5 Reasons Why Video Downloading Services Won't Catch On

5 Reasons Why Video Downloading Services Won't Catch On


I've been offered a sweet gig to write one article a month for Thumbshots.org. Since the articles will be e-commerce releated, I figured I'd publish them here too (yes, they've given me permission to do so). Anyway, here goes:

With the recent announcement of Amazon's Unbox movie downloading service and Apple's announcement that iTunes will now be selling movie downloads, many people seem to think that the future of purchasing movies lies online. And why not – it's a logical jump. We went from radio to television, CDs to DVDs, so why not go from MP3's to MPEG's? When something works with music, the video counterpart usually follows with the same success. But in this case there are several fundamental flaws that both Amazon and Apple failed to address with their services that will make it difficult for video downloads to follow the success of music ones.

1. Download time and file size

While it only takes a minute or two to download a 5MB audio file, 2GB video file can take several hours to download. It may feel like you are getting your music instantly, but it sure doesn't feel like your getting your videos instantly. If it's quicker to drive to your local Best Buy, pick up a physical copy and burn it to your hard drive, why would you bother downloading it?

Also, how many people do you know with 200 GB of empty space on their hard drives? I don't know about you, but I've got over 100 DVDs in my movie collection and that would take up a ton of space. Yes, hard drives are getting cheaper, but most computers still don't come equipped with the kind of space required to hold a library of movies.

Even more importantly, one of the key components of the digital music revolution is the ability to keep your entire library on your iPod/MP3 player. Right now, even with Apple's new 80GB iPod, that's still not possible for the hardcore movie fan. While few music collections will ever exceed even 30GB, it's not inconceivable to think that you would need a 300GB iPod to house your entire movie collection. Having digital copies of all of your movies won't truly be necessary until your iPod can legitimately become your personal entertainment device with all of your music, photos, and movies (in high enough quality and with enough battery time so that you can directly play your movies from the device on to a TV).

2. Cost

Most movies on Amazon will go for $7.99 to $14.99, and movies can also be rented for $3.99. New releases on iTunes will sell for $12.99 on a pre-order basis and $14 thereafter. Older titles will sell for $9.99.

Ignoring for a second that you can download illegally ripped versions of any movie, what would compel a user to pay $15 for a restricted file that has less-than-DVD-quality? If you want a digital version, it's still much more cost effective (and potentially takes less time) to purchase a physical copy and rip it to your computer. Most new titles are available at your local Best Buy or Circuit City for around $15. Many old movies can be found in the $9.99 bins, or as a part of 2-for-$15 or 3-for-$20 sales. If you don't want to leave your house, you can get free shipping from Amazon on any purchase over $25.

With a physical copy you can rip it to any computer you want, as many times as you want, in any quality that you want, and then do whatever you chose with the DVD (like resell it). Until it is considerably cheaper to download a movie (probably somewhere around $5), it makes no sense for the average consumer to make downloading a part of their routine.

When it comes to renting movies, Amazon's Unbox will undoubtedly fall short as well. For the same price as renting a movie from Blockbuster, you have to wait an hour or two to download a movie that you can only watch for 24 hours and can't rip to your computer or burn to a DVD. If you don't want to leave your house, most digital cable providers sell movies On-Demand for the same $3.99 price that require no download, can be started instantly, can be viewed on your television without connecting your PC to it, and can be watched for the same 24 hour time frame.

3. Restricted file access

People want the ability to do whatever they want with a file. And if they pay for the movie, why shouldn't they be able to copy it to each of the three computers in their house, their iPod, and burn a DVD to play on their TV? Unfortunately, Amazon and Apple haven't figured this out and continue to place unrealistic file restrictions on their downloads.

Lets think about music again for a second – some people complain about Apple's restrictions on music files, but when you think about it, you can do almost anything you want with those files – and that's why it still ultimately works. You can burn them to a CD (which then can be copied or ripped), you can store them on your iPod, and you can listen to them on your computer. Compare that to what movie downloading services are offering.

According to a recent article in the E-Commerce times about Unbox, “The downloads can be transferred onto DVDs for storage, and the DVDs can be used to play the movie on the computer which downloaded the movie, but they cannot be played on a regular DVD player.” They also give you a second file that can be viewed on Windows Media compatible digital players, but that's a far cry from the freedom that consumers desire.

Using readily available free software, it's pretty simple for the average consumer to rip a DVD to their computer in their desired format, and then to copy it to their iPod if they want. When it's so easy for consumers to get what they want with a physical copy, it still makes no sense for them to pay a similar price for a second-class product.

4. The way we watch vs. the way we listen

How do you listen to your music? Most people listen while they're driving (on a CD or their iPod), while they're on their computer (using a CD or files on the hard drive), when they're traveling (on a portable CD player or their iPod), or around the house (on a stereo playing a CD or hooked up to an iPod). All of those things are easily accomplished when you download an audio file from iTunes.

Compare that with how you watch movies. Most people watch movies on their TV (using a DVD). That's it. But what do downloading services let you do? Anything but that. You can watch it on your iPod when you're traveling, you can watch it on your PC, or you can watch it on your TV in inferior quality by hooking up your PC to your TV. While all of those things are nice, they don't address the main need of the consumer – to be able to throw a DVD in their DVD player and sit back and watch.

Mark Cuban explains in a recent blog entry: “watching video on a computer or on a PDA/iPod is a 2nd class experience. It works amazingly well as a time killer on a bus, plane, lunchroom. It works good enough in a dorm room or your apartment bedroom, but its not going to replace watching on a real TV. It will always be a niche market in every manner.”

5. There's already a better option

The previous four reasons all lead up to the obvious conclusion – there's already a better option! When it comes to CDs, your options are to buy them in the store, order physical copies online (or through the mail), or download them. The price is essentially the same, but you don't have to worry about delivery when downloading (i.e. driving to the store or paying for shipping), and you get the product within minutes.

But no matter what way you get it, you end up with the same thing in the end. If you buy a CD at Best Buy, you can rip it and have a digital version. If you download it on iTunes, you can burn it and have a physical copy. You don't lose out by downloading. It's obvious that when it comes to movies, you lose out considerably when it comes to download time, file quality, and file restrictions.

As a movie buff, you have three options that are far superior to downloading from Amazon or Apple. Hardcore movie fans tend to go the Netflix/Blockbuster Online route where they can rent somewhere around 3 movies at a time for around $20/month. When they get the movies, they copy them to DVD. Now they have their own copy that they can watch, rip, and copy anytime they want.

The slightly more legal approach is to simply purchase the DVDs you want. For essentially the same cost of downloading, you get your own physical copy that you can, again, do whatever you want with. Down the road you can always sell the DVD and make some of your money back.

Those of you that like to rent movies can go the On-Demand route that most digital cable providers now offer. For the same $3.99 cost of renting a movie on Amazon or going to your local Blockbuster, you can watch it immediately on your TV and have it billed to your cable bill. The downside to this is that you can only access it for 24 hours and usually can't make a physical copy (if you really wanted to you could make a physical copy if you have a TV Tuner card on your computer that can record TV).

Rich Greenfield of Palicapital summed it up best in an article posted on Mark Cuban's blog:

“At a premium price point we also question who is the target market? Illegal movie downloaders are unlikely to be attracted at these prices and physical DVD purchases are unlikely to be interested in dealing with primarily PC-based nature of the downloadable files (with heavy movie renters far better off with Netflix or Blockbuster than Amazon Unbox).”

Ultimately that leads me to one of two conclusions – either film studios are really dumb and don't understand their consumers, or tthey really don't want to take the necessary steps for movie downloading to succeed. I'd say it's more the latter than the former, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was the other way around.

Top 10 Reasons to Work at Google

Top 10 Reasons to Work at Google


1. Lend a helping hand. With millions of visitors every month, Google has become an essential part of everyday life—like a good friend—connecting people with the information they need to live great lives.

2. Life is beautiful. Being a part of something that matters and working on products in which you can believe is remarkably fulfilling.

3. Appreciation is the best motivation, so we've created a fun and inspiring workspace you'll be glad to be a part of, including on-site doctor and dentist; massage and yoga; professional development opportunities; on-site day care; shoreline running trails; and plenty of snacks to get you through the day.

4. Work and play are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to code and pass the puck at the same time.

5. We love our employees, and we want them to know it. Google offers a variety of benefits, including a choice of medical programs, company-matched 401(k), stock options, maternity and paternity leave, and much more.

6. Innovation is our bloodline. Even the best technology can be improved. We see endless opportunity to create even more relevant, more useful, and faster products for our users. Google is the technology leader in organizing the world’s information.

7. Good company everywhere you look. Googlers range from former neurosurgeons, CEOs, and U.S. puzzle champions to alligator wrestlers and former-Marines. No matter what their backgrounds Googlers make for interesting cube mates.

8. Uniting the world, one user at a time. People in every country and every language use our products. As such we think, act, and work globally—just our little contribution to making the world a better place.

9. Boldly go where no one has gone before. There are hundreds of challenges yet to solve. Your creative ideas matter here and are worth exploring. You'll have the opportunity to develop innovative new products that millions of people will find useful.

10. There is such a thing as a free lunch after all. In fact we have them every day: healthy, yummy, and made with love.

Top 7 Reasons to Submit Your Articles to A New Article Directory Submission Site

Top 7 Reasons to Submit Your Articles to A New Article Directory Submission Site

Surfing around and doing searches under "submit your article" or free content to republish" you will find hundreds of sites that you can submit your articles These sites are willing to help you grow your web traffic.

You benefit by receiving incoming links to your website. They benefit, as their website grows with good content in a variety of different categories. It is a win-win situation.

Why would you want to take the time though, to submit your articles to a site that is just starting out or has very few articles posted yet.

Here are several reasons:

1. If you have several to submit you can become a toppublishing author at their site quickly.

New sites, having limited numbers make it easy to climb to the top of the list fast.

2. New article database owners are going to be promoting heavily to get their sites growing.

They are ambitious, full of enthusiasm and excitement to watch their numbers grow, you can benefit from this fresh promotion.

3. Google and other search engines are always looking for fresh, new content. The older sites, yes, get lots of traffic and have high page ranking. But the search engines like to find fresh new material and a link from another source will had one more inbound link in Google eyes to your sites hyperlink in your article.

4. You may be able to get the new article submission site owners to help you get several of your articles posted. (see resource box below)

Ambitious article directory owners are willing to go beyond and above the call of duty to help make there content grow. At least the author of this article is, she is currently offering a totally insane offer.

5. If you submit regularly, they are likely to consider special joint venture promotions for you.

They are most likely to want to reward frequent publishers and show gratitude to the authors that help their directories grow. This means, approaching you with joint venture ideas for e-books, conference calls and many other promotion ideas that may be planned in their promotional plans.

6. You may even be able to suggest a specific category and have it created for your particular subject.

As a new growing directory, they will be more willing and helpful to tailor their category choices to work with your specific article. This would be especially true, if you had already posted previous articles before approaching them with a category request.

7. Your article is more likely to be read, because of less competition from other articles.

While the article directory submission site is growing, granted yes, they may not get as much traffic as the big guys. But that means that the visitors that they do get, are more likely to see and READ your article. This means your article can find its way to ezines that want unique and fresh new content.

It is a well known fact with successful online internet marketers that writing articles to promote traffic to your website is a very successful avenue to pursue. It is however, an ongoing and sometimes tedious task.

There are several pieces of software that automate the process, and there are also places that will do this service for you, but there are pros and cons to these approaches. However that is the topic of another article.

The best way is to submit each article is to do it yourself. By hand submitting your articles, you have complete control over the submission process, choice of categories and the ability to modify and code your resource links to each specific submission.

So why consider doing this time consuming task to a brand new article directory? When you help others, they help you. It is sometimes called Karma, In the spiritual communities, it is known as the law of attraction. What you put out comes back to you in ways you can't even imagine. With this article's author there is a more important reason.
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10 Reasons Why You Should Date a Fat Girl

10 Reasons Why You Should Date a Fat Girl

Here you go girls. One from your own kind. Infighting within the female of the species. MEOW!!!

10 Reasons why you should date a fat girl

I'm tired of seeing really ugly thin women with nice looking guys. What about us cute fat girls? Wouldn't you rather be with a pretty girl? You can work on the fat, but you can't work with ugly...

1. If you take the fat away from the fat girl, she'll be fucking smoking;you take the skinny from the skinny chick...she'll still look like an ugly ass horse.

2. You might not be able to pick her up, but she can PICK you up.

3. No more blankets.

4. Larger mouth capacity.

5. She'll let you eat beef--she'll probably eat most of it.

6. This is cliche, but "more cushion for the pushin".

7. She's probably an emotional wreck, so if you show her the least bit attention, she'll be at your beck and call.

8. Bear hugs.

9. Let me repeat, larger mouth capacity.

10. Economy size. More is Better. Bigger is better.

So if you find any of this humorous, or would like to add on to this post, please comment.

I'm sure i'll be inundated with hate mail, so to all the haters out there, Bring it!

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Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids

Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids
by Jan Hunt, M.Sc.


In Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Italy, Israel, Germany and Austria, it is illegal for a parent, teacher, or anyone else to spank a child. In some states and provinces, it is only illegal for a teacher to spank. In all areas of North America, physical punishment by a parent, as long as it is not severe, is still seen by many as necessary discipline, and condoned, or sadly, even encouraged.

For the past several years, many psychiatrists, sociological researchers, and parents have recommended that we seriously consider banning the physical punishment of children. The most important reason, according to Dr. Peter Newell, coordinator of the organization End Punishment of Children (EPOCH)1, is that "all people have the right to protection of their physical integrity, and children are people too."2

1. Hitting children teaches them to become hitters themselves. Extensive research data is now available to support a direct correlation between corporal punishment in childhood and aggressive or violent behavior in the teenage and adult years. Virtually all of the most dangerous criminals were regularly threatened and punished in childhood. It is nature's plan that children learn attitudes and behaviors through observation and imitation of their parents' actions, for good or ill. Thus it is the responsibility of parents to set an example of empathy and wisdom.

2. In many cases of so-called "bad behavior", the child is simply responding in the only way he can, given his age and experience, to neglect of basic needs. Among these needs are: proper sleep and nutrition, treatment of hidden allergy, fresh air, exercise, and sufficient freedom to explore the world around him. But his greatest need is for his parents' undivided attention. In these busy times, few children receive sufficient time and attention from their parents, who are often too distracted by their own problems and worries to treat their children with patience and empathy. It is surely wrong and unfair to punish a child for responding in a natural way to having important needs neglected. For this reason, punishment is not only ineffective in the long run, it is also clearly unjust.

3. Punishment distracts the child from learning how to resolve conflict in an effective and humane way. As the educator John Holt wrote, "When we make a child afraid, we stop learning dead in its tracks." A punished child becomes preoccupied with feelings of anger and fantasies of revenge, and is thus deprived of the opportunity to learn more effective methods of solving the problem at hand. Thus, a punished child learns little about how to handle or prevent similar situations in the future.

4. “Spare the rod and spoil the child”, though much quoted, is in fact a misinterpretation of Biblical teaching. While the “rod” is mentioned many times in the Bible, it is only in the Book of Proverbs that this word is used in connection with parenting. The book of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon, an extremely cruel man whose harsh methods of discipline led his own son, Rehoboam, to become a tyrannical and oppressive dictator who only narrowly escaped being stoned to death for his cruelty. In the Bible there is no support for harsh discipline outside of Solomon’s Proverbs. By contrast, the writings in the Gospels, the most important books in the Bible for Christians, contain the teachings of Jesus Christ, who urged mercy, forgiveness, humility, and non-violence. Jesus saw children as being close to God, and urged love, never punishment.3

5. Punishment interferes with the bond between parent and child, as it is not human nature to feel loving toward someone who hurts us. The true spirit of cooperation which every parent desires can arise only through a strong bond based on mutual feelings of love and respect. Punishment, even when it appears to work, can produce only superficially good behavior based on fear, which can only take place until the child is old enough to resist. In contrast, cooperation based on respect will last permanently, bringing many years of mutual happiness as the child and parent grow older.

6. Many parents never learned in their own childhood that there are positive ways of relating to children. When punishment does not accomplish the desired goals, and if the parent is unaware of alternative methods, punishment can escalate to more frequent and dangerous actions against the child.

7. Anger and frustration which cannot be safely expressed by a child become stored inside; angry teenagers do not fall from the sky. Anger that has been accumulating for many years can come as a shock to parents whose child now feels strong enough to express this rage. Punishment may appear to produce "good behavior" in the early years, but always at a high price, paid by parents and by society as a whole, as the child enters adolescence and early adulthood.

8. Spanking on the buttocks, an erogenous zone in childhood, can create in the child's mind an association between pain and sexual pleasure, and lead to difficulties in adulthood. "Spanking wanted" ads in alternative newspapers attest to the sad consequences of this confusion of pain and pleasure. If a child receives little parental attention except when being punished, this will further merge the concepts of pain and pleasure in the child's mind. A child in this situation will have little self-esteem, believing he deserves nothing better. For more on this topic, see "The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children" (also in French).

Even relatively moderate spanking can be physically dangerous. Blows to the lower end of the spinal column send shock waves along the length of the spine, and may injure the child. The prevalence of lower back pain among adults in our society may well have its origins in childhood punishment. Some children have become paralyzed through nerve damage from spanking, and some have died after mild paddlings, due to undiagnosed medical complications.

9. Physical punishment gives the dangerous and unfair message that "might makes right", that it is permissible to hurt someone else, provided they are smaller and less powerful than you are. The child then concludes that it is permissible to mistreat younger or smaller children. When he becomes an adult, he can feel little compassion for those less fortunate than he is, and fears those who are more powerful. This will hinder the establishment of meaningful relationships so essential to an emotionally fulfilling life.

10. Because children learn through parental modeling, physical punishment gives the message that hitting is an appropriate way to express feelings and to solve problems. If a child does not observe a parent solving problems in a creative and humane way, it can be difficult for him to learn to do this himself. For this reason, unskilled parenting often continues into the next generation.

Gentle instruction, supported by a strong foundation of love and respect, is the only truly effective way to bring about commendable behavior based on strong inner values, instead of superficially "good" behavior based only on fear.
1 EPOCH Worldwide, 77 Holloway Road, London N78JZ UK
2 Personal communication.
3 End Violence Against the Next Generation (EVAN-G), 977 Keeler Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708, USA.
Note: An earlier version of this article appeared as Appendix D in Alice Miller's book Breaking Down the Wall of Silence (New York: Penguin USA, new edition 1997).

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