Amazon launches the Unbox video download store

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  With Apple’s movie download service top of most people’s prediction lists, Amazon in the US has stolen a march on them, launching Unbox – a service that allows US customers to buy or rent movies and TV shows online.

Amazon Unbox has thousands of DVD-quality videos from Hollywood studios, including 20th Century Fox, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros, plus TV networks such as CBS and Fox and cable channels Comedy Central and E! Entertainment. Each video can be stored on up to two PCs and two portable video players at once. When a user downloads a video, Unbox automatically sends a second download file optimised for Windows Media-compatible portable devices. You also get your own personal Amazon page, which tracks your media purchases, offering a back up copy of any titles you’ve bought (or for use on an additional machine).

Opening prices are between $7.99 and $14.99 for most movies, with rentals at $3.99. The obvious downside is perhaps the use of Windows Media. In fact, the system only works with Windows XP at the moment. Your move Apple.

Amazon Unbox

Dave Walker