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Microsoft Media Movies

Microsoft Invents A 'Play-Once Only' DVD 740

Posted by Zonk
from the they-called-this-divx-didn't-they? dept.
auckland map writes "Microsoft has developed a cheap, disposable pre-recorded DVD disc that consumers can play only once." From the article: " Buying an ordinary DVD of a new film costs between £15 (E22, $26.40) and £20. Microsoft's new disc will enable the studios to release a "play-once, then throw away" copy for as little as £3, much the same as renting a video or DVD. But unlike a rented DVD, the new disc allows consumers to decide when they watch films and there is no need to return it. The new generation of DVD disc will spearhead a fresh assault by Microsoft on the home-entertainment market." Update: 10/06 03:38 GMT by J : Kinda important to read the followup story.
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Microsoft Invents A 'Play-Once Only' DVD

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  • by Kelson (129150) * on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:11PM (#13717152) Homepage Journal
    Haven't we gone through this already? How many times have businesses floated this concept over the last couple of years? What on earth makes them think consumers will want self-destructing DVDs this time?
    • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:14PM (#13717194) Homepage Journal
      It's like watching a fly repeatedly run into a glass window. I can only guess that these companies can't help themselves any more than the fly.
      • by wljones (79862) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:47PM (#13717578)
        I will file news of the "Play Once Only" DVD in the Write Only Memory on my home network.
      • by dnoyeb (547705)
        But this fly is not stupid.

        I suspect they are trying hard to alter ones concept of 'use' to include things which are otherwise not perishable. Like software.
        • by bluephone (200451) <grey@burntel[ ]rons.org ['ect' in gap]> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:08PM (#13717766) Homepage Journal
          I think you're missing the point. It's not that Microsoft is or is not stupid, it's that self-destructing DVDs have been made before, and flopped each time. They allowed the consumer to chose WHEN they watched it, but still only worked for a very short period of time, and were to be disposable as well. It didn't work not because it wasn't Microsoft, it didn't work becaus epeople didn't WANT it. The market said "no thanks". And frankly, MS is not the world's smartest company. They have good PR, and deep pockets with which they can engage in a war of attrition against their competitors to win with inferior products. The issue here is that if people don't buy disposable DVDs to start with, there's no market for MS to take over.

          And I'll go ahead and be redundant here too. This is just ANOTHER case of MS taking someone else's idea, slapping the word "innovation" on it, and thrusting it out the door, and a few people think it'll fly THIS time because MS is behind it.
          • Well,

            If it can be seen once, it can be copied...
            When I get movies from the rental shop, it is half of the price if you bring it back the same day.
            So what do I do? I rip the nice DVD to my hard drive (thanks vobcopy) in mirror mode, bring the nice DVD back and come home, to enjoy the movie.
            Never mind copying it to another DVD. I just wanted to watch it as the original DVD was.

            Can I just put this freak creation on the reader and start my ripping program? Of course I can. Where is the protection?

            They will NEVE
            • by Phillup (317168)
              Can I just put this freak creation on the reader and start my ripping program? Of course I can. Where is the protection?

              They won't work with current readers. You will need a new, compatible reader.

              And, chances are that reader will only work on Windows (if on any computer at all)... and be heavily DRM'd.
            • by el americano (799629) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @07:13PM (#13718274) Homepage
              That was my first thought before RTFA too.

              "The revolutionary product could be on the market as early as next year, with the new DVD players needed to view them."

              Sounds like your PC won't be able to play-it-once(TM). The protection is a DRM that requires a special player and probably an internet connection to their servers to get it started. So, as if this wasn't a bad enough idea, now there's the cost of a new player to offset the cheaper DVD advantage. I think MS knows that people won't be thrilled to have a DVD that isn't broken or worn out, but just crippled by our entertainment overlords. However, that shouldn't stop them from selling it to Hollywood. (Sammy baby, it'll be huge. It's the next big thing!)

              I also think they want to get there DRM solution out there as quick as possible.

              They've said, "...only Microsoft could solve [Hollywood's] piracy problem by making its DRM software a standard across every home entertainment playback and recording device."

              Sound familiar? Control the standard and you lock in the revenue. Here we go again, indeed.

              P.S. If you want a cheaper, limited-use DVD now, just buy one, watch it, and sell it on Ebay! Who needs Microsoft for that?
      • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:45PM (#13718063)
        No, this time it won't flop because the disks work in ordinary DVD players, so consumers aren't expected to invest in Microsoft's business model.

        What's that, you say?

        The revolutionary product could be on the market as early as next year, with the new DVD players needed to view them....
        A senior source in the company says Microsoft is in talks with the main electronics manufacturers about developing DVD players to play the new discs.
        Whoops! DivX, here we come!! (And coincidentally, what idiot wrote that article without even mentioning DivX?)
        • by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @07:22PM (#13718346) Homepage
          Previously you had the "time expired" DVD's that ran in a standard DVD player. They self-destructed 24 hours after coming into contact with air (I.E. they were unwrapped).

          Nobody bought them anyway.

          There is just that feeling of having your toys taken away. With a rental car, you rent the thing and have to give it back because the next person needs it. Same with video. But if you buy a disk, and it is set to explode after a few plays, you're buying something that is crippled. You don't have to give it back because somebody else needs it, they're taking it away purely to try and get more money from you. Microsoft is used to kicking it's customers in the teeth, but maybe that's why it is stuck in Operating Systems and Corporate Lock-in land.

          Even without the player dongle this would probably be doomed. But with it, the system might as well run Microsoft Bob.

          • One-Time Viewing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Finsterwald P Ogleth (759715) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @05:36AM (#13720684)
            Oh, yeah, I'm really looking forward to that.

            Me, who sometimes falls asleep watching one..."You mean I have to buy ANOTHER disc?????"

            Ah, and the wonderful coordinating of family viewing times, especially if both you and your spouse want to see it, but can't quite get your schedules worked out. Oh, and one or both falling asleep right about 2/3 through it.

            Oh, yeah this technology will just fly off the shelves. I can't wait...
        • Now, that's a give-away. Now that this new technology doesn't require new DVD players, I say, what stops us from making a copy of it during the first and only play that it allows? Admitted, not everyone will be able to make it. But not everyone is as aware of their digital rights, privacy, blah, blah like the /.ers :) Atleast, the /.ing l33t crowd can rest assured that nothing can come in their way of perpetual record of their p0rn.

    • There's a lot of people who like to rent DVD's. Now they won't need to return them. Or watch them in time. What's not to like?
      • by SenFo (761716) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:25PM (#13717347) Homepage
        "There's a lot of people who like to rent DVD's. Now they won't need to return them. Or watch them in time. What's not to like?"

        Please don't take offense to this, but seriosuly, what IS there to like? Netflix is already easy enough. Just drop it off in the mailbox and you're done. I seriously hope that people are not becoming so lazy that they can't even run out to the mailbox to return a movie. Heck, my mailbox is over 1/4 mile away from my house and I have no problem walking out to it.
        • by Kelson (129150) *
          And as others have pointed out, you can watch your disc from Netflix more than once, or over several sessions, before you send it back!
        • by AaronCampbell (826767) <slashdot@@@ezdispatch...com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:19PM (#13717863) Homepage
          Not to mention, how many people rent a DVD, watch it, and then tell their friend "That was a GREAT movie...you HAVE to come over and watch it." They then procede to watch the DVD a second time. Something you can't do with a Self-Destructing DVD.

          And what about this. You get a call on the phone mid movie...get up and get the phone, and forget to pause the movie. Now you want to re-watch the part you missed. Can you?

          What about special features? Such as deleted scenes, gag reels, games, etc? How many times can you watch those? I know some DVDs like National Treasure have quite involved little games on them.

          What about a power outage? The power goes out 1/2 way through a movie. What happens? Is the thing dead? Does half of it still work?

          Seems to me that they still have a lot of questions to answer.
          • by v1 (525388)
            Won't get very far. Usually I watch my DVDs once normally, then once through with the director's commentary if available, then maybe once more to get a second look at the special effects. That's just one viewing as far as I can tell. I don't think I own a DVD I have not watched at least half a dozen times. And I don't have a particularly large collection compared to many - just one large CD wallet about 1/2 full.

            This will flop. badly.
        • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:21PM (#13717895) Homepage Journal
          I live in a condo.
          There's a young woman who lives in a condo across the driveway and about 2 condos down from the laundry and she DRIVES to the laundry. In fact, I've only ever seen one person besides myself carry laundry to the laundry room.

          People are pretty fucking lazy.
          • by saskboy (600063)
            Lazy is part of it, but a failure of imagination is the majority of it. Because if you think about it, it's more work some times to get into your car and drive somewhere than it is to bike or walk to the same place. And if we made minor modifications to the layout of our cities and suburbs, then it would almost always be faster to bike someplace than drive in the Summer on a nice-weather day. Parking takes time and effort, a lot more with a car than with a bicycle.

            We just don't take into account all of t
        • by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:59PM (#13718167) Journal
          Yeah, if you have a mailbox at the end of your driveway. Some of us who live in apartments have to run to the post office for outgoing mail. Same thing happens on campus in a dormatory/"apartment housing."

          Also this could potentially reduce costs for an operation like Netflix ... no return postage, no return handlers, no restocking. "Everything goes out... nothing comes in". Could save a lot of dough.

          And how about those queues? Netflix only has a finite number of copies of each movie, sometimes you have to wait. With a model like this, potentially, they could ship out an unlimited number of read-once DVD's.

          -everphilski-
        • by skiflyer (716312)
          I would love this system for Travel... 4 hour delay in Detroit, go to the store, pick up 10 bucks worth of movies and not have to return them.... they already have pick them up at one and drop them off at the other, but say the delay gets cancelled and plane is ready to go, my extra two movies won't be ready for return by the time we land... now I can just watch them later.
        • Lazy? Try CRAZY (Score:4, Insightful)

          by uberdave (526529) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @12:34AM (#13719831) Homepage
          People fight for the parking spot closest to the door of the gym so that don't have to walk too far to get to the treadmill. People aren't lazy, they're insane.
      • by IWorkForMorons (679120) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:30PM (#13717415) Journal
        Uh...so what happens when you want to rewatch that last part because the phone rang? Or you forgot the popcorn? Or because your roommate was talking through that last part? Or because you missed something at the beginning that was really important to the ending? Or you watched the movie but your roommate wants to watch it when they get home from work? I can do all that if I rent a movie...
        • by Jugalator (259273)
          Regarding these things, it matters a lot on if they're talking "play once" or "no rewind" here. These discs need special players according to the article, and that opens a whole lot of possibilities in how it'll be implemented, and I won't speculate in those. We only know that you can't play a movie twice. However, that doesn't necessarily exclude rewinds and pausing. Who knows, these drives may trigger it when stopping a playing movie, and not pausing? It depends to 100% on the unknown implementation.
    • by PoprocksCk (756380) <poprocks@gmail.org> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:27PM (#13717380) Homepage Journal
      Great! We give an undesirable product to the consumers, *and* we create more waste for our communities! Two birds with one stone! Thank you, Microsoft, once again you've come up with a practical, *innovative* solution that works well for everyone. More power to the consumer.

      By the way, I'm *being* sarcastic... (well duh!)
      • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:46PM (#13717572)
        Microsoft Denies Single-Play DVD Plan [windowsitpro.com]

        On Tuesday, Microsoft refuted earlier reports that it plans to introduce single-play DVDs aimed at curbing music piracy. A Microsoft representative told me there is no single play DVD initiative at the company, denying a report that first appeared in "The Business."

        "It appears there is considerable confusion coming from [the] article in The Business about features within Windows Media DRM that allow for single-play of promotional digital materials," a Microsoft spokesperson told me. "This has been an option for content owners to use for some time with the Windows Media format--but not for the MPEG2 format found on DVDs. Windows Media DRM technology allows for a wide range of business models and scenarios, but it's important to realize that this is at the discretion of the content owner to implement and that the market will dictate whether or not these features are compelling enough for consumers to make a purchase."
    • by stienman (51024) <adavis AT ubasics DOT com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:28PM (#13717386) Homepage Journal
      It was called divx [wikipedia.org] (not to be confused with divx [divx.com]) and was marketted by circuit city.

      It failed miserably for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it was more expensive than consumers were willing to pay for something they got to 'keep'. It's a mindset problem - if you rent it, it must be returned, and is probably rentable because it's too expensive to purchase. If you buy it, regardless of the cost, then it's "property". They didn't want to market it as "disposable" or "consumable" which customers understand instantly, and it wasn't a rental. So it failed.

      Microsoft is trying to give the mdeia companies something they used to have, and have wanted for years: a bigger slice of the rental market. I don't think it's really going to work out, though, unless they also raise the cost of the DVDs.

      But what if they stopped making DVDs for sale. Waht if they went whole-sale to HD-DVD, charged $30 per disc, and also produced a "throw away" DVD that worked in any 'old' DVD player for $3-5. Of course, the rental companies will simply offer the HD-DVDs for $3-5 rental, but those customers who want to view the DVD version will be forced to "rent" it multiple times, or upgrade their equipment and either purchase expensive movies or rent them.

      It's temporary. In no case can this type of disc ever really be marketable long term, and it can only work short term under special circumstances.

      Of course, if it depends on a windows OS or codec with web access (which would allow multiple plays with purchase of additional keys) then it's going to fail out the door - there's no hardware for the average consumer, and no boxed disc is going to make it in the market unless the average consumer is going to buy into it.

      Lastly, it would be a boon for pirates. If it plays once in a regular DVD player, then it can be ripped once.

      -Adam
      • by billstewart (78916) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:37PM (#13717485) Journal
        One of my friends bought a DivX player, but he was a gadget-freak and it was the Internet boom, so the only real constraint for him was shelf space near the TV, plus the problem of finding worthwhile content to rent and time to watch it. Everybody thought it was a pretty dumb idea, and if I remember correctly, the DRM system got cracked after it was mostly dead anyway, so the crack was strictly another nail in the coffin as opposed to the destruction of an industry.

        Netflix, by contrast, was a low-tech approach (except that DVDs were still early-adopter back then) that absolutely rocked, because it matched what most customers generally wanted to do most of the time.

      • Divx isn't dead.
        He's just become a mean drunken lush.
      • But what if they stopped making DVDs for sale. Waht if they went whole-sale to HD-DVD, charged $30 per disc, and also produced a "throw away" DVD that worked in any 'old' DVD player for $3-5.

        Dang, you missed *the* main reason why Divx didn't succeed. It *didn't* play on "any 'old' DVD player"... and neither would these ( if they were really going to be made, which apparently they aren't ).

        It's too late for something like this, and it might have never worked, since we don't really want it. Way too late now

    • by Arker (91948) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:29PM (#13717400) Homepage
      My predictions:

      Average Joe types are going to hate this - they'll start it, the wife will set the kitchen on fire, they'll hit eject and run to put it out - and come back to find the disk no longer works. Or something like that.

      The only folks it will be popular with are the 'pirates' that will stick it in the drive, rip it once, and then watch it any time they feel like it, in addition to sharing it with a few thousand of their closest friends. It might be a huge hit with that crowd, however.
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:11PM (#13717155) Homepage Journal
    This will easily prevent piracy as everyone knows it takes multiple plays of a DVD to copy it.

    Sheesh.

    $3/disc is not cost effective with so many DVDs available for $9. Plus the need for new hardware? Nice try, been there, done that.
    • Re:"Revolutionary" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SydShamino (547793) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:17PM (#13717237)
      *Watching start of movie*

      *Kid screams out in pain downstairs, having tripped and fell, or been punched by brother, etc.*

      *Run downstairs and deal with them for 30 minutes*

      *Return to view movie again, to find it unable to play again*

      Doh
  • by robertjw (728654) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:12PM (#13717160) Homepage
    Already got this - it's called Netflix. You just throw it away in any mailbox.
  • by soft_guy (534437) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:12PM (#13717161)
    The new generation of DVD disc will spearhead a fresh assault by Microsoft on the home-entertainment market.

    Not to mention the fresh assault on our landfills that this disc format will make!
    • by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:24PM (#13717329)
      We should make companies who make disposable products to pay a tax for clean up. Encouraging customers to throw shit away into land fill is irresponsible. One day we will pay for it.

      sri
    • Its not like anyone is going to buy them...

      I'm more worried about the AOL mountain, you have no choice about getting those through you door!
  • Invented? (Score:2, Informative)

    by biodeo (741781)
    What did they invent? This appeared and failed years ago, it was called Divx
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:49PM (#13717593)
      Surprise, surprise. Sure would be if fact-checking was a requirement of being an editor around here.

      Microsoft Denies Single-Play DVD Plan [windowsitpro.com]

      On Tuesday, Microsoft refuted earlier reports that it plans to introduce single-play DVDs aimed at curbing music piracy. A Microsoft representative told me there is no single play DVD initiative at the company, denying a report that first appeared in "The Business."

      "It appears there is considerable confusion coming from [the] article in The Business about features within Windows Media DRM that allow for single-play of promotional digital materials," a Microsoft spokesperson told me. "This has been an option for content owners to use for some time with the Windows Media format--but not for the MPEG2 format found on DVDs. Windows Media DRM technology allows for a wide range of business models and scenarios, but it's important to realize that this is at the discretion of the content owner to implement and that the market will dictate whether or not these features are compelling enough for consumers to make a purchase."
  • I don't think this is plausible. I know it's not the same thing as Divx, but it seems to smack of it.
    I don't think the consumers are going to go for it. Not to mention the waste it could create.
  • wait.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DanGroom (850713) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:12PM (#13717172)
    consumer: "hey, so you can make DVDs for £3. Why are the rest £15?"
  • Play once ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koh (124962) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:12PM (#13717174) Journal
    Play once == Read once
    Read once == Rip once
    Rip once == Play forever

  • Dealing with waste? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vaevictis666 (680137) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:12PM (#13717175)
    The new generation of DVD disc will spearhead a fresh assault by Microsoft on the home-entertainment market.

    So how environmentally friendly are these? If MS is going to be trying to put rental places out of business, do they have a plan for millions of now-useless single-play-DVDs and the associated packaging?

  • Does it self-destruct when you're done using it, kind of like in MI?
  • /sigh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rhetoric (735114)
    like i just posted here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=164258&cid=137 17025 [slashdot.org]

    if you can play it once, you can copy it. they have to ban all non-DRM enabled devices (i can see this happening) in order to stop piracy. one DRM free copy is all it takes...
  • by antdude (79039) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:14PM (#13717189) Homepage Journal
    Let's say I had to stop/pause early to do something urgent. Would that count as one usage?
  • i guess this is going to work just as good as the one time use digital cameras? also. what happens if u have a power outage etc where you have to restart the movie? does it register when the last second plays and then corrupts all the data or what does it do?
  • Pollution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by msaulters (130992) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:14PM (#13717196) Homepage
    Do they have some way to recycle all this plastic? We're entering the biggest petroleum crisis in history, and they're finding new ways of wasting oil. Shouldn't there be a petroleum tax for something like this that creates so much waste?

    Wow, we're all still trying to figure out ways to make more permanent data storage, and M$ has jumped light years ahead of us to making data storage that doesn't store data. WTG!!!
  • high waste? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by icleprechauns (660843)
    This is so ridiculously wasteful. Because someone is too lazy to drive a couple miles and return a video, they buy a disposable DVD instead? How idle can someone honestly be?
  • Power Outage, etc... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Necroman (61604) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:16PM (#13717212)
    Watching this movie I just payed $4 to rent, power goes out (brown/blackout, or whatever). When the power comes back on... I can't play the movie anymore!

    Or I'm part way through the movie that I just rented, and I have to leave the house for whatever reason, come back later to find out someone took the dvd I was watching out of the player because they wanted to watch something else. Now it won't play again.

    I just see this being another headache for customers and customer support.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:16PM (#13717214)
    > Microsoft has developed a cheap, disposable pre-recorded DVD disc that consumers can play only once.

    No, much like everything else out of Redmond, Microsoft has merely copied an innovation developed someone else, and called it their own innovation.

    They started out copying somewhat useful things, such as CP/M, a BASIC interpreter, on-the-fly disk compression, and web browsers.

    Now they're copying DIVX discs. Look on the bright side -- it's proof that they've run out of good ideas to copy.

  • by RentonSentinel (906700) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:16PM (#13717221) Journal
    We need them to scream about the "big trash pile" and "wasted plastic" again...

    Because coming from the previous article on Sony, we all known consumers will lap up new DRM.
  • Yes! (Score:3, Informative)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:16PM (#13717225) Homepage
    As long as you use DVD Shrink to play it the first time!

  • by rpdillon (715137) * on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:17PM (#13717228) Homepage
    Interesting...my only question is whether it can tell the difference between "playing" and "ripping". Even with DRM, the scheme will eventually be cracked, allowing people like me (who buy DVDs and then rip them so they can be played anywhere in the house without having to tote the disk around) to buy them much more cheaply and achieve the same goal.

    On the same note, will there be some sort of click-wrap agreement to forbid this? If not, it would seem to be well within fair use to rip the discs after buying them for a fraction of the cost of a normal DVD.

    The article was a little light on details...I wish they had addressed the more technical side of things.
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:18PM (#13717243) Journal
    how can they get away with calling it a DVD?
  • by TomServo_1 (187918) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:19PM (#13717260) Homepage
    They didn't mention in the article how this would be done... some sort of DRM (new format) or is the disc itself made out of some material that will corrupt the data shortly after being read by the laser?

    From the article: "Showing a video of himself dressed in a sailor suit pretending to audition for the blockbuster Titanic, Gates pitched Hollywood with the proposition that only Microsoft could solve its piracy problem"

    Is there a pirated video of this available anywhere?
  • by geoswan (316494) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:20PM (#13717279) Journal
    This reminds me of a comic I read decades ago:

    Two scientists in lab coats. One is holding up a test-tube. He says:

    Finally! Success! A moth that eats synthetic fibers!

  • Way to go, Microsoft. Didn't they learn from AOL?

    I know they're not giving it away, but all its going to take is a year of these things being popular and the amount of landfill junk would be astounding.

    That, right there, will alienate loads of people. Fair use and content control issues aside, this is a stupid, stupid idea from an environmental perspective and a PR perspective.

    And I'm sure it wouldn't be cost-effective for them to include a recycling program for it, either.

    Microsoft: Buy our Garbage!
  • Once is all I need (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The_Rippa (181699) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:21PM (#13717292)
    I just need to play it once to make a copy of it anyway.
  • DIVX redux... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nweaver (113078) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:28PM (#13717391) Homepage
    People didn't like online, interactive, DRM'ed DVDs 5 years ago, why would it change today?
  • by cepler (21753) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:32PM (#13717437) Homepage Journal
    Here we go again, DIVX take two! I wonder if Circuit City will be selling them...
  • by Alcimedes (398213) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:35PM (#13717467)
    Didn't anyone else notice you'd have to buy an entirely new DVD player to have the privlidge of buything these watch once then throw away discs? What is going through these people's heads when they think this is a good pitch?

    Not only will I have to buy a new type of disc, which offers little over today's rentals (what, I don't have to return it to the store? Welcome to Netflix 5 years ago.) but at the same time I'm supposed to want to replace my entire living room set to do it?

    Then there's the question of whether or not this new tech will work with the next gen of DVD's. I might see people replacing their DVD players if that means they'll get the 30GB or whatever version of DVD's, but for the same 9GB crap we have now? Don't think so.

    Granted they went into zero detail as to how this will work, but I wonder if it will incorporate into the new DVD formats. (or maybe that's they way they plan on releasing it, who knows)

    Funny though that the music and entertainment industry would rather put their fate in the hands of MS over the hands of their customers. Although the customer might eventually stop putting his/her hand in their pockets to pull out their wallet at the drop of a hat, and least they won't be putting their hands around your throat.
  • by Gogo0 (877020) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:39PM (#13717504)
    Microsoft Invents A 'Rip-Once Only' DVD
  • by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:39PM (#13717515) Homepage Journal
    The article makes mulitple mentions of how these single-play discs will need new players?

    It seems pretty unlikely the media self destructs. Maybe, but I doubt it. Why would a new player be needed if it were in the media itself?

    Perhaps it's really a dvd+rw type media, where the player uses a higher power laser to erase the disc during or after playback?

    Or maybe they're going to try Circuit City's DIVX approach (nothing to do with the mpeg4 coded, for those who don't remember those days), where the player will phone home.

    Or maybe it's something else? Any ideas?

    Maybe Microsoft's research teams have turned out something truely revolutionary? Or maybe just another lame idea, as usual?

    Unless it really is media that degrades, or even if it really is in the media, if it's not compatible with existing players, then people are going to have to "upgrade" their players... for no real benefit other than being able to get a play-once disc for about the same or slightly more than simply renting a regular disc. So the players won't sell well, so they won't get the ecomony of scale that makes for a sub-$100 dvd player. It's quite an uphill battle. Witness Circuit City's failure... and that was in the early days of DVD when a few studios were releasing some movies in their lame format but not on DVD. This thing probably going to die before it even gets started.

    But even in a world of perfect DRM, where movies are only distributed on these play-once discs, and no ordinary DVDs are made anymore, and movies aren't ever distributed in any other digital form.... it's still only going to take one pirate with special equipment to capture a pretty good quality "rip", and then upload to a circle of friends, who give to others, until someone makes it available on a file sharing network.

  • by biendamon (723952) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:40PM (#13717524)
    If I go to Blockbuster or my local video rental store, the movie I'm renting eventually goes back to the store, where they can rent it to the next guy for another few bucks. They stop renting that particular disc when it gets scratched or broken, but otherwise, it's a continuous revenue stream.

    If video stores started sending home these self-destructing discs, they could only rent them once. Then they'd have to buy new copies from the manufacturer. Why would they choose to do this? The answer is, simply, they wouldn't.
  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:45PM (#13717562) Homepage
    Don't these idiots give a shit about the amount of crap they produce ?

    If these awful things don't evaporate in a flash of smoke the minute they've been used then people should get together and mount a campaign to send every single used DVD back to Microsofts headquarters. And then their local waste collection people should make sure they charge them top dollar to dispose of them.

    How to stop irresponsible "environmentally unfriendly" crap like this: Make the polluter pay the full costs of disposal/cleanup.
  • Don't they mean... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sik0fewl (561285) <<xxdigitalhellxx> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:34PM (#13717978) Homepage

    Don't they mean a rip-once only DVD?

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:44PM (#13718053) Journal
    That second trip to the rental shop to return your DVD is very important for their business. They want you to come back and see something else you want to rent, so why exactly would any rental shop support a product that not only removes that extra trip but also must be replaced all the time, for every bloody title that the shop carries, every time someone rents it. This could only be useful for postal DVD rental which is going to be dead soon. I won't even get started on one-play = one-rip.
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @07:05PM (#13718211)
    We have Microsoft on record now saying that they have no such thing planned. That's as maybe, but this episode shows the extent of their PR problem: People have no trouble at all believing that Microsoft would produce a product that would screw the consumer that badly. There is hardly any post here that shows that sense of betrayal that is so prominent when, say, Apple or Google screws their costumers. Anger, yes. Outrage, yes. But not betrayal.

    The short and nasty of it is: People expect to be screwed by Microsoft. Their feeling is that this is what Ballmer and Gates do. When your a monopoly, of course, you don't have to care. But on the long run, that can't be good. If I were working in their PR department, I'd probably feel suicidal after reading this thread.

  • Fact-checking? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Merovign (557032) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @09:07PM (#13718986)
    The really funny part is how many people keep posting complaints about Microsoft's new product after the fact that Microsoft isn't doing it has been posted here several times.

    Fact-checking is fast on the internet, but not yet effective.
  • by Yankovic (97540) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @09:12PM (#13719022)
    According to this comment [slashdot.org] about this story [windowsitpro.com], Microsoft is denying any investment in this. Shouldn't the editors add that to the comment section of the story summary?

    On Tuesday, Microsoft refuted earlier reports that it plans to introduce single-play DVDs aimed at curbing music piracy. A Microsoft representative told me there is no single play DVD initiative at the company, denying a report that first appeared in "The Business."

    "It appears there is considerable confusion coming from [the] article in The Business about features within Windows Media DRM that allow for single-play of promotional digital materials," a Microsoft spokesperson told me. "This has been an option for content owners to use for some time with the Windows Media format--but not for the MPEG2 format found on DVDs. Windows Media DRM technology allows for a wide range of business models and scenarios, but it's important to realize that this is at the discretion of the content owner to implement and that the market will dictate whether or not these features are compelling enough for consumers to make a purchase."
  • Oh great! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @11:24PM (#13719587) Homepage Journal
    Just what I need, more GARBAGE.

    This idea floats by over and over again because if people would actually accept it, the profit potential is enormous. Of course if people would just pay me $100 for my autograph, the profit poential would be enormous.

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