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"Digital Copy": New DVDs and Blu-ray Discs Bundled With iPod-friendly Files

Mike Musgrove

Consumers are getting a little extra something with their movie purchases this spring, in a few cases. Pick up one of a few DVDs or Blu-ray discs and users will also get a digital file of the flick that they can easily throw onto their iPod or PDA.

Take the movie Juno, released this week by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Open up the DVD package and there's two discs included in the "Digital Copy Special Edition" version of the film (see a review of it here). Pop one of the discs into your computer, fire up iTunes and type in a special code included in the package. A couple of minutes later, you'll have a copy that you can play on your iPod.

Michael Gartenberg, tech industry analyst at research firm Jupiter, deems Fox's new Digital Copy program "a smart move."

Before now, he pointed out, getting a copy of a movie you own onto an iPod or PDA has been a little tricky. I've occasionally used a free program for the Mac called "handbrake" to rip copies of movies in my personal collection to my mobile gadgets, but not everybody finds that software to be easy to use.

Steve Feldstein, senior vice president of corporate and marketing communications at Fox said that the company hope to include a digital copy in many of its DVD and Blu-ray releases this year.."We know our consumers want portability, and we wanted to provide it to them in an easy simple way," he said

So far this year, the studio has released flicks like Hitman and Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem with included digital copies. Feldstein said the studio has seen more consumers use the new feature with each successive release.

Sony Pictures is trying the same approach, though with a different implementation. Sony has announced that a movie called Diamond Dogs that it is releasing later this month on DVD will include a file that can be played back on computers or the company's PlayStation Portable device. The company does not indicate that the file will be compatible with iTunes.

That's... a little less exciting said Gartenberg.

"For many consumers, if it doesn't exist in the iPod-iPhone-iTunes ecosystem it might as well not exist at all," he said. "There a are a lot fewer PSPs out there than there are iPods."

By Mike Musgrove  |  April 18, 2008; 11:30 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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Both the iPod and PSP play the same types of video files. So, what that means is that it wont matter WHAT system the disk SAYS it is for, it's still just am MP4 or whatever, and will play on both systems, and on your computer, and anything else that pays those video files.

That is, unless, for some reason both companies decide to create some totally video codec which won't play on the other system, but that jut seems rather stupid and far-fetched, to me.

Posted by: Aaron M.Litz | August 15, 2008 10:49 PM

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