I might be into retro stuff, but I am not a technophobe. In fact on the contrary I am huge fan of technology. At times I have even carried the title of early adopter. That being said, I do have some hangups about certain technological advances (I am complicated okay!) For example, while I use services like iTunes and Amazon to buy music all the time, I am yet to use it buy a movie or TV show. Why you ask? Good question, I guess I have always wanted to own the physical media. It just feels more solid, plus in the past it gave me the ability to watch it on any device I like with a minimum amount of work. But things are changing.
Over the last few months I have built myself a nice little media center that is completely networked. Which is great for listening to music or watching TV recorded on my Windows media center, but now that I am looking to hard drives and web services for my entertainment, the disc is turning into a hassle. So I thought why not give iTunes movies a shot. And overall I would say the experience felt weird, but I have to say it was a lot more convenient then waiting for a disc in the mail or getting in the car and running to the Redbox or Target.
First I did a little research as to what I wanted and decided to get two movies I am interested in doing a podcast on that I have in VHS format only, Clash of the Titans and Logan’s Run. Both are $9.99 on iTunes and I happen to have a couple of iTunes giftcards laying around that should cover it. I opened iTunes and search Clash of the Titans. Top of the results is the movies section letting you rent of buy it. I clicked buy and since I had already entered my info, I just needed to confirm that I was in fact buying the movie. As soon as I hit yet, it started downloading in the background. Not bad. I also noted I could rent the movie for $2.99, I might need to try that in the future. Onto Logan’s Run.
Quick search and right at the top is the movie. Oh and they have the series for sale as well. One thing at a time. I repeated my purchase and went and made a sandwich and watched some lunchtime Magnum P.I. and by the time I was done eating, both movies were done downloading. Not too shabby.
I got busy the rest of the day and worked pretty late that night, so I only got to watch about 25 minutes of Clash of the Titans plus the sneak peek it includes of the new movie (I am more then moderately interested in it, but wish Perseus did not have a buzzcut). I was supposed to travel the next day, so I just hooked up my iPhone to the computer and moved both of the films to my iPhone (EZ). The next night, when bored out of my mind at the hotel, I just finished up Clash and the next day on the trip home I watched the flawed, but fun, Logan’s Run.
When I got home, I decided to check how the movies played on my Xbox through media sharing and they seemed to play fine out of the box which was a happy surprise. Especially if I am sitting at the couch and want to watch them both again or have people over for a movie night.
Overall the experience has been pretty painless. I must admit, I am still a big fan of physical media, I like getting extras, but this is the future. If movie companies throw in more bonus content and keep upping the resolution, it is only a matter of time before the discs that I have grown so attached to, will become a distant memory. Embrace the future…