updated 03:10 pm EDT, Fri September 8, 2006
Amazon Unbox Suffers
The unveiling of Amazon's Unbox Video store marked the highest-profile movie download launch to date. Regardless of this fanfare, there are signiicant quality issues and teething problems, according to various members of the press. Purchases require intrusive and imperfect custom Amazon software to work, says CNET's Tom Merritt. The program automatically loads on startup and would not properly play at least one downloaded television show. Underlying issues also potentially hurt the long-term success of Unbox Video, reports BusinessWeek. Aside from the common but glaring inability to burn to DVD, rental restrictions are especially limited: rented movies must be played in their entirety 24 hours after playback begins or else must be rented a second time. Amazon additionally suffers from the longer-term conflict of interest that might arise from its existing movie sales; as it benefits from purchases of physical DVDs, the online retailer has little incentive to extend its usage rights or lower prices.