Movielink Update

I mentioned the other day that I was going to try Movielink when traveling with my new Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC. I hope that it will allow me to “rent” movies to watch on the airplane and in the airport when I’m on the road.

Well, I tried it last week when I went to Dallas to give a speech. The verdict: so far so good with one glaring exception- the Movielink web site does not support Firefox. The page states unapologetically: ” We do not support Mozilla or Netscape. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.” I’m not sure how any commercial web site thinks it can force its users to use a particular browser, but my need for movies trumped my annoyance so I fired up Internet Explorer.

TheMummysCurse-795640I rented an old Lon Chaney movie for $1.99. The way rentals work is that you select a movie and download it using Movielink’s download manager. Then you have 30 days to start the movie and 24 hours after you start the movie to finish it (or buy another 24 hours for, at least in this case, 99 cents). The movie downloaded easily and the Movielink download manager is easy to use and intuitive. I watched half the movie on the airplane and the other half that night before bed. The picture was excellent, even in full screen mode, and the sound was fine. In sum, I liked the process and will definitely use it again on trips. Assuming there will be a steady stream of new movies to rent, Movielink will greatly mitigate the lack of a DVD drive on the X41.

Kevin Maney posted about Movielink the other day, saying that Movielink is “crippled” by the lack of titles and the restrictions imposed on the movies after you download them. I enjoy old movies, so it will take a while for me to work my way through the catalog. When I do, however, the lack of new titles will be a problem. As anyone who reads this blog knows I am not a fan of DRM of any kind. When I rent movies or watch them on pay-per-view, however, I accept the greatest restriction of all- you have to pay by the day (for traditional rentals) and you can only watch it once (for pay-per-view) so I don’t find the restrictions to be all that troubling in this case.

I hope Movielink will make it. It is far preferable to watching the highly edited and often lame movies shown on tiny screens and with overpriced headphones in airplanes.

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