Movies on flash memory cards

movies A couple days ago I came across this article at CNET News.com about a company called PortoMedia and their plan to make movies available on flash memory cards. I’ve touched on the subject before, but for a different reason that PortoMedia seems to be interested (I was interested in the small form factor). They see flash memory cards as an alternative to Internet delivery:

PortoMedia is setting up kiosks that will let consumers download movies to a flash memory key or portable hard drive.

The kiosks will be packed with hard drives that can hold 350 to 5,000 titles. Users then plug in a memory device from the company, enter a PIN code, and buy or rent a movie. When consumers get home, they simply slide the memory device into a dock connected to a TV.

Evidently they have come up with a proprietary USB interface that can load a high-definition movie onto the memory card in less than 45 seconds. There are some big advantages to this model:

  • Reduced cost as packaging and shipping associated with DVDs is no longer required
  • More selection – you aren’t limited by shelf space with a kiosk like Blockbuster is
  • It can happen sooner than Internet delivery (because most of us still have fairly crappy connections)

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the company plans to use DRM from Microsoft to protect the movies.

PortoMedia did a trial run last year, and plans to go live with the service in four U.S. cities sometime in Q2 2008.

Read: CNET News.com

Stop the madness – abolish DRM!

Post ImageHas DRM (digital rights management) ever accomplished anything positive? I find it really hard to believe that DRM has increased sales of music, movies, or any other protected content. In fact, I’d bet it has had the exact opposite effect. Just mentioning the acronym brings nothing but negative thoughts to mind.

I think it’s only a matter of time until DRM is gone. Steve Jobs doesn’t want DRM. EMI is willing to forget about DRM. And yesterday, thousands of online citizens proclaimed in a unified voice that they do not want DRM either. The writing is on the wall. The only question now is when DRM will disappear.

I can’t say it any better than Cory Doctorow:

AACS took years to develop, and it has been broken in weeks. The developers spent billions, the hackers spent pennies.

Instead of spending billions on technologies that attack paying customers, the studios should be confronting that reality and figuring out how to make a living in a world where copying will get easier and easier. They’re like blacksmiths meeting to figure out how to protect the horseshoe racket by sabotaging railroads.

The railroad is coming. The tracks have been laid right through the studio gates. It’s time to get out of the horseshoe business.

In the past, movie studios and record labels had to worry about content and distribution, but no longer. It’s clear now that distribution doesn’t need a helping hand. The sooner the studios and labels figure that out and stop wasting money on it, the better it’ll be for all of us.

Read: BoingBoing