Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Apple and ABC 'get it'

Let the future of television programming begin. Apple officially announced the video iPod today. If their previous success with music is any indicator, then my wishes may finally come true, not to mention the growing popularity (particularly among the anime fansub community) of portable video on the PSP. Apple and ABC are teaming up to allow downloads of popular shows like Lost the day after they air, and for only a paltry $1.99 per download!

Let me pull out my calculator here... $1.99 times 24 episodes is almost $48. I paid $35 for my Lost season 1 box set. That's a rather big difference considering the digital download doesn't have to cover costs of disc pressing, art design and packaging, shipping, etc. The only downsides I can see to this are the tiny screen size of the unit and the fixed price for all videos. Why should we pay the same price for a three-minute music video and for a 42-minute television episode? A tiered pricing structure would make more sense to me... $1 for music tracks, $1.50 for music videos, $2 for TV shows.

No details have surfaced so far on the DRM scheme to be used, but I expect to see DVD Jon's name in the news not long after these hit retail shelves. I can't imagine Apple being able to sign a big name like ABC without some sort of protection on their content. As with anything else electronic, it will eventually be hacked and broken wide open. I'm just pleased to see this finally happening, and reasonably priced as well.


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