as well as CD burns. Now that Apple has sold billions of songs with the DRM the studios demanded, they realize that all those songs are semi-tied to iTunes, making a "break" from iTunes difficult - but again this was at the behest of the music labels.

Now the only way for the studios to break Apple's hold, is by selling un-DRM'd songs which they do now, but not through iTunes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

And Apple's system has inconvenienced me. That's why I purchase nothing from me, but either buy it on CD (my preferred method) or I'll go look for it for it on Amazon's mp3 store. I stop by the Amazon store every morning to see what album is on sale that day. I've picked up lots of great music for around $1.99 an album. And don't have to worry about it playing on any media device I own.

That's great. No arguing there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Back to conspiracy theory mode. Apple's iPod/iTunes system is just a way for Apple to have control. If the studios wanted they could price every DVD at $50 and if the retailers wanted to charge less than that, they would have to take the loss. The same goes in the digital world. Providing a universal system changes none of that except opening up the field to more vendors, who may in fact actually be willing to charge less than Apple to gain customers.

Okay - you can stop with the "conspiracy theory mode" you're starting to sound hypocritical as you're suggesting a conspiracy on Apple's part.

If the studios wanted to charge $50 for every DVD, of course they could do so. If the vendors wanted to sell those DVD's for any less, they could also do that - but there again, you would be weeding out the vendors who would be unable to do that. Walmart does that as does Target which is why brick and mortar record shops are harder to find nowadays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Sorry, but Apple is no more your friend, is in no way looking out for you any more than any of the movie studios. But so many people, yourself included, seem to believe otherwise. If the studios were to raise prices, Jobs will just come out and shake his and pass the blame onto the studios saying they were forced to do it, all the while trying to hide a smirk because he knows none of the bad press will stick with Apple.

Wow. You are truly delusional. I never stated that I believed "Apple was my friend" it's starting to sound like you really have no argument here. What I stated were the facts as to the difference between Apple and the studios. Prior to the first Napster - CD prices were fixed at ridiculously high prices. CD manufacturing costs were much lower in the late 90's that in the late 80's, yet prices were still high - because the labels controlled the pricing through the record stores. Napster busted all that open and everyone got music for free for a while. The labels in turned sued Napster, then individuals.

Apple came along with a simple model: ¢99 songs in a common format. Rights usage were "friendlier" than other services available. iTunes became popular because it was easy to use and cheap - you could buy songs individually. The studios tried several times to hike prices up, but Apple refused - not because they wanted to be my friend but because they would be chasing away all the people they got into buying music online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

They already have that power, whether or not you want to realize it. But they also know what the market will support. The conspiracy theory that if they can defeat Apple then prices will skyrocket is just that, a conspiracy theory.

Again with the "conspiracy theory". Who taught you those words anyway?

Of course the studios have the power. The movie studios so far seem to be trying to learn from their mistaken brothers over in the music biz and for that I am glad. But it doesn't look so good when every time they reference Apple, it's as a big bad guy.
post #85 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

You really need to remember your own comments. I stated that I don't want to be locked into buying my software and hardware from one vendor. To which you replied that I must not own a Mac. I wasn't jumping into an Apple conspiracy, just trying to point out that I can buy software for my Mac from multiple sources. The only truly practical place to buy video for the AppleTV is from iTunes.



Even the PSP supports more video formats than just one. And hacking a device shouldn't be the ONLY way to unlock additional format support.



That's what my I'm talking about, a theoretical situation where AppleTV or at least iTunes videos have reached the same level of the iPod's marketshare. Why anyone would want that is beyond me. It's okay with the iPod because iTunes is only one of many sources of content, but as I already stated the only really good place to get video content for the AppleTV is the iTunes Store.

I've mostly been referring to video, which you can't buy without DRM from any legitimate source, physical or digital. Which is where the analogy fits perfectly. If I buy an iTunes video, where can I play it? Only on Apple's hardware or via Apple's Software. If I buy a Sony DVD, where can I play it? In any DVD player, not just Sony's DVD players.

The iTune Store is the only viable place to buy digital movies for the iTV for the same reason why it was once the only viable place to buy songs for your iPod. Because of the DRM the the Movie industry forces Apple to put in the movies they sell. The Movie industry is right now sitting behind the eightball. They need to get a digital distribution network for their movies. But they also need to protect that digital download with DRM but at the same time make it playable on all devices. They can't force Apple to write the DRM for other devices other than their own. Many device companies don't have the resources to write the DRM for the devices they sell. They're depending on others, like MS, to write it for them. But MS is no longer interested. MS wants to be more like Apple and support only their products. So it up to the Movie industry to come up with a DRM that works and is fair. But in the mean time the demand for digital media is growing. And the only way they can make money on it now is to let the venders provide the DRM for their devices. If they wait too long Apple may "take control" of the digital distributuion of movies. Like they did with Music. But that would mainly be the fault of the movie industry for not getting the ball rolling years ago. Apple did nothing to gain control of the Music industry except to put out a great piece of hardware, the iPod. And they can do the same with the iTV, if the Movie industry waits to long to come up with a solution.

Buy a Region 2 Sony (or any other company) DVD and I bet you can't play it on a Region 1 Sony DVD player. But you can play it any Region 1 DVD player that lets you re-program it to Region 0 or 2. Sony won't let you re-program their DVD players.(At least not easily, if at all.) Sony also does this with it's PlayStation games. More than likely, the DVD player in your computer can only have it's Region code re-programed about 5 times. Then your stuck with the last Region programed. Or you got to hack the firmware. Sony and the Movie industry don't want to see DVD manufacturers selling Region free DVD players. Sony was also the one that placed a "rootkit" in your computer. Without letting you know it did it. When you played one of their copy protected CD's on a computer. The "rootkit" made it difficult to copy the CD. The "rootkit" didn't work on a Mac though.

Quote:
And look at the flip side. When was the last time the iTunes Store actually had a sale worth mentioning? Has there ever been one? When was the last time an album dropped in price on the iTunes Store? Has an album ever gotten cheaper? This is one area where physical media definitely has an advantage. Retailers need to clear shelf space so will actually be forced to lower prices. Digital distribution has no real such concerns. Likewise, one vendor having control will also provide no reason for them to lower prices. Apple even more so has no reasons to lower prices since the more videos you buy, the more you lock yourself into their hardware.

Maybe you find iTunes prices reasonable. I don't. I regularly buy music at cheaper prices than iTunes provides.

The reason physical media drops in price is because the cost of shipping, storage and overstock are built into the initial cost. That's why when a CD first comes out it cost about $18.00. But as they sell enough to make up their shipping, storage and overstock cost, they start lowering the price.

Digital media do not have any of these built in cost when they first go on sale. There's also very little cost when another million copies need to be re-ordered. Therefore, their cost do not drop as sales increases.

Now the Music industry have already stated that they would like to charge more for a digital media when it first comes out because they know that a lot of their customers would pay more for it just to have it first. But there is no reason to do this other than greed. The Music industry makes as much money off a digital download as off a physical CD. And yet a digital download has none of the inherent cost of a physical CD. It's not like a physical media where there are cost that has to be made up before they can lower the price. The Music industry got ticked off when Steve Jobs prevented them from having variable pricing on their music in the iTunes Store. The Music industry doesn't get it. If the first digital download of a song cost the Music industry no more than the millionth digital download of that song. Why charge more for the first one? If the customers knows that a song will be discounted several months down the line, they will just wait. It's not like having to make a special trip to Wal-Mart. And the longer they wait, the more likely they're get it for free from a friend.

The reason why iTunes Store don't lower prices is because of the Music industry. Apple only makes about 6 cents a song. There not much room to lower the price unless the Music industry gives up a part of their 60 cents they get per song. Amazon (and others) has lower prices because they are selling at a lost to gain marketshare. Apple can't do this (sell at a loss) because it would look like they're trying to put the competition out of business. Amazon is also hoping that you'll buy other stuff while you're at Amazon.com. But how long is this model going to last? It's no different than what Wal-Mart does. It no different than other venders that makes up the loss by selling advetisements on their sites. It's no different than Apple making most of their money from iPod sales. The Music industry has made it almost impossible for venders to make money by just selling Music. Phsyical or digital. There are no more Tower Records, Wherehouses, Sam Goodys, ect.. Why? Because the Music industry caved into big venders like Wal-Mart, BestBuy and Amazon. They demanded and got lower wholesale prices. So by selling CD's cheaper to their big buyers, the Music industry itself, caused the demised of smaller venders who couldn't compete.



Quote:
No, what I'm saying is that Apple has made it unprofitable for hardware manufacturers to support the Mac, be it mp3 players or any computer hardware that can't use Firewire or USB. Would the percentage of Mac owners using a non-iPod mp3 player even be visible on a pie chart? Doubtful.

Apple doesn't do anything to make it unprofitable to do such things. It's just unprofitable because of the simple fact that Macs are only 4% of the computers out there Worldwide and less than 10% US. Apple would love to see Macs owners have more choices. This sells more Macs. But until Macs are more popular, most manufactuters will not spend the extra money to get things to work on a Mac.

Take away iPods owners using Macs and the iPod will still occupy most of the pie chart.


Quote:
Considering that the diagram they showed had iTunes as a part of the vendor cloud, you're back into conspiracy mode until they actually roll it out and exclude iTunes. As for pricing, the studios already control pricing. It is their product after all.



And Apple's system has inconvenienced me. That's why I purchase nothing from me, but either buy it on CD (my preferred method) or I'll go look for it for it on Amazon's mp3 store. I stop by the Amazon store every morning to see what album is on sale that day. I've picked up lots of great music for around $1.99 an album. And don't have to worry about it playing on any media device I own.

It wasn't Apple's system that inconveience you. It was the DRM that the Music industry forces Apple to put in the songs they sell.



Quote:
Back to conspiracy theory mode. Apple's iPod/iTunes system is just a way for Apple to have control. If the studios wanted they could price every DVD at $50 and if the retailers wanted to charge less than that, they would have to take the loss. The same goes in the digital world. Providing a universal system changes none of that except opening up the field to more vendors, who may in fact actually be willing to charge less than Apple to gain customers.

Sorry, but Apple is no more your friend, is in no way looking out for you any more than any of the movie studios. But so many people, yourself included, seem to believe otherwise. If the studios were to raise prices, Jobs will just come out and shake his and pass the blame onto the studios saying they were forced to do it, all the while trying to hide a smirk because he knows none of the bad press will stick with Apple.



They already have that power, whether or not you want to realize it. But they also know what the market will support. The conspiracy theory that if they can defeat Apple then prices will skyrocket is just that, a conspiracy theory.

If you want to believe that the Movie industry is looking after your best interest. Then don't complain when they start selling digital media that has your IP address attached to it when you buy it online. This way they can trace where pirated copies of their movies originated from. There will no longer be pre-made physical DVD sold. Every physical DVD is made on the spot with it's own serial number that can be traced back to it's place of purchase. Every physical DVD that you burn will carry this information. Every format that you change it to will carry this information. And if you have a DVD or copy of a movie in any format that don't have this information, you're in trouble because you circumvented their copyprotection DRM.

I may be paranoid, but I'll take my chances with Jobs.
post #86 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Right now, Apple offers HD and SD video rentals. The rental prices are the same as everyone else as are the rental terms (24 hours), but those terms suck. If Apple vastly improved their video library, included 5.1 SS for SD movies, expanded the rental terms as well as made rentals available the same day as the purchase versions - then they could be on to a winner once they got the hardware up to snuff. That is a lot for them to do, but if they could swing those deals then they would be better than the cable company's video-on-demand service.

So if they added DD for Sd movies, how large would the movies be if they added TrueHD, or DTS-HDMA to the HD movies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Wow. It's starting to sound like you haven't even used iTunes in a while. iTunes regularly has sales. In addition to offering the "complete my album" feature, they have bargain bins of albums available for $7 and under. Add to that the free single of the week they've offered for years as well as the ¢99 movie of the week.

Wow. It is starting to sound like you don't think outside the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

If anything - that is more of a reason for Apple to lower prices. They don't have a "lock" with video hardware at all, so if anything they need to give people a reason to use their system more.

What do you meant they don't have a lock-in with their video hardware?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Has Apple raised the price of music? No.

Yes, the US dollar has been dropping for a long time, yet the price of the US sourced music has stayed static in the same time, effectively increasing the price

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

That's true though of any DRM download service and that's a problem with the video wrapper not exclusive to Apple. Apple uses H.264 for video while most other services use Window Media. Amazon's VOD service is much more open as it supports computers, Sony Bravia TV's and TiVo's - but they don't have a method of transferring your videos to your iPod or portable device.

You are still thinking of this as a computer video problem, Sony is looking at this from a CE point of view.
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