As I was reading this article I felt my brain go “snap” after reading the following: “As a way to retain a certain measure of quality control and consistency, ABC is inserting its core video player into the center of the distribution agreements so that viewers will have the same experience on a partner site that they would on ABC.com and its affiliates.” AUGH!!! Not another proprietary media player! Sometimes I think, under the veil of ignorance and stupidity, media producers/distributors implement ways to make their media, as delivered over the Internet, completely unusable. My husband and I have explored the on-demand Netflix and Walmart movie downloads and we were quite disappointed that we also had to use either a proprietary media player or a proprietary layer over an existing media player to view the content. On top of that, the downloads are locked to the computer on which the download took place. We are a multi-computer household on a home network (as I’m sure some other households are), so the computer that we download content on may not necessarily be the computer on which we view the content. Plus, it’s annoying to have a bunch of media players on a computer, all fighting over which is the primary player or media players with malicious little programs that go through and disable other content so I can’t enjoy any of my downloaded entertainment.
I understand the importance of digital rights and the networks’ insistance that we watch commercials that we don’t want to watch, but I think the networks are not recognizing that since we can get the shows over the air free, it doesn’t make logical sense to have to pay or use a proprietary system to watch the same shows anytime we want. So … what can be done? I imagine there is no good solution, since we don’t see a good solution yet. The question I ask myself is how much is the entertainment I download worth? I pay one service $10/mo for 10GB download chunk per month and everything else I don’t pay for. But the stuff I download, I can’t get here, so paying for it doesn’t bother me as long as the cost is reasonable. I feel the same way about content from cable, although I think, if I’m already paying for cable, then the option to download content should be part of my cable package. I do like the freedom of device independence when it comes to viewing the content I’ve purchased and I’m definitely not inclined to use a service again if it requires proprietary decoding software.