Plop in the disc, hit a prompt or two and you’ve got a copy of “Juno” ready for iPod or iTunes viewing. That was almost as easy as getting pregnant when you’re young, in lust and not even close to married.
The Hollywood studios are slow but not dumb. They finally figured out that tech-savvy users are going to get copies of hit movies onto their PCs and portables whether the copyright cops like it or not. Until the new year, that often meant grabbing an illicit version via BitTorrents or hacking the copyright protection on the DVD.
Starting with Fox’s release of “Blue Harvest” — the “Family Guy” spoof of “Star Wars” — the studios started trickling out digital copies of movies packaged with the standard DVD. The pace appears to be quickening.
In the case of this week’s Blu-ray of “Juno,” for doubled-up early adopters.
Getting “Juno” onto my Pro Mac (Intel) with iTunes v. 7.6.2 took all of three minutes. The disc started up with a mighty whirling. A popup asked if I wanted to add the movie to iTunes. Sure. Another screen assured me a download was under way.
The movie appeared to download in about a minute, but there was no clear indication that had happened, other than a thumbnail image of the DVD cover that appeared under the Movies tab in the main Library. Double-clicked and the system asked if I wanted to authorize this computer to store the movie. Yep. Then it indicated two of five computer slots for the film had been used (presumably one for the desktop and another for the plugged in iPod).
“Juno” started up with with that familiar Fox studio drum intro … and pretty much looked like crap. That was at the full-screen setting for the monitor. Moved back about 5 feet and everything looked good enough for a full-length viewing, with allowances for softness and grain. The audio was clear and crisp, but nothing special, of course.
The smaller the screen space, the better it looked — as is the case with all computer video. So iPods have it easy in coming up with a sharp image.
The experience for Mac users should prove almost identical to renting or buying a movie off the iTunes Store — meaning hassle-free.
No doubt studios will use digital copies as marketing incentives. Sony’s upcoming DVD of Dolph Lundgren’s “Diamond Dogs,” for instances, has a digital copy as a “bonus copy,” but it wouldn’t work on the Mac. The sleeve says “Diamond Dogs” will work either as a PC or PSP transfer. At least it’s free. Get what you pay for dept.