The Pain of Buying Video

I’m trying to build up my library of legally obtained video. In the fight against piracy, the “industry” never considered that some of us would reach the point where we just can’t be bothered with that sort of thing anymore. Good TV and movies are really easy to get your hands on in a perfectly legal and convenient way. That’s if you want to rent it. If you aren’t bothered about owning a particular video then there are loads of options out there for you, and they’re all pretty much as good as each other.

If you want to own your video it’s a completely different story. Attempt to own something and you enter into a world of incompatibility, petty company squabbles, and badly designed web services.

Here’s an example. Let’s say I want to buy the latest Star Wars movie. Everyone who sells videos is ready to sell it to me. The big three are Apple, Amazon, and Google. Other video store services exist. If I buy the movie from Apple I can watch it on my computer just like any other video. I can also watch it with the video app on my iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. But I can’t stream it to my phone, it has to be stored on the device or played over wi-fi. Whereas if I bought the movie from Amazon, I would be able to stream it to my phone over 4G, but it doesn’t have subtitles, will only play on my computer via a web browser, and I can’t keep my own copy of it offline. Amazon’s user interface is also the work of the devil, but at least I can play their content on my TV via the PlayStation 4. At this point we should note that the Apple TV plays iTunes videos, but not Amazon videos, and devices that play Amazon video won’t play iTunes video. Are you with me so far?

What about Google Play? That works on all kinds of devices but will only stream the full HD version you pay for if you’re using particular apps, and those apps aren’t available for every platform. If I want to play a Google movie on my TV I’ll need a Chromecast because those Google videos don’t work on the Apple TV or the PlayStation. Google Play videos also have to be played in a web browser and can’t be downloaded and stored offline unless you use the phone app, and since when was your phone the best place to back up your movie collection.

And what if hell suddenly freezes over and I end up with another Android phone? Well then I have to say goodbye to my iTunes movie collection because we’ll be waiting for a further second instance of bad weather in hell before Apple puts the iTunes store on a platform it doesn’t own. Amazon and Google are more platform agnostic but they still have all the drawbacks they had before.

There’s no doubt that Apple are winning the user interface battle here. the iTunes store is by far the best place to find content. As I write this article they currently have a spectacular promotion on comedy and drama TV series. I know that because I looked at the TV section of the store and right in the middle of the screen was a load big thing explaining that there was an offer on that content. It turns out that Amazon have exactly the same offer on the same content, but I’m not sure they really want me to know about it. Unless you search for something by name there’s no way you’re going to see that it’s on offer. Amazon make the mistake of mixing their Prime Video service in with the video store. That results in you either not being able to find something to buy because it’s hidden by the Prime content, or you’re looking for something to watch with your Prime subscription and keep being presented with video you’re expected to buy.

It’s 2016 and there isn’t a single video service that works on all the screens I have in an appropriate and satisfying way. They all have their shortcomings and all you can do is pick the one that annoys you the least. For me that’s iTunes, at the moment, but it is swaying towards Amazon. Maybe this is all a ploy to get me to buy a TV with more HDMI ports.

The 34th Simply Syndicated Movie News

In this episode of Simply Syndicated Movie News we talk about Khan on BluRay, Princes in Star Wars, and The Punisher on Netflix.

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188. Don’t Put That In There

In this episode of Tech It Or Leave It we talk about all kinds of tech news including the new Dyson hair dryers and lots of other stuff too.

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Making Sense with Richard Smith – Episode 3

In this episode I talk about the refusal to bring 3000 child refugees into the UK, the ongoing NHS problems, and ask the question; What is the point of Jeremy Hunt.

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The 33rd Simply Syndicated Movie News

Hitting you up with some of that sweet sweet movie news.

Simply Syndicated is in need of your help and support. We don’t have ads on our site or our shows so we rely on our listeners to keep us going.

You can support us by visiting http://bit.ly/1MgFlxr and signing up to support us with £6 per month. That not only gives you the warm fuzzy feeling of keeping your favourite podcast network going, but it also gives you access to Simply Everything with is our entire back catalogue of shows, and lots of exclusive shows and other content.

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