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Amazon wins race to offer online movies September 8, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet, Movies.

Amazon.com beat Apple to the punch Thursday with a new service that lets customers download movies to their computers and take them for on-the-go viewing on portable media players — but not on Apple iPods.

The Amazon Unbox service is expected to compete head-to-head with Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes store, which already offers music videos and TV shows and is expected to include full-length movie downloads soon.

The companies’ race to launch their movie services reflects the changing ways consumers are getting their entertainment.

But industry analysts questioned the prospects of Amazon’s new service because it won’t work on iPods and it could be cumbersome to transfer the technology to the family room TV.

Amazon officials, however, were giddy about partnering with more than 30 studios and networks to offer its customers thousands of titles, including some TV series episodes available the day after they first run. Those will go for $1.99 per episode, while most movies will cost $7.99 to $14.99, Amazon said. Movies also can be rented for $3.99, about what consumers pay at video stores.

With the Unbox, consumers can download a video with a DVD-quality picture, Amazon said. It would enable consumers to buy a show using one personal computer, such as at the office, and download it to another, likely at home. The shows would work on any Microsoft Windows Media video-compatible portable device, including Creative Zen Vision:M.

Read the story at > Amazon wins race to offer online movies

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