Bought my first iTMS videos...

rokrok
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
okay, i got addicted to Lost from hearing office-morning banter, and finally getting the first season dvd set and watching it all the way through. so, in an effort to catch up my wife and i bought the first five episodes of this season.



first impressions:

you MUST have a fast connection. my work connection is, for some reason, much slower (took two hours to download an episode, at home 10-15 minutes).



kinda annoying that i can't burn to dvd and play on my dvd player in my living room, but i kinda realized this going in.



there's still a lot of benefits of getting the full dvd sets... widescreen, subtitles (ESPECIALLY handy in a series like Lost, where sometimes whispers/garbled messages are really important to hear).



the quality wasn't terrible. i'd liken it to watching a vhs recording of the show. i'm sure it looks stellar on the video ipod, where it was meant to be shown.



i DO like the fact that, for my $2, i OWN the copy of the show, guilt-free. but i wish i could burn the video to some common non-drm format, like even aac files, when burned to audio cd, become unprotected aiff files. i think apple has a good idea that most people are lazy and would not use that method to strip the drm for a lot of files.



overall, i'll give the whole experience a 3.5 out of 5 stars. i'll give the extra 1.5 stars for a.) option of higher quality b.) ability to burn to unprotected dvd, even just through idvd.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    I haven't downloaded a movie yet because $2 is ridiculous for this horrible quality, but I've watched the previews.



    It is actually discernibly worse than VHS IMHO. The only reason I'd even consider downloading from here is for the iPod since I don't own a G5 that can convert the HDTV version that are freely available on the Internet in a decent time frame.



    Basically, this content is ONLY for the iPod, it's not worth a dime?well ok, it is worth a dime, but without the iPod that's it
  • Reply 2 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ast3r3x

    I haven't downloaded a movie yet because $2 is ridiculous for this horrible quality, but I've watched the previews.



    It is actually discernibly worse than VHS IMHO. The only reason I'd even consider downloading from here is for the iPod since I don't own a G5 that can convert the HDTV version that are freely available on the Internet in a decent time frame.



    Basically, this content is ONLY for the iPod, it's not worth a dime?well ok, it is worth a dime, but without the iPod that's it




    well, sorry... i'm gonna disagree. i watched two episodes last night, and was fully satisfied (edit: mind you, i just finished watching the first season on dvd widescreen, so i had a point of reference, too). maybe my expectations aren't as high? and i am assuming those "freely available on the internet" versions aren't exactly sanctioned for download, right? hell, i feel i got my 2 dollars worth.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    Well as long as you are happy is what is important.



    As far as freely sanctioned? I don't know, I doubt it but who knows. I can't recall too many public outcries that downloading is a nuisance for the television industry.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ast3r3x

    Well as long as you are happy is what is important.



    i will admit, at standard computing distance from monitor, full screen playback, you can see flattening of color areas and the digital jaggies along diagonal edges... but my wife and i were watching the playback on my 19" computer screen from about 5-6 feet away, so everything looked pretty decent. not stellar... i'll hold out for the season dvd box set for that.



    plus, it was worth $1 a piece for my wife and i per episode just to get all caught up on the story so far.



    but, man oh man, i watched tonight's episode on abc, and we both agreed that we really, really, REALLY hate commercials (we've been watching tv series on dvd lately via netflix... haven't watched a commercial in MONTHS until tonight, and they are still cheesy, predictable, annoying, etc. when we came back to the computer while watching the last half hour of "...and found," we'd act out mini-commercials during fade-outs "buy a car! watch our concert! blah, blah, blah..." and we're back!).
  • Reply 5 of 18
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    i will admit, at standard computing distance from monitor, full screen playback, you can see flattening of color areas and the digital jaggies along diagonal edges... but my wife and i were watching the playback on my 19" computer screen from about 5-6 feet away, so everything looked pretty decent. not stellar... i'll hold out for the season dvd box set for that.



    plus, it was worth $1 a piece for my wife and i per episode just to get all caught up on the story so far.



    but, man on man, i watched tonight's episode on abc, and we both agreed that we really, really, REALLY hate commercials (we've been watching tv series on dvd lately via netflix... haven't watched a commercial in MONTHS until tonight, and they are still cheesy, predictable, annoying, etc. when we came back to the computer while watching the last half hour of "...and found," we'd act out mini-commercials during fade-outs "buy a car! watch our concert! blah, blah, blah..." and we're back!).




    Everything must be a lot more affordable when you figure you and your wife will be using it. Heck it's like you get everything 50% off! Think of if you watch it more than once?! At these prices who CAN'T afford it?



    I do like the acting out commercials though
  • Reply 6 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Apparently "video quality" is much more subjective than "audio quality", or maybe it's that there is a wider spectrum of video playback set-ups.



    I downloaded an episode of "Lost" myself, and found the quality to be perfectly acceptable on a 19" LCD. I found the crushed black levels to be more irritating than any resolution issues, but as Rok says, pretty OK. Not stellar, but a lot better than the actual res numbers would suggest.



    Though I haven't been able to check it out myself, I've seen several reviews that remarked how surprisingly good stuff looked via the S video connection from the G5 iPod (I would imagine the analogue conversion softens some of the artifacts).



    But then there are reviews (a lot of them, really) that can't say enough about how absolutely hideous and unacceptable iTMS video downloads are, when viewed full size. Maybe these people are hooking up their iPod to a 54" plasma?



    I dunno. I just can't see how you could watch the same video that I've watched and call it "unwatchable" or "a joke" like some of the commentary I've seen.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i've received an iTMS gift certificate for about $10 recently, so I think i might buy a few Pixar shorts (a few famous, and a few I haven't seen), so i guess I am doing my part to goose sales of iTMS video sales. i have a video ipod on the Xmas wish list this year... if i'm lucky enough to get one, i'm sure the quality will be superb... on a 160x120 screen.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    The legal ruling, I believe, is that copying a TV show from a public network (i.e. one that doesn't charge you for watching the show) is OK so long as you do not create a derivative work from it. So downloading recorded TV shows from the internet is not necessarily illegal.



    However, the advertisements must be included, or else it's a derivative work, which is strictly in violation of copyright law.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    So that means all TV shows on bittorrent are illegal then.



    My guess is that those who complain about the low resolution video on offer on the iTMS are doing so because they are probably comparing it to the HD material you can get on and off the net. They don't take into account that the main purpose of the video is to be used on iPods, not high resolution LCD displays.



    Personally, I'm a little disappointed, however Apple probably couldn't afford the bandwidth required to host HD content on such a scale. If they offered H264 720p Lost episodes at $2 then hell I would buy them, but then comes in another factor. Where the hell would we get the storage for all these?



    Sure you can burn them on DVD I suppose, but a single episode of Lost for example, with no adverts, can be ripped at 624 x 352 res (mpeg 4) and that means 350MB per episode. A whole season takes up no less than 8GBs.



    Maybe when we all have 1TB drives as standard.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mattyj

    So that means all TV shows on bittorrent are illegal then.



    My guess is that those who complain about the low resolution video on offer on the iTMS are doing so because they are probably comparing it to the HD material you can get on and off the net. They don't take into account that the main purpose of the video is to be used on iPods, not high resolution LCD displays.



    Personally, I'm a little disappointed, however Apple probably couldn't afford the bandwidth required to host HD content on such a scale. If they offered H264 720p Lost episodes at $2 then hell I would buy them, but then comes in another factor. Where the hell would we get the storage for all these?



    Sure you can burn them on DVD I suppose, but a single episode of Lost for example, with no adverts, can be ripped at 624 x 352 res (mpeg 4) and that means 350MB per episode. A whole season takes up no less than 8GBs.



    Maybe when we all have 1TB drives as standard.




    my guess is that this is also a way for apple to gauge the interest-level for video content like this. keep the file sizes small enough so that bandwidth and time to download isn't a total make-or-break factor, and see how many you sell, and of what types. then scale upwards as demand increases.



    Remember, we're only a month into this, and Steve had been saying there wasn't a market for this for a long time... may take a lot of sales to get him to change his mind. but it does require broadband, and, for the average consumer, broadband still isn't that pervasive. now if apple could just sign a deal with some sort of cable television provider, where most of the hardware and data overhead is being handled by someone else, we may see widescreen h.264 hdtv content faster.



    i personally love the idea that the clicker had on engadget... this could be a great medium to test-market series pilots, instead of depending on neilsen's. see how many people buy episodes, their demographic info is all recorded in their itunes account, and just see what flies. rate the episode from one to five stars, add comments like the itunes reviews, etc.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    Good points rok



    Lets hope this all takes off and paves the way for HD content over the net.

    I heard that Sony is attempting to sell its movies online at DVD quality, or am I wrong?
  • Reply 12 of 18
    zoranszorans Posts: 187member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ast3r3x

    I haven't downloaded a movie yet because $2 is ridiculous for this horrible quality, but I've watched the previews.



    It is actually discernibly worse than VHS IMHO. The only reason I'd even consider downloading from here is for the iPod since I don't own a G5 that can convert the HDTV version that are freely available on the Internet in a decent time frame.



    Basically, this content is ONLY for the iPod, it's not worth a dime?well ok, it is worth a dime, but without the iPod that's it




    Quality is similar to well encoded VCD.



    Remember that format?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ZoranS

    Quality is similar to well encoded VCD.



    Remember that format?




    I think that's a good comparison.



    Similar in all over quality to VHS, but with the shortcomings being of the "compression/bit rate" variety as opposed to the "chroma/luminance" type.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Torrentz.com > iTunes Video Store
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok



    i personally love the idea that the clicker had on engadget... this could be a great medium to test-market series pilots, instead of depending on neilsen's. see how many people buy episodes, their demographic info is all recorded in their itunes account, and just see what flies. rate the episode from one to five stars, add comments like the itunes reviews, etc.




    I was with you on the not depending on Neilsen's, but then you included demographic info. What kind of info? I don't mean to sound like a paranoid freak but I get enough spam.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Alias789

    I was with you on the not depending on Neilsen's, but then you included demographic info. What kind of info? I don't mean to sound like a paranoid freak but I get enough spam.



    well, whatever demographic info is included with your original iTMS profile (or whatever is on record with your credit card company). and the networks would only see it as a viable alternative to the neilsen's if they had that information along with the $2-per-episode sale. they'd probably squirrel it away in the EULA or something that you agree for apple to tell the networks your profile info when you buy a video (heck, it might be there ALREADY... anyone here read their EULA's? I don't. i probably owe some company my firstborn somewhere...). mind you, i'm not saying i'm wild about that scenario, i just see that the networks and apple would do that to make it happen.



    i hate to break it to you, but i used to work for a company that, among other things, designed double-opt-in e-mail marketing (in other words, we weren't spam... just annoying, but the subscribers DID say they wanted the e-mails twice, so...), and now i work for a company that specializes in demographic databases (i don't think i can say much more), so i have had a lot of first hand experience on what kind of information is out there, and all legally, too. really, all someone needs to know is your order history, phone number, and address, and they can find out every eletronic thing you've done for the past 10 years... for a price.



    simply put, like it or not, someone somewhere out there already knows everything about you, and it is all already for sale.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    simply put, like it or not, someone somewhere out there already knows everything about you, and it is all already for sale.





    While it's true, it's insignificant. Unless youre doing something illegal, no one cares about what "you" watch. Statistically, it makes no difference to these companies what any one individual is buying/watching. It only matters when combined with thousands of other individuals, from which patterns and trends can be deduced.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by OBJRA10

    While it's true, it's insignificant. Unless youre doing something illegal, no one cares about what "you" watch. Statistically, it makes no difference to these companies what any one individual is buying/watching. It only matters when combined with thousands of other individuals, from which patterns and trends can be deduced.



    okay, perhaps i should say "...it's already for for sale... you, along with 300,00 people somewhat like you."
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