Soon, children won’t know what a “video store” is. All movies and videos will be available for download, so a visit to the video shop is no longer necessary. Don’t laugh. You’ll see what I mean the next time you ask your child to roll down their windows. Soon, they’ll be thinking the same thing about renting a movie.
In these times of terrible traffic and high gas prices, the benefits for consumers are enormous. Why drive to get your video content when you can download it instantly? It’s so easy to download your video content with a mouse click. The days of the video shop are over as more people see their computer as their entertainment center. The release of Microsoft’s Vista operating platform, which offers incredible integrated video and entertainment capabilities, has made it possible for consumers to adopt their computer as their entertainment center.
Millions of people have purchased iPODs, and, to a lesser degree, Microsoft Zunes, for mobile video viewing. They are now used to downloading their content, rather than waiting for it to arrive or driving to obtain it. The 5th generation iPOD, and the Zune’s release in the fourth quarter 2006 were both huge successes. Apple sold 14 million units of the video-capable iPOD in the fourth quarter 2005. Despite a brighter, full-color screen and WiFi networking capabilities, the Zune has had slower sales than Apple’s.
Microsoft’s marketing strategy for Zune is a major reason why it has not sold as well as the iPOD. Microsoft’s marketing strategy for the Zune has been a failure to communicate the fact that the Zune is available in multiple colors. The slow Zune sales can also be attributed to Microsoft’s tendency to use marketing language to describe it, rather than explaining to customers why they want one. Microsoft says the Zune is not a device. It’s an entry into the connected entertainment market for creating new social and shared experiences based on content. ?
Microsoft attempted to reclaim their consumer imagination with the Halo 3 edition Zune in May 2007. This edition contains special Halo audio- and video content. It includes Halo soundtracks and theatrical trailers. A special episode of Red vs Blue is also available only for Zune users. The Zune 3 graphics are also included. The Halo 3 edition Zune is currently only available at Game Stop.
The Zune’s failure to surpass the iPOD in portable video player market is not due to technical issues. The main reason is probably the inexplicable decision by the Zune to remove a scroll wheel from its feature set. It looks like a scroll wheel control, but it is actually a cursor button that can be used to navigate the Zune’s feature set. Consumers don’t want a 4-way cursor to control their portable video players. They voted for the iPOD. The Zune is a great player and the video quality is excellent for a small portable. Consumers who bought their Zunes with this in mind have the ability to download all kinds of video, TV shows, and movies onto a portable platform Letsmix.
The iPOD supports Apple’s AAC codec and MP3, Apple Lossless or WAV formats for audio downloadings. H.264 supports video content, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10. This standard is for compressed, high-quality video. One guess is that the Zune supports Microsoft’s WMA (audio) and WMV (video respectively). H.264 video, MP3 and AAC audio are supported by the Zune. Both players can accept JPEG image formats. Both players can use many file format converters to convert video to other formats and resolutions. These files can then be stored and optimized for portable use.
You can find downloadable video content both for the iPOD or the Zune at many different places. iTunes is a great option for iPOD users. It offers music at $.99 per download. This is a great way to access a wide range of content and it’s convenient. However, you should expect to spend a lot of money on filling your player. You can also fill up your Zune or iPOD with MP3 files that you have downloaded from other online music services or ripped from CDs.
Microsoft offers the Zune Marketplace, which is a subscription service that allows unlimited downloads at $14.99 per month. Microsoft calls this the “Zune Pass”. Zune users can download single songs and complete albums. Microsoft began collaborating with artists in June 2007 to promote both the Zune player and their download service.
Many consumers choose unlimited video downloading services as a popular option. These services allow you to download unlimited music and videos for a small fee (usually between $30 and $75). Many consumers believe that this is a more economical option than the subscription-based download model. These networks offer a lot of content, including TV shows and movies as well as music and videos.