I just came across Streamburst via Techcrunch. Within minutes, I was happily downloading In Search of the Valley at a blistering 8-9 megabits per second, probably the closest I’ve ever gotten to topping out my 16-megabit ADSL connection. By the time I finish this blog post, a full DRM-free 1.1 gigabyte DVD-quality movie will be ready to watch, all for $7.99. That’s brilliant.
I went to ISOTV’s website, added the downloadable movie to my part, and paid using paypal. I was then presented with three download options:
I could choose to download any or all of the three formats, reminiscent of allofmp3.com. The encoding itself is DRM free, and I can choose to play the movie on whatever device I want.
What’s the catch? Streamburst prepends the movie with a 5 second clip showing who originally purchased the movie:
I’d much rather see my name on a movie than the completely pointless FBI warning on Hollywood releases. Streamburst also supposedly adds some sort of invisible, durable watermarking that is intended to be persistant through re-encodings.
I absolutely hate DRM. I hate it so much that I don’t even use some iTunes credit. I think audible.com would be an awesome service if it wasn’t for its DRM. I have 2 audible.com book credits that I’ll probably never use. It’s really that much of a pain in the ass, although admittedly it is probably worse for me being a desktop linux user. Like most people, however, I just want to be able to play my media on any device I want to use. I don’t want to be locked into a single piece of hardware or software to play back media that I’ve legally purchased.
Is this Streamburst going to stop piracy doing this? Absolutely not. I can easily clip the 5 seconds of my name and transcode the video into another format easily. However, I did just spend $8 on a movie I was interested in but not enough to purchase the DVD, and to that end I think Streamburst will be successful.