I like media in the form of digital format. Recently some of the big tech companies want to own all of your media and more. This can be a good thing, or a really bad one.
Remember those old DVD movies that you bought? With those you can enjoy them at home, let your friends borrow them, make a digital copy and enjoy it on your computer or put it in your portable device. If you get bored with the DVD you can just sell it. That's going to change with digital distribution.
Digital distribution has a neat advantage and that is that you can download the file and not have to worry about scratching your stupid disc. You also don't have to worry about a compatible disc player. It just works on the device and all it takes is a bit of storage space. It's the most portable it can be. The problem is that your big collection of movies cannot be resold like you can with DVDs and CDs. In a way you can't make money back and all money goes to the company who sold you the movie. They dictate how you can use your movies, music, ebooks and games.
Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are in a fight for your dollar. Who will you choose?
The Big Companies
I hate the idea of one of these telling me how to manage my media or what of their devices I must have. I haven't bought music since Linking Park Meteora CD and some MP3s at Amazon. I just go to youtube and find some awesome indie music maker and get their free mp3s from their sites. For movies, audiobooks and ebooks I do need one company to have all my media centralized.
Known for Operating Systems and Microsoft Office
Sidejobs: Xbox, Zune, Bing, Email
Known for Computers, portable media devices.
Sidejobs: Bashing Microsoft
Known for Search Engine
Sidejobs: Youtube, Blogger, Android, Email
Known for online retail of everything
Sidejobs: Kindle, Audible
Content delivery systems
All of these companies are tech businesses and while they might have started at doing one thing they have branched onto lots of very similar services. So what do all of these have in common? All of these companies want to distribute media such as music, movies, games, books and so on. They also have systems for the media to be delivered to such as cell phones, media players, computers and TVs.
Cell Phone Market/Media Player Market
Apple iPhone, Microsoft Phone 7, Google Nexus/Android
Microsoft Windows/Windows Mobile, Apple Mac OS X/iPhone OS, Google Chrome OS/ Android
Gogle TV, Apple TV, Microsoft Media Center, Amazon On Demand
Amazon MP3 Downloads, Apple iTunes, Microsoft Zune Marketplace, Google Music
Apple iBooks iPad, Amazon Kindle, Zune Marketplace, Google Books
It's super easy to make money out of digital distribution. When I was 16 I made a program and sold 10 copies at $10 which gave me $100 profit. The time of development took no more than a few hours. I used email to distribute the files and it took seconds to make money through Paypal. Now imagine having the catalog of everything media and an audience of millions if not billions of people? How much money can you make? Even if you pay royalties to other companies the delivery method is so cheap that profit is assured.
Which one are you going to choose? Who gets your money? These are the conditions that I need:
1. Ability to copy the files to any device I want
2. Redownloading is a must
3. No digital rights management
Why are these important?
1. I have a desktop pc, two netbooks, one cell phone, and one iPad and I want to have a copy of my favorite media in all of them. I must be able to copy files to all of them.
2. Maybe I sell those devices or my house burns, hey I still want my media! I have to be able to redownload those files. As far as I'm concerned all of the companies fail at this. You cannot redownload Amazon mp3s, and iTunes is kind of yes or no about it, with Microsoft you don't really own the mp3s (you borrow them).
3. DRM is a joke, it doesn't prevent any "stealing". People who bought the media need to be able to play their media and DRM prevents offline playing. One clear example was my precious Zune which had my Zune Pass music. As soon as my unit got to Iraq during 2009 I needed to connect the Zune to the internet. Well guess what? No internet. I could not play my music at all. What a waste of money. Never bought a Zune Pass ever again.
The only reason anyone would want to buy from any of these companies instead of the "cheaper" piracy versions should be because of an easy and seamless experience, higher quality media, and the ability to have your media anywhere. Give me a good experience and you got my money.