freedom of choice technology

Amazon on demand vs. iTunes store

I really will stop talking about streaming media soon, but I’m obsessing right now…. Tried my first Amazon video on demand tonight. Tried a Dr. Who episode (the Agatha Christie one FYI) just to see how it was. I had heard that they let you buy the episode for 99 cents as opposed to the iTunes 99 cent rental. Amazon does let you buy the episode, but there plenty of strings involved.

First off, if you’re on a Mac, you can’t download the content you have purchased from Amazon on Demand. You watch it on the Amazon website. That’s kind of a bummer, but really, the only thing I would really need on my computer for was if I was going to put it on my iPod. I’m always online whenever I use my computer, so I can get to it whenever I want.

By using the viewer, I get all of the advantages of cloud computing. My library could potentially all be stored up at Amazon, it wouldn’t take up any space on my computer, and I wouldn’t have to worry about losing the data if my computer died.I could also watch it on other computers too I suppose. On the other hand, I would always have to be online. Like I said that’s not a big deal usually but if I go to my father’s place, I can’t use his bandwidth limited internet connection to watch it.  The thing I actually worry about is Amazon changing its mind or changing period. All of my purchases could just go away…

I think in this case, I like Apple’s approach better. I can rent the episode for the same 99 cents. For just a little bit more, I can buy the episode and download it to my computer. The folks doing the pricing have done their homework, it’s a tough choice. It might be different if I had a set top box that could use Amazon (like the Roku). IWith set top boxes, the price would be the same, the difference would be that with Amazon, I could go back and watch it whenever I wanted to since I would have “bought” it. Since I will be doing everything on the computer, think I’ll stick to the iTunes store. God, I love having all these choices…

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