Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why can't studios get their acts together?

Here's another Big Entertainment pet peeve of mine. There are a variety of ways that you can legally purchase movies. You can buy them on a DVD or Blu-ray disc. You can rent or buy them on iTunes. You can rent them from a variety of online sources. There are more. But let's just focus on those for the moment.

When I buy a DVD of a movie, it sometimes comes with a digital copy. The purpose of this digital copy is to put it somewhere on my home network so that I may stream the movie to a TV or mobile device without having to lug the disc around. Many of these digital versions also come with a redemption code to build your movie collection online.

The problem is that not all of the studios use the same process or service. For example, one movie might offer a redemption code to add the movie to your iTunes collection. This is handy, because it allows you to watch the title on anything that can connect to iTunes and the internet. This is smart for a number of reasons, the least of which is that once you've bought a movie on a physical media, it only makes sense to allow you to have a roving copy online.

The problem is that not all of the studios are partnered with Apple. Some chose to partner with Ultraviolet / Flixster. You still get a redemption code, but it only works with Ultraviolet / Flixster, not iTunes. You cannot use a Flixster code to have a digital copy on iTunes, nor vice versa. This makes no sense to me. Most people like to keep their collections under one digital roof as it were. Nobody wants to try and remember which service hosts this movie or that.

Was it really that hard to get the studios to agree to allow people to load their digital copies onto the online service of their choice? If Apple can sell or rent any title, why can't it host a digital copy of any title? I have the DVD! What more do you want?

Major fail.

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