Movies on flash memory cards

movies A couple days ago I came across this article at CNET 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

Great Idea: NAIT's OokSTICK

Post ImageUSB Memory Sticks are incredibly inexpensive now, and as a result, it seems that everyone has them. The great thing about a memory stick though, is that you can never have too many! That’s why I think NAIT’s OokSTICK is an amazing idea:

Full-time students who are registering for courses this fall at NAIT [Northern Alberta Institute of Technology] are getting off to a great start with a memory stick and virtual magazine.

The 256MB USB stick not only contains plenty of storage space for student assignments, it also features OokMAG – the NAIT Student Virtual Magazine, a 40-page electronic publication loaded with information about life at NAIT.

Wonderful! This is something all post secondary institutions should be doing. It’s a great way to share information with students, and an even better way to show students that you’re willing to do something for them once in a while. I think tuition would be easier to swallow if I got a USB memory stick as part of the deal (not easy to swallow, just easier).