Robert Scoble yesterday talked about Amazon becoming the new Google (along with one heck of a busy schedule - I cant wait to see the results of Scobels work, if its anything like the Channel 9 videos and his normal bloging they should be fantastic). Interestingly his comments come a year to the day after the Scoble goes to Amazon and Learns All About Web Services Channel 9 video was posted.
Amazon have also been very busy on the development interface over the last few years, AWS as it was, now ECS is a market leading initiative that has lead to lots of great sites consuming and mashing up Amazons data. Over at BookSwap.ws I have been able to include results from Amazon searches and product details with ease whilst keeping the style of BookSwap.ws, this is great for people looking for more details about a book they are interested in, with a single click they can get the product details, reviews and the product value information, as well as being able to purchase the product or similar products from Amazon or third party sellers if they wish.
The most recent offering from Amazon.com is UnBox a DVD download service. Along a similar line to Napster but for video rather than music.
Dave Taylor has an excellent review of unbox, a few things struck me about MP3 and video download services like these is that at the end of the day the products are still comparably priced to the CD or DVD based products, but the one thing you dont get is a tangible product, hence it has no resale value which has the hidden effect of elevating the cost of the goods.
If you go and buy a DVD from your local retailer or online from DVDSwap.ws or Amazon if you then decide you dont like it, or just grow bored of it you can always sell or swap the DVD, however with downloads this becomes so much more difficult.
I would never pay for a second-hand downloaded DVD movie. If its DRM protected then chances are its not going to work on my PC, if its not protected then how do I know its original and the person selling it is legit? At least with DVD disk based products I have something that is easy to tell from a cheap rip-off.
The thought of buying a DRM protected DVD (a new one) leaves me wondering that when it comes time to upgrade/rebuild my PC will I still be able to watch this DVD or will I have thrown my money down the drain. I have one eBook (21 dog years) which I find really annoying to read off the PC and I just know one day I wont be able to read it anymore because I will have broken something on the PC.
Personally I like to watch DVDs on my TV, music wise I enjoy the normal Hi-Fi, Im a big fan of WinAmp on my PC, but I hate watching DVDs on my PC, you just know an IM window or email message will arrive at a key point of the movie popping into the middle of the screen and messing up the whole scene or the audio will get all messed up as the disk drives become busy for some other reason and sit their for 10 seconds making lots of noise for no apparent reason.
So for now Im sticking with buying boxed DVDs, selling them as I feel fit and swapping my DVDs with my friends through DVDSwap.ws. The same goes for music, if Im buying an album then I will buy the cased thing, selling and swapping with friends through CDSwap.ws.
On a similar note I recently realised a new use for DVDSwap.ws that hadnt even crossed my mind, last week I went around a friends for a few Friday evening beers, before leaving I thought I would take a DVD with me, I couldnt find one on my shelfs that I thought he would enjoy or hadnt already seen. It wasnt until we were talking that I realised he should have used his DVDSwap.wsaccount to have a browse through my DVD collection and then ask me to bring over the one he would like. Look out for a new "Bring it over" style feature on DVDSwap.ws to help friends get together over a mutually enjoyable DVD soon when I figure out a good name and how to implement the service!!!
BTW, as Im talking about WinAmp and listening to music on the PC I have to mention .977 the 80s channel a shoutcast radio station I listen to a lot. You can enjoy classic 80s tracks with WinAmp and [Club] .977.