Sunday, November 21, 2004

Portable Media Players and DRM

Portable Media Players are arriving to try and catch the next big market for portable media gadgets after the Portable Music Player market has been won by the iPod. As the Register points out, portable music makes a lot more sense than portable video as portable music can be appreciated everywhere and while doing most activities, while portable video requires the concentration of the sense of vision as well as hearing and should not be used while driving, operating heavy machinery, or a lot of other things.

Another problem with Portable Media Players is that they do not work with the media that you own. So while your iPod comes with software so that you can rip your CDs and load them for your listening pleasure, ripping your DVDs for your Creative Zen is either impossible or difficult depending on who you listen to.

This shows how shortsighted the copy protection that is being built into DVDs is. Unlike audio, which you listen to again and again, most video content is consumed by watching it once. Sure, it is nice to have so that you can watch it for a second time, and it is good to be able to revisit your favorite scenes, but except for children, video content is not the kind of thing that you watch over and over again.

The Personal Media Player allows people to consume content while they are on the go and thus it allows them to increase their media consumption. Copy protection on DVDs prevents people from consuming media on DVDs and thus limits the market for DVDs.

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